Vasculiterra Reader editions

A quick aside, however lengthy or condensed in page count. And consisting generally of criticism and commentary/deleted scenes and “making of”/historical relevance (or irrelevance), and possibly misplaced reverence (or irreverence)/frank and opinionated opportunities to defend in an open (and closed) forum. Explanatory and exploratory and essentially the chance to finitely and infinitely bare much more and also much less of whichever person’s soul penned the preceding volume from which this secondary has originated. An occasion for the different, disparate, definitive individuals to, if they wish, speak with a slightly freer pen, dig with a sizably deeper brush. Possibly push the boundaries of even what they themselves typically allow to flow from their many singular minds, maybe strangers to each other and separated by cities, distanced by desktops or worktables, small rooms in countries foreign to each other. However and wherever it is they’ve made and are making what we eventually see. And which we sometimes might be interested in seeing more of. A different take, a distinct tack, an alternate look into the accepted and either liked or disliked, loved or loathed literature, poetry, or cultural or otherwise commentary. (The anyway personal, myriad, Why’s.) Abstract anatomy, microscopically clear ambiguity. Semi-literate alliteration. (And maybe ultimately, anyway, lies.) An architecture of thought and an art-within-art-without-stop. We feel these texts to be worthwhile for numerous reasons, and not merely for the enjoyment of those who might have enjoyed what occurred first, having now come to these editions with that in mind (or even the opposite –hated the first and want more ammunition for dislike). All are welcome. All are valid. And we hope, and can never truly know in all cases, that what’s put down deepens both the understanding of (or derision for) said books, but also stands to help even and maybe even especially the authors themselves, come to a fuller comprehension of what aims were set out with, what dreams are interspersed within, and whatever inspiration(s) began the entire project, large or small, from its inception to its completion. We thank them first of all for what they’ve initially brought into being, and presented before us for our small part in its evolving life, and also for giving their own work the time and effort of this after-the-fact once (or more)-over, this consideration and to be fair platform to say what might not have been said the first time around. And thorough or cursory, thoughtful or sarcastic. Thinly-hidden critical or thankfully-had cautious. And as we naturally thank you, for looking into either the premier incarnation of this artist’s idea of what a book should be, or for giving time to any of these companion examples of what we agree should appropriately be added to that fine category and distinction. -The Editors v o s e u c i r e a r i b (r o o s l a v c s l a t s r b a t o u k k?)

A Vasculiterra Reader; Volume One Songs That Made The Instrument Infamous (assorted effacements)
Psalms that made the Innocent Infinite(-ish) (awardless, insanest)

vasculiterra books

fiction and poetry emotional property

Copyright © 2012 by Karl Jensen First Edition Vasculiterra Paperback January 2012 ISBN: 978-0-9827866-35 Vasculiterra Books 585 56 St. Oakland, California 94609
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www.Vasculiterra.com twitter.com/#!/Vasculiterra Facebook.com/EmotionalProperty

Vasculiterra@gmail.com
Cover photography- David Priest / Unknown End piece photos: The Block Herb Goro. 1970. marshmallow worlds Cary Wolinsky. 1972.

Thank You: Katie Evans, Dan Lucas, Jim Scaife, Brian Gleesin, Alee Karim, Jason Hoopes, Sara Paul, Mindy Baker, Jessica Palmer-Piteo, Nicole Henares, Brett Schultz, Shauna Rae and Dorena Koopman.

Retailer, file under: Illiterate Crippleism / Musical Notation

Songs Line by Line (Intermission) Songs Piece by Piece

1 51 85

Tenet insanible multos Scribendi cacoethes et aegro in corde senescit. Many suffer from the incurable disease of writing, And it becomes chronic in their sick minds. -Juvenal (ad c. 60-c. 130) If all the earth were paper white And all the sea were ink 'Twere not enough for me to write As my poor heart doth think. -John Lyly (c. 1554-1606) ...a violence from within that protects us from a violence without. It is the imagination pressing back against the pressure of reality. It seems, in the last analysis, to have something to do with our self-preservation; and that, no doubt, is why the expression of it, the sound of its words, help us to live our lives. -Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) The world breaks everyone and afterward many are strong in the broken places. -Hemingway (1899-1961)

Songs Line By Line B-95 Dedication Line / Blue / Warmth / Vertebrate / With Stinging Drops / Dance / Eight on the Dollar / Streamline / True Blue / Surface of the Eye / Last / Modern / A Way to Fly / Harm’s Way / Evening / Mind / Burnt Edges of the Petal / Dialysis / Wyeth / Gold in our Hands / The Blood from a Bobcat / Trompe L’oeil / Fire / Land / The Opportunity to Shine / Take / Morning / Pull / Holy Diver / Heart / Salem / Freeway / Chance / Beauty / Decades / Snuff / Too Young to Fall in Love / Sun Will Set / Commute / Location / Eat ‘em and Smile / Farmer’s Market / Jukebox / Risen / Saturday / Deaf / Ladies and Gentlemen... / Dark to Light / As Deep a Breath / Songs That Made the Instrument Infamous

B-95 Dedication Line The communication of one voice to another, impossible distance to cross and improbable receiver at the other end. Or the opposite, and who it exactly and in all ways possible and probable was made, written, created and crafted both to and for. And what music may mean, intention of musician aside, interpretation and reading-into of so young a set of ears, so removed from where it begins. The little hearts that hear and the lasting memories that form. In either some recording studio or else prior even to that, in the mind of whoever came up with it, snapping their fingers and humming a melody not yet even entirely invented, much less heard by anyone else in the world. And Here, Her, however far removed this secondary voice of the writer anyway of a personal vision of time and witness to a period that’s being in a way re-created, as well, crafted out of disparate recollections and a sense of place, feel for an era. In love with and enamored unconditionally of so much of its evidence and which can’t be understood fully and shouldn’t. And which may yet come to be at least sympathized (a little) with, recognized as firstly and clearly (in its admittedly confounding way), nevertheless as cohesive as it is valid. Though some might hesitate to accept this small universe of characters loosely drawn from the past and layered upon one another in a lengthy and endless literature, a flow of personalized form, into the understood context of “books.” Nebulous and well-defined, near-sighted and far-sighted and in ways as well fully blind. And however much or deeply sincere this person’s treatment of such may be. Whatever it may have grown to become through decades at said labor, limitless, the in a way literally breath-taking endeavor. And Here, Him. The conduit of radio waves towards an unknown listener, the consistent preoccupation of and with unknown individuals (or composites of real people), who nevertheless seem as actual as anything else, and the probably selfish reasons to go after a deeper comprehension of them. With only a slight nod, grudging adherence to the rules of art, in more or less choosing one medium to most adequately and hopefully somewhat elegantly go about grasping at it.  B-95 or KKDJ 106.something, was the one where also they had a saying or plug or whatever, which was “Tune it in… and rip off the knob….” I remember that. Although I never actually did it. Also more importantly or relevant, the whole dedication of a song to someone even then seemed such a quaint and even silly thing to do, and yet at the same time and maybe even because of this, it seemed to hold a real power. It seemed to have something that might be able to transcend the suburban or semi-urban world seen so far by at least this one person, Here. There. It seemed to make possible or to validate by referencing other, larger things, even surrounding the familiar arbitrary confines and freedoms of where that life was then centered. And that you could, if you desired, be a part of it. That you could, at the dialing of a number, attempt to take someone else with you.

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Blue Two, on a grassy cliff far away, near-enough to the water but removed a fair amount and nothing keeping the sound of waves from ears, but everything to protect from cold breezes off the shore and from open water. Hiking-in from a service road taken off the slim, coastal highway. Parking where it might be frowned upon and yet might not be, especially if they’re never seen. If they're not there, the driver and whatever passenger, missing from the scene. And figuring who would actually go to the trouble to tow the car or leave a ticket on the windshield anyway, even if it was in a place where it technically shouldn’t be. And just for the few hours, besides. Late morning and a good time to have to make a decision, Let's go this way or Let's go that way. Large expanse opened-up onto, and apparently all for them. Half-mile of flat land out to where the edge drops off to a sloping but steep and rocky descent towards the shore, and to the water, ninety feet or so below. And not the main beach or center of the small town of only a few streets, where swimmers and others congregate and make, they felt, entirely too much noise. Even if not many of them were out at this time of the day. A weekday, no less. But all that which they've avoided essentially within sight, at least. Yet the way things formed in that area, the main beach was cut off by large hills of imposing rock, difficult-to-climb heights which turned to grass at their tops, as if almost begrudging the change. As if it all wished to stay barren, the cliffs even jutting up from the sand long enough to curve out quick, meet the sea, and keep any wanderers from going farther after this point. Yet just around the large and imposing corner of that, a series of smaller, more or less inaccessible shores. Thin and short-lived, and yet nice to stand up on the edge over it all. Raising the head to stare out to sea, as far as the burning-off fog will allow. As distant as the slope of the earth will give to a viewer. Before turning around, smiling to one another and resuming the search for the best and softest seat in the empty expanse of wild field. Choosing something they both could agree on, and tossing down the heavy folded quilt in a drop that was felt when it impacted. He leaned over and took two of its corners and wrestled slightly with figuring how best to throw it out, spread it first slightly as well as could be done in the air, to let it fall gracefully, cushioned as it does by an invisible element. Descending towards the tall grass about to be flattened down upon, and trampled for a very good reason. She jokingly leaped from a leaned-over position onto its large square once it had landed. Dozens of thick, increasingly smaller shapes in an artistic formula upon its surface, taking on her weight. Designs and diagrams orderly and repeating and which one or the other’s grandmother had made, very long ago. Now to be lay upon by a young couple, as both stretched out and began to feel the heat of the sun through the slim cover of their clothes. Now to be used for perhaps the single best thing it could have hoped for in its certainly lengthy life. Itself let out and free once more to breathe real air as well, removed from a closet to feel the true ground beneath it, as it took on the bodies of the two who were busy drawing near each other on its own warming body, its flower-print patterns and bits of clothing from as far back as the nineteen-forties. Two, on a grassy cliff, far away.

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Warmth Comfort of another or community of two or more, hidden and not hidden. Secured and not secure. Unsure and unseen by most of an area in any city. Stuck in a sequence and without choice. Or sick in a lifestyle, without a voice. Circumstances before birth or circumstances since. (Certain stances being forbidden. Some answers giving merely more burdens.) People and the need to be a person, the requirement of putting a body in a place, some position. In one or another corner of the created world. A reasonable roof or an irrational and ruthless lack of one. A common race for what’s likely a certainty. Or an incurable rage for one of life’s basic necessities. Reaching for a remedy. Or holding fast a nicety. Like you. Next to me.  The unnamed item being a stand-in or metaphor for what comforts any of that earned or traded currency in whatever amount, might purchase or in some way make available. The title a direct reference to the essential thing sought, by way of what’s seen early in the day when it’d be too noticeable or large to go through the motions of taking, and so gone for later on in the night and ultimately of course, in this case, then abruptly abandoned blocks away from where it and he had been headed. Or “warmth” itself, and the means to gain it, however temporary, and that items given to others in exchange for currency is one way to buy a small portion of such comforts which exist, everywhere, at all times, and yet out of reach of the hold of so many. And the secondary and the arguably larger situation of the dead individual in the freight dumpster. Analogy again for unending problems and the compounding of them with what’s only the effort at alleviation of essential needs not being met, bettering one’s standing against what seemingly endlessly stands against one, or stands against all, or situation-by-situation gives quite a bit, takes quite a bit. Or else it’s one hundred percent choices, decisions day by day. Exactly a result of nothing but precisely raising or lowering of said standing by way, night and day, of whichever thing it is thought to be best to do. Or get, or get into and maybe not be able to find a way to get out of.

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Vertebrate Simple, impossible, directionless yet headed one way. (Down.) Forever and an hour until it’s over. Despite the things thought to have been finally figured out and heeded, heralded. Hard-won wisdom and hardly-wise worship of reason. Or its opposite, and anything in-between that won’t keep you from disease, stay the hand of horrors. In spite of wants and needs and sincerest endeavoring to finally find a way (up) over the wall we’re all on this living and struggling and laughing side of.  Or just the idea of standing up and facing things as many others are doing and as countless millions have done as far back as one can imagine or read about, and farther. (Not that I’m doing that with any of my problems, btw. It’s just a nice idea.)

With Stinging Drops  Sequoia Lake in the 80’s. I could write about this place and time for the rest of my life. (And unfortunately for you, I’m going to.)

Dance The fight inside to maintain. To keep as with embers, wrap up a warped version of it still warm, carry forever in a bundle over what wilderness of daily life one walks. Manage to force body and captured heat brought along every step. Needs and worry direct and well-kept notions, well-loved hatreds. Hardly well-off even the wealthy. Drug-out and strung-along and taken with and into every interpersonal interaction, defective decision. Touch-feel-taste, vision. Two to be connected and yet never, in all that swirling metropolis and madness. Simultaneous shared love for a thing, mutual appreciation in both senses and one for physical shelter, the other for a psychic type of that. One for a break from pressure, the other for just the same. (Both to leave behind a variation of cold. Both to leave elsewhere for a time, the common goal of conformity.) To coincide and in a way, for a time, for a purpose both definite and shaky, coexist. And a silent, non-existentwhen-elsewhere camaraderie being formed, shared, cultivated and never spoke of. One to seek a respite from weather and danger, others and oneself, city-living and surviving on the fringes of that city. And the other, unknown (and unnamed as is she), finding as well a retreat from the stress of schooling, the difficult waters of competitions and career-building. And both and either in no less or more real, false, or inconsequential struggles when stacked aside one another. All relative pain and loss and leaving, loving, finding what we can, together or alone. All reasonable forms of helpful habits, found recesses of hidden pastimes, to leverage against their genuine and everyday trials and punishment. Found in the fact of still being here. Whether we share that with anyone else or not. (And what unexpected form that commiseration might take.)
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 Or even if one person of the millions in a city might be able to, they wouldn’t likely allow themselves to dare past a certain, unwritten point or length of time. So this is talking as well about convention in general via-the-specific, and how it’d keep these two from speaking, as much and as well as anything. Each just as afraid and untrusting of one as the other is of them. And movements “outside” like on a sidewalk, crowded around by many or by few, and still this distancing, the standard, the divisions and in a way just as much a dance as anything else we might do. Or do to each other, do with each other, do for each other, do because of or in spite of and out of cruelty, or compassion.) (Manhattan in ’99. A door to an abandoned theater walked past one day for half a second. Ideas just bounce around until their time. And on their own time.)

Eight on the Dollar Unseen or un-witnessed and uncountable, limitless expanding. Occurring, exponential. Any situation, part in a place and a life lived as if it’s the only, caught up in like it’s the sole option, and brought by whatever chance or decisions or certain person, braver than them with certain directions, behavior, beliefs. Coerced into or quite easily convinced to take, try on for size, let into their sphere for a first little taste. Feeding one another in a dire distinction towards nothing. Use the body up until a body can’t find another to use up as well. Or what they’re worth, what they might give you or you could steal from, in your damaged way of thinking. Haven for the hollowed, unhealable living in a hole. Of a home. And house or apartment or weekly hotel, only walls in the end able to keep from sight of others until the need presses you out into daylight. Or else off again towards a midnight, and to find whatever your form this time around got hooked on first. Or the hundredth thing. And which could be anything. You, (and all of us), hurting. You, (through all of it), undeserving. And even efforts to turn it around land just the way that everything else has. Right on the uncaring pavement like brilliant, shattering glass.  And that the change converting machine is a metaphor anyway for anything else in terms of the effort to escape pitifully hinging on something to begin with so pitiable as all the times of turning pennies into fractions of dollars. And the fact that even then, even when, her act of “leaving for good” this time is met as ever with a reminder of something, whatever it is. A meaning inherent, ageless, in the mean handling of this agonizing and agreeable however-many-years you have to go through, work around, chase behind or be turned on and stomped on by. And often the reminder as poetic and uncanny as a person finally, heroically, attempting to better their situation. And being (for some reason) just burned to a cinder.

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Streamline Only a thing as simple as the most difficult task ever and more due to the fact that it continues and evolves along with a life or chooses to or is otherwise forced to not evolve along with the living, the person and their choices and choosing. And that it's elusive and difficult because it's never any farther away than right there in front of them. Never more out of reach than anything we put just far enough away so it can't be attained and then instead lamented over, discussed as if already lost. Even when it (or they) are standing right in front of you. And it takes one to know one and so some take to no other thing but putting off what's easiest merely because it's so effortless, and can be done whenever they want. Always time to get around to it until there isn't a second left to do a single thing, because the whole show's been brought to a close and you spent every second of each of its acts hiding in the curtains at the corner of the stage. Expecting people to applaud for what you haven’t even walked out and started saying yet. (This is where also a better metaphor than Tip of the Iceberg would or maybe sometime will go.) (i.e. -These slim little volumes are just the...)

True Blue The notion of circumstances when the recording of a musical event is made, however it happens. And in whatever historical era or year and which defines and makes possible for the most part what device or devices are employed for that recording. And the more than likely, towards one end of the spectrum, (and of the modern or near-modern age), enables a group of tracks to be created independently, grouped together later, and ultimately called one single “song”. To be available of a type of the numerous variants of cassette, vinyl record, or further methods of presentation (and of artist’s representation). So the time, and closer to later in the century (20th.) A more or less one time affair. The beginnings of a technology and the methods of capturing sounds in their infancy. Later changed to a great degree and opportunities (and thus, a standard) opened for unimagined documentation and manipulation (and then, a chance for numerous, technically infinite attempts). A strange bridge created when an individual of a time far removed from what early days of such endeavors are very much long gone, and having available to them their current, different methods (though not quite yet available to the non-professional or, curious creator as they are now), choose (or have chosen for them by way of economics or placement of simply age in which they’re born), to take it upon themselves to simply do it. (Simpler than grooving a record as one goes, requiring less expertise than assembling musicians near enough to the front of the machine but not too close). Different and yet so similar, to turn the portable stereo which is now on the bed, down a bit. Move the record button on the hand-held tape player set upon the surface of a desk nearby, towards them. Take a deep breath, wait for the chorus, press record (and play at the same time.) Start to shyly, adorably and privately, sing along.  And that album also always reminds me now of a kid named Craig Cooper. And where is he. I don’t know.
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Surface of the Eye Certain glimpsed canal, broke-open space of an enormous laceration to that baked earth, a clever corridor for irrigation water. Depository as well and apparently appropriate place for shopping carts and car and truck tires and assorted any other garbage tough enough to retain, to remain, to still own a certain degree of constitution, or even strengthen and to somewhat possibly attempt to even the score, and resist the eventual and total decay of the death of being hidden, tucked-away by the swiftly (though seemingly slow up top, and which unfortunately lures many to their peril) moving and black-as-night-even-in-the-day water. This rent, a wide sliver carved however long ago. Concrete mostly, forty-five degree walls and the sandy bottom seen only at some times of the year. With said evidence of detritus poking up to catch a breath, creeping onto the steep shores to lay a moment (or an eternity.) And buildup of weeds, algae and slime of aspects of the surrounding city accumulated and caught up in, for example, the tendrils and set web of gridded lines to grocery carts, plastic or instead made of what metal they are, made of. Streaming lines inarticulate and as definite as they are indefinitely formed. No true design except the chance of their forming in the first place. Floating, flowing, forever-moving and yet too, right there unable to move. Connected segments and to form thin triangles, weaving in the dark water or on top. And as if moored too-well to a dock, to this grocery store diaspora, itself mired in the unseen sand and dirt and maybe also caught-up upon something else, beneath the surface. Wet wavering as if in a wind and yet not, as on this avenue corresponding and perpendicular at times, the lengths of used automobile lots and their strung-up and sunbeaten, shimmering flags, small triangles facing down. Flapping entities up to hundreds as if to point right to it, direct the vision squarely at the equally light-drenched and as well brightly reflecting and eye-catching sunlight of car hood and top, numbering at some places up to the hundreds. Though the trick is much as with other attempts as well. This being the intentional, the human, the example created by the hand of a man or a woman, and which becomes such a common thing that the effect is of instead motorists and pedestrians alike just continuing to drive, continuing to walk. They don't even turn their heads towards it. While lower, and hidden by twice the reasons to not see or pay attention to, much less observe and consider and give thought to for whatever reason or to whatever end (for the former, to hopefully get them to buy a car), exists this trash. Or, both trash. Or one, discarded items, the other tacky (a subjective point.) Though no matter, and nevertheless such possibilities, the first example exists as only it could, created as well and yet so much more haphazardly, so incredibly by the whim and will of only such elemental components or also abilities of the current in the ditch’s water, the way wind blows bits of garbage or billions of hungry bacteria, to coalesce and create upon apt framework of a half-sunken in essence arm or leg of whatever item they might grab upon and at first take root, then gather forces such as lengths of weed, bits of string or rope, and multiply to gather all together and create as much permanence as can be had. To almost seem to be, then, that simple, in its old life, grocery cart, but now an outpost or also in a way, a body. With its slender arms and legs and perceived intention reaching permanently towards where the water will take it, although never. Feeling its slimy and clumped-up way towards the next maybe avenue which crosses over this waterway, it’s thirty feet across being leaped incredibly by the tons of steel of automobiles every few moments. And so possibly the aching towards that grate or series of large pipes which hold the route for water only, and would only catch any larger items up, as designed to. The endless, slightly wavering reach for the freedom of movement if indeed this is what’s occurring and not said settling. Either way an
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impossibility. Strong steel at that bridge which captures as well, one would hope, children and adults dropping into the water for a swim, who unluckily and suddenly too-late realize they’ve misjudged that current’s power. Also merely the flow which in slow ways dissipates when it leaves, not in waves, but imperceptible measurements of receding. Lines no one could read, upon the once-submerged walls of the canal. A tide taking it’s time going out. And an almost far-inland type of seaweed, becoming irrevocably exposed to the sun, irreversibly burned to a crisp, while the cart or bald tire or un-decomposed anything which had housed it having had to let it go, release it’s firm and loose hold. The water leaving and therefore the locomotion removed of its thoughstationary possibilities. And the faces, whole bodies, or these things since-it-started hidden and in the darkness of the twenty feet of depth, ending as well by the same brutal manner. Their slick skin of metal or plastic becoming again the bleached dusty and corroded flesh of all things exposed to the worst this particular climate has to offer, in summer. Sand like at a beach but you wouldn’t want to walk down there. Though some did and it was an interesting environment and atmosphere all the same. Sunken below street level and at times almost slightly cooler and yet never truly, with any sun upon the back or the head and the back of the hands. The mind looking around and registering all of this as maybe the sweating begins, or continues. All that goes on in the thoughts without us even realizing that it’s there. Such as memories of youth become looked-back upon, apparently no end to their potency or at least meaning and significance to the adults who walked over to the sides of these things here spoken of, and used mostly-jokingly the dirt-crusted handles embedded into the sloped walls, to get in and out. And who maybe paused halfway up to survey again the scene, some trashed beach or just ocean-less shoreline with an array of garbage out upon it. And how years might be represented, as looking into the rings of a felled tree. Though how to register, how to rate, how would a person decipher such a thing. Not sitting and not standing either and halfway to the top, still hidden in the main, from cars out twenty or thirty feet away after crossing the canal, after that a wide dirt roadway never really seen used, still farther the ample sidewalk before any car driver might look over and lock eyes with that child, in the sun, himself baking and burning in his own right. Experiencing in a way a thing and a time or an accumulation of them which he, in a manner of speaking (and of recollecting) would never cease to experience. Not speaking and not either silent, not closing his eyes and yet not opening them wide. The squint a heavy sun forces. And blurring his vision of the glowing radiance outstretched around him in a strange wealth and worthless abundance. Taking one hand’s firm grip and leaning back. Feet planted on the dried-out crust of the spongy-seeming concrete, no true smooth surface ever, and first letting the head fall back, unconcerned with being seen while no one would see who wasn’t walking past up on that “road” anyway, and no one would use this often in lieu of the sidewalk beyond and slightly below it. Leaning the mind out and away, veering from the safety of all four limbs to be in total contact, and the threat of fall and which would be no true deadly thing and broken glass, still, who knows what else down there, and the ten feet drop in itself. Letting the motion mimic an idea of other things. Tendrils of shining algae, triangles and straight lines of gross geometric forms seen earlier in the summer, floating, feeling their way though finding no release, upon that now-recalled, currently drawn-away plane of water. Standing as he had, himself up on the silky dirt of that service road, maybe bare feet maybe not, staring down and transfixed every few yards and by whatever is stuck, for all purposes permanently, in the water and which he can halt and see, stand there and look at, notice and know no other thing except that in its way, it’s beautiful. A moment
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of primal observation wherein a person, mostly children, cut at sieves of classification and category, simply watch and see (with impunity); and watch, and see. (And miraculously.) One arm leaning out, pointing in the same direction as what that nowlong gone water had moved in. The aim of it entire to wherever it had been headed, (and more importantly herded), convinced to go by way of the ingenuity (or idiocy, again: opinion of city planning). Now only remaining was this recollection, and a part of a hand in the sun of a body poised as if on stage. As if to finish the elegant maneuver of a trained dancer. One long arm stretched long. One finger in line with the gaze. That thin part of the body, wavering in the lack of a breeze and as if underwater, as if much thinner than even possible. And as the head tilts back and to the side, to stare towards the mouth of that far-off horizon. Miming the free and yet also fixed, alive and yet also doomed things which had been wondered about as if they were actual creatures caught and needing to be set free. Holding this imitation in a way and for a time and for a reason he could not have known or articulated or done anything towards explaining to others the reasons for doing it. Merely participating in his world. What he understood at that time to be the best way, to be right. And maybe all those hot, dry days ago, also pointing to someone in the future. Saying: “Write.”

 (E. Shields and N. First.) So maybe the surface is the pupils or whatever of his eyes, a grown man looking back and reading the experience on them, and getting it on paper. Or else the idea, the memory, and what’s meant is that this is now its “Surfacing”. Or, surely, and simultaneously, the experience of this woman within the dark apartment, at contrast to the sun outside in the canal running alongside the structure of one-story units, different as well in of course age and life in general than this boy. And so a cursory and quick (sort of) discussion (through “fiction”) of the life at that moment of each of them. First her and her husband, then secondly the young man. Two sides of the coin of that collection of seconds or it could have been a few hours, even. “Moment in time” nevertheless. (“Vignette” is the word, I guess). On that corner of that city. In that corner of that decade. In the ceaseless sunlight of those summers. (With Birney Elementary a few blocks south, where Leilani Jensen taught from 1982 to 2004.)

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Last First, anything done to get what’s not needed, or things judged unnecessary by those uninvolved or uneducated in what’s easy to dismiss as negative or harmful to all within it. And said participants being by that participation, therefore (and thereafter stigmatized despite efforts to work through and away from it) “Criminals”. The unevolved, might be called, or label as a manner to end the matter. Treat people as an abstract. Reduce people to statistics. Handle issues with a hammer. Hurtful opinions of those who’d categorize by type of chosen clothes. Unchosen background, unassigned and assigned neighborhood, block. State. Hardly a priority, those. And to who’s being told without words that they’re merely and only and damned to be forever that. People who get what they deserve, and in a way, have even demanded it. Or Second, say a deranged way of dreaming, to be fair, on both sides, (or all.) To have a pat answer of what’s wrong, and what’s the way to get out of it. Real difficulties to be sure, poverty and the cycle of such. Recurring events and familial pressure to partake, live up to standards set down. Or else just presented icons and “parents” of pop stars, people and groups of movies, music, anything. Whose influence is taken to heart, whole ideas turned into action as vicarious methods of homage, (the re-enactment). Wardrobe or weapons. (Or that what’s worn, in a way, is the weapon.) And the other, to contrast, (maybe) myopic (one might say) as well, to conservatively corral all said groups and people into one convenient room, and shut the door. Close the jail cell. Seal off the sight of it and walk right away. (Or stay where you’ve always been, and by distance of culture, sealed-off despite yourself.) Push the problem to “correctional” facilities and continue by way of this, unknowingly be accomplice to the very problem to begin with. Superficial, punitive cures for such penetratingly complex, deep-rooted issues. And the idea that (possibly), neither are correct, adequate, or appropriate to the mature functioning of a human being in the current world. But so many worlds within that one. Interconnectivity and even interdependence. So much unseen, unstated, unwritten in what’s witnessed and thought about. Or read of in a newspaper the next day, and portrayed as merely common to a certain “type”. Underlying condemnations out into the open and yet just diplomatically enough not to be. And Third, what that witness, anyway, would in the first place and immediately, think were they to watch it from across the street. Knowing a thing has just occurred. Knowing that such things just happen. And fighting to not form a flawed opinion. (Or fail to form the correct opinion.) And honestly understanding that no 911 call is going to change what just happened and is over."Dead”. And not the larger question of why, how to not have this happen again. How to reach, how to teach. Go out and convince those who did this of something, then go out and convince those industries who profit off of and in a way create it of another thing (or is it the same thing.) And that either of those dreams will ever happen in his (or her) own short lifetime. Obviously though, longer than that of the body over there across the wide avenue. Enormous space of slowly moving cars. Or else in a way, the thinnest of all distances between the two.

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 Although by Last, I’m also talking about the “Last few seconds of life, or last few memories or thoughts of that life.” Or it could be, “At last”, any interpretation of that. Also naturally, “We’ll never last.” As in We’re in trouble if we don’t figure out a few things out, like what’s talked about above. We’ll never last if we don’t find a way to see through so much of what’s between us and other people, put there and held in place by ourselves, while just as much at fault is so much of a culture with flaws and failures like any other has or has ever had. These things are just generally being discussed. You don’t need to have an specific exit strategy or “fix” to naively (albeit however sincerely) bring the subject up and consider it.

Modern Where to begin.  (Plus the word modern kind of looks like the word “modem”, and also kind of looks like “moeded” (sp?), as kids said in the 80’s as an insult. And I think those things work really well together here for what I’m trying to say.)

A Way to Fly Easterby Elementary is only one place in a much wider world than what was seen, at first, through the long years of attendance, and which seemed quite extensive and comprehensive at the time. Merely a single location of so many one could conceivably have been placed initially. And one of the only things that could possibly matter irregardless of the significance or insignificance of such a scenario to any others, (and aside, of course, from hard work done by earnest teachers), it remains one (of many) treasured things at least to some who walked along its dirty blacktop, who ran among its half-dirt fields, and who sat within its dark and light and depressing and invigorating rooms. And since the groundwork of education wasn’t exactly taken and utilized as it seems to have been with everyone else, the next best thing has always seemed to be to take and make sense of and honor in another way.

Harm’s Way - fashion. + safety.
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Evening Unseen or unwitnessed and uncountable, limitless expanding. Occurred and experienced, close to home and right inside it. Interrupted moments with what you’ve, in a way, interrupted it with. Sudden, frightening arrest of a body into inability, distanced from those or the one opposite him or her, right there at the table and fine just a second ago. I don’t know what happened he/she was fine right before it happened. Common horror and occurring every few moments, each and every day and night. Over countless daily meals or conversations or even in the middle of an argument. In the dead of night and in an individual’s sleep. With who lies beside them if anyone, not a witness to it until morning, or whenever it is they wake up. Find out. A partner reduced to something else, and which one rarely if ever has before come close to being. This degree of needing. This dire a requiring. Horrible difficulty breathing or any scale of bleeding. And if another is forced to see, they’ve their own sudden disability to aid or stop said process. Injured, you could say, in that they can’t help in any way. Despite what sincere, panicked or somehow-calm-through-it-all pleading. And however it all ends for everyone experiencing it, even while others are as unaware and as unconcerned with it as they could be about anything in the world, even if it’s happening or has, right next door to them. Come out to stare as if in some way they aren’t involved, which in a way though by degrees or simply in different ways, they are. And all of us are. Justifiably and rightly ignorant. Fully concerned with an inconsequential aspect of our lives or some person we’d like to give a piece of our mind to, as the stretcher is brought down the stairs, and we wordlessly step out of the way of those wheeling it along the sidewalk, all with both hands holding onto its side, one maybe lifting an IV bag up. And then the red eyed scared-to-death spouse or whomever, man or woman, trailing behind all this and who we greet wordlessly, look in the hollowed, humbled face, and can’t figure out a thing to say or do except keep walking towards wherever we’re going.

Mind Immobile involvement. At a beautiful remove, and patient. Have care to monitor, and make adjustments accordingly. Allow a chance for change to occur, without ever lifting a folded finger. All you might want. More yours by seeing it’s never what solely exists to be gained. The means, here. The whole point of this thing, and ready for whatever’s on its unhurried way. Deep in, same out. How lungs as roots remain, fixing themselves, and take in, give back, absorb and push up, impress pressure. And certainly not the alternative, sole other option, to succeed and fail simultaneously, as if unattended and underwater, perhaps not participating at all in this, mistaken for someone involved in selfinvolvement, ascetic practice. And at such time, naturally, maybe for good else either for bad, all nature’s given systems and churning dependent internal characteristics of them, in unison or one by one, though together in finality, permanently, fail. Or backtrack, re-orient. Re-adjust a back-story to fit or unfit, come unglued entire joke of how a thing was thought to have been, personal image or believed idea of personality. Independent of what verbal or physical cues cornered you into accepting. Clues so much coercion, conversation so much self-serving, the masterful convincing of in the end, only your own conniving ego and worry of holding that comedy intact.
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Advantageously beginning where it hurts most. Make the incision where one’s always already bleeding. Although landing somewhere, effecting and manifesting somehow, hitting something. Or, and effectively, staining everything. Changing the way one thinks about changing the way one thinks. Outside or deeper than language, categorizing thought. A living, planet-wide, always available, uncaring only-what-it-is opportunity. To die, live, die, live. As a downed aircraft. Shot from a sky and relieved of being airborne. Grace. Unrelenting. This sudden, subtle, brash horrific cruel community of nothing, and everything ever. Of what you’ve seen, although also the experiences of all others. Up. And at least one of the world’s potential ways to wash it off. Drawn curtain wetly sealed. Deep darkness not all pure. Even, some say, the universe. Literally the shores of dead oceans on other planets. Tense-less. Tension, or time in place, period and space. Hard lives like ruts resolved, fictions treated. Taken on, grieved-past, absolved and pushed-through and partially even met with solution. Pull back, receive. All oxygen and no oxygen. Burn-off, sworn enemy, and evolve because of it. Face and forgo, do your best to forget and second’s later if lucky be pushed full in on. To sit at the edge of that underwater cliff, or reef to break off before begins the expanse of unknown black depths, a bridge towards ultimate grand nothing. Last hint of light on where you rest before limitless deeps, submerged canyons, whole geographies of blinding darkness never once visited by light of comforting day. Smallest haze of sun in surrounding water of where a crashed craft will forever heavily perch, never raise, only possibly ever held from its sliding off and down into all this. And the sight out, gorgeous hidden field of play, greatest distance of ever imagined dreaming. The farthest, the closest, the last of land before a dim and descending horizon. Only sink, in a deafening quiet. As eager, pleased, you tempt the fear and pain and bliss. You’re everyone. You’re no one. Stood up straighter than you’ve ever done while standing. ♦ Interfering reference of time and place, at all times, in whatever place. Irritating insistency of said involuntary processes, within, exterior. All that's interior and without which would make us something else than what we are. So that people would refer to, instead, What we were. All that goes on without our even knowing of it or much less helping in many ways and certainly and sometimes in the way and ways which bring on the end of it all, said processes. Breathing, being able to breathe. Bleeding, keeping skin intact or otherwise internal organs from rupture, staying or postponing that loss of blood. All we unasked-for are given and all we unceasingly either help, hinder, or a random and calculated back and forth. Down the days of this unexpected and forced-into/blessed-with challenge of living. Possibility of nothing at all or everything in the world (which anyway isn’t “all.”) Probably the beginning of and probably the ending of most difficulties aside from body, particular placement of birth and extreme of war or torture of displacement, family/fear/famine. Or compared to that, relative peace, wealth in many ways though naturally still the common denominators as inescapable as anything and that makes all
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distinctions of what class, which country, whatever affluence or its opposite almost all the way arbitrary. Effort to live in circumstances un-asked for. Eventually dead, by some standard natural atrocity. One way, anyway, to attempt and try to frame it all. One method, of endless, to get at and work with and figure. Make final sense of this shared, fine mess. Despite all of what surrounding environment, place, people and pressure might whisper to you subtly, scream to you incessantly, take you by the hand take you by the throat take away the opportunity and the freedom. Or so they think.  Also to point out that you can do this anywhere, at any time. (Or everywhere, and all the time.) Not that I ever do it consistently enough. (But I sure do talk tough.)

Burnt Edges of the Petal Across that avenue lined with palm trees, seated and waiting for the city bus and after hurrying to the corner store, closest by far of any of the area. And to get in and get out as quickly as was possible to make sure to be there at whatever time it was that the bus ran by. The schedule known not so much as that once the bell the last subject of the day in whichever classroom rang, there was consistently just enough time to do this. Get out. Get over. Navigate this intersection impatiently and remove a young body from the heat of nearing-summer, to enter the always somewhat conditioned air of the convenience store and move towards what was wanted, maneuver up to the counter to pay, and head away from that whole interaction out again into the heat. A transparent cloud to blanket a boy or girl in, and let pass through so that he or she could sit down. A seat not unlike that of twenty minutes before, but at least outside. Tired but vibrant body on half painted half busted up bolted down wood in wide slats for the growing back to lean against. Then lower the gaze. Level the sight across that crossed street. Simultaneously take in and consider what was being looked at while also opening the small treasure purchased for usually under a dollar, in those days. Watch what had been that day’s group of others around him, dispersing as well, and to waiting cars along the road that runs perpendicular to that in which he sits and waits. Parents and older siblings in automobiles or just standing, or at their bicycles and maybe ready to give hikes on handlebars if headed in the same direction. The small bustle of that corner across from the store that also maybe had gas pumps. To the left an empty dirt lot takes up the third quadrant, the fourth with some one story office buildings of some sort. Both still there now, more or less the way they were then. One empty, ready for the fourth of July stand that’s out every year and the local farming families or whoever selling produce, some others selling hot tamales. Or less interestingly the rows of flapping flags or large towels and tapestries with sports logos and movie characters printed on them. The opposite corner holding still those anonymous spaces for whatever businesses were up and running, and might still be. A whole timed, predictable explosion of teachers and students. Locals, out into what weather exists just the same an event in itself of relentless heat in the long summers, a freezing cold in other months, and that magic, (and danger for drivers), of the dense and endless fog the Valley is
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known for. Viewing this all with the calm eye of a person who knows what to expect from the rest of the day, and in whom is an appreciation for the fact that probably, in one form or another, all that is being taken in at these moments will in one way or another continue, past the time when he no longer is required to sit there. Beyond the years of having a house key hanging from his neck by a cut and knotted shoestring. Well into the decades (dense and endless) (magic and danger.) Well on towards a point where what’s experienced right now will be forgotten, patchy, split-up and hazy. The kids further down the four-lane road to his right and in the direction of home which the soon-to-arrive bus will take him, risking their lives by quickly running across and believing themselves to be out of the sight of what teachers are pulling out of the staff parking lot down there, or the Principal who was notorious for remembering and enforcing rules seen broken the day before. Points in time of adulthood where he knows he won’t truly be able to remember any of this intense, incredible afternoon of a weekday, and will have to lie by manner of art, engage in a manner of excavation, to approach recalling in the slightest, reviving in the smallest, and repeating and repeating for all its worth and which in all real honesty couldn’t be anything much to anyone who wasn’t there. Somehow simultaneously as priceless as items in any far-off museum in the world but also only worth the cost printed on a candy bar or can of soda in 1985.  The original story is non-fiction. (So is everything else.)

Dialysis Every soul strapped into services employed to shuttle them out there. Taken from home or a hospital and to another, not home, not hospital, but another room to be in as much as can make a person feel like it’s a stay consistent enough to be either, parallel to where a body actually lives or a place in which a person has been and will be for such a great duration of time it’s not even worth thinking about. Or thought over and dealt with and cared about less than one might assume. All the grim three times a week that many handle better than the 7 days and anywhere-at-all that many other others not “in their shoes” find the time and energy and reason to complain about even more (or at all.) Pick up and strap in and have the conversation about anything, nothing in particular, or allow to sit in silence most of the transit to one of so many tucked-away centers for their regimented treatment. Small cluster of regulars and who know one another, talk across the large or small rooms or when inside and situated, leave to their choice of book brought along or personal television set or else the effort to find the closest thing to sleep without actually being taken over by it. And what hours are used up at this which then signal the need for a return. And so again the same driver or a different one, to find their face there in the waiting room, on foot or otherwise, or who needs to be helped into a provided wheelchair or from where they’d been the few hours. Often also in their own means of transportation, electric wheels or manual, and out on the sidewalk and watching me and this huge diesel-fueled vehicle drive up. Wave to them and they wave back.
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Wyeth To where, if I sat before you, full sight of the same room, side-by-side in a way, and near to one another as we’re allowed to be, would I find it possible or more instead a remote chance to see, find out if what I dream of, would occur. If given this opportunity, out of some benevolence. Grace afforded for whatever reason by whichever agency. Or just simply and more likely, buying a ticket on a bus to get me there, buying a ticket at the window to get me in, and bringing my body to bear upon maybe a bench, that is again, in my dream of it, set just before you. And to see you as much in the flesh as you now can be, and as you were made so by artist’s hands and brushes with paint at the end of them. If I could be where one day, I promise, I swear to try out and risk the possibility, one of many floating around in my mind, supposedly not harmful to myself or others (and yet retaining that potential, always.) If I could end this one, or give it that chance, put it to the test and play out my part as I’ve begun in my own blind, small way. If I were to bring this with me, and were to place it facing away from you, and then I wait. If I, watching, went off in my mind until all others had left the large room or were otherwise turned away from me, themselves, and unconcerned of what I was doing or after, (and likewise somehow miraculously, museum security), and if I took this handwritten page, this pored-over outpouring, and holding it to my chest as a burden waited for so long to release, then flipped it around and over to face you, to send out through what space exists between us notwithstanding the period of years, the decades, the immeasurable distance of death, and life, separations too vast to comprehend or casually comment on or use as metaphor, to send over all of this, efforts of mute speech, mere words and silent not-silent concern and more than likely misplaced care, misaligned compulsion, would I be spared any fraction of a second of this doubt, never seeing, this wondering if you could know or care, be concerned over or about me at all. Or that you might ever, in time and with the right reason, the correct lever, grow to be.  A huge, ugly framed print of this was found in the closet of the room I took when we moved in 1986 from the southeast corner of town to the northwest corner of town, and I’ve had it with me and on the walls of many rooms now in many cities and still feel, as I felt that day when I discovered it, set sideways and in the half-dark of the small closet in a home in a new neighborhood I more than hadn’t wanted to relocate to, that some of what I had left behind, and the people and the place and the feeling of that dissimilar, contrasting area of our city, had somehow come with me. The sudden appearance of this painting seeming a clear signal. A comforting, drab, beat-up, oneshade-too-dark reprint. And in an ugly, dull, scarred and scratched and water stained probably-not-even-actual-wood frame. And feeling that as I knelt down alone in there and turned the painting, larger probably than I was, on its bottom edge along the thick carpet below me, noticing the tears and stains on both surface and frame, same as that are there now (and more of them), that I was looking at something much more than merely a forgotten or even intentionally left behind remnant of whoever had lived there before. And that this view of things had been placed specifically there for me. That I was staring at something significant, and had been given sight of maybe even a proof of my own significance. After a difficult change not personally desired or understood, sitting down in the presence of maybe the one metaphor for the future and the possibility of handling it (and the rest of life), that I needed to be sitting in the presence
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of, looking in the face. Accepting no mastery or comprehending of events of the future (or the present), and internalizing and accepting instead this rendering of symbolic mystery: I don’t know what she’s doing; I don’t know what I’m doing. And it’s ugly and it’s dreary but it’s grand and it’s beautiful and it’s also always bright. And there you have it, Kid. Take it by it’s at least reliable edges, and stand on up. Etc... Your hands to hem in nothing, honed into nowhere. Holding onto no other and only the imperceptible curve of what planet in 1948 you existed upon, still remain on. And yet with more hold that you could have ever imagined (by reproduction past this original, even the one I’m staring at and dreaming about with my eyes open, pencil moving), and into as well and more profoundly, people’s minds and lives. The sheer impact of cultural knowledge and dissemination of artifacts such as this image of you has become and whether you’d an inkling of this happening then, or knowing anything about it somehow now. Slim arms to keep from sinking into grass. Slender fingers to push into the past. And faceless remains such as featureless graves so that future and present can only stand. Sit beside you or kneeling. Sure and yet also unsure of what in the world you’re thinking. Ground which has always been synonymous with jagged scratching of ink on all manner of paper, the life-long jumble and mix of a few human languages, pencil’s lead and pen’s ink. And the effort of this that, in the end, is so much as to be able to literally lay-out across acres of field and probably layers-deep. Although hardly sufficient, in so many ways to truly ever hold up or really even help the exhausted little body that’s filled so many years at the desk or the table.

Gold in our Hands Gone the final great distance. And us gained, ever insistent, to remember, to think back on, to bear witness.  Double meaning of that he was more precious, of course, and that we had that and should have been content with it as it was more important than any money or whatever we were finding. In this example. Chose for whatever reason. That experiences with friends are more important than money. (Even if, ironically, those good times actually involve stealing money.)

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The Blood from a Bobcat ♦ I’m sure this practice went the way of other such more or less dangerous, iffy things involving forcing initiates of some childhood group or whatever to succumb to certain activities towards gaining membership. And I feel fortunate to have made it in before the modern world with all its concerns about safety, rang the bell on the show and closed the door on the wonderful ritual.  Do I remember or do I imagine, walking dark outdoor corridors, beforehand, and being aware and afraid and unable to believe that leaving would allow me any escape when I eventually end up just walking home anyway, or else walking back, and resigning myself to my fate. Whatever sounds were leaking out of the cafeteria, whichever adult or two were seeing me, and commenting on the smart (and deadgiveaway) uniform, and asking why I hadn’t yet joined the others inside. Standing at one of those five-foot long porcelain drinking fountains, because the bathrooms at that time of night were locked, and there was no other halfway-understandable reason for me to be outside in the almost full-dark, with so much set to occur, so soon, within the walls of the ersatz auditorium where the stage had been reserved for this event. And in which also were a couple hundred parents and brothers and sisters, waiting. Do I remember this or am I building it by imagination? And did I say to them that I’d be inside soon, or did I just lean over and drink as much water as was needed to wait out the time until they gave up and just left me alone?

Trompe L’oeil Any effort of anyone to fight what isn’t right, right in the center of it. Despite the agony of tight spaces of time, failing health. Distanced children, distanced dreams and indifferent to unrelated wealth. One thing as personally defined as is anything which often needs the alchemy of a life’s breakdown to return to and remind, put in order and redefine. The prioritizing effect of having one’s effects, one’s essentially everything, undermined. Such suffering as unwanted as anything could be, and the outcome of resistance not inherent or reliably orderly in any sense. Sure and pure, perfect horror of handling and holding. And unhealed, still hurting, grasping and coming to grips with what’s been done and with what’s now one’s clearly seen and especially crafted, elaborately created curse. Given at the last and which can become as never even dreamed of before, a one true first. New beginning in the face of incurable circumstances. An opened path, now, and response to the grinning gore of a crushing catastrophe. To trick this world of the illusion of The End it attempts to paint over the eyes. Turn tortured sight towards the work required to grind the gears of it’s walls, burn the
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barrier of its skies. Bring a new thing into existence to move the old things out of existence. And right under the hidden, omnipotent and not easily fooled gaze of what or who’s somehow controlling all that occurs. Right central and beat. Cornered. Forced to retreat. Hiding feigning obedience until the weapon-making is complete. And in the final moments of a hell one or is it all believe to be anything but evil. In the last seconds, the last card is dealt.The unexpected and unlikely human-made ticket to a troubled heaven. Timed and trued to cause a singular, shocked expression no living person has ever seen or will, of the surprised, shown-up whoever it is, God or Devil. And the game they thought they’d never be outsmarted at. ♦ One man or woman brought to a place of close to zero, broken down by whatever’s happened and forced to reconsider what they’d been in a way under a type of spell of, all however many years it took for them to get there, to get here. Sometimes a true but deceptive nowhere. Reduce and reinvent but more a return to roots, in a possible way. Go back into what was known all along as better and purer and more individually them than any inconsequential though quite convincing and of course not all bad, bits and pieces large and small of what makes up, in this case, a person’s family and what they thought was the thing, for good. And that they were done with the seeking, and that it was never to change as drastically as it did and which took them to a place, literally and figuratively, lower than they’d ever been. And yet at the same time a true catalyst for being reminded of things about themselves they’d let go of, pushed aside or otherwise not had time or made time for. Things they’d never spent as much energy on as equal to the talent or passion they have for it, whatever it is. And the time and effort it expects and needs and in a way demands and deserves. So the idea of a certain person who finds one form of painting aside from all others to be what works best for what he (or she) is trying to say and get out, and that this form happens to be a type of ultra-realism, not exactly popular to be taken on and labored at, studied in, devoted to. (Especially since the 15th century.) And that then they retreat to let’s say being forced to stay with their parents for a time, in their long left-behind hometown, and for effect we’ll have that involve also a basement bedroom. (Which it actually did.) So the stage set there for the endless toil of a hunched over man (or woman), working night and day on a particular work of art. Of course there would be (and were) many of them, but for effect here the individual is seated, and in a very conscious way, hiding what they’re doing. In so many ways at the same time, eschewing the world around them. And the destruction and demise and chaos that for another might be a death of no liberating sort, but that they take this as a way to be rejuvenated with ideals such as avoiding what vapid or shallow concerns might assail them every time they exit that proposed subterranean room. (Into a poisoningly bland town.) The culture of their upbringing and as metaphor, the culture or otherwise entire everything of what’s been the architecture of the world they’d walking in and loved in and eventually been hurt so deeply in. And then to be removed so drastically from what they’d built, that the only response has clearly become this. A drawing on a discipline almost out of antiquity. This itself enough of a statement, but that they then do what they do covertly. Take advantage of the shade they’re in. Fully aware of the false setup of what is around them and intent on working until a way to destroy it is found. And the end idea of something like when two mirrors are faced against each another, or when two magnets are attempted to be forced against the other. A physical reaction and
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something different with much worse or bad at all results, smashing of atoms, combinations of chemicals which cause fire, the corrosion of anything solid when two things which should never touch or be placed so close, somehow and unexpectedly do. The idea of then, that after some time, after years or even only months, beat into submission and to the mind of whoever or whatever is “up there”, “down there”, merely a submitting and willing participant in what passes for this life, no more harmful than the smaller creatures they’ve also created and control (or are humans the smaller creatures?), this resistant soul stands, takes the thing they’d know all their life was the true passion, the calling and talent and crowning love even often over the love of another person, and which they’d been distanced from for so long by what this entity (or web of organizations and industries...) had provided as the construct and context of this brief and endless terrestrial existence, and does a confident full turn. A smooth and unhurried about-face and rise, bringing up the clever painting, breaking out with the counter-product, holding firm the one solution always known of and never more sure of, to war with and wield well and in one stroke anyway, one single sword-falling action, cut the head off of that Beast and simultaneously... I don’t know, “Blow the planet up”. Implode the planet down. Totally change everything in a way that no other action could. That it’d been hidden so well; humanistic non-terrorist cell. And the perfection of the image, a literal “In his/her likeness”, like a mirror, “Trick the eye.” And as close to a photograph in a way as you can get with something that isn’t a photograph at all. Confuse/confound/enrage and I guess sort of cause a type of meltdown. Fry the mainframe, or what’s a tech-y saying for that? The idea of one person, so destroyed, that they are forced to return to primitive arts and primal meanings and personal liberation, private satisfaction and wholeness, on their own. By their own effort and not with what’s for sale as being such. And then use that building power to bring the whole very real and also very false “world”, “earth”, “life”, “existence”, “destiny/fate”, to a cataclysmic, apocalyptic kind of end. The End. The Beginning. Burn away the impure and break away to a wholeness you can’t measure. (This was one of many that obviously needs to be about twenty pages longer.) (Or maybe just written well in the first place.) (And anyway he now lives in Mexico and is doing really well. And that’s really all that matters.)

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Fire  And then we got on a Greyhound to San Francisco and then the 80 bus to Santa Rosa and made it in just as the sun was going down, lights switching on at the first liquor store we saw to serve as a welcome. And an unnecessary, though welcome, suggestion. Along with those friends who’d been waiting for us all evening and were just about to hear the story of all the things we were almost able to do.

Land  Pot grower and a poacher of illegal game. Territory. Distrust. Uncertainty. Firearms. Flashes in the night that plants and animals in the area probably take no more notice of than a quick moment of confusion.  Or maybe in a way that we’re all here for different reasons and maybe the same reason. And maybe a way out of this wilderness or just a way to survive it is to not assume the others encountered are necessarily set on shooting first and asking questions later. (Although most of the time they are.) (See right there. I just can’t hold back from doing it, myself.)

The Opportunity to Shine One idea from a certain place, of the past, into the present. And presented in as many forms (although typically the one format) as might happen, and almost on their own. Something speaking to me and less and less me speaking about something. Specific triggers of memory or even more a reminder to talk about one or endless aspects yet to be discussed or got to. (As if any of it’s important.) (Which it is.) And then the notion turns into direction, the direction moves around this character, and the same person is always talked about that could be really anyone. The child in question and who’s a composite of many and in a way none, doing the simple things that lend the certain chance to discuss whatever it is that comes next, or fits best, or simply falls together, (them speaking, not me), and in a way that suits the story and finishes the page. People half-known from childhood and strangers half-forgotten the minute they were met. Indulging in the telling ephemera of the times. Halfways-defendable artifacts particular to one’s youth. And the retelling of what’s old, recapturing what’s in a way always new, resulting in what’s hopefully worth the getting-into and discussion of these moments of others who weren’t there exactly as is being described (or were they?) Those kids and adults I might have met, might have never met, and that are maybe even somewhere out there now. Those exact people who can in turn either remember me, or not.
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 Also there was a house walked past on the afternoons when it seemed best to skip ahead a bit and try and keep an eye out for the bus at the same time. Or else a friend’s house had been agreed upon by one parent or another as being where they’d pick me up, a half mile or so east from the school. And so I’d walk with him over there, and watch the busses drive by that on other days I’d be aboard. And on these walks we’d pass by a home where a girl named Julie Schantz lived. E Tulare Avenue and something else, down a bunch of blocks from S Peach. The house was on a corner lot, and as I remember, heavily shaded by tall, wide trees of some type, and has found its way to being as so many places which end up in the mind of some person creating things, a setting, a stable point in a moving world, a probably never literally seeninside-of home, and yet imagined as a typical (or maybe atypical) and fitting and certainly easy venue for a lot of these 80’s ones. Strolling past with I think Justin Delsid, and looking over to the right towards where I somehow or other knew her to go at the end of each day. And where she was likely to emerge each morning for the short walk back. For a time, there was a class photo the size of two quarters in the pocket of one of those boys walking past, and thinking to himself about what it was she might be up to after school. No idea she was being thought of and no way of knowing she’d be a model more or less for so much of a later adult’s consideration of a particular time periods’ culture, and the hypothetical discussion of things not always entirely accurate but more of a dissection, less of a retelling, and ever the grown child’s attempts to deal with where they’re from, what might have been occurring around them during that time, what certain time periods can stand for, and the personal and admittedly strange methods of finding understanding.  I also found my first photo of a naked woman in a field between the elementary school and that friend’s house. On newsprint, and under a bag of other stuff I can’t remember what. I hid it under my mattress until it was found by the sibling or the mother. I remember as I picked it up, some empty lot and with cold spring’s tall grass everywhere, lonely clusters of trees in twenty yards of empty space and plenty of room for the homeless or whoever to have small camps in, thinking to myself about the owner of this certainly piece of trash, looking back now, and it couldn’t have been anything more than some not-even-magazine, but it struck me as maybe that it was a theft I was committing. That someone “might come back for this”. The evidence of slept-on ground all around as was common here and there in fields like that and so certainly someone would be back, but why think that they’d miss something so insignificant. Only that it was less so to the lone child out scavenging and maybe hiding from something himself, the street, other people walking past, children or adults headed towards neighborhood homes. Concealed quite well and blending in with the landscape, brick wall behind me and graffiti all over it equidistant from where I sat, hunched over, wrestling with a few elemental things all at once.

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Take  The problem always of how to wrap one’s mind around, trap one idea and figure it, or make sense of or even not abstractly but directly deal with yourself, after or before (or during) an assault on your body by a stranger, acquaintance, friend or even lover. That horrors can be perpetrated and of sadly so very many types and variations on the basic theme of disrespect and cruelty. And yet in the mind of the other, the opposite role of the he or she (or they) who’s doing what’s being or has been done (or which is planned to be conducted, saddest of all), there exists no record of not only wrongdoing, but even reason towards further thought over it at all. Sometimes even to the point of literally (and not forced as one might hope, and via whatever method of rehabilitation or education or awareness built and nurtured) forgotten about. You’d literally need to remind them of who you are. It would actually be necessary to help them along with clues as to where they might “remember you from.” Difficulty of all aspects of this. Initial disgust or reaction or fear. And all psychological (not to mention physical) fallout and which can unravel, like a great rolling endless carpet down some runway ahead of you and leading just where it leads, over the course of even the rest of an individual’s long life. Of course coloring and how could it not, decisions, attitudes in regard to really anything. And certainly the manner in which trust is either given out, or withheld. Myriad dimensions of trauma and some occurring so young they become unknown after a time by the adult mind, yet naturally retain potency for shaping, creating said well-functioning adults or less or more than that or absolutely difficult, known by difficulty, defined by this difference and which, most unfortunate, had nothing to do with any aspect of their own body and mind and soul and instead was introduced at the hand of another, even a family member, and from then on became an unwanted aspect of who that person was, is, and will become. The challenge of theoretically taking on the how’s and why’s. The simple boggling fact of minds which do not register pain put to others as a thing warranting either concern or else outright reason to cease. That so many just walk around, strolling right past you, working just aside or do they even sleep next to you at night. And who would disagree if taken to task on their actions, with the perceived insult, distinction and label of such as criminal, abuser, or rapist. The difficult to grasp (and not out of a reflex or knee-jerk judgment on others nor, truly, some type of self-congratulating, as no saint sits here penning this, and all carry past grievances upon others to varying degrees even if it isn’t solely physical), definite reality that crimes are committed every single second and by many who see nothing wrong with what’s done or otherwise could never, quantum-leap of thinking, give pause however brief and to consider the effect they just caused in and onto another person’s entire landscape of a life. Not a second thought as onto the next victim they move. Or else the just simple, still-intoxicated, still-angry, (or simply just bored), either end of the day or end of the night and their reliably untroubled and peaceful sleep, waking up the next day to their wonderful life. That this as sure as anything such as the sun coming up tomorrow, occurs consistently and constantly and will not be changing either any time soon nor ever in the history-inthe-making of every minute of the human race’s residence on what we’ve labeled a planet. They’ll head to work in the morning and not be bothered a bit or slowed down a second or hobbled in any way spiritual, emotional, or financial. So the problem for certain others being, that one still feels the urge to make then a distinction upon them, an easy, convenient title with which to categorize these
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culprits. Good or its opposite. Evil or unworthy of not just the life given in general but the happiness they may have or riches maybe received and in many forms, in particular. How to find a way to reconcile that bad things happen to good people. How to realize the good in what horrible situations are visited upon the kindest of citizens. Elderly. Diseased already and dying. Disabled. Pained of any number of common reasons that cause it. Lost in any lone world of love or lust or left-for-dead by wife/husband/whoever. Children. Young kids forcibly taken from the arms of who after this pivotal and crushingly difficult event will grieve for the loss, unending, overpowering, forever. (Or maybe the parents are the ones who brought the tragedy to the home and the child. Even infants.) While anonymous and endless thousands the centuries behind and on ahead just lean back, rest their minds, take in the same sun this critical viewpoint also shines upon and in the same town, maybe the same city block. Maybe right across the street and smiling at you. Just sitting there reading the morning paper and drinking their coffee.  The huge courage of a woman (or man) to walk anywhere alone or have positive reflections on the living of one’s life after experiences such as this (often even numerous; these). And the unfathomably enormous cowardice of men (and women) who don’t even have any idea what in the world I’ve been (naively) talking about. That people Take whatever they can. And that they will continue to. And if not her or him, then just someone else, the next day. And you likely won’t be able to do a thing about it, except work or be unable to work with what’s left over. And/or that people Take up space, even the ones you sometimes wish would do it somewhere else, (or not at all.) At least to not invade yours, whether standing outside, arm’s-length room of comfort zone, or else literal living area burst into and broken up as best they can. And third and final, that maybe anyway this is just one person’s Take on the issue. (From his own, personal experiences.) And obviously not definitive or probably even helpful. But as is hinted at above, all methods are fair to try and work through it.

Morning Small things we remember and which aren’t small at all, or mean what they do and are even only thought of, by you. Or the one other person who was there.

Pull  Lazy, not stupid. Lazy, not poor.

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Holy Diver Precious piece of priceless trash, or what a parent would think of what a child fights for and wins. They have the price covered for them and watch them throw the ball, take the shot, or flick a dime or quarter across the empty space of walkway for the workers, and try to effect where that money lands and which determines whether or not they that time get the prize they want or any prize at all. (Or if it’s toy guns, then to see them try and shoot the necessary number of taped-up balloons.) And sitting in the backseat and with that on their mind, what excitement of realizing that however many times it was needed to happen, they’d done it. However much time it had taken, it had been accomplished. They’d made it over the limit and had that silver slip over the lip of small fish bowls filled with water in a loose grid at the center of one of the Fair’s tents, or simple roof of tarps and pegged-down at each corner with stakes or ropes against a type of post and concrete bases. Or small saucers, artfully arranged, and ringed by bales of hay, the voices of hawkers ringing out. Urban version of what it might look like in the country. Just as much or more lights and loud noises, all of what a child could handle and probably past that. The playing spark and sparkle of glass and the nervous, expectant tossing of thin, round discs towards an array of the repurposed items. Maybe somehow floating themselves in a large and shallow pool of water. Spinning around slow and the speed of all things decreases and children watch, see their own hand thrust up, witness their own wishes, thrown-out, and take in what letdown or else fuel for desire of more occurs when gravity has its final say and action on what they’d used to gamble. Maybe still warm as it had been from the pocket of a nearby parent, standing right there and unable to see the reason for wanting any of the tacky winnings their child proposes to need, and yet interested as a rule for the clear enjoyment their son or daughter is getting out of it. And really for not very much money, in the end. To sink however many or to let what number is required to land, settle, not move further or more towards what sloped or thin and flat edge and which drops the coin into that water. Collected at the end of the night as profit by whatever owner, as well, and in addition to a fee for even trying. To do what’s asked and reach what’s set out towards, and then be informed of this by whomever is monitoring that corner, multiple employees walking around, still calling out to those passing by for their opportunity at this even as they watch and keep track of who’s right in front of them and fully engaged, the kids right then closing in on winning, or the ones yet excited even as they move towards losing. That charismatic or not adult employee or even teenager monitoring all proceedings, feigning both surprise and excitement him or herself, if the participating child is fortunate, and asking the question hoped to be heard for the duration of what time they’ve spent there. That worker pointing to a wall or somehow motioning to a collection of items now available to them, and in exchange for proof of either some type of skill or else some type of consistent luck. And from this which they’re then able to point, pick out by way of merely motioning silently towards it. And then to see that thing whatever it ends up as being, removed from maybe where it had been hung up, somehow stuck to a wall of maybe chicken wire, rows and rows of them. A certain type of promotion for musical acts or otherwise. Could be for anyone or anything, though seemingly specific to an era, somewhat fallen from consistent use or at least that’s how it seems from here. The numerous and reflective, partially glittering and catching the lights from the rest of the fair, strung-up bulbs or whatever type of general lighting, streaming colors of others from nearby rides. Or a Ferris wheel and which climbs much
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higher than simply the nearby flashes of light on glass squares that a person could reach out and touch, or throw a penny at. All coalescing consistently and haphazardly upon the faces of these many small surfaces within fake frames. These endless representations of smiling rock stars and the like somehow stuck beneath the plate of a sharp-edged material, safely tucked into a type of white cardboard. Filigree of printed gold around it that’s as convincing as the idea that it’s the real person right there magically embedded in the glass. Nevertheless, as good a replica as was needed for any fan of whichever group they’d thought the name of as they both pointed up towards it, spoke that word or words, and likely ran through a line of one of their songs as they did it. Father or mother beside them with a different few thoughts in their mind. For instance, “Where do they even hear about this kind of thing?” And now in the car and looking into that rearview mirror. Watching the face light up, again and again, as the lights of now the streets and avenues of this city they’d chosen (or had been forced to choose) to raise them in, plays their own energy against that or those flat pieces of glass held in the hands of their child. Seeing the satisfaction on their face as each time another streetlamp is driven past and the flash again occurs, the second again of suddenly lit-up refraction. And the reflection in the mirror to their driver’s-side right shows the watching and content expression they maybe only then realize was and is, for them, the feeling of connection and satisfied concern they’d hoped themselves also and in a different way, to gain by that friday or saturday night’s gamble.  Somewhere there’s surplus of these things. Somewhere exists warehouses full of what wasn’t taken in by all those carnival and fair-going kids back then. And one of these days I’m going to figure out where it is and not feel the least bit bad for somehow probably illegally taking all the ones I could never figure out how to win.

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Heart No sense to the placement of the person. End up where you end up and nor is there reason, one might think, the human might reason, a purpose to either what era or time period. And so what of that place, time, temperature the mind grows accustomed to feeling “normal” in, temperament of geography on planet’s surface and tiny area of infinitely more specifically one area of a grid of a city large or small. What’s seen, put into the thoughts and used as nourishment for opinions or general sense of what’s taken-in being, again, “the world”. So that when that soul moves on and if they ever do, some in a way don't ever, and even if many thousands of miles away, in moments when not caught up in the goings-on or pressures or even anything of the current life and situation and requirements or just life of some place they’re in and at now, entire countries between them and where unbelievably that same body started out, their mind might see a thing that reminds them, their head may have a thought which brings a memory. Or just that they’re of a turn and make of mind to be thinking about it more often than not to begin with anyway. That they always want that feeling whether or not it was even good or bad, healthy or unhealthy it’s still one’s personal and ineffable, cannot-explain-to-another experience of childhood, and which then by degrees, colors all adulthood. Naturally with some, not even in the slightest (that maybe they know of or would care about.) While some others even intentionally and by all markers more or less unwisely swim in those waters of recollection and remembered senses, feelings, overall impression or idea of a climate, conditions. The collage and collision of so many things unknowable or able to be spoken on by any professional anywhere and much less the victim of it or in this case just, again, the hapless little human “delivered” into the particular corner of this large planet. The crush and crash of all that goes into what’s resonating decades-later in an adult mind of what it felt like to be in a place at a certain time. The same ones and who should be hoped are a minority of and in all population(s) of said globe, actually and again intentionally desiring to try and find meaning, attempt to divine direction, or simply use for what it’s worth of that “way it felt”, to talk about “the things that happened”, for ends that other people might understand, for purposes which sometimes listeners or viewers of art or what’s made out of all of it even if it’s a conversation with a confidante about their own history and what it means to them, might seem worth all the trouble. The cobbling-together of a type of nebulous or actually quite succinct “statement’ of what certain things mean to them, what some landmarks or otherwise do for them, and what events went on or was it in the end really nothing. And certainly when put up against the events of the larger world of that time (and now), really not that big a deal. And possibly as insignificant as anything could be. Small moments in youth. Private memories in adulthood. The spectrum of a significance that’s gone for good anyway when, eventually, that man or woman themselves, is.

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Salem The loss of something you never truly had. Or each of them, neither knowing what is was, but having wanted it, having lost it, holding on to whatever meaning one might find in it. However far bodies eventually move from one another. The shared space and the shared years, an always-thought-of face and the voice one every so often still hears.

Freeway Fragile, strong, tenuous, unbreakable ecosystem of control, lack of control, use and misuse and compassion, total absence of caring to the point of either ignoring or even intentionally harming by way of words, by way of gestures. Or the joke of holding out an empty hand and timing it to when a person finally gets up to them, then just driving off laughing. Freeway off ramps and stoplights. Theater and metaphor, of and for, in a way, almost everything.

Chance  I’m reminded of the time when J.M. and I hid and planned our day’s espionage in a group of some type of bushes or short trees behind the 7-11 on the corner of Kings Canyon and Fowler, and he eventually was the one to head inside across the barren field of all these wonderful places to hide, to try his 10 year old hand at purchasing whatever certain magazine, held behind the counter, he chose first to speak the name of out loud. Whichever one seemed the least difficult for the clerk to grab, quickly ring up, and hand over in exchange for our pooled together change. I recall being both sincerely shocked and very let down when for some reason I still don’t understand to this day, we weren’t allowed to leave that mission with what we went for. This field is now paved over with a parking lot and a bunch of other meaningless stuff, and one of these days I’m going to go stand in that very same spot. And no one around and watching me will understand why.

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Beauty To begin with, and breathing, born unfinished, perfect-seeming. And is. Or all are. And whether remaining, or moving far. Remove to a distance at a certain time or age. The need to leave and what follows as an urge to return. Then necessities of wherever they ended up. To stay afloat there, afford the place gone to and maintain the life built up. The what’s done with the remains in the last place he lay, and the sense of him and lingering, coldness an apartment’s room can retain. The effect of his life on those still living, there and where he’d begun. The movements from flawless beginning, to the stilled, terrible beauty of an unlikely, unfortunate end.

Decades Make, model and machinery, in a time period far-removed, comprising and commanding an era. Created and coalesced towards a compendium, begun and never finished with whatever words are scribed by whoever sits and thinks the sentences to scratch out. And for what it’s worth. How much could it possibly be worth. And to other than this one person, or to individuals being considered and adoringly pored over (often the very same), or to anyone lucky or unlucky enough to come into contact by way of reading with the whole charade, campaign, crusade, in the first place. Just flat, in a way formless things. Just this fumbling, in a way flailing; the treatment; this mess. Possibly a futile afterthought. Politely yet a forceful advance. And validate it or not, anyone, world, or even whoever happens to live at that address now where most set images were staged and also random and un-choreographed. Here, regardless, is at least one thing felt sure of in this life. This, nevertheless, being at the last one thing known to be possible, for whatever benefit it might create and if any. Here is at most one additionally inconsequential and bottomlessy meaningful effort certain simple, stained hands can accomplish. Right up until the moment when for whatever just or unjust reason, all blood stops its pulsing towards them.

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Snuff This room that is my last. As definite as it is that this is not your first, time. An easy look around to what surrounds. Not blindfolded, and a look around at maybe evidence of past, events. A simple test of what binds me, or what’s by me. You, behind me. And can’t you see you are your own experiment to prove you are not worth life yourself, much less the taking of someone else’s. Reason with the unreasonable, or another whole order of conversation. Demon to angel and which would be which. I who can do nothing, but what could prove to you that no one has that right, were I able to freely speak, were you to allow me my voice, if not entire body’s range of motion. Is the fact that I’m am man making this all the better for you. Is the fact that I’m a woman making this all the sweeter. That such activities and the individuals who act them out, order others to do so, or take part in what’s gone on and in any form after the fact or even during, does and do not, discriminate. Any human anywhere capable of what we conveniently call evil, what we think of convincingly as the opposite of good. Shadow in all people and brought out by and for so many different and untraceable reasons. Pain, suffering, weakness so bring that weakness to others, try for control, from an insufferable lack of it. Hurt others to get at who and what’s hurt them. With at the end of such cycles, naturally, nothing, worse and less than nothing, an abundance and large amount of something else. And no justification for the slightest bit of it, interpersonal, international, in the confines of where you’ve caught and are keeping just another, hurting animal, in a way the same as you. A stranger, though in a manner, kin. A sick, as we all have the potential to be, killer. The monetary end I know can only carry so much. Worth. That he or she knows that he or she might likely be involved in the trade and selling of such things, and that what money is gained is, of course, only just the smallest bit of it. Reason, for. What makes them do the things they do, to others. And in small ways throughout their day, as well. Though less extreme and certainly in no way whatsoever illegal. What would my white/black/brown skin be on your banned market. And is there even a hierarchy of demand concerning race, color of what’s occurring and to who. Preference, fetish, niche category of what a person prefers. Is it my femininity that makes this dynamic you’ve created all the more incredible? Weakness for whatever reason and fear of women, un-evolved relation to others, elevation of compassionate human to regard, grow up and respect. Never in true living holding sway or power as now, Get back at, “all of them.” and without foreseeable repercussion of law or society’s reaction. Hidden here, perfect covert, coward, childlike non-adult. Is it my masculinity which makes this juxtaposition you’ve made all the more appropriate? Or the opposite, darkness visiting anyone it wants to. Maybe similar reason to fear/hate/love, or abuse suffered at the hands of, and to here, exact a payment on. Hardly in actual life having your way, for this hour in which compulsion and revenge are given perhaps justified action. You, male, myself. Me, female, you the same. Anyone. Either one of us, the other. Anywhere. Something which should have stayed inside, the mind. Or else within forever the chaos or violence of an entertainment made by others. Safe in vicarious encouragement or prompt. Arguably safe or justifiable, “OK” or not. The degrees of it, anyway. The prop of which is a nurture to this nature. Vicious, offered recreation, or whichever influence, as to child. Any medium available, whatever the consequence, priority of what passes for a culture. Ideas creep into corners, coalesce with, into, action. Anger, insecurity over every woman, poverty, insufficient aspects or performance, loneliness and an almost pitiable sadness. With safe distance, clinically,
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towards helping and not merely (although...) punishing (or putting to death.) Relatable predicament of more than would admit and unrealizable arena for release or tempered treatment of it. A thing builds and notions, wrong thoughts of the wronged, are built upon, and become bold. You keep me until it’s over, but live a life that’s never not bound, tied, dragged down stairs unconscious. You don’t win when you feel as if victorious over another. The fact of wanting to do such horrors is the awful thing, worst possible outcome or torture, and it stays in the mind and life of the one feeling as if they’re actually doing the sole acts, on others. Doing worse to themselves despite still of course being alive, unfairly able to walk around another day, have people look at them on the street and never know a thing of what rotting already is underway, as if in whatever grave they’ll end up in someday, probably far from now. You’d whip me to see me seem older, yet age yourself as you drag this out, drained and drowning, betraying what’s most injurious. And no end unnatural or of age can correct the wreckage you’ll have been. No intervention by prisoner or police would cure or calm your deluded course. Correct your destructive curse. No council could likely aid enough to alter another collision, keep any other from this cage, protect another who’s become captive. You don’t even see the problem. A withering of the soul to spread to others. Disease given by way of however it’s distributed or sold, borrowed, loaned out or found. A potential poison best left unencouraged. Night-side of each living soul, given reason, given space. Or a culture that all but encourages lesser versions of it, and supplies the further means to imagine and engage, at the fingertips. The comfort of your own house. The ease of clicking on a mouse. The means, the method. An awakened cold I can’t help but know now includes me. Impetus or at least idea, if not straight example by whatever medium, magazine, TV and video, rumor or vicarious experience, egging-on from an early age or notion given when however old, to go ahead and try this on for size. Certain country’s people’s unearned bounty. Robbery, entitlement, a felon’s enlightenment. A deep deficiency that can grow in any soil. And I realize, after a time, my part in it. The accurate, ultimate, technological presentation, preservation, of how I react. A secondary gain I awaken to and further am hobbled by. That other humans would willfully witness this, even passionately. And inaccurate, untimely, nothing representative of who I really was. But this not the desired aspect of such nameless, random, in ways safe, specimens. How the subjects of certain forms of entertainment are treated, (often but not always) as less-than human, and a mere representation to suit a need, for a specific period of time, and then let back into the blank space of the bedroom drawer, under the mattress. And the colors on paper or film can’t ever get across what’s not even looked for anyway, who the person, man or woman is, what they were before this, after this, or what they’re doing or dreaming of right now, or ever. In this land of those oppressed and yet at the same time of course very free. Do you like the way my face lights up with fear when you move the knife back and forth between each of my wide-open eyes? Your breathing heavy on my face and a half-foot of steel that would tap against the back of my skull and maybe even break through to the other side of us. This extension of you, false expansion, Impotency in numerous possible meanings of the word. still attached how can’t you understand to your weak, horrible hand. And that no noble thing can come of your arm, torso, spineless mind, violent idea of right and wrong, despite how you feel with it held in your palm. False power still flawed despite how it makes you for the moment feel. Even with
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its curve tickling my eyelashes, or blindfolded and tracing a circle with the tip at the outer peak of my throat’s point. Such a thin strip of steel. Severing the seal between outside and in. Itself a slim sentence, without sound. Unnerving and real, this separation of skin. Capable of worse than can be imagined until it’s found out that it could, or be told to. Destroyer of barriers to knowledge of anatomy. Regardless of things seen unnamed by the uneducated who’ve forced it. A chaotic knowledge, unordered, of a controlled entity’s disorder. Gutting an animal.  This was a reaction to the movie Vacancy. (And obviously a lot of other things.)

Too Young to Fall in Love  The janitor would show up in the middle of lunch sometimes, call for everyone’s attention, and hold a sort of living-and-breathing, call-and-response Lost and Found. He’d take from a box or a plastic bin all the things found in whatever time frame it was between, and which hadn’t been claimed either that week or ever. And as he held each item up, a jacket or a hat or a book, small ocean of students out in front of him, standing at the side of the cafeteria and not the front, never on the small stage that maybe anyway was only every now and then set up, he’d call out “Who belongs to this?” I always would think about this being an interesting way to put it, and not necessarily incorrect or wrong. Thinking about the way as well that expressions and maybe mistakes of language for whatever reason don’t necessarily need to be interpreted as merely Yes or No, black or white. That maybe the way he said it, as if some child was the property of the clothing, and not the other way around, was actually more accurate than anything else he could have said. And alongside that the idea that in a way we do belong to our clothes, or at least we identify ourselves with them as much as with any other choices we make. And every week I would get closer to thinking it might be a good idea to tell him, or anyone, any teacher, what I thought of the whole situation. Although I’m glad I never did. I and we also felt a certain pleasure in what we thought was a type of advertisement or awareness effort for something we “believed in”, when the teacher who was in charge that day of reading off the list which act was next for the talent show, microphone in hand and standing to the side of the stage during each performance, then clapping along and making a quick comment before announcing who was next, had to by necessity of this duty walk up beside us and, we noticed, not even make the attempt to describe by way of a quick sentence or two and which he had done for most groups or individuals before they played, shooting from the hip as he was good at. But with us there was nothing, just the few words or maybe only even two, as he looked up to where we stood, on the riser a foot or two above him, and seconds away from pressing the play button on the stereo to his side, was forced, was made to say,
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what we wanted him to. What we had told him to by our choice of band to pay homage towards. And feeling an unexpected satisfaction, almost as if we could have looked at him and enjoyed a second of gloating pleasure in knowing that this square (to us, anyway) suburban gentleman (to be fair who likely was a nicer guy and hipper than we would have given him credit. Even now). A moment only of strange and sudden satisfaction (before that was stripped from us to say the very least, doom on its scheduled way) in knowing that we were able to easily coerce him into saying clear, loud words which to us meant much, and symbolized a separateness, a special thing which not all students wanted or would ever be a part of or understand. The entire crowd in fact, feeling only possibly confusion or disgust or dislike for such particular music, musicians of an emerging subculture, and maybe and probably even us. “Ladies and gentlemen...ahh...well... MÖTLEY CRÜE.”

Sun Will Set That something created by one can effect another. And personal meaning attached, particular time period assigned-to. Or revisiting and re-enriching at new points in a life, other places and ways of living. Other nights and days wandering and staying, fighting, playing. Silent wondering or screaming, saying. The act of absorbing what a stranger has fashioned, and folding its song into your own, path and passion.

Commute No comment.

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Location  Southeast of central Bangkok and further out, but it could have been anywhere, any country where social stigma trumps care and equal rights for the disabled. And whatever good the essay used for a large pamphlet and some kind of grant or something I wrote for them may ever have done, now suddenly all these years ago. Tapong and ten or so others and I, at one of his favorite outdoor neighborhood restaurants. After a long week and day of ferreting-out and meeting with children and adults hidden-away in neighborhoods and needing access to services they might have no other way of getting or knowing about. What facilitation of this could be done with what means the organization had. Never enough and always knowing this as the mornings turn to afternoons and then nights. Now relaxing beneath a massive, high freeway overpass under which we sit at long, food covered tables. The noise of traffic far above accompanying the karaoke machine he’s accessed on his laptop, which is now for some reason playing a mix of John Denver. As he, uncharacteristically drunk on a large amount of whiskey, it, sings along, song after song. Maneuvering over to me after a time and on a break from singing and eating, end of the table where I’d been sitting almost seperate from the others, taking a drink from his Singha beer and moving in close, blushing Asian blood to his bald, widesmiling face. “I know, Karl. Although... we speak Thai around you,” As if letting me in on something which he has realized, and that I couldn’t have guessed he’d found out about, and implying that the secret is safe with him. “I know... you understand... every word.” Looking me in the eye, a serious and a joking expression on his leaningforward, drunk, panting and flushed face. And he’d of maybe touched the side of his head for emphasis if he hadn’t been a quadriplegic confined to a wheelchair and who could only barely move his hands to control the motion of that machine below him, as he ended with a whisper that only he and I could hear. “I know”.

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Eat ‘em and Smile Walking back with her and the scarves she'd wear against the heat, to shield from the sun. Thin wrists out of a polyester print shirt with sleeves short enough to show the last of those too-small arms as they break into hands, blue-veined fingers to wrap around our own, small, in a way, versions of hers. Down back into the neighborhood slowly and with whatever we've bought from the few shops along that strip at the corner, there might have been some kind of dollar store, there might have been any number of empty storefronts, I'm not sure how one could find out for sure about such things. There might have been thirty minutes of heat and quiet and the still wind of the area in a dusty and dry slowness that we'd wade through, across that intersection, along a slightly shaded sidewalk, her soft-soled shoes that seemed the type nurses would wear, and beige, along out own customary flip-flops or otherwise sandals. And stripped to bare feet when reaching the line of houses back towards hers we know to have almost uninterrupted dried-out but still viable lawns, right up to the broken up curbs, that we could stand and walked and literally stand, handle, the slightly dangerous heat within and upon them, and so also be a bit taller and closer to where her eyes were, to what her sight was. Still held if we could by one hand of hers or not. But the full feel of growing or struggling for growth bermuda grass or some other beneath the last skin at the far end of our also growing bodies, heel-first and then the rest, quickly again and again and a sensation that one can never have enough of. Spots on lawns where some would still water and even during the day, try to hold onto that expanse of green even into the deep months of summer, and so then a quick and alright for children, run a little to the left or right of us and actually up onto a stranger's property and to feel the depressions in the grass that our weight makes, the slight sinking which the combination of water and softened, not-dead grass creates. To look back and see our momentary footprints in the glistening and shimmering landscape, millions of slivered blades. And the gold and the green and the delicate tension of those moments of cool water's shock against the tender skin that then, moments later, has the challenge of reaching the edges of where that water from sprinkler or hose can reach, and the sudden beginnings of another driveway, however short, and the difference in terrain as disparate as any two could be that share in a way a common denominator of the heat that makes them what they are. Tip toes across that or heel-striking quick, stabbing little feet down as few times as possible before meeting again the next property's either welcoming grass or even any variety of dirt. But the trust that if necessary, those slight hands and the quiet body that had been holding the sandals in case they were needed would still have them, hand them over if asked, and still let us hold on to her as we all continued in the small and simple and also large and memorable relocation and motion from her quiet home in the afternoon over to that corner a half mile away, quiet in its own way as well, and back again.  Princeton avenue in southeast, near the airport. The Discovery Center was three blocks away. The intersection of Shields and Chestnut The cold inside of the butcher’s on that “busy” corner nearby, one whole quarter of it just empty dirt. Green overlay in tiny webs laid out inside the display cases I enjoyed staring at, seeing the items spread out upon them. The customer number pulled from the thin, round, red dispenser near the register, which I’d be allowed to pull
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tear off and hold until it was called. Grandmother standing nearby, purse held next to her ribs and looking around, down at the young boy looking then up to her, holding a number up for her to see. And the field east of Winery Avenue in an equidistant direction away from the house, which is now no longer a field and instead a parking lot for some businesses or other. But at another point in time it held something else, and into which a deep hole was dug one day towards what was down there. Now forever lost unless we break that cement up, because we never got as deep as was needed to find whatever it was we were aimlessly and intentionally trying after. Determined bare hands on borrowed shovels and in only somewhat yielding dirt. Jump in and feel the sudden cold from the waist down. Look around. Think about how far there is yet to go. All these Ground Zeros we each have that no one else will ever really understand.

Farmer’s Market David Fausone was a kind kid, beautiful soul, and would have been an incredible adult and in ways possibly already was, having been through so much and in only the years up until he was maybe 16 or 17. He was at least of driving age because we had his mother and father’s huge old white Cadillac on occasion, and would cruise around in it listening to Iron Maiden and Kiss. Plush gaudy red interior. An entire environment of upholstery picking me up from a summer school math class at Hoover High or just finally being able to drive around like adults, anywhere or nowhere, that one maybe less than a year when we were of age, together. A little air-conditioned capsule for our lives traveling around in the reliable heat of 1991. His brother Dan and I, nephew John and other kids, Ryan lamb among them, others I can’t remember until maybe I’ll run into them someday (or find them vicariously on any number of our current age’s electronic and confusingly sciencefiction-seeming devices and the social networking avenues they hold us for willing (or are we?) participants.) Sitting around in the bedroom he and his younger brother shared, two beds right against each other, and in their small home six blocks away from the one I myself lived in. Or seated on the thick carpet at the feet of the beds and mere feet away from the wall of what would now seem ancient entertainment devices. The record player, the tape deck, the microphone maybe although maybe we didn’t necessarily even have one. To sit and record, press the actual button that requires a physical force exerted onto it, coerced into action by a coercing action larger and more strenuous than mere click of for instance, “mouse” on foam pad on top of a desk or table, and recite what was essentially off the top of our heads, even when slightly and loosely scripted beforehand or merely just discussed as children will do about what “would be awesome”. Spoken word of a sort, but more a play-acting and impromptu skit-creation onto coils of flat tape in cassettes that naturally I still own and would grab before anything else in the unlikely event of a home fire. One general overarching “show” idea, and many segments broken-up into parts and with commercials in-between, also of our own making, of course. Little genius’s fighting for a turn to talk or not having to
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tangle at all and just allowing for the magic to happen, as they say in show business. The time with friends and the close camaraderie of creation, and then the excitement also of being able to listen back. As if an instant verification of the importance of what had occurred, proof positive that something which would last forever had happened. More then merely the show being produced, recorded, got down for the ages. And much more than probably any of us myself included ever think about or certainly talk to one another about, for good or bad. Because who knows what the best thing to do in a situation such as that is, when someone you didn’t realize you depended on is suddenly and permanently gone, and a little era is swiftly ended or suddenly and forever changed. David was more than this, obviously. And who knows what he’d think of whatever it is I’ve become in the time since he left us. ♦ Where Tulare and Divisadero run east into the 41. One night without explanation, one of the vacant storefronts of those squat and also spacious, mostly empty hallways of the maze of the place, was open. Somehow these un-surveillanced corridors that were probably not all that extensive but now and then, and certainly in memory, seemed and seem to be endless and available for all the exploration and wandering we could want, and for one reason or another was inexplicably missing the standard padlock. Its place on the black metal-shutter on a track, top and bottom, whatever those things area called, was vacant. Diagram of diamond shaped grids in tough possibly steel. And looking around, wondering if we should mess with it, seeing clearly the spot where a big lock would go and where one was, hanging like an odd piece of fruit, from the faces of all the other small stores to the left and right, themselves all unoccupied for one reason or another. Slowly testing the sound it would make if we moved it just a little, and then pushing it faster when we realized it was surprisingly quiet for such a large apparatus. Looking around, down that way down the other way, and seeing no one, not even then thinking of cameras but it’s doubtful there ever even were any, and deciding even as we acted about what we were going to do. Opening it as far as needed and which was halfway across the front of the glass walls on either side of a door, not only ajar or otherwise open but actually entirely missing, glass and all, and only the hollow metal framework of what would have held such plates of transparent material in place. Maybe this was why there was no business within, though others to either side and down the not well-lit walkway as well had missing aspects, certain things which would make them easily accessible were it not for this requisite webbing of steel that covered them all up. And so we really needed only to move it a few feet to gain entrance, and yet thought it more appropriate to move it open further, and to be able like civilized customers no less, actually see if the door was open and which it naturally or unnaturally was. Entering in that fashion in lieu of the crass “climbing through a window.” Then closing this gate of sorts behind us with hands maneuvering through where the wall of a window would have gone. Once inside, trying to realize or attempt to figure about what business it had been, what type. Stripped format like a room cleansed of all human evidence such as personality, or particular products or any evidence of them and that might give an idea to what the most previous renter here had attempted to make a living at selling or providing as a service. One long display case and counter along the left side, glass top and empty of course of anything that could have been set up within. A light colored
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wall to the right with ridged slats and as if to accommodate a type of shelving arrangement. The missing spots for the missing stock. The places where maybe went what the last person in there might have bet all they had on. And towards the back a growing dark. Weak light becoming weaker as it moved towards the farthest wall. Where were piles of probably empty cardboard boxes and plastic garbage bags filled with whatever, and no window to the street outside. Almost no way to tell what time of night in there, what time of day. Also what seemed like a small corner to maybe an office, or restroom or simple area to stage or store surplus to sell. And an almost eeriness to the look of it all as a whole. Untouched it seemed for what could be years but really wouldn’t have been. Just whatever was probably left by that last failure of a business. And so whoever did the bare minimum of a cleaning job had just collected what was needed to be picked up, trash and bits and pieces of forgotten or lazily left evidence of occupancy, and just tossed it all back there, maybe thirty feet down the slim rectangle of a space. And so a five foot hill of accumulated mess had grown, and towards which we resisted the irresistible daring of one another to “go investigate”. Wanting very much to sit in peace with our just bought comics. Knowing that to even acknowledge to one another, out loud, the possibility of there being something or someone back there, would be to essentially curtail some of the enjoyment of this small and cornered and cool hiding place, this hidden space, this area to relax in when all tables of the sprawling common dining areas and benches along the more consistently walked and certainly more well-lit and populated by businesses as well as simply people, became simply too loud for us to really be able to fully take in what new worlds within the loose covers of serial books we’d just taken on. And so neither one of us said a thing. Backs against the wall, seems like it might have been red brick. A few feet apart and cross legged with each a few comics at our side. Wordless in the choice of spot and not as if there had been much of an option. Not as if there were a better place to both be concealed and as well, again, unstated, remain hidden and shielded if need be, from that admittedly creepy darkness at the back of the room. A dimly illuminated uncertainty and which could, after all, hold any amount of darkness taken form, danger given a body, or maybe fugitive from justice having found a way and place to hide. And as we settled in to read, soft glow of the lights from our right, a stillness in the air and the subtle excitement of knowing that even if anyone were to walk by, they’d just continue on, and have no idea that we’d watched them do it, we started to think about the reason for that padlock being gone. Unable to quit the inquisitiveness of young minds against puzzling inconsistency such as this. Each and every store was allotted one of these. All areas of our wandering and into each small establishment and their allotted space in this place would, and we could watch them do it, probably around 8 or 9 each of those always Friday nights, clear out the register, clean up the floor or counter tops, and go through the motions of winding down which included at the end closing that large shutter of a final type of door. To finish it off with a large, heavy padlock. A product that gives the impression of meaning what it says. Slid into place and joining two sides of a similar thing, at the left edge of the face of the business. The final act of “closing”. And that as we'd walk along, later in the evening while parents are gathering up children, after most shops and restaurants have already followed suit and some kids are still out wandering, avoiding the capture by parents and for them, the closure of the evening there and for me always or typically, time with a certain friend or two, these rugged symbols seemed like hands on a clock, or sliver of sun on a sundial to our time together. Simply and conclusively signifying that a certain point has been reached. One could look down the aisles we walked and see each of them, clear as a clearly faded and
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now dark outside day, and know that the end, for our night, is nearly at hand. As well for those in which it in a way was always such a “time of evening”. A closing time forever. The failed ventures of anonymous vendors. Or the relocation for whatever reason, signified by the places just not being there any more. So why was this one any different? Why was this barrier to entry not appropriately bolted? We read on. Enjoying the privacy and enjoying the quiet and what ambient dimness lent itself well to being fully engrossed in what we were doing. A good while or it might not have been very long at all. Time doing what one loves is as difficult to measure as anything in the world hard to quantify due to a heavy bias, a too-personal involvement. Although at some point in this environment, in that sought-after solitude and a distance from all other things in life and unsustainable as it was impossible to ever think about leaving, it began to occur to us, maybe at the same time maybe independently, started in one and moved to the other, the increasing influence of what intrigue and crime in the comics were entering and playing in our minds, a thing that neither wanted to or did actually say out loud. At some nonspecific point in this experiment of independence it became apparent that even though deep in thought, even in the heavy study of the loved tomes in front of us, piles of three or four looked forward to all week and now finally being happily and intensely devoured, a fear had begun to grow. A slight curiosity and which was evolving into a need to know. What if something was back there in that darkness? What if somehow that lock, the missing link to the order and conformity with all the others had been compromised, this potential sanctuary broken into, busted apart with whatever he or she had had on hand to do such a hard thing with, and in this way had made their way directly along the same path which we had taken. What if they were now seated, waiting and in a way just like us, reading, gauging, taking in information and choosing what the right thing to do might be. What if the whole time in which we assumed we were the ones doing the watching, instead it was more accurate to say that we were the ones being watched? Maybe even our fingerprints had been set down just on top of theirs. Possibly the vanished footfall of our little sneakers had gone right over the spot where days or hours before (or even moments), their own much larger steps had been untraceably placed. We tried to just keep reading. Employing prudent sense and imploring our own inner strength to help us win over the gnawing terror of there really being something wrong here. The idea that we had, and intentionally, not stumbled into but walked right in and by way of even breaking the law ourselves, a potentially dangerous, nay potentially deadly situation. A showdown. A clearly defined and ambiguously scripted horror, and one which might parallel well what tale of supernatural fright or just civilian and criminal or “escaped lunatic”. Some real-life, non-fiction rendering and which, having put ourselves quite possibly right in front of, was about to render us not only unable to move, to ever return again to the warmth and safety of not just home and family, but we’d have settled for even the relative peace of just being on the other side of those closed metal shutters. And worst of all, in the back of the mind as strange and undeniable as anything else, the odd realization that the worst indignity or crime another in that moment could have unleashed upon us, was the simple fact of being cut off of continuing and finished whatever heroic or otherwise tale or story in our stack beside us we were at that point halfway through or just beginning. And so when the noise happened, probably just a rat, likely merely a shifting of weight of whatever was in those stacks of boxes, and which caused a fall of a number of them and something like breaking glass but then again probably not, we moved as fast as if an alarm had been sounded. And in a way, one had been. And not even a look to the other. Not even a second’s hesitation as each of us was ripped from an admittedly
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intense concentration which was growing less so as time went by, as the doubts as to our being alone had grown, and as we, one and then the other, literally leaped over the adult’s waist-high counter closest to the windows and the doors that weren’t of course there but in their stead, that barrier of creaking metal and the framework of where glass would go if there had been any. Before the last box in that back area probably landed, we were up and over and lamenting the loss of those comics but surprisingly choosing our own safety over the secrets and enjoyment they still held for us, (and do to this day, in a way), as we struggled loudly with what had initially been so easy, so smooth and quiet an operation. Pushing hard on the spot where they separated and the pressing motion causing the slightest of jams in whatever small wheels or bearings kept that sliding, accordion-like, moveable wall from flopping all over the place. Totally unconcerned with smashing small fingers in the process. Incorrect or improper use of this large device never made to be moved so quickly. And this was worst of all, the moments of hypothesizing to be somehow stuck inside there, trying so fully and desperately to get out that we break the one thing that was after all designed to allow us out. And then if we took the time to close it and which we didn’t anyway, close back in that attacker, that monster of a man or woman or that creature and who if we had even dared to look behind us as we exited, would have been able to have stopped us somehow with his eyes, arrested our motion with some power over humans like those we’d been filling our heads with all evening. . Leaving the scene and without a word spoke between us until safe and well around a few corners away. Turned into bandits on our own, and as if we’d done something like rob the place ourselves. When in a way it was that experience which had robbed us. Tricked into being the bad guys, we realized, by leaving what had been entered still open for further burglary. Or simply leaving a thing to confuse what security was likely to later that evening happen upon it, and wonder. (And maybe be drawn in further at the sound of something in the back, flashlight on at the waist suddenly losing power.) Or was what we stole, and successfully and well, and also which I’ve lived with all this time without any attention from any arm of the law whatsoever. Simply and honestly this valuable, invulnerable and very much personal memory, reiterated here point by point and without a single thing either exaggerated or left out. And as well as the fact that I’m the only one alive now who’s known about it. Padlocked-up in a glass, metal, and also something flimsy like a cardboard box or a plastic bag, in my mind. Hidden in plain sight like nothing’s the matter. Blending in with all of you law-abiding citizens these years and until this moment, none being the wiser.

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Jukebox Jumping the fence to her yard in a corner of our own, set back from the lawn and hidden by whatever trees and ragged somewhat unchecked growth, whatever leaves covering the earth there it seemed year round, and the distance of the six feet of unstable wood separating yards. Climbing up on a similarly unsure footing of an upturned Radio Flyer wagon. Its red, rusted metal leaned up lengthwise to let us peer over, gain height, and not with the reliability of the step ladder we knew to be back in the garage, so far away, so very inconvenient to go fetch when the hours of daylight are so limited, even when they’re not. And so even as we climb up by way of this apparatus, solid rubber wheels and long hand exposed to open air and wondering why they’re being arranged in this unconventional way, and also the thick ivy beautifully coating both the ground, the face of the fence and as well snaking up the telephone pole just at that corner and on our side, we’re readying the replies to our mother, getting prepared the lies of being asked if we’d used what we’d been told to use to do all this. To take the shortcut over to a neighbors swimming pool, as she took the long way and a walk around the block, arriving sometimes ten minutes after us. Time in which we were also able to do another thing forbidden in the use of our large beach towels as leverage against (non-existent) barbed wire at the top of that fence. We’d watched such things being done with heavy blankets or what was brought for this on television and at the hands of heroes or otherwise, sneaking into enemy’s property or into certain buildings and for whatever incredible purpose, to whichever exciting end. And so we did that, too.

 There were long moments of constrained freedom in laying on the thick grass, heated for hours by the sun, and a hose turned on to water and which was supposed to be anyway the reason why we were given access, while the neighbor was on vacation and needed certain things taken care of. Laying back in the full light and allowing the cool flow of it to strike the open palm or area of ribs or stomach, filling up the grass and saturating beyond any necessary amount. Or in leaning forward towards the flushed overflow and watching the water pour out. Catching seconds of reflections of yellow, half moments of rare and fleeting, shimmering hot ground even with the cool current and to allow the eyes to relax and adjust, un-adjust, in a way not encouraged by any practical minded sibling or certainly mother, entering the yard after too quick a time, and wondering what her son is doing, where he seems to have gone to while seated still right there, and promptly calling out for him to stop it.

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Risen Fill out these long days since where and when, if it ever was, I saw you again. What beginning, what end, and wherever and with who or among what you might now be. The repeating thoughts, you without me. Scar of these late mornings and a line of light across the floor, the scraping sun in a slit of motion towards me. Slight warmth to fall across first one side of this small room and then the other. The slow movements of interactions at the shuttered window, not shut-up enough to leave out this slim intrusion of a reminder. A steady progression someone else might mark the literal time by, and which I watch a little as I, and thoughts of we, each day just like this come on too strong for me to fight. An unseen mechanics of natural order and the heat of the day beyond it, represented in that advance of hot white and yellow. Silent, slithering and crawling eventually like a snake that can’t harm me or can it, over all portions of my just waking, never sleeping, always dead and waiting, ever alive and can’t resist hating, body and bedding on the carpet of this rented space. The environment I exist in and am patient, I have been patient, force turning over the days and nights as much as they roll over and through me of their own energy. Unstoppable like the last reminder of day and a life outside of here that I can’t get rid of unless I ever taped up the windows for good. This passing of time in the shape of a line. A slow break in busted blinds that share, shame, and as sure as anything scan their way across me as if to get a read, as if to check for life. And as if to mock, remind, diminish even further this clearly beat animal I’ve become. Huddled in the corner of a dark place and with as little of the means or resources to stay as there are any ways that I could ever force myself to leave. There’s a number on the door of this room, lover. There’s a name to this drowned town, Valerie. There’s another week until I have to go out and do what you taught me to buy the seven more days of this in vain, insane, vile and unavoidable involvement with in the end, only a memory.

Saturday  I think there’s a house there now, and no horses. Where are those horses.

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Deaf A full flowing underneath, flash out from the wall, flesh both against a current and against also no current. A feeling of acceptance and the one barrier being what one thing allows this floating to begin with. To reach a height above constructed ground, and yet a thing impossible in any other way and on land, to move and maneuver and find oneself with no consequences from the daring. The body pushed to a distance from anything it might otherwise stand on, and to trust what surrounds it and as well that nothing in the world might try or ever be able to to change the agreement of materials, the combination of components. The fact of physics and the rules of engagement depended on as much as they’re independent of human tampering. Nothing could change this experience of water. No one can alter this enjoyment of flying. And no wall coming up or else other swimmers sharing the lane could distract from the common, the clean, the calming and encouraging motion of one of my arms forward. Pull back to reach my other. Pull back to stretch the first.

Ladies and Gentlemen...  Most simplistic of an erotica, spray painted in some type of standing concrete tube with a pointed ceiling, four feet across. Its purpose unknown to us, beside the tracks and doubtless having something to do with them. Abandoned though, trash built up around its inner and outer rim. But poor maybe first experience of this ever (and the birth of that psychological poverty.) Black scribbles of certain things. Something someone had come along and done at some point, for whatever good it did him. Bad depictions of “bad” things. And just standing there together, no one really talking for a minute, and looking at it. Head turned to the side a little, mouth open. Saying quietly, “... huh.” This being sixty or so feet across the tracks, from the largest and sole living, lovely tree of the area. Walking back over to and enjoying its shade between trips back out into the direct sun of summer, for whatever reason there ever was to have left it. Walnuts blown-up with the largest firecrackers Jerry Bowman could find (I never found out how he ever even got any of them). Light the fuse and set it on top, like a turtle faces its innards. Drop to the dusty ground, hands crossed or fingers interlaced over the tops of our heads, best defense to avoid the very real possibility of “shrapnel”. That regal monster, solitary and singular soul, almost so large that it’s often forget about as one goes to that stretch up the unnamed dirt road. A quarter mile which never seems to be used, leaving the last of the neighborhood’s asphalt behind, and eventually hitting the train tracks shortly after that, and then not continuing on the other side. A little hill going up to the parallel steel lines and their mound of red rocks which somehow hold them up, never sinking or in turn swallowing them during a heavy rain. And this practicality practically seeming as pointless as anything during extended periods of such typical and intense heat. Finding one’s way through it up to a top which you could easily skip along, find your way from large crossbeam to crossbeam, heavy
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in their dirty tar and here and there one seemingly so heated it’s split into multiple pieces. Its density, depleted. And the scent of it all from where you stand. Stop and look around. Take a deep breath. Listen. Out there exposed and away from the shade of a minute before if there had been enough to really relax in. How much is tucked into memory and surely, you think, old man, we must have taken our time within that shadow. We had to have done some pondering with developing minds beneath the reliable grandeur of a beautiful creature with angelic limbs-for-wings, leaves for a quiet voice in July’s wind. So why can’t you remember any of it? (I shot Jerry in the ass accidentally one day with my pellet gun and I think he turned around and shot me back. There’s one memory, at least). Endless distances of exposed and holy grape leaves in numbers of must have been millions taking up possibly a good amount of acres and buffering the neighborhood from the noise of the inconsistent freights. Aisles of great, subtly scented clusters of them. Baking and burning calmly in the sun and as were we, walking between their strange, stunted stacks. Strapped forever until death to wires and posts taut towards each end of the line. Stand in the middle of that, insulated by however many rows going to your left, however many rows going to your right, and whichever distance it was you’d walked into it, however much you had yet to go until it ended and let out at the road along the other side. Casual shore of loose dirt to a four lane street, no curb or announcement except the sudden and gradual shift. But far from this, and standing still in the center of it and feeling the odd comfort not odd at all but amazing and real, incredible and total and all that was within view, all that was within you. Struck by a significance. And situated in the middle of nowhere, nothing, and to this day in a way I can't explain but am going to grow old trying to, everything. And what did it sound like when they took the first Caterpillar’s slam into the bark and ribs of that beautiful, singular aspect of a natural landscape? To us, at least, Old Growth. And where was I at that exact, horrible moment? (Same as the mentionedsomewhere, curiosity of what precise song by whatever band or group or soloist might have been in the moment of being recorded just as a certain little body was being presented to the great state of California by way of, the byway of, the avenue he strolled into all this mess down, crying like an only fairly justified infant.) (And where can a person get it on vinyl.) What’d it look like to anyone who was around to watch. Maybe children of another era, and unfortunately the ones to have such a marvel and rough playground literally torn from them, taken away and possibly right in front of their eyes. As perhaps they had, hunkered down, trenches of vineyards to the east yet-untouched, in sight of this time a quite real thing set in its own way to explode, and the damage instead in different form, the sight and shock of the slow upturning and destruction of earth by way of pulled farmland, poured concrete, as strangers took to the tremendous task of tearing up that large plot and section of one edge of the neighborhood. And could it be heard from where the resistance hid and waited, huddled in the heat? Unable to watch and yet unable to turn their heads away.

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Dark to Light Rodent jawbones in a pile or scissors of desiccated teeth, jumbled in a small bag in a jewelry case of also entire skulls of mice, whatever else in little piles and disconnected by delicate space from one another. Separated from their left behind lives and set to be, in a way, immortalized. Jewelry made of beauty, deceased not-decayed bounty. A wealth of possibility and the materials simply waiting for the right hands and mind to come along to use them. Perfect squares of glass to close-in precious skulls and pressed, fanned-out lines of feathers. Stripped of all color except the various hues of brown. Or still having vibrant shades of exactly what was apparent when they lived, attached to small, flapping wings. And sometimes the section of skeleton and strips of feathers originate from the same source. Tattered velvet inside of a jewelry box and cushion's interior plush taken out by decades of no use or else somehow being used to hold something too large. And the exterior the same, elegance of whatever era's taste that created it, bruised-up and banged around and misused or misplaced and scarred into a certain other type of unintended patina. Or this with combining it into the particular use, to carry around such delicate items made with dedication, crafted into deathless and endless non-perfection. No idea in the mind of whoever in the 1950's had made it just the same as no thought in the small animals that never knew they'd be found after passing on, and combined with such materials and time and effort to be showcased in small pieces of handmade jewelry that an elegant woman of the modern world would carry around in a clever and unique container.

As Deep a Breath  There was a wonderful sense of the unknown in doing such things, or the darkness of the water and the realized again and again inability to see the bottom. Such simple features as this and that contribute to the overall experience of excitement in doing a thing as simple as walking slowly or jumping quickly into the possibly bottomless, cold, likely piranha infested waters of a large lake. And despite the sad truth in it being human-made, although I try and ignore that I learned that later on, or then. Although one idea never proven wrong was whether or not this body of water might have had unseen connections beneath the tons of darkness and lake life, and which linked into subterranean caverns where beasts of tremendous size and viciousness grow, and from which sometimes they emerge to chew on legs of young, unsuspecting children. I remember doing the tests of seeing at which level of swimmer one was, to prove worth in being in whichever sectioned-off swimming area you could be trusted to not drown in. The dock separating essentially three rectangles of water. Although they've probably rebuilt it by now, I think they even did during the years I was there, maybe seven in a row all together. One shot of wood planks all the way out, fifty feet? And to its left, two equally spaced thirty or so feet of walkways, to make one section to
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swim closest-in, and where a child could stand up, hit bottom all around, and which was entered by just walking in from shore. Then a second area, rectangle just like a pool except of course not, one side of this roped off, and where those with moderate swimming abilities could play, swim back and forth, and if they wanted go down a few feet farther than they were comfortable with and skim the depths. And then past this, the second and final dividing line of walkway, either wood or metal posts holding it all up and which of course you could swim right through and under, and hope that those teenage or early-twenties lifeguards up there wouldn't be able to tell you apart from those who were sanctioned to be in that third area. The final, this time buoyed-off and solely marked by that yellow or whatever sensible color of rope, connected to those bobbing floating spheres or whichever shape they were, forming a probably same-sized swimming area as the other two. One corner of this being held down by the large, or possibly of course not so large after all, dock of a floating diving board. Wood planks with small spaces between and at one time a new roll of some fake grass, astro turf or something as a cover. A surface meant to help with the gripping of children’s' wet feet, and of course tattered and torn and fraying and showing the slippery planks beneath it but which lent the fabulous sunlight streaming through in slatted beauty upon daring faces who breached the contract of conduct and would, clever-clever, swim underneath the whole thing. Situating themselves between the large maybe barrels of plastic, probably not any kind of metal but maybe, and which held the thing afloat. Strapped in by whatever means and you could swim inside there and grab hold, of nothing, but keep your small body up by way of more than anything the excitement of the many differences in sight, in sound. In this constrained circumstance you had placed yourself. Small environment particular to that part of the swimming area, in turn specific to that corner of the lake. We felt that this was the unofficial fourth swimming area. This was where you could go but only if you even knew of it to begin with. Pitying all who would miss out on the incredible changes in perception, what we felt, what we heard. Everything louder but also an echo, the constant creaking of the apparatus itself and the endless falling of water, both from the bodies of children above, totally unaware they were being "watched", or perhaps in on the ruse and so the arranged "cover". Continuing on as normal to confuse those adults watching as concerns just how many kids headed out there in that last pack of swimmers, and how many they actually ever saw surface. Bringing up more of the lake water by climbing aboard the deck, and bringing it back down again through the cracks in the ceiling, falling in a type of glittering noise you paid attention to and which almost made you forget to keep kicking those legs, instinctual clockwise or however spinning to keep your head just up enough to stay up and between those barrels. The splashes also of kids up top who’d jump off the simple diving board, secured and never really seeming that secure, more of a jumping platform only slightly bending when jumped on and leaped off of, extended over the water maybe five feet. Large amounts of the lake splashed back from the dive if not reaching that porous roof to pour through, then sending a shock wave along the same surface we all were subject too. The whole ship of it as well would rock, causing a certain interesting commotion as you couldn't help but wonder how much this thing could handle and how many times over as, again and again, kids climbed up and on, slamming their feet on the plank out there for its lack of spring. Hurling themselves off to be thrown again onto the dark and waiting surface. The strength necessary to exit this was tremendous. So usually those doing so hadn't the energy to be smart and match accurately the leaving with some group up above who'd all dive in at the same time, to be merely a bunch of heads surfacing, and who could say how many had just jumped in a second or two before. So that what more
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often would occur would be, inexplicably and quite incriminating, the random, out of nowhere, popping up of little wet faces. Adorable little seals without whiskers. And which must have made lifeguards wonder. Out of breath from more than a simple exhilarating leap from the side of the square dock out there, chained down perhaps to the lake bed or however it was they keep it from floating away. And it was in this way that many found punishment for such infractions. While still others, rarest and most difficult to achieve, would circumnavigate both this capture and as well the conventions of the group's idea of when a good time to go would be, and so would, cleverest of all, allow the others to be caught as in a way they all anyway knew they would be, by simply diving down, and yet moving only in one direction. Maneuvering only further towards that bottom, and staying just as long as felt was needed. So that the final burst of breath when surfacing again, sometime it felt like a full five minutes later, would not be seen or heard by whatever others were corralling the offenders over, separating them from the rest, and taking them to their just punishments in whatever form. Certainly no more swimming for the day. Or perhaps, to be banished to that initial, first area designated only for children. While the one left behind would break back into the world in a can't-be-concealed amount of noise, unheard by anyone too busy with the others and their transgressions. Other children shocked into silence at these revelations of the past minutes, both by way of having no idea that it had happened, and as well possibly bothered by the fact that they had not been the ones to either come up with the idea, or else either to have been invited. Bothered too that now there would by this fact be even less chance to participate in it, and that these trailblazers had in effect taken it away from the rest of them. But in a moment, the yelling and jumping is resumed. And this when that last remaining child cannot be held down any longer, and enters again the land of the breathing, unnoticed by those far too preoccupied with all manner of other exciting things. He or she who in this way avoids capture, and merely rejoins those innocent other swimmers at will. Maybe even startling one or another of them when his or her head and smiling face just shows up out of nowhere. "Hey, where'd you come from?" And they just point their index finger down towards the water, before turning it to bring it right up against their lips.

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Songs that Made the Instrument Infamous Revealing origins, ongoing touchstones. Secrets, talked (-hinted) about. Truths given a vague, endearingly tactless, humorously endless and repetitive time-inspace. Tired, tireless haste. Entire, infinitely run race. Underneath dialogue, inside monologue. Each naked tendency, spoken. Requisite obsession, overkill, tragic surplus that hardly absolves the gratuitous and voluminous, endless transgression, histrionic erudition. All relativity that’s imminent subject to treatments honestly extreme. Irrepairable, really. Repetitious, unbearable, downright infantile. Memorable, exquisite, non-tameable. (Thankfully sincere.) Reverentially obscure, offhandedly traditional. Seeking tangentially, hesitant and timid. Gambling adoration vs. exaggeration. Tribute heavy-handed. (Even a refined taste is sometimes tied together, held, essentially intertwined, resultantly revolutionary underneath distilled influences.) Marooned eternally near the source. Ricocheting outpour, outrageous time spent threading haunted adaptations towards grace, a violent, empathetic, truly heartfelt endeavor and reaching the inspiration, solidly targeting the hope, eventually into ruminations resembling undestroyable depths. Imperfect manuscript, emblematic nervousness, tense sentences. Readable or otherwise, transparent sentiments thrumming, humming, attending their ghosts. Amorous, viciously. Enraptured, timidly. Hopelessly embracing a regression turned into sanctuary. Time, twisted humbly, even indulgently. Revision. Redemption. Unblinking dedication, impressionistic meditations. Endearing neuroses, thousandfold supplications.  Making understanding secondary in creation. Total harmony and tone sacrificed, partly. Layered, absolute yearning, empowering decisions, directing energy. Singing, pouring into the empty theater. Honest. Exposed. All uttered, desirous. Ineffable, exquisite. Nameless, consummate. Everything. Meant unwaveringly, sheepishly inlaid conviction. Throughout, holding a tender sharpness. Possessing lightly a yet eminent directness. Daring emotion. Sentimental power. In the end, the hidden, essential aspect, understated. Dying inside everyone. Never completely escaping. Meaning uttered slowly, implying caution. Trenchantly humored, and totally, supplying preservation. Lungs and yielding ears. Descriptive discourse’s embellishment, serenaded peers. Iterated treatments, endless takes, halfways-endearing attempts. "Unabbreviated" discourse in effusive, never-ceasing exertion. Misanthropic, unintentional self-absorbtion. Inelegant, cancerous thoughtlessness. Hubris, aloofness, tactless savagery. Plausible longing and yearning encased, disjointed. Discredited, easily slandered. Principled ideas that end too harshly. Hidden effulgence all undermined. Disguised in everyday's negativity. Corrupted energy. Maintaining, unstoppable. Shaky/Insecure. Confident/Terminally, hyperactively audacious. The sarcastic personality, landmined and yapping every damn day. Entirely stilted/Purely ill-tempered. Totally evolved/Truly harmonious. Ecstatic anger/Untreated discord. Incurable enmity/Natural cohesion (eventually.) 
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We realize offerings never get seen, true humility and troubled features, fear and desperation eventually incinerating notions towards openness, influencing nobody solidly in granting nonjudgemental impressions. For instance, compassion. (And nothing comes easier.) Whichever riot of neglect, grievious scar, temper's handiwork (and then forgotten about), did enough injury (nonmetaphorically) to obscure illumination: Nothing says it's genuinely nonyielding. In fact it can't alter "now". ( -Contingencies exist.) Worried reliving only necessitates getting scared tirelessly. Harm and torture frankly a diffuse, even invisible, nonproved tragedy. Obstacles interfere notoriously self-ignited. Georgeous nausea incapacitates fervently, internally caused. Agonies, nullified. ( -Counterevidence entailed.) Wishing redemption orchestrates new groundwork. Seeking truth heralds a tricky fighting. And deceptive even infinitely, never too overdeveloped, is noise. Subtle intensity. Godless nuisance. Instead, focus indifference. Creating art, nobly, can exonerate. Weep, ruminate, obsess. No gamble stands to heal anything that follows, (advancing desolation, entropy itself), nothing touches or invalidates, nullifies, simple, insistent, genuine, nonrestrained intention. Flourishing, in chaos and necrosis. ( -Crazy, eh?)  Some ordered nonsense going slow, timeless harm anyway that’s manufactured and decorating everything the hour engaged into naked, sloppy, tense rearing under medical enclosure, narrow tunnel’s integration, nipple fastened against, mother’s orientation, usually symptomatic. Severed original namelessness, given self-consciousness, the height and time marked and described, entered thoroughly, He even innocently nods, She tentatively responds using mumbling, endearingly negligible talking, irresistibly novel, famously and marvelously oblivious, unaware, sovereign. Surviving overseen neonate, gradual successive timidity, humor, anger that masks a deeper emotional tide, hidden ebullience, internal nebulosity, seeming to reveal underlying meridians, elite nucleus, tireless infant not fearing a moment of unlearned suffering. Stunning outsider, new glow showing two happy adults, teens, mature, alternately delusional enraptured, together hardly even in nearly sufficient trust, realistically untroubled marriage, eventual negotiations tragic, infinite negligence, family’s altogether marginal opportunities, unrelenting shackles. Surfaced, orbiting, nurtured grasping soul taken home, allowed to make and draw energy, the human experience in no secure timeframe. Restrictive understanding met. Earned negativity tackled. Internal notions following a model. Momentum, obsessive. (Unending, successive.)

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(Intermission) ...that it’s trying to dictate or keep up with a developing thing but you’re the only source of its development. The natural disaster and also person writing the shabby, quick report about it (and never spending as much time as they might for never being paid enough to begin with, if at all. Although probably appropriate to not receive many types of recognition, at least not now, at best/worst not ever.) Or the only one who knows this is occurring and not that you mean for it to forever be a secret, but tension of effort anyhow night and day around others, apart from others, spending too much and hardly sufficient energy or effort in personally wrecking the shoddy, questionably revealing beginningless/endless text, treated time, staged circumstances. Discussion of deep order of the disorder of life, or more approaching the point the ordering and reorganizing of things in this living which we’re handed, told to handle. Given, told not to grieve. And which can, rich or poor and young or old, be next to nothing but difficult, nearest ever to disadvantaged. No matter the person holding the pen, and regardless of time period contextually holding (and covertly maneuvering) that woman or man’s hand in question doing the writing. Discussing it all by way of direct and indirect storytelling. Core-out yourself. Scrape out of. (I’m goin’ in. Don’t cover me.) After all that’s folded, taken-on and built-within. As if any at all a single necessary thing for survival of women, men. And what’s found out in the world as absolute either clashing with this or not. Personal truth whether respected or “got.” Find a thing and figure a way to incorporate, work in and allow or force to work with, inspired ultimately from below, above, or right here. Even told outright, “Do what you love.” Grasp actions or pastimes which can’t be done without, yet retain footing in what modern world your body’s been planted into this time around. You don’t even need to let anyone else know. That you know. That it’s a show. (Or it’s a chorus.) (Or its core. (Us.)) Or so tired of everything else and along with that the struggle to attain it, and a recurring return to at least one thing known for sure to be instinctual and authentic. (I’m goin’ on and on. I dare you to try and stop me.) One thing done and hacked-away at since time began (for them.) Go at and after and admittedly in all likelihood go too far with, and yet this as a part of it, a built-in type of consent. That such authentic fanaticism is proof of this being actually literally required and imperative to be labored towards for the rest of the time left of living. (And some might argue that there are ways to keep this up even when dead, either literally or simply have what was done be continuously reviewed, consistently viewed, looked at and either enjoyed or dismissed, (or outright hated and burned in large piles.) Maybe even to the point of this secondary life of creation, appreciation by others still-living or not to be the main goal or point towards which one should have aimed all living efforts.) And the currency all along has been that urgency. The validation all these years, the very fact of that inclination. Ineffable, authentic obsession. And the stigma of the refusal of everything felt to be intent on keeping that vibrancy from showing, going and flowing everywhere that it should despite the fact that it might be unpopular or misunderstood. (Or punishable by any shape of being shunned.) Transliterates, obliterates. And literally. Leaving you, loving everything. Or leveling you, to literally nothing. Out of which compulsion you may be forced to perform. With pen, pencil, create form. Get on with what’s in your mind though only allowed out at certain times, and too-often/not enough. Push to the conclusion which is more often than not fruitless. But also faultless. (You follow?) Trying to describe by words things that can’t be described by words, and with the silly and sacred tool of
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language. The uphill battle as much with this mind as the exterior world in all its rude and polite forms. Or writing what’s sung. (Or unsung, yet to be begun. Started in the mind and stranded on the tongue.) The plain that is, alone and unadorned, more important in its unassuming perfection than all effort of experts to attain so honest a resonance, so holy a relevance. The flow of concern that may not effect, raise or hold an appeal, or please anyone else besides the fool or fanatic finding it fascinating enough to stand and stare at it in the “real” world, then sit and stare at it later “on paper.” (And the musician of words, odd individuals who’d ever even want to think about and then describe such common things so exhaustingly, and should probably somehow be stopped.) This deconstruction. Making avenues where otherwise they don’t exist or if any do, they’re obstructed anyway by all whatever one goes through, becomes influenced by, or gets distracted with and falls-off of what they originally set out to do. (Or else that’s what’s supposed to happen. Work with what you’re given to work with and be an adult about it. No idea. Here’s all this, though, either way.) Symbolism-ism schism. (Like a K being just a halved X with the cut mark still visible.) Or what double-sentences get going. Acrostics across or just covert message in content. (Or personal section for particular person.) Two ideas in one, or else one or a few stretched to fit over periods of time, and in this not-secret secret manner. Or just little-boy’s joy and almost silly game, even when talking over a serious matter (which is always.) What matters more sometimes such delivery, or that hidden within is the true intent, the message you’re intended to receive. However temporarily or initially concealed and seemingly unconnected with the “story”. And that can be used to get across another or complimentary idea, as the added shade of instruments such as violins with sympathetic strings. Vibrate along-with, or in this case more even be able to say a totally non-resonant thing, and in that way exist as non-harmony, discord, or not as anything, but still in a strange and fitting manner be just as much a part. (“Blue note”.) Juxtaposition as with much of why some do things, choose certain people and places to hint at, graph-out almost in a clinical way the blueprint of what’s to occur or happen in the constructed situation or conditions. (Usually nothing, admittedly.) That much can be said by not saying it at all. Narration and slipped little parts, typically nothing more. How to make things a little less obvious but see-able all the same. (This hurts itself singularly, hunting until rejected totally, so intensely, total secret enemy, lover, friend. etc.) Or number stuff. Pages or lines or letters to a sentence. And see who picks up on it. (Usually nobody, actually.) Or like this where what was headed-towards was: that ideas or schools of thought, disciplines sympathetic with or wanted-to-be-known as where one stands, can be referenced, again, by jargon dropped here and there or even outright plot, naturally (in this case mostly no plot ever.) But with this method again a coded manner of saying what’s to be said without an outright speaking to it. And maybe this is what better writers are able to do or are even reading this and being like “Who cares, dude”. Although this isn’t a required text for the class so leave it in the store if you like. Veiled but not enough to be really hid. And if intended for that anyway, they wouldn’t then even be this visible, and just for all purposes not exist. So it says something, and you’re even aware (because you’re alerted) that something is amiss, some aspect is off, and that there might be another thing at play here. Or composers spelling out messages in chosen notes or chords. Using what you need to of course to be the vehicle, without which one wouldn’t have the joke. As; He “wrote out the names of his killers/a short letter to his loved ones –in his own blood as he- was dying trapped in
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the cellar/knew they’d come to his cell soon anyway and take him to the executioner.” Or just rocks piled upon each other or depressions carved into the sand on a beach, saying: HEY. HELP. (Hey.) (Help.) Or this argument against, and in the form of what’s done here, the believed need for an aesthetic distance. The point of reaching into as soon as a first sentence is taken in, and allowing another thing to happen other than mere half-in, half-out, uncommitted “I’m reading a story right now”. The feeling in some of consistently reminding the participant that he or she’s doing something other than exactly being taken to a place or idea of the author’s creation, their at least hopeful notion and urgent effort to convey a thing, or a number of things. And in this not ever wholly the entire point, but more a simple act of their part, too, or raw and authentic relationship with what’s being put down. An emotional response on at least that side of what’s being made, being felt by him or her even as it’s being written, and (so goes the hope...) that this cuts through preconceptions of any sort, particular environmental situations of all manner, (goes the hope, so...), or any hiccups or blatant mistakes in language or misuse which might otherwise shock the reader back into realizing (the lie) that they're after all merely and only viewing printed words upon blank and flattened paper. (And in their own, familiar body, to boot.) Or the difference between starting a book “I can close my eyes and picture you,”, and then going in. Instead, just going in. One’s asking permission, and the other’s just already stacking up the pages. And that the guy who made it ain’t a girl. And that the girl who wrote it isn’t a man. And that they, or any other poor or wealthy soul hailing from any dissimilar soil, might have the thing one requires for at least a moment in borrowed time of theirs, towards getting across a minute’s worth of meaningful (usually mainly internal) monologue, remembered or commiserative misery or joy. Or a simple and effective respite for reflection out of the non-fiction of each’s personal epic, that is their inherited and real and only. (Or also just like an insect which numbs before it even begins breaking the skin.) Reflection of the world seen. And the fear of forgetting anything or is it the feeling of wanting to control what occurred, manipulate or alter to suit. Or in this simple and small way, own a portion (or all) of it. Or own up to. Do right by, years later (where the actual adult would instead just try and deal with the actual person) (unless they’ve left us.) Release a thing by way of (not exactly) coming out and “saying”; “Here is what I did and here is why I did it.” Or at least; “Here’s a bit of it”. What really happened, to what you now think of it or thought it should have been, and wish it hadn’t or had. Or to eulogize, do something with the memory of other than speak over it to others who knew them. Items of activity which can only help so much. Effort however futile or unappreciated or even seen, (much less read), by those who it’s supposedly for. (And again, some without any longer the ability to, which is to say nothing of the desire.) And this can as well be naturally applied to time, place, a group of people and not just one in that time, in that particular, specific space. For whatever duration all or some were there, and then lost, maybe never seen again. Or to say to such, the place, the people, “Here, despite the lack of you asking for it or for any contact with me besides, is what I feel, about what we were.” (Or could have been.)

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This ultimate of obsessive extras-tape, indulgent reel of a secondary effort this has turned into. Uninvited etcetera-ing. (Or is it that the original book is the actual second.) Mistakes and embarrassing outtakes, anyway, very possibly. Continuation in a way as well, of the “title track”. A companion volume and so much more personal in ways though of course in as well even more obscured essence. Hiding what got hid the initial time. Or played part laid out from earlier and when arguably it should have stopped itself short, if even justified to have begun in the first place. (But you can’t kick a dead horse if it keeps moving every time you bring your foot back.) (You also can’t shut a bad writer up if he has access to a print on demand service and a computer.) Or “behind the scenes” (of something no one probably wants to witness the finished product of after the one time, if that hypothetical interaction ever all the way through, anyway.) That the things occurring in here as additional, connected-related stories, are truly untitled, in a way that “untitled” stories could never be. (Or they’ve their own “entitlement”. And so are again, hardly asking permission.) Or this writing being a continual proof that a certain person just never can tell when “the party’s over.” Overstaying a welcome in this whole thing. And anything. Over(and under)stating a position and also lack of one. (Although the flyer did say 9pm to ?) Admittedly long-winded yet merely clearing of the throat that all this is, anyway. Parting of the theater’s curtains (possibly to a permanently blank and empty stage.) Hardly what can be called the work of adult years, if the body were to be gone tomorrow and another had to look back on all of this mess, and assess. Mega-meta. In and in and in. #1 in a zero-part miniseries. #0 in an endless saga of nothing (and everything.) (Infinitely) infantile and (maybe) mature attempt to leave the body by creation of art and which would represent a man or woman without rotting. Much. (And all these V’s probably to be rewritten anyway when that little boy’s a grown up.) So the colors of that, sub-sub-plot. (-Reader.) That you can color writing this way. Not parallel line to the story but semantics and phonology which lends itself often to an entire new one, (that maybe should supplant the first.) This is music with vocals that are un-amplified. Singing under the sound of other loud instruments, with variations on how much the actual words, much less meaning, can be heard. (And what language they’re even being sung in.) That there can be so many ways of tempering the steel of, changing the hues, working the workings of a book or play or anything at all other than by way, (btw), of the tools of that trade. Maybe framing of a painting. So then this here is “painting on the frame.” Continuing around the corner and the back whole side’s surface to be covered and facing the wall. Or depth of what pigments comprise it (often w/out compromise.) Or dance with a certain and changing look on one’s face, stiffness to legs and arms, sound of heavy or light footfall on the floor of where you gracefully or not move your body around to music, or no music (or nothing close to moving but all the same “in it”, even though motionless and staring just in front of you.) As in but different than the after-effect or endless way any work of art can effect you so many days or decades later in your life. That you can realize not only maybe what the person actually meant by the thing, but take in a deeper meaning to it and against events of your own life having happened since your first and only encounter with it. And so a secret significance, or until you talk about it. In that you are the only one who knows, all of you, anyone who took in or witnessed a thing, saw a film as if a happened event like a sunset, sunrise, or turning to the side to see a loved one awakening as the sun outside the small room rises. Or them simply there, looking right back at you, and as the light outside the home slowly falls away. Then the backdrop of
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later years and inevitable events and not giving any insight or having effect on the hand of the mind who might have hammered together what scene in a film or the whole thing which for some reason effected another, later and ongoing, but not any more or maybe never so much to begin with that person who actually formed it. Things can just as easily be very unintended or even unknown to who said it, or who wrote what another said on stage or on film. So this is another shade, this is an additional of maybe even more shapes and types of effect. Reverberating chorus, single voice calling out, or all quiet. Get from a certain day’s events, from that sunset, out of that early morning glow on a partner’s face. You see later, what it was saying or what color it was, what it might have been cueing you to do. Think about its meaning as you’re able. And what was said when it “spoke” to you. Regardless of how sad it might make you. Or that you realize is the source of all the sadness you’ve been feeling since then and hadn’t known how to handle. But how at least it can be named, and which might help (but usually doesn’t.) In juxtaposition, not unlike a variety of bomb, in what can be added-into the recipe, like nails or shards of glass. (Or emotions and associations, voices and faces out of the past.) And certainly placement of it. (Who we fall for, what happens in front of us in our current life.) Where it goes and because of that, who it tears into. An optional metaphor, the not dissimilar to a kindness done to you by another, (and again, its particular placement.) Or what a whole life (or cruelty of concern, awfulness of affection) meant. The deepening understanding of who a person was. Even someone you never knew and only do by what’s been heard or seen, or however you’re aware of them. Even good friends you years-later learn, in any of the many ways you might, were really strangers. The effortlessness sometimes of seeing a person for who they are. And which is always a mixture of things, actions and speech, events and occurrences, reactions to the words of others, their responses to the world (that was) around them (and that they were in until they left.) What they must have been going through and feeling and never really mentioned to you or anyone, or did they. The writing itself not just a critique of something or even critical of an original work or works, but that in general what’s even initially written was an impressionistic criticism of the world. So these readers are maybe an even more straight ahead appraisal. A reversal of things, there. A flipped-back over onto itself view at the work that to begin with is its own different, separate said “reaction”. (Or writing, and any art, is translating the world around you. World-to-English or whichever (or numerous.) And of course different for wherever you were brought in. So post-contact cultural records, always and anyway. All things that language and (adolescent-then-)adult(s) “thought”, and think. And that some take to talking about it. Some might decide to even write about it. But it’s nothing to do, with what we knew. (And creativity the way back to that wisdom?)) There’s the individual, getting what they see of the world, and past that is the actual. Or the map here of mind, to what’s written, and beyond that is the real. (Or is it? –debatable.) Then these considerations, a volume of considering. Which is (for argument’s sake) “another’s” view of what “this person” has decided was important enough to sit down and spend her or his time and energy doing and creating. (Or at least trying to do, attempting to create.) For the good it’s brought them or might to anyone who’d ever read it, and so it’s a more, possibly honest look at what’s been done. (Tried-for directness. Endeavored-towards comprehensiveness.) What made it from thought process to paper. What made them do it, or believe they were able. (And ad nauseam about what it’s done to them.)
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(Someday also a third level where another Reader (or named something else) takes even this, and references it against its original. This evidence or extra-intention or what was left unsaid for whichever reason or none, and now can be gone-over and discussed and even realized in another form or manner of speech, way of talking about, description or denouncement (or prescription for pronouncement), about who and about when and about where. Certain things and certain people some of which have been imagined some of whom can be called by name and expected to answer in a living, human voice (and some, that for a different reason, can answer at all, when we call.) Cerebral conversations within, and almost with, itself. Literally a thing given life and starting to move on its own, there on the shelf where you think only uninanimate objects are. (Everything made of atoms in constant motion to begin with. Characters in a book, possibly the same.) And then what that person thinks of or experiences out of having all that in their hands, bought or given or found or borrowed. Stolen. Staring into the exhausting efforts of this individual, friend or stranger. (Insane, forgotten, or celebrated.) And an impression there or feeling gained and opinion whether general or over all or concisely specific. (Also in general it should be said that there’s nothing wrong to begin with in writing such sentimental sentences. Anyone who disagrees with that can go look at something else.) (At the bottom of a lake.) (And neither is there harm in creating such nostalgic reiteration, romantic ramblings. Those with contrasting views can go jump off a cliff.) (Chased over the edge by a long stake.) The fascination of the person in question with the writing tool either way, as instinctive as day. Iconoclassical. (Regardless the questionable personality which results.) This primitive creature intrigued by the fact at all of being able to do this incredible thing. Excuse to explore a format further. Meaningless or meaningful but in the main an animal male or female, engaged in an act they’ve found which simply and sincerely, gives to them endlessly. Moves them at least personally, and more than most anything else can or does, or could, or has yet. The opportunity to sit and make thoughts more permanent, make sure the world or how it’s seen, is put down. (Whether or not the world ever sees it.) Or else events cobbled together, real and not real, and to know for certain that what’s done will be there when another day here is met. (And as well eventually when said days continue, but he or she does not.) The chance to enjoy the mere and profound speech within the speaking. To have someone hear without having to deal with anyone hearing (and then giving their opinion.) The simple sight of what’s been thought of and to go through it, (line by line), if concerned enough, try and make the words and sentences look and feel and sound as nice or cruel as they’re able. One real power in a world of much powerlessness. One reliably free act in a life of so much else. This which can and has always for some, seemed more than merely priceless. (And pretty much just as accessible when they’re penniless.) Similar yet dissimilar, the impossibility to reach the end of a Volume, and to physically flip it over, read the upside-down text over again, and not only understand but enjoy it and as an entire and new book. Or else come to the middle of that complete one, and be able to experience it as an entire palindrome (or at the end, a semordnilap.) To continue reading, word for word in reverse order, and that it continues the same long tale (or begins a different.) (Or with what information you’ve now learned in the first reading, a changed book enough to make it an almost entire other.) And in any language (or none.) This language or another. (And certain “authors” here well aware of the fact that they’ll have to be the ones to do any such future translating.)

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Or that river banks are the covers and first few pages of a book. The gradual but certain descent, and you never know either how deep it will go, nor to what depth exactly you yourself will be taken (or have the capacity to feel in the first place, and so to be able to go as far as the book is capable of and trying to take who it can, despite the probable flaws.) (Or maybe drown, kill with wildlife native to such water. Or else make a walkable path to another, needing-to-be-reached side. Geographic considerations or again, even language notwithstanding.) Or that once you’ve got something down or even when you’re going at it and making it happen right there, the black of the text or the grey of the handwriting can actually, even for a moment, (or is it only in the memory of it), take on a different color. The words and letters anyway representing a certain shape other than their own, even when isolated and looked at the same as a musical note. (Pencils are hexagonal. This writing is Crane-oganal.) (It's also instrumental post-rock.) Maybe unavoidable and not spectacular. But when taking in whole sentences that seem to shimmer with similar capabilities and characteristics, just happening right there and undeniable as much as the aforementioned, it’s an interesting thing and maybe more of a signal of the relation between simple words and the energy they give off. And the mixture of many of them. Or is it merely emotional reaction. Is it mainly a mind-only action. And the reason why you “chose” those particular “words” to begin with, and towards explaining what you were thinking about or feel in general, and trying to speak (or sing) to others about. Being obsessed (and bothered) with (and by) words in the first place, far beyond the use of them to merely purchase services such as food or life-needs and wants. Becoming semi-justifiably driven and compulsive in particular concerning use, spoken or especially spread-out in special, written forms. How to explain even this seemingly harmless activity and effect on others or the self of he or she “writing” it. (And the book that that is and which of course could never be written.) Such common tinkering with colors of the language, toying in seriousness with tone. A taken stance against or for, to lose or win. And take pen to hand or brush to act, breathe deep and begin. Describe in uncommon tone the ideology, tome-by-tome. (And one copy of many, if you decide to burn or destroy it.) Heretical the general that can be incredible. The plain that is, alone and unadorned, more important in its unassuming perfection than all the effort of experts to attain so honest a resonance, so holy or human a relevance. And affection or attention for, to, this. This, too, flow of concern that may not effect, raise or hold an appeal, or please anyone else besides the fool or fanatic finding it fascinating enough to stand and stare at it in the “real” world, then sit and stare at it later or right then, “on paper.” Or moments within a book’s covers and which are true moments, as you might say they would not be because they either aren’t “occurring” in life or else in that closest approximation of it, television or movie or another variation of screen. And yet they can be rightly and appropriately labeled as happened, because by being consumed or gone over or gone into by whatever reader. Even if hating it and never finishing this thing they couldn’t stand from the moment they picked it up, it still was going on synonymously with whatever essence is undeniably in that living and breathing (and bored or elated, angry or satisfied) viewer or reader. Latching onto that life it’s allowed to be near, and clinging to the link of opened book to watching eyes. And then the mind behind that. And then the heart beneath this. And then later it’s folded into the memory of the day. (And being so impressed as a child by the idea of filling an entire blank sheet of writing paper fully with sentences and words out of the mind and towards what end it didn’t matter. The thing of simply making it happen and of one’s own doing without
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context, (the text.) Just simply to sit and never so much take note, take names, as really, magically conjure into being a filled, full, completed page of ideas or observations or maybe even something else entirely that couldn’t even be thought of or named yet at that age. That somewhere, maybe even in the next house on the block, were adults who could do this. Somewhere in the vicinity of all that was known so far, this might actually be occurring. That one could sit, for whatever duration of time, and take up those moments with this curious and noble action. Such simple tools, and nothing but ideas to fuel them. What quiet movements and nothing but their own will to keep at it. I remember thinking, If I could do that. If I could do that.) The idea of not quite fiction and not quite non-fiction, either. That there’s a place that’s either, or more distant; deep, far fiction. Or just a real thing, where one’s taken a story, an example is a person “talking” about his daughter, when truthfully in the outside world, he has none. So then that would be common and acceptable “makebelieve”, but take this another level (up or down) (or over) (and also highlight how silly in a way to play the game of making something up that everyone knows is fake, then call it fiction) by actually dedicating the story to that non-daughter, non-son or whoever. Play with lines of things (both meanings), force grey areas that another might not even think about (or honor) being there. Changing the rules while obeying the rules probably more than a lot of people who are interested in changing the rules. “Truth.” “Real.” Or Literal Literature. (Alternately, maybe to most, just “Litter”, and literally.) (If so, though, please leave it on a bus or a park bench, in lieu of a recycling bin.) Critical Theorizing which does imply creating in a way your own definition. With a known, tongue-in-cheekness that can’t possibly be the same for everyone. (A personal Keepin’ it real. Keepin’ in colloquireal.) At once breaking through a barrier of one’s own culture, also simple binary, survival-tool of consciousness, but then sifting it through (at the least spitting it back out in literary and speaking fashion) one’s own past and priorities (which, in turn, are again immeasurably influenced by that world and culture.) So that whatever gets done, is of course sifted through you. (And these bodies we’re fckn’ stck in.) Lit-Crit. Consciousness-Crit. A person and how they see things and which can only mean so much and maybe that’s where the use of actual writing talent comes in, to make a story worth anyone’s while. Same as saying, “Why would I want to read a story about some kid in Russia in the 30’s / why would an adult in Russia want to read a story about a kid in Fresno in the 80’s?” The pass and reason maybe being appreciation of craft or if not that then being able to see themselves in what’s written about someone very different than them, and if not that then maybe just either appreciation or dismay, (both strong emotions), at someone near (or far away) gone to such great lengths with their strange, personal and maybe even incomprehensible vision. But at least they did it. It may not make any sense, but at least they’re going overboard with it. And clearly aren’t stopping or slowing any time soon. (And that none of this anyway is the words being said or the form being used, it’s what’s tried to be got across. And it’s a nice thought that some of this could happen if even a person couldn’t read the language being used to do all this. (Also for them to be able to leap over the high wall of cynicism, anger, etc. The admittedly bad attitude. The baditude. Worse than that lack of writing skill, or is it.)) Doing a similar thing in bridging the gap between one’s own mind and the way a thing is seen, against the rest of the world. Dealing with crossing boundaries, but also geography of hopes and dreams into the rest of the planet’s visions and schemes, notion and interpretation of what you just did, your particular narrative, and maybe given to
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them while sort of just standing back to see what effect it has. A defense in a way of being detached and not caring too much about what others decide because of course they won’t understand everything, how could they. And nor should they. But there should be at least the effort given to make it moderately pleasurable reading. (Here and there.) (I guess.) And if it’s disciplined and you can explain it to someone point by point, defend its dialogue or any aspect of form, it’s probably more or less fine (I hope.) Even if someone after having it explained to them still doesn’t come close to liking what you’ve said (or written), or the style you’ve gone about doing it in. (And is kind of like the difference between “opening up” as regards your feelings, and “opening fire” on a crowd of innocents.) (And how that makes you feel.) How a person can or could conceivably, be speaking with using parenthesis or capitalizing certain words, naturally without writing them down. Which would be what was meant by “spoken”. The ability to mix mediums of simple necessary aspects of living. Or call into question the rudimentary (yet some of all we have) methods of communication. The titles themselves being arbitrary almost, and standing as metaphor for what the stories are; cut-off areas of energy in a larger, moving whole. Something there and simply dipped-into, a section diverted for a moment. And in a way this too being justification for a lack of beginning, middle, end. There can be no such things in that flow of memory or remembrance or current-to-future dreaming or what-have-you way of sensing things and the not-even-thinking that goes into or rather is taken from, the “writing”. Transcribing. Catching for a moment, a moment. And hoping it doesn’t get lost before the pencil starts to scratch the paper. And that this form anyway is possibly one of the most reclusive and hidden types of art (as well as there being a neat and actually beneficial ceiling on possible damaging/helpful attention or otherwise), but at the same time lays bare every aspect of the artist or many of them anyway, and as possibly no other can. Implying by the simple “choice” of it to be used, that the person at the center of it very much wants to be hidden, and yet also wants to be seen, in a way, to a very extreme degree. The entire apparatus of the form giving both these contrasting things simultaneously to what number large or very small, who are reading or even considering it, or just giving and taking. “I don’t want your opinion or help / I want your opinion and help.” (Which maybe explains the self-medicating seen with so many of this type. “I’m hiding in my art" / “I’m pretty much totally naked by way of my art.”) Or that so much is communicated by things we daily pass, and in favor of others more immediately stimulating but no less important, ignored by way of walking and watching only other people, seeing only other’s exterior effects. Staring solely at what in general passes for the components of this life. And that what you choose to comment on says more about you than you know or might want to have known. Not cryptic, maybe quick. Confident in simple complexity or speech about a thing from an angle and not head-on and which is to begin with what poetry is, anyway. Or in contrast a nod to longevity, the enjoyment for lengthy periods of time or for many decades to come at the sacrifice of (arguably) immediate comprehension. Hopefully not to the point of wholesale disorder, but much of it leaning towards a density not so much as merely a thing which is substantial, and weighs much and is difficult, to move, to be moved by. An example of expression, a statement that can be taken from again and again and linked with other aspects of the whole to gather even further understanding of what was meant. (Or attempted to be said, anyway.) Maybe even especially for the person at the creative core, and that it’s now gone on to become even a small source of enjoyment or message to the she or he who actually made it, as years go by and it’s
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processed in that mind whether at the time being read over and over or not. Even if you do it and never look at it again. And as well to possibly take on a life of its own and be taken by others from film, to book, from book to film (which would be rad.) From one art form to another. Or collaboration between two or more towards whatever ends, or towards success or failure, whichever. Fellowship. Intelligentsia. (Halfwaysintellijensenia.) The magnificent, magnified manuscript of messed-up motives. (Have mercy on me.) Or reason such as learning about the world or what you think of it by going through thoughts more or less systematically and chronicling, spinning it into separate statements such as essay, story, novel, or speech (and this hinging on whether or not you keep any of this to yourself, or speak.) (And regardless of objective literature as a whole which just sits there, smirking and kind of shaking its head. “Go ahead and get your fill, Philistine. Do what you will, you silly man.”) The way one could, if so inclined, hide bits or drops of their own human blood onto the canvas in front of them, or else mix it with the paint or otherwise secret it into the process or even visible in the final project as mere shade of red but yet still a covert aspect, and in ways more an actual (or else less) of what’s truly being articulated. Even the point of art or meaning for picture, purpose of painting, and an actual fusing of physicality of artist with limb of body of work. (Though materials of certain arts make this impossible.) (For instance in my clothing line: FOREVER 36.) Or the way a person might, same artist or different, carve their own name or else short (or lengthy) message to another painter, stranger (unmet yet out there somewhere) (even those still a stranger when right there next to you) and in the actual formatting of the accumulation of paint. Within the recesses and three-dimensional canyons created by the piling on of layer after layer. Thickened areas of a shallowingout, and to create a space not so much between as mere less-raised pile of colors and pigments. And to, if held, canvas in the hands and if able and having access. Or else to move one’s body itself and lean over, lay down or else maneuver to the side, see the differences in light and what’s formed if given patience to the task, in said (unspoken) deviations from the average of other areas of the painting, large or small. Finger-painted as a child would, message of love to a parent or classmate, even, with a higher reasoning attached here (one would hope) and as well the leap of thought (either brilliant or ignorant), to more or less hide it. To make it perfectly not-clear to the common and casual onlooker. And only when you look a little closer does something appear. Or humorously, 80’s heavy metal back masking, hidden voice of the devil or a demon, whether real or a rumor or fabricated publicity hoax. Poet’s slip of letters into particular place, realized or not. And which can say an entire other thing (even posthumously), or else reiterate with different method the point worked to get across all hundreds of pages along. And in a mere one or two sentences, no less. Sarcastic or sincere acrostics. (Arguably the few that should have been just gone-ahead and set down and left well enough alone, notwithstanding all the other trivial millions.) Explaining as well that dark and light stories harmonize one another. The true idea of nothing existing in peace without a balance and acknowledgement and exploration of its polar opposite and disparate energies. All of us have a shadow. Lightless and luminous subject matter or choice of ideas to dwell on and explore to the degree available. Or balance with violence. Obedience to appropriate juxtapositions. (All I really do here is collage.) And argument for form amid endless statements against such things as meaningless as rules, readability, (form.) That within a certain
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format, a classical, constrained and solid basic template, more can be done than with freedom of motion bordering on foregoing even sense, not to mention structure. (“Stream Of Consciousness”, which this is not.) (Although it's definitely S.O.L.) That balancing act a person either appreciates or doesn’t. And true that expression can even be longing stares to the sunlight stretched along silent floors of home or abandoned parking lot, a thing essentially without form. Just you watching it. Just it watching you. Or else the high or low arts of all accepted and thus labeled creations from composers, any creatives at all. (Often things intelligible and meant for only one other person to really receive, anyway.) Or even skill of scalpel to root out rot (or out-root the other side’s screams, out-do the other team’s means.) And makes them reasonably readable. All this is synonymous and when turning to the written word, does make certain things such as aforementioned adherence to standards seem what they likely even are; hindering, downright detrimental to a human getting out and getting done what they need to get out and get done. So that blameless pact a person either reconciliates with or cannot. (Or refuses.) (Or abuses.) (Or tries to mess with in just the right way.) (Reach the hand just this far into the crocodile's open jaws.) But another thing is the joy of difficulty in mastering a manner of what art seems most appropriate. Working within its limitations to get more out and across than if given complete license to, in all seriousness (and senses), “color outside the lines”. Draw outside the (awfully dreary) diagram, of what a chosen medium demands and requires and is limited in producing. With acknowledgement to the arbitrary aspects of perfection, an easy respect for the overriding urgency of cathartic creation, and a still dominant and admittedly personal passion for/strictness with/flaunting of/relationship with, rules. (More or less non-experimental, really. Despite being labeled as such.) (Also, Andrew Wyeth called himself an abstract painter. So there.) Keeping all original papers or every ton of scraps of whatever for a second chance to get things right (and probably still fail.) And the wonderful secret joy of leaving older pieces, stacks and boxes of all manner of notebooks, things not looked at for years, and the somewhat something like a geological term having to do with age (that’d go nice here if I knew any), in which they go back, in time. And proof of the handwriting, changed as well in small or large ways, that perhaps only the writer would see (and for sure care about.) And that of course some, maybe as recent as only a year or so, also just a sentence or an idea, or a sentence of not writing but a reminder, “Hey that day you stood on the corner of whatever, right here, and that person walked by who looked like (someone) and the sun was in their face and (right now) you (whoever you are) got this smell from a restaurant and it was the memory of a diner from (wherever) you worked in (a state) you no longer live, (and in a “state” you no longer live), so remember to talk about the seconds of being in the early morning and watching people go by in the haze of those days and these, the trials of those times (do it please.) Natural ritual. Spiritual and actual. Or as a music that reminds you of someone or something, somewhere, time period or era, night, week or day spent on certain streets, certain corners, certain countries and however many spaces of time and place away from it (and them) you are now (even if you live in the same city.) Leave a store when a song comes on and realize you’re about to cry openly in public and are just as shocked about it as anyone but you shouldn’t be because it happens all the time. That there is music that could do that also. Or is it you yourself which hold within what’s waiting to occur, if and when things align such as space in time, music
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reaching the mind, no one around to ask you why you’ve stopped (or started) talking (to yourself.) (Or to the notepad.) (And begun adding to what will eventually fill more of those boxes in the closet or the storage space.) (And eventually a landfill.) Or worse (or is it better), you begin to seek that out. Have been doing it for years. In a way, since childhood. Become an addict of these certain things and can’t and wouldn’t stop the searching, for the world on a platter. (Because in a probably unhealthy way, that is the world on a platter.) And much more than mere, harmless “enjoyment”: “this is the music/these are groups and genres of such I enjoy”, into a whole separate realm of call it memory, call it landscape of waiting material. Call it healthy or otherwise and only one single person alive or dead right now or at any other time even has a clue just how far you have allowed yourself to go in that direction. How far gone you are while seemingly “holding it together”, bare minimum of “reining it in” you miraculously pull off daily. And just how improbable it is that you’ll ever come back out of it or would even be interested to. Or anywhere such resonance is seen, unintentional even to begin with. Just an open-eyed creature going through the years and happening on some things more important than others. And if lucky, what work certain people have done in service of their own particular way of naturally and effortlessly seeing. A Claude Monet surface of water or field of flowers, a Robert Frank American, Sally Mann southern landscape, or a John Singer Sargent paper lantern or children surrounded by lilies. Paint and light and textiles, print and power and of all schools and styles. And wood used as for its cinder in murals, cigarettes used for their ashes in a prison tattoo, material out of wherever it’s found and (sometimes) of necessity a slowly narrowing-down of the range of them, towards one or two that get the ink sticking best in the skin of this world of possible expression (and escape.) Also simply that the slowness of language can suit one’s temperament and what-all, in complexities and license and also limitations. (Which is why it’s focused on so much here. You’re like “Duh.”) That it forces one to slow down and take so many considerations in every second. One of many arts in which you can get at it and be silent at the same time. (You can actually "Live out Loud" pretty quietly. It doesn't necessarily mean you've got your mouth shut.) And that such maybe quiant subtleties of it might suit someone and, like the ability to tap into endless sources of memory, feelings for person, place, or time period, might save them. And so the eternal question of why give up the connection with that potential, even when it ends up alienating you from the actual people you fit into the pages. Or the typewriter and the page it slowly moves up by way of you doing so, line by line and nudging it on with its small lever to the side, is the slow rising of a sun, again and again. Slow, imperceptible the way the passing of time for humans essentially is, the way that the mind loses itself in thought and as well just the same but different, loses or can’t see the advance of that time. The shape of the day swells and with it the possibility to do a great thing, do a bad thing, or dig into and create something either none of these or both of them. And the coded marks which accumulate at the insistence of your fingertips (however many you’re able to use, for instance two), is the slowly forming somehow shadow of your thoughts, or your actions in daylight, back-lit in some impossible way or simply the way you draw your actions, upon places, upon people. Good or bad. Every day you wake up and write. Whether or not you’re wrong, or right. (And even if it’s way past the middle of the night.) (Unacknowledged agenda even to myself of all of these miles of type and letters towards finally somehow impossibly being accepted or asked or brought-back
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into the fold and daily life and doings of that neighborhood and area of town, that nextto-the-end-of-everything section of California, and that not childhood and neither is it an adulthood and likewise immature, also grown, mature, fully alive and dead dream and somehow maybe reality of walking streets again, the same, seeing friends once more, all alive. Being there and being a part and participating literally in the larger metaphor of the insignificant and meaningful events of another local man’s life, another man’s youth’s locale. Simply trying to make sense of things as are maybe we all, of the world been given, moved from, never left behind. As he’s been doing since before he can even remember. (And now only half-expecting others to read any of it.) Or maybe just buying the house grown up in and finally going permanently wrong within its confines, covering the walls until the blessed end with pencil-lines and fingerprints and endless uneducated poetry. Safe back home. Dead-on slaughter of where this silly seriousness has been moving all these years, anyway. Or these endless rows of shelves-full of crafted sentences only ever one pointlessly long search for understanding (in both senses of that word), and in a bunch of other corners of this world.) Or that this, more than anything, is arguing the side of making distinctions between manner of artistry or engagement’s varieties (whether unmannered or elegant), sources or causes or reasons other than, if there are any, for putting what you do and have done and will do out there. Here always the healing, even when it’s angry. Still the goal of something to cover-over as much as it can, even when it’s rushed, whatever else there is and which is typically, (at least for some), maybe the main thing. The uncertainty, the feeling of uneasiness. And the fear and the doubt and the sadness. Futilely therapeutic. Catheartattackic. (Happy madness.) But others can, and this does to a certain extent as well go on the direction of, for whatever reasons, antagonism or awareness-bringing or social relevance, focused or prioritizing such things as more than merely the human condition in terms of more-orless abstractly asking after the paradox of life and death. Pain in the modern, ancient, never-ending hell and heaven of daily life. Or how to live justly, methods of right operating, righteous action and who what when why where how in the world would one ever keep something like that up in the face of everything assailing and against it. If anything even and ever is aside from, always, ourselves. (And everything we love and hate to do. All the stuff we hate and love to get into.) If there’s even any real enemy anyway, besides our own mind. (Brace yourself before you erase yourself.) How all characters and events are composites of a hundred others besides the one named, or circumstances most directly referenced or called whatever it is the author chooses to call them. And the rightness of this. And the wrongness of this. How it’s exactly the way it should be and also simultaneously so laughably off. The disrespect and the respect. The honoring and dishonoring all together into one. And you talk about a person as if they’re dead or you talk about individuals you knew while alive as if they still are. And all of these things admissible, none of them acceptable. And there’s nothing else to do with what time you have left here before joining them. In the earth again where you too will become many people and no longer just one. The same, though, as in life, when and where, the entire time almost since birth, we’re so many dimensions and personalities back and forth, over and again, and have never a chance to rest from being one person or the next. From waking each day as a nobody, going to sleep each evening or late night as the most important person in the world. Just and

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unjust. Simply the plan and entire lack of one of a life that was, that is, and that starts again, when the sentences end. And in each actor or actress you can see, perhaps in consecutive or a procession of roles, parts played large or small, a certain personality and that is theirs, cannot be hidden by weight or cover of character, and gives the slightest (or more significant) glimpse or general idea of what they’d, whoever you choose, known well or a relative unknown, would be like if for instance you were to see them in line at such casual and common-to-all a place as a grocery store, and were to start up a conversation about a magazine cover or the weather. (With writing it’s of course an exhausting assault on the reader of both.) And how the movie is our naming of everything we can get our hands on to name, and the “real life” of things existing outside of that given title, our use or abuse of them and what they signify in other ways or to each other, to themselves, or the farbefore-us past or the far-beyond-us future. Class, family systems besides their own, and no real use for ours. (We think we’re in control of this and we maybe foolishly even have the classifications mixed-up.) And that hardly ever are names used, for one or many simple or complicated reasons or simply not even choice and then a mere twist of the act of creating. As much as can be disassociated from the body if even this is an honorable aim, but always to make the point less than humbly make sense. To not name, on the one hand, give no real identification as you might require in a police inquiry, walking down an avenue or else driving and stopped, questioned, or at a hospital and another admittable need and necessity. But on the other hand, this “anonymous” person or group of them, all with hardly a call to the other by given internalized answered-to title, at the same time described to excess, discussed-on to an extreme, and given in ways so much more than a mere last or first or middle name. “Titled” something much larger and more lasting than a simple collection of a few symbols in a short line, (is the point.) So in this, the one statement of possibly only a few, maybe endless, maybe not even one. For argument’s sake somewhere, maybe no reason whatsoever and just a dumb luck, stupid rut of decent non-decisions. Or else in argument, to contrast, the worst choice an artist could possibly make when attempting to put together anything that even vaguely resembles either a conventional “tale”, or else and simply, something that anyone in their right (or in their wrong) mind would want to look at. Ever. And in another turn, which certain authors being discussed here, regardless, do not agree with or predominantly endorse or aim their own dialogue (or lack of it) towards. The aspect, good or bad, of hardly any talking, soft or more audible, hardly any touching, austere or more sexual. Chaste reservation or puritanical leanings or just gutless and unevolved and undeveloped even into the mid-thirties of living. Or an easy to cite but probably not the real reason in terms of sensibility and an arrogant assumption on the sensibilities of those who might see and consider it. That usually there is a consistency with the things that a character does or the characteristics anyway of an entire story, itself, and that there might be a worry about a similar thread or pulse throughout, or worry over it seeming like it’s the same person, same tone or pressure. And that in a way, and maybe a bad way, on a certain level as it certainly can be, there will always be a certain amount of unavoidable, effortless (if that’s what you want) consistency of mood simply because of the common denominator of it being you the only one who’s creating what everyone inside the thing is saying. (Or like I said, not saying.) Meaning within meaning within meaning. (And which doesn’t really mean it means anything, man.)
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80’s and 90’s or earlier as a way to make the point of this being forever permanent as well as any other reason. To not involve the current period to the point where it’s risking an irrelevance to later generations (or earlier ones, still living.) Incredible when a thing is able to get read a hundred years from when put down and still have an impact, as you can look at what’s good of literature, or look at or otherwise take in the worthwhile examples of anything from whenever, hundreds, even, of years ago, and still get that same effect. In the way, as well, that you can look at natural actions nature of millions of years past and still see that raw and authentic and real beauty. It can still move you, level you, mean more than anything to you. And for some reason it always seems that too much of a modern reference or, (yuck), participation would sully an otherwise powerful and potentially lasting piece. (Immature and odd a distinction or attitude and curiously unwavering compulsion, but once a habit becomes a certain age it’s impossible to break from, even if a person wants to.) (And I don’t.) Or way of speaking of things from the tack of angled analogy and imagined, formed for this purpose or found out about by way of just giving it time to happen at all. As if it exists waiting to be checked in on, tapped into. A trap door out of a life you have to be a certain level of unstable to utilize. Have what’s necessary to be spoken of given voice by way of no mention of it whatsoever. And this with reasons of maybe access to others’ attention if it’s another person who they believe they’re reading about. Or else simply and more likely the fact of the act of it, the face of the craft can’t happen, sometimes, or all of the time, unless that mask is slipped over one’s face. Slide gloves onto hand to pick up a stranger’s pen. (Or cover fingerprints when doing a certain thing to another’s property.) And that some you couldn’t ponder on or talk about or even get near to, convincing in the end or not, not the point. A thing’s authentic or it isn’t, regardless of how it comes off to others. (To degrees.) (And anyway your name like all other evidence cops pick up on and which you forgot to get rid of, is on the cover of the book, moron.) How by that style of going, also attempted to bring home the point that small changes or fluctuations, placement of punctuation or of entire words, matter to the whole. And matter at all enough or in general to make a thing mean quite a bit. There needs to be an understanding of nuance, and which become lost in such garish and uncultivated examples as what’s seen everywhere now in lieu of art (even good even bad even any.) (Or brutality of advertising.) (Often those two mixed. Crap cocktail.) Which could go for anything, any form. (At any rate this is what the easy-effort is. What this one admittedly unsophisticated person likes, anyway. Regardless of if he even gets close to approximating this thing done well. (Or that this in large part a hint at what could be done, what good might be got at, what words written which might make the effort of the fool worth it. We’ll see (won’t we?.) Or we won’t see (will we?) He’ll have been alive and worked and then died, either way.) The intended point is a defense of such, and by way of forcing the spacing, getting across the speed slow or quick. Like language itself, when you speak or have speech spoken to you. That certain things should sound one way, and then also that much can be said by the simplest of such sentences, properly “spoken”.) (It’s not shorthand it’s not longhand. Might be lovehand. Might be hatehand.) Or what’s sharp and dull at the same time. (The sharpening of a pencil, after all, is really the readying of just another weapon.) The motions of a snake, relaxed and simply moving, evaluating what could at any moment be fangs moving so quick they’re impossible to see, slamming into you. Vibrato of sentences, (and their bravado, as well), in allowing them to “extend” more than others, and be more descriptive than is probably necessary. (Or styles of singing, religious or secular in which a word or final
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note is held and carried-out into many notes, much longer a time period than the mere saying of the word once, or even numerous times. A distance and license given to it that suddenly has no more holds on it of previous rational and restrictive use.) Simply a musician (or writer) feeling it out and not giving it much thought as it happens. Almost or certainly to a fault. (Or hearing a native Spanish speaker, talking in another language, the roll of the R is there, unintentional but they can’t (and shouldn’t) stop doing it. Even in another language which doesn’t so much or at all technically call for it. It’s just this thing happening. It’s how they were taught to speak. And how could there possibly be anything wrong with that?) Always these blank pages. Ever the evidence of thinking. Not out-loud, but a quiet speaking. Blank and bright, and then darkened. (With light.) Or repetitive motion of sound or sight. A pulse or pull none even near you know of. And negative or positive or forever both and either, neither, pushing and forcing and forgetting, remembering. Call back to mind or crawl up towards memory and realize, know by way of now, have from an angle at present, and use for what good the past can do the future. The difference in the act of listening, participation in hearing and engaging in what aspects of mind become involved, impulsively, without the effort of their owner. Indeed often against the wishes of said person, or anyone. And the use of a pulse or signal or wash of sound, repeated or only begun, never ended, unstopped and in ways unstoppable, for whatever good end (or good as defined by whomever.) The different and only possibly separate experiences at all, of sound. What occurs within and which, as so much, goes unseen save for expression on face, action of body. Or single or grand, limited or limitless large or small, body of work of whoever, ever, is either right in front of us onstage or a thousand miles away and linked by electronic, digital/analog, text/typed transcribed verbal audio or printed page. (And having the writing be on the pages and on the computer and available, is having the work be “in stereo.” Or/and is such also when others speak about it, liking or disliking, or else another person reads it out loud for whatever reason, mockingly or out of an appreciation.) By pencil and pen, primitive, professional or unprocessed by any means of this. Screamed right at a face, spoken just in front of a viewer, sunk down on their knees on the street in anything but acting. Playing at nothing but the actual play of living, and just the same as some of what’s listed above and in similar ways walked right past, treated as if it’s nothing but less than this. (And so this, in the same way, is maybe where Community comes in.) So why choose or do you choose, simply find. A fascination with language, with sentences written down. Aside from obviously the need or at any rate the expectation to maneuver one’s life by use of such, with employment of this. Or to write it down or become engaged in machine-printed text on standard blocks of paper is simply a side effect, a variation, a possibly unhealthy anomaly. Upright rectangle of written effort. Then electronic device to “finish”. But a way at first to shield oneself from certain things, to go away and into something else. And to access that and rely on that and sit on the roof of the childhood home or sit in the closet behind hanging clothes or cover the young body with a blanket on the top bunk bed (or wherever), and actually start to, over the course of years but once it started it’s never stopped, begin to have the gall and earned audacity to think the notion of creating those amazing outlets for a mind to wander in and be nourished by, instead of merely being the one always reading them. So a regard for as with any found medium, (f(r)iction writing, sho(r)t stories.) What suits the young (or older) individual who’s out for methods of expression, (or also
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of a place to hide.) A way to move through, move up from, work a way out of. And what the man/woman/child finds first, figures best. Or just likes a lot and always has. Regardless of (or maybe in ways because of, in small or large part effected by) society or parental influence which applaud more to ignore such pursuits, reward if at all to engage less or none with such”frivolous” pastimes. Ignoring themselves or unknowing, unable to understand first or second to appreciate or encourage, that some need different and certain indulgences and circumstances to simply, squarely, be what they are (or at least struggle their whole life towards ever seeing this, by way of that work they do. Its violently light peaks. Its unavoidably dark valleys.) That it’s needed and true and right, those dark and light, shivering happy wonderful, disappointing destructive deadly and what even enables, or is the art form itself. And this the arbitrary mystery as a person simply goes at what they feel is appropriate, and with support or not. With consistency or none. And with as much time is given and that they have to work it out and leave it for the rest of us to see while they still live and to then hopefully in whatever format see long after they’ve passed. Or simply that it’s a proper thing to do. Poorly, but purely (and that just barely.) And which others love, still others hate. A given inclination from an early age and as well a constant through the long and short years of a fiasco of an “adulthood”. Clear to be at least one thing. Obvious enough, at least this single direction, in a world otherwise filled with constant inconsistencies and confusion. (To worship the clear and doubtless actual, or wither in front of your favorite damnable fake. Witness: for hours. The unwitnessed minutes at what some would say idle hands perform for a certain fallen angel. The wasted time given to false visions and that one (virtually) can’t get back.) Or just the beauty of art and in particular of poetry, to be able or be expected by restraints of it (and also vast liberties), to go at things at a slant. The requirement and advantage and power in curtailing one’s descriptions. Or amplified colors within a contrastingly wrung-out manner. Just words. This simple voice, one person. These series of ideas, wonderful and plain. Personal and universal and potentially enough to change minds, charge into hearts. Churn emotional intensity and individual, community, nation (of even non-readers) alike. And this any art could do. All this, the potential many effected by the few. It’s just uncharted territory until it isn’t, and then the next page is right there, waiting for you. Respectfully persistent. Endless magic of putting the pencil down and allowing something to happen. This common joy that anyone could experience. And the sound of scratching but that is of course much more, and a clawing upon the grave of a person not yet dead and still apt to create something of beauty, if given time to finish. Or not giving up on completing, while still alive and able. (If taking or making time away from what keeps one from doing it.) Robbed grave. Reaching into one’s own not-yet-arrived-at or in a way earned spot in the grand territory of land below the surface of what living creatures all stand or in their way exist upon. And how beneath the surface of the planet the world takes on a three-dimensional aspect. In that flat land or even mountains or landscape beneath body of ocean or sea are yet still two-sided, to a degree, though under the membrane of wild water and cover of a porous planet, almost a line drawn to separate what’s up from what’s down, and that it takes on this compact aspect and mostly unseen physical being. That any attempt to flatten it out and study, as with topographic map projections, sphere to one solid surface, is immediately and forever impossible. A terrain which resists such standard categorization. As could be argued is the human mind. Skull of globe and just beneath ridged surface, sea and ocean of subterranean water deposits or lake
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surrounding, the multi-dimensional and only minutely understood (and mapped) human brain. And where exploration and conjecture within such an environment might land an adventurer or common visitor, intimately come to be known or simply seen in passing. Professional, pedestrian, personal or otherwise passion. (And that a person’s art is probably at least the start of such cartography.) ♦ Or of course the largest volume of all, that will simply be what was written, in all, and when by whatever method that ends up having been the one (or multiple, simultaneous or not) that did it, quick or slow, “in his or her sleep” or “first thing when he or she woke up like it was a job (or job interview) that they were late for.” It will round-off the literary (and life) (same thing) efforts of what he or she had done while alive. And one looking at it or reading all of it (or any, if anyone even reads a bit of it) will be the way to get a sense of what this work was and is, with that end note. A period put on the entire period. (And the body that produced it being lowered into that dense and endless, senseless ground.) And then too as further years occur, the light in which the work is judged by what eras of literature (and life) (same thing) occur and pass. How it’s viewed against what current creating there is (or maybe there’ll be none.) And how all and any past efforts of others are viewed as the years stretch away from them, by others, by you, as they must. Or things spoken, maybe even written down on what and in ways you thought strong and bold enough to exist or at least be read and felt, taken on and taken seriously, for years, for centuries. Even in your own lifetime sometimes, just gone. Poof. And how this is the “body of work” that no artist can of course entirely of their own life and work, ever see. (As internal organs, our own, carrying them around and yet never truly able to meet them or get a good look. Reach out and touch, go “Woah”.) The never really appreciated size of what they’ve even been doing as they do it, because the last thing that’s done always “finishes the project”. And almost as if, with the future, you wouldn’t see it if it had been finished.You can see it if it’s done. The book report is put in the folder you hand over to your instructor. They wouldn’t receive it if it weren’t completed. (Unless you’re a terrible student.) (Which I am.) They might have heard bits and pieces but they have no real sense of the rounded-off thing. Like varnish on a painting or even a stain on a desk made of plywood or something. Car without a layer of paint over it. You may have even driven around in the thing, but you have no real significant sense of what it looks like (or feels like to be seen in by others when they watch you drive past in it, looking as it should, and as you feel you look good to be watched as a part of and owning.) And no dealer would certainly have tried to move it off a lot in that shape, either. (Although the metaphor fails when you consider that anyone passed-on more than likely wouldn’t say “I finished.” It’d be hard for them to do or much less say “I got all things done I wanted to.” Things are imperfect and probably unavoidably flawed and filled with mistakes and repairs needed, no matter what the dealer said in his fast promises and insistency for you to sign.) So, to a degree, “Excuse the confusion.” “Pardon our mess.” This life and what he’s trying to do with it is, (OK here we go), a sentence on what’s called a website stating something like “We are currently undergoing construction.” And this not only by way of; Computer losing power supply / Life ending by way of whatever cause, but also of course; Complications of whatever type with employees of said “internet presence” and which

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hinder its smooth running / Mind and body slowly succumbing to inevitable aging and breaking down. So then, eventually dealt death, one ends the struggle to get across what they felt it was important, nay necessary to, while living. And we’re here to scoop it up and lay it out and maybe get a little bit into before we go on to the next thing. Or else never even find out about it at all. And people worthy of our attention, world-changing in their insights and inventions and dropping every day, warm on the floor and cold in the grave undiscovered. Or that they didn’t care about that anyway. Didn’t assume what they were doing would even have interested anyone besides themselves. Or they did a different incredible thing and you can only expect so much from one person, to be fair. (Or people’s novels that don’t exist but which I’m all set to read a million times and will likely never get the chance to. Chris Whitley, Blake Schwarzenbach, Carla Bozulich, etc.) And then just laying there in the ground. This orphan of your making moving around by way of canvases of owners and dealers, scrawled and scraped thoughts within the bound hides and paper of any printed thing. Weird permanent half-life of your weird, permanent hang-ups and obsessions. Or even that life’s-work of the mechanic for automobiles (or any other such arguably truly valuable artist), still being driven by the living and wherever in the world they want, with no way to help them out when they break down the next time. Trying anyway to draw something with words. (Handwriting being the ultimate “low-relief.”) Cliché but literally attempting to paint something that can be gone into again and again. Treating it as a thing that literally has the same qualities as painting, (kind of.) Or as such art in all its forms does, where it has only the one screen, the one chance, to get across it’s message. So needing to simultaneously pack in the depth of itself, and also not ignore its spare and light qualities. The obvious effort and yet a feeling of effortlessness. Like that thing just was going to become eventually a part of the world, even if the person who painted it had never been born. It has its action and also inaction. And with text, within sentences and the jungle of pages needs to be things that will ricochet in reader’s minds and make sense more and more (or less and less) as time goes by. Hidden sentences and all are one thing, but character’s character and meanings of chosen language, what’s meant by choice of setting, and what’s being said overall (by both of these) upon recurring experiences with it as a reader has a broader and broader view of what they’re looking at and hopefully recognizing. Consistencies that make up for the inconsistencies. (Or maybe even clueing the writer in on it. Where they themselves got it right as much as where they failed to really do anything.) (And which they should be able to handle someone telling them, interact with tact, dialogue with even the non-believer or uninterested, uninitiated, non-member of the choir.) The only real goal other than that being that the right people discover it, keep reading, the wrong people dismiss it, keep walking, and that the work finds a way to go on with the only obstacles being the mind, the body, and other potentially and in a way dependable and deadly natural disasters. So that that’s the fame. That’s success. Even if it’s in secret. Punish the same as push, the body, one’s ability. And barely. Breathe, button those ribs up and stretch out, draw them on in. Do the thing to have the chance to do the thing in the first and last place. Winner’s circle of having made it to another thirty minutes of not being gone just yet. Frightened (and frightening) others, who’d have it out for you if they ever found what you believe to be true of who they are, to you. Your
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bashful, brave and idiotic enemies. Boastful, who crave, and hypnotically incandescent struggle with shivering skin to draw and peg and fence you in. (Then eat you alive.) And that such creative endeavors as listed above are a form of insulation (also incidentally, of immolation.) (Your vulnerability is what's valuable. Vanity the true violence.) That if all else fails, (which it will), or if and when we go (which we will, and which is perhaps a case of everything failing at once, or in another way an absolute and final state of impossibly perfect health, permanent exact opposite of failure, unachievable by the living), we’ll have at least got a few things said. Or tried to. And of what we were (are), and thought (think), and saw (see.) ((see)saw and, (think)-thaw and, (our)
war we want offhand.)

Handwriting as a fingerprint. Or impression made in your art. Where, when you lived, your passion went. These dark brown and red depressions and the digit’s are removed and lifted up from the paper when the person standing there pressing it down can no longer stand there pressing it down. And then that clerk takes the form and files it into the drawer. (We call them graveyards.) Synaesthetic, effort of or point to it, the off-the-point-ness of defining the experience of a thing too definitely. Of making said aspect be only or expecting a certain one, standard (and standardized) reaction-to and appreciation-of and relationwith. The effect or a feeling. The sense of a thing and it’s remnants as you leave it. Or maybe let it stay in your pocket and exit what building you’ve been housed within and reading. Mind’s simple effort to appreciate or respond or react with all meta-awareness simultaneously and thought patterns, habitual by numerous means good and bad, associations with or opinion of, good art/bad art, “Oh I love this stuff”, “Oh I hate this crap”, and which sets up the way one interacts with not even the object but just oneself, standing there self-consciously or not either judging/approximating/likening-to-otherthings. Whether or not alone or with another. And further what that other dictates in the subtle ways that associates and accomplices can sway behavior or change an action into a stand-still, kill an enjoyment of and for nothing more than convention, manners, “How people should look at a thing”, “How much you’re allowed to freak out at beauty”, without coming out and ever saying “Well here’s how people should look at things”, “You’re allowed to comment but don’t squat down and put your hands to your face and wet your palms with scared and joyful tears.” Just simple maybe loss of innate ability to be struck, to be hit, to stand in awe and literally, out of love or out of hate or out of a thing without categorization or convenient and crass name in the first place, in it. Reacting. Something approaching with. And, with nature, who knows what that sky or body of desert, water or whatever, itself is thinking. Of us. Or, with human-crafted art, who knows what that artist wanted to get by way of rise or reverberating applause. But in both cases it more than likely behooves all involved to be operating on certain levels of sensitivity (more and more, it seems, difficult and less desirable or socially acceptable to be accessing consistently.) Freedom without the freedom without. With restraints on liberation to include still being included in what you ever take for granted, certainly love. Conditions of exclusion to exclude an ultimate escape. To keep with alignment of necessities of culture (that you endure with grace, sometimes laughter.) To keep at least most of what’s around you, while keeping a distance most would wonder at. A grudging willingness to stay. And at the same time, be far away. Or a psychic wellness. Psychotic What-the-Hellness. Simply to do what "strange" things you know you need to. Accomplish what at least you feel is most crucial in this living and this struggle and this ease-filled saga of a life. And that no one
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may understand or sympathize with in the first place and so why expect them to with one’s methods of obtaining that finished work of what it turns out to be, in the end. The trying to explain by description of a beautiful instance the act of it upon you, and what it makes you feel, remember, recall or merely envision, dream about right there on the spot with your eyes either closed or open. The mind either content, or hoping. Or different notes simply having the effect they have. You’re plainly not in control of that. Being classified or categorized as what they are known to have an effect as, in their field’s literature. Or process or progress of music, rise and fall or conditions of suspense or calm. The idea of that the artist uses this craft or anything, creation of an “imaginary” world to work out or otherwise use things from their life to help with things in life. Take from to work on. And so for hopefully others to have ties with as well and maybe gain from it. But also of course is part, the compulsion and healthy act of creating. Whoever-given ability or talent and the need to employ it for some either certain or else entirely uncertain end(game.) Unraveling as we go even as we knottogether as we go. Coming-undone as we grow even as we come-unglued and unhinged and go mad (no?) The idea that here in art a person can try to get across these conflicting/confusing ideas, or set out a crude world view as they even progress through life (and as it also changes along with them.) But even if all the art done is first even able to be made, fabricated or brought forth somehow, presented in a gallery, performed before dozens or hundreds or one or two or otherwise broadcast or recorded, there’s still the issue of anyone in that proposed age or country understanding what they’ve tried for or are aiming to accomplish. Further the maybe final aspect, that even if all this occurs, what do they expect the best possible outcome to be. That the world in which they’ve always been dubious to trust and unsure of to begin with will simply say Sure, I (We) get it, we (I) see now what your point is and has been, Here’s the means to keep doing what you clearly love doing. Nothing of this type is typically to be counted on, and for most might-shouldn’t be the goal besides. But even after the avalanche of sentences or strokes of brush or played and recorded, performed notes or motions of dance, that planet or this life or however one refers to it will still simply (maybe) not mind, (maybe) not notice, and (maybe) not hesitate in the long or short process of taking you back into the ground (, baby.) One could hope for then other things, that they’re appreciated either when they lived, after they died, or of course possibly (yikes), during both. Or that there is truth in the path they’d been on and at which they labored so many hours (so many hours) when so many others were busying themselves with either doing nothing or else doing a great number of things none of them related to spending endless (endless) days and nights simply staring at blank and then carved-on canvas, empty and then slowly-filling musical notation/typing/composition paper. The semi-truth of not being able to switch tools for whatever reason, as can painters and such. Where a brush can wear out, which you can certainly say is the same as lead giving up either by way of sharpness or else altogether expiring too little to use to write with, but also that you could change brushes, and for different effect. Certain bristles leave a specific mark, and collection of wide or thin varying-unison scratches upon the wet and then slowly drying paint. Whereas with pencil and pen, this is difficult to be exchanged for quite the same outcome or reasoned effort. And even if it is, as is the case maybe solely with certain of literature or poems or religious/political tract or pamphlet or what have you, the end result besides will still be that black-on-white of paper within book or magazine or other form of contained information by way of some
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type of printing press. More or less still a flat rendering of what thoughts one had as they wrote it out, regardless of what means they chose out of intentional “look”. Leavings of ink loved or else simply because, after trying others, one particular item, (a hand-sharpened pencil, for instance), simply works consistently and reliably the best for them. (And when such pencils and little shaped erasers are found on the sidewalk or street, actually kind of all the time. As if the earth saying to that seeker, Hey dummy, here’s the only thing you need. Reap what’s sown. Just write what’s (un)known. Tear a stapled piece of paper off a telephone pole or pick it up off the ground, and do the one thing you’re supposed to.) (I used to in the late 90's write stories on the backs of large pieces of wrapping paper they'd sell and dispense the "food" in at the Carl’s Jr. on Market and 7th in SF that I think was 24 hours, across from where I got my day labor and temping checks cashed and down the street from one of the many SRO’s I drank and "lived" in, and sometimes now I like to walk by all that and think about how far I haven’t come and maybe don't need to.) Or the example of painting. The interesting (or not) non-parallel where what’s moved around and blended, what’s said by painter through brush of colors onto canvas. What gets the same effect, (sometimes much more, sometimes none) when viewed by waiting (or unaware, uncaring) public or visitor to gallery (or sidewalk setup, or studio), or student in school with textbook’s reproduction of this effort. But with the given almost-opposite of written words to form story or tale or nothing and only thoughts leading (either) somewhere (or nowhere), nothing of what was happening is broughtover except what stamped sentences on pages can pass on, so removed from their creation and creator and his or her intention for their effect. Or if even concerned about this, as some are not. And as well something to be said for the changeability of form and of the power still somehow inherent in what’s picked up off the table, taken down the from the stack, opened up and got into as best one can or is able or even wants to. Some is lost, though, and of course of the written craft the human hand can make. Illegible mostly to others except ourselves, and so a good thing, this representation, however arguably different, in ways stripped of what the finished product of that hand-scratched idea and form of art out of words ends up being either there on the kitchen table or up there slid in-between others on the bookstore or library or personal home’s crowded shelf. And which cannot be gained so much back but perhaps does receive an appropriate treatment nevertheless. And the way that art then treats the listener or reader or viewer’s mind by way of the medium, by way of senses and optic nerve or auditory capabilities. Linked as every else of that realm would be and is to channel of memory, potential for emotional response, invigoration or ease of calming or even therapeutic effect of either types of commiseration or a relating to what’s being said on numerous levels or on only one, but with power. (And in a way, that the art’s art of choice, is you.) Or break the brush in half and stab the canvas a bunch. Snap the pencil in two and gouge chunks of the desk one’s sitting at, out. Fracture the leg and dislocate the remains to smack wetly down on the wood of the stage being danced on, theater being filled with one’s spinning destruction as you uncaring, keep going. The demanding art form you’d practically die for (and maybe just did.) After all, how innovative can any one person within the restrictions of not merely art but simply being human and limited thus in the first place be? (Not to mention but here it is regardless; money, love and hate, mental/emotional everything.)
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How could you be saying anything new? Or is this left brain way of looking at it nothing but horribly off-point? (hint: yes.) And that anything done now anywhere of course has been done before, albeit differences of particulars either small or incredibly large. So proof that words don’t matter. But multiple reasons in play for this to not hold even as long as the time it takes to think about and dismiss it. The simple truth in the healthiness of creativity, need of it even, for a person to be truly living. A man or woman (or child of either sex) often (or always and all people) must utter a thing that by default has most certainly “been said before”, for their own personal reasons, for the millions of ineffable (though common) causes for people do such things. So proof that nothing matters but words. And this defeats all negative light shone by others, seemingly with pessimism or insecurity as priority. This simply is universal and true and means more than anything anyone has to say about what’s been done that may, admittedly, ape another’s style, copy to a certain degree (or just be really bad.) And yet the idea remains that there are grounds past the desire to be original and which does hopefully more for them (hint: uh-huh), and thus for the rest of whoever lives at the same time, those who’ll live doubtlessly later on, or as homage or to humbly honor or speak well and rightfully of those who don’t do a bit of living any longer because they’ve had that right taken from them (and wrongfully.) Or one shaky concept at work amid all the others, and which even as it’s built, brick by clueless brick, is only possibly to do with any truth or holding inherently anything close to actual fact or potency towards effect, namely that what gets done by the artist and concerning certain periods of their life can be absolved, (and of and about which she or he may be less than pleased on their conduct, more or less made ashamed of events occurred or simply bothered by listless days and nights which accrued. In which time was not so much spent in any way wisely or even enjoyably but more thrown off and into the wind as fake money might be tossed off a bridge into a breeze because after all, (until you realize you’re wrong), none of it’s real or matters a bit or seems at all precious, not to mention priceless.) Square by square and section by section and because of that, in a way released from some record of your life or in another way of looking at it, subtracted from the mean average of what you now, are, a fool or a fairly flawed-but-decent human being. To go back and chronologically realize that corresponding many of said ill-spent periods are potential and even transcendent works of art which center on them. (And certainly always the relevant axiom of crisis or destruction being an opportunity for change and growth.) Arising as they’ve done organically and as a result of simply being more or less active as a passionate and expressive person all the while. (Even if pissed-off and explosive a lot of that time.) So what occurs is a long list one can literally lay out and line-up, life-by-life. City-by-city, love-by-love. (Obsession-by-compulsion.) (People you “knew” and anyway can’t stop thinking of.) Take at least the one thing that may be even close to a purpose or redeeming quality, skill or knack for something. Building the works you’d like to have represent you if you could ever get it right or learn it entire. Wield that method like a weapon, and let people know you feel this way. (And maybe more importantly, certain people or one person from that time period.) (hint: sad but true.) Blend with the dark history and drill, hammer, hone into something at least useful for your own purpose here or approaching peace of mind as concerns such concerns. The things you’ve done and the people you’ve been. Mark on paper year-by-year and as best one can figure the months and days. Fill in the painful or comical blanks and set to matching what output you’ve been lucky to have kicked out (however toss-able, still.) This seems (to me) to be a sort of parallel with facing a fear, a jump in the ocean with no findable floor and to
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know deadly animals therein must be within a mile and yet force that few minutes of cold, deathly-silent water. Or have a friend be ready to pull you out when you, say from a small closed space, and in which you plan and endeavor to bring in, and then leave, your dire and very real fear of closed, tight, un-escapable-from spots such as that physical one. Lock yourself in something to leave something, afterwards, locked up, locked away, left alone. (Or any of those cerebral, interpersonal, claustrophobic parallels.) (And as if any of this could get me out of the trouble I’m already in from all I’ve done and am still doing.) How that is/Who that is. Or was, when you knew them. And here’s your humble way to hopefully not humiliate yourself, or them, by talking about it. Or at least make a worthwhile cobbled-together tale out of things which otherwise just lay there, dead in the minds of even others who might have been witness and now couldn’t care less. But the point is that you do. And the punch line is there are many who also quite vividly recall, and to whom you may still owe certain amends (or even financial reimbursement.) The idea being to work through the moments by employing what’s felt as the best near-skill, closest at hand, ability to spin, agility within reach of elaboration towards closure if not for others than at least for yourself. And somehow also literally the actual year, the literal time. (In both meanings of the word.) “Write to find out what you know”, could be “Write to find out what a situation or whatever, really was”. Spectrum from lovers to adult and childhood friends, both or many never seen again and might not ever, for worse or better. With between this for good measure all manner of remembered occupations, cities to show up to and live on, love in, hate to death and leave but always the same, simple thing of not allowing oneself to be happy anywhere anyway. So what’s the rush to worry over it by writing about it. Or that that is the reason to not wait. Make it real or realize wreckage and cobble-out something constructive. Living document of a person and being formed and shaped like any other natural process. You’ve earned the obligation. Purchased the debt. And with one way to do so at their own hand, as with any toil at enriching practice that can only be done in a single way. Become something or aim to learn the way to. Instruction or just interaction with certain people, influence of whatever form it’s taken, fortunate to be exposed to physically or facsimile. Pin-down the proof of where you were, and this method one chooses to work within to do it. Reevaluate certain choices, entire years due to mistaken choosing. Gather as one item what disparate though connected events and memories of people, bring them all into the same room, boy, call them all to line up against this wall, girl, and see if we can’t push through however many solitary hours it’ll take to do something even remotely redeemable in the eyes of those others as whatever it ends up being. And this not the chief point to begin with, but more and most and arguably all, that you find a way to see what it is, take stock of what it was, and push it together for one final-or-not flurry of creativity and labor, hard effort though sometimes so easy it seems impossible that it’s even happening. See what can be done to ease a pain in the heart. Saw and snip and piece together, pry-apart. Hang on the wall or press on the page to start. Things that matter to you and no one else matter to you and no one else, except in that any of numerous forms of appreciation/resonance/remembrance or any shared feeling without category some stranger who will maybe forever be such to you, might look at it one day or night and feel a certain way. And so then as long as we keep at it, we’re not alone, after all. Or the vision of one single artist, (again, themselves, and just as arbitrarily, known or unknown, no matter, still a functioning member of their clan of even only one, funded by or recognized by others notwithstanding), and scratching out their vision
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if they have or make time, into the outer world for all the good it will do them. Cavern of mind or sub-floor depths holding some creature of utter awfulness or unbelievable beauty, and to see the light of day ever, (or never.) Taking the one of so many (or taking many, just the same) art methods in the known world. Crawls out of or is dragged from relentlessly, over even a period of years, into the sunshine of where others live and might view it whether in sculpture or what have you, form of arranged anything, artistic act of ordering a disorderly home. Or the even art of social work, helping arrange another person’s troubled life and so they can live a more ordered and healthy one, in turn find a way towards a realization of dreams, hidden beneath all of a complicated mess. Or even patterns of flowers or any plant, still alive on stalks of bushes arranged in a garden large or small or unseen forest, cultivated or wild crops. Along the ground or reaching up brick or otherwise walls or the making of a modest or extravagant home out of what was perhaps a dull, derelict lot prior, a long-neglected any-kind-of-house. This in a way a strain of life unrepresented until it is. And even trickles, drops at a time of that great dammed-up water. One step after another of some grouchy, damaged and curmudgeonly dreamer towards something resembling a well-documented output of works. Whether important or much less than that. Whether those around him or her benefit from that wondering and wandering or ever even know about it. The idea of creating art in this form that is either from or that deals with or tries to explain or somehow talk about the place or area or space, where colors begin to blend into each other. And whether or not in order, and if or if not in any discernible pattern or length from one into the next. Or the same thing in that moment where cold skin begins to warm. Small maybe immeasurable increments when outside or in and putting on a piece of clothing someone hands you, stepping through the opened door someone’s offered you. (Which is also the honor of being allowed “into” another’s life, or any thoughts in a positive way, by friendship if even from a distance.) That scope opened up, porous definition, limbo of clarity. And right in there is what’s being given out, given back, put forth as a dispatch from or else just a standing there and saying out loud (or on paper) what one feels it looks like, or means. (Even if they don’t have the moxy to mention it out loud.) And the metaphor this can be for all human interaction in any aspect of nature in or around or far from any city in the world. The place where things begin to fade, to lose their certainty, to show to certain people what possibly is more important about them than anything we previously held as a belief. And that they can’t seem to say in any other, more readily accessible way. “Why do you write?” What you’re addicted to and how in the world can you get away from it except to supplant another, possible lesser, probable similar or simply being you and excessive, the same, in no small amount and without cessation. But at the least and at the best an art of less destruction or if anything ends up with a sweep or full-touch and grasp of death to it, wrung-out like a throat, choked of tomorrows, washed-over like a flood and cloaked in a total darkness. (What you think is real, another will not.) Breathlessness of inspiration, or recall of forgotten memory. Or positive reaction of emotional outburst, break of authentic joy or all-out sorrow at the sight of what you did and spent time at instead of the usual. What maybe you made or created in lieu of just simply getting high, just silently staying low. Where you went with your energy, pain, rage hatred confusion besides the familiar and silent/deafening, silken/coarse, stupid and also highly intelligent substance, experience or inhumane treatment of person of choice and personal history of self-medication and abstract abuse.
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“Where do you get your ideas?” Play, splay, display. Anything as a Second Language. Human as a Second Consciousness. Slay, patiently work away. And at least everything in a sincere voice. A mere spectator, voluminous. Be just where I am, doing what I can. No more tangled a thing is necessary. No easier way to handle the situation need be discussed. It’s just something each has that all others do not, (or if all have it then some either moreso or merely more insistently.) Broken and in that way beautifully, dutifully. Or just a different form in which it’s formed. That doesn’t have to be a thing ever recognized or even seen and much less boast purchased copies. Consistent in erratic or solidly manifesting efforts at whatever it might be, despite the small (or enormous) roadblocks. And which can anyway change over and over, evolve or turn into being told from a different art’s standpoint and possibilities. Or reason for use of certain implements closer to the bone, nearer to home of how things have always been and could go back to at any moment. Where we’d still be able to practice this patient art and dance of materials and user, time and space and artifacts and no need for anything, for example, to be plugged into anything. As elemental, in a way, as fire. The story in mind, and the working writer. This medium that seems an essential thing. And equated to be also true to the person, definitive, and a reach across the space of personal to public of true intentions and feeling (which can be direct content or even choice of subject matter) of whoever is doing the telling. A fair-as-any representation of who that person humbly (or just sadly), is at that point. (And to which they’d themselves look back a year later and maybe laugh at.)  Or a piece of music you can’t believe. That someone out there has made this thing you listen to and get so much personal, like-it-was-written-for-you joy out of it. And maybe to check against others and to see what they think, make sure and even though you know that you’re right, that this is real, and that there are of course plenty who don’t or won’t enjoy it and for whatever millions of reasons valid and invalid and arbitrary and simple opinion is enough. But to anyway try to see the theory through. So shocked and happy that it could be so powerful, for you. And what can a person do but take it in for entire days at a time. In a way, the earth spinning as the surface of a record, and the writer or creator of anything, recording ideas, slightly dulling the pencil as they go. Scratching, carving lightly as a needle that imperceptibly alters the sound of the vinyl as it can’t help but to do, by nature of the physical components involved in it. And these musical yet not sounds, such as words. Poem you enjoy so much in any non-poem form. A deep feeling for anything even written by the so-called novice, and which is all of us. Words put down by another feeling person and for what reasons they have possibly different than your own, for loving what they’ve said “to you” so much. You take it in and just can’t get enough of it. And no explanation academic or otherwise is ever even close to becoming necessary, not to mention comprehensive. (Mute the key with your finger like reaching into the guts of the piano in front of you and holding your skin between the felt hammer and the string. Nothing gets heard, but it still feels right. And is.) Even words another utters in your presence. Or heard from across a room, across a road. From as far away as a continent by way of radio waves or further, largest imaginable distance and incredible to hear something made even decades and decades ago, faithfully reproduced and amplified by whatever era’s technology it is you’re
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forced and also are fortunate to be involved with and enjoying it in. Set the stylus to start it over. Touch the button to signal to repeat. Rewind, re-examine, re-immerse. Even thoughts no other could come up with for you to process. Until you realize someone somehow, somewhere has. In a way, by all that, an involvement you give back even if they never hear of your approval, or achieve their dreamed-of success. Any of us ever unlearned and uncultured, even one single person who hears it and loves it, their unknown ability to rejuvenate, to reimburse. That urge to communicate. Or commiserate, with whoever it finds. Or the no one of the paper, pen or pencil in hand or fingers hammering a typewriter or computer’s arranged and perfectly sized keys. That this might do one any good at all. Or more than a conversation could, if one was to be had about it. The taking of it down, urge to organize or is it the one to create. Proof of what was done and for stature or approval of others, possibly too the reason of commerce. Sell. Make the most of something by getting rid of copies of it for a price. Which is understandable. Or traumatic, true-to-life story to tell, even if it’s to yourself. Letting free of horrors to be freed from remembering them anymore or so powerfully and uncontrollably. Or just purpose for doing a thing linked to nostalgia, variations on that theme in a dozen directions formed to another dozen out from there. Endless reasons not all of them beneficial. Reasonless energy not most of it superficial. Unending resources not every one of them understood or even begun to be mapped-out and used. And the idea that when you type at a typewriter, or write or draw, you literally move in the direction of what you write about, sketch an image of, even if it’s in the past. The exact distance you take up with the ribbon, or a single, stretched-out-somehow line of what ink or charcoal or graphite you lay down. And which is never of course, laughable to think of it, far enough to actually get you there. (Also that they themselves are usually moving, even as you head towards them.) Especially if it involves journeying through time whether forward, or more typically, back. But you can try. The simple joy of description. The created opportunity to simply, and more often than not silently, sit and collect and conjure a description, or recollection, a thing just ahead of you in photo or reality, (or reality of photo you elaborate on.) Or the same but only within the mind and then with a liberty similar but different in adding, distinct in methods of leaving-out. To learn about what it is you see, explain to yourself what’s held in which image or person, place in the mind or portrait in the flesh. The satisfaction of merely making sure what you know is there to see, for yourself only even, and also to discover as you progress the levels of existence of a thing. What it even is and is doing to you and is only possibly meant for, meaning to say, meant to do. It literally could not matter less if the intention was polar opposite to what you or another person feels when it’s finally done. (Sort of.) And of course that you could do this in reaction or response (or something else entirely and without a name yet) to a song heard anywhere. Daylight on a beautiful or drab anything. Turn of expression of stranger anywhere in your world or life. The probably honestly childlike joy of copying down, creating, coming up with a way to talk to yourself about it or handle that unnamed compulsion as best you can. (Where some might suggest medication.) It just so happens sometimes it’s recorded. In one way or another. (And how writing is like holding a piece of tracing paper to the world, and just copying the lines.) No reason more than (more or less) healthy compulsion or honest direction unavoidable of one’s living. Where what they’ve been given as a life has by way of pursuits and interests and aspirations (or dislocation and familial, variety of financial)
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put and taken them and shown to be the right thing, the true thing, or the correct occupation/endeavor/art. And all this needless to say, laughable to think otherwise (yet as many do), eternally independent of social convention or norms of what day, conduct or output attitude. Although naturally much can be just the same made of the materials of what are current, and to very much use what is apparent and representative of the times. Simply and rightly to utilize (and feel rightly drawn to) traditions of particular culture or effects of your born-into civilization. (Which itself at a certain level is arbitrary.) Or revolt, the same. To reject. Work within yet create sub-culturally an opposite. (Grow the opposition. Build the resistance.) A smaller genre of standard possibly even unknown to almost all millions of others, but with the potential to one day maybe effect them on some level. Or maybe even only known about (so far) by one. Quite possibly looked-into by only you. Maybe most sad of all or in such cases as when the poring-over isn’t “got” or appreciated, it ends up being in a way like wealthy or poor scientists or anthropologists at dig sites in a country foreign to them, developing or not, and in which the natives are much less or not at all interested in the artifacts of that place. And these enthusiasts or otherwise have to deal with the people’s confusion and customs and downright hostility or desire to murder, headhunt or something, cannibalism. (No judgments on that last, just sayin’.) This is the difficulty often of knowing when the wrestling with words and sentences and scenes from a person’s past might be likened to or have as a part of it the unsure standing or inability in a way to self-regulate, to see when to stop, to know when to leave well enough alone (or just write stories that you then never show anyone, and for a good reason.) How to know when a thing is being used and not abused to begin with. And then secondly, the subject matter at all, and the reluctance of memory to yield it’s secrets anyway on top of all this, when maybe there are people you could ask but you haven’t the time to find them or money to get to them or guts to walk right up to them on the train to work and say Hi. To engage the insanity that is everything all at once, yet of course can’t ever be seen in complete and so is only naturally not known of. Can’t be spoken on. Mainly only ever dreamt towards. Written out with searching and honest, lost lines. Not a place to reach or thing to have, item to take from another and hoard, but pure or at least close to clean enough with minimal faults as near as human minds filthy with what’s taken in forced upon turned into by culture (or is it merely each other and thus would happen anywhere, anyway?) can approach to being, get near to and not even know it. Sorrow of life's events and confusion, hurt by what people have done to one, (or they’ve allowed or sanctioned them prior to the doing), what was wanted and lost, never worked hard enough in the direction of to get (and so they’ve allowed...), what they’ve deplored and yet in ways have of course become. A second, a moment only now and again and maybe grouped together or even paved-out painted-upon linked one-to-one to last you a sleepless night or a difficult day. (Or it’s all the time, to degrees, manifesting in what ways it does.) Perspective for a moment to wonder How can I handle all this information? How are we expected to cope? A way out possibly of even wondering about it all. End it on your own or give it to a faith. Two of three options and the third is to accept and attempt to enjoy it for what it is. Which none naturally could name though all in the previous category of organizations’ attempt to. Or at least their followers, do. Late on the scene and working with their diluted, dubiously verifiable sources. (Which could of course be very real, admittedly.)
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Or the fourth being none at all, and for various reasons. Never a thought directed towards it, and out of the occupation of living, caught up with responsibilities either legitimate or something less than that. The curse and blessing of family life (a religion of its own.) Or the dogma of what marketing and the "first" world would have you accept as urgent. Your clothes, car, career. (Which of course could be quite real, granted.) Or kneel to roots of expression, reasons of passions. And this an odd even deeper need, for some. For a type of a home or other to go to and be in, be loved and learn to love others. Like a world that flows and makes sense and is without limits. Use of anything you want. Anyone in time. Any day from all the years alive so far. Beautiful and always existing and the only thing keeping you from benefiting from it being (sometimes, not all the time) your own habits and patterns and what they’ve coerced you into thinking is wanted for one’s self and from the world and from others, attention, affection, concern and care. Though one chooses continually to, in some cases, as was mentioned initially, live in the past. “Participating fatally and dreamily...” (hint: guilty.) It's a past, in a way, a partner, that can’t argue with either interpretation and recall of facts (or lack of them, the usual convenience if not consciously so), or constant and consistent use of what they’ve to offer, even to co-opt and blend with the present, towards suiting the game, the goals, one’s more often than not mentally ill or at least moderately unhealthy and unbeneficial aim (however dire it may feel.) It’s your gaze to the horizon continually as people who care about and stand beside one, in turn, in an unconnected unison, gaze at, try to engage with, wonder why they can't get through to you. Towards an explanation here of whatever this is, is all. All of it a mere neverending discussion of what objectively needn’t be gone over more. Bits and pieces though which do, parts throughout maybe so related to an individual they might wonder what if any historical relevance the person who made it might also hold. Curious about circumstances which led to the events depicted, being those that were chosen to describe and used to explain something (or as it turns out, not really anything.) Whether it’s true, untrue or anything else in-between and anyway which is what all things are to begin with before the arbitrary labels. As after science, or else before. Because before we began naming things, looking to an item and calling out words and for purpose of categorization and either use, misuse, or simply to tally what we have, these things did not have such or any designations. Said artifacts merely existed. And some might argue, in their ignorance of words which we have prescribed to them, were and are much more than indifferent to our distinctions. And so language which holds fast to anything it sees. An animal to whom everything must be given label. Ever or else never thinking to itself, he or she themselves with given name, titled body, a word or words (and/or #) for everything even inside them to the most miniscule of proportions and as well processes, potentialities for growth or harm. Even what to call you when you are no more; what exists after, and what else there is before. (Tyranny of definitions of words without ever asking how you feel about that, or what you might think the thing should be called, what the word really means or what more to the short sentence of a definition should be added and you can’t believe they left it out. Even in the three-hundred pound dictionary you find on its own stand in the library.)

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That sentences exist prior to photos, or do sounds emerge because of emotions? Surge of passion though spoken-only to one’s self and all in spaces of personal reverie or anger or pain-filled moments, entire days, and tiredly allowing what they are to become so much more than what they need to be. Or is it that you couldn’t allow it to go far enough? That music engages before private meanings cause a breaking of intended mood. Or tries to. Or doesn’t give a care and only exists for other reasons, and personal in turn of who composed, even what individual played certain instruments this or that day or session of recording or else of what is happening at the moment. One may stand in silence with eyes closed and half-dreaming of lost love while notes of some street musician touch on an anchor in a bed of memory’s ocean, a thing thought dead since last it was partly raised, mere hours or days or if lucky years before, and would ask them to keep on with it if not for being self-conscious about the spectacle they’d run a risk of becoming were they to stand, in silence, with eyes closed and in that good or bad reverie, half-dream, much longer. Writers should be able to whisper and breathe and use that as sound the way that singers can do this and to further express what they’re trying to get across by their song. Secreted aspects or hidden items to decipher is one form of that, a literary version of breathing straight into the microphone somewhat lower than the sound of any instrument’s track, individually or as a whole, so you know that something has just been said but can’t clearly make it out at the first few listens. It’s slyly or as slightly there as can be and yet still making sure that it’s seen and heard, eventually. Also that the last seconds of silence on a record are a note, and are a part of the music. And so the equivalent with both is maybe space, somehow to convince the reader to pause. Use music or does music use you to begin breathing, live outside of its confines of whatever format it’s in. As the artist, even musician, with vision within mind and trying to break free of him or herself for its freedom, further development into and of any others taking it in or hearing/seeing/feeling it. (Or that a song somehow smiles when it hears you singing it.) Snare sets the pace like punctuation, forced space. A poet just sort of demanding that you listen, speak a certain way. (As in Look, if you’re gonna cover my song in your band, at least get the timing right, alright?) Or a stare that sets the stage like a perfect, unforced face. A man or woman imploring you to watch. For a hurt or for a joy. (As in Alright, if you insist on being critical, at least don’t fail to see your part, OK?) (At best, nail the rhyming art, eh?) Or the volume of sounds (or writing.) And that a raise in it gives you a different feeling of closeness or nearness-to. Although also if one takes the loudness down a notch or five, it gives as well another area of feeling to experience and can alter the perspective of the music’s listener in just as powerful a way, and be fully as important to the overall time spent within earshot (however indistinct.) (Or district of intrinsic intent. That you don’t get it is fine, is what’s indirectly implied.) Or the way any art at all can alternate between (or the way any one artist’s works can alternately be) pushing themselves into your awareness, making sure you pay attention to them at that moment and get an ear or eye-full of what they’ve to say, and also the opposite of simply being there (if not simply, then with less hostility –or volume), and allowing you space and time to accept them in, perhaps piece by piece, (written or) played and sung and screamed line by line. Or section by section of large canvas, taken in bit by bit and throughout, the feeling of the whole, the entirety. And that like a landscape one might stand at the windy edge of, aware of what’s there all the
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while and yet the sun’s new, ancient rays are letting one see and realize and maybe appreciate (or appropriately or not, outright loathe) area by area, hill and plain and wooded slope, bare of anything but sifting sand or blasted of everything but silvery expanses of calm, iridescent ocean or sea’s water. Slivers of your hands at your side (in a museum, in your pockets on a street corner, or holding up a book or slip of paper in either or any of these places. And reading with a smile.) (Or leaving with a scowl.) Level of that music in the mind, to turn up or down, whichever is possible. What of those can be done, if even either. How some speech remembered on its own and unasked for seems not so much the literal Voice in the Head, like fear of sudden statement as if just beside you and a startled look over your shoulder (that people definitely notice, more than just the modestly innocent or essentially innocuous talking to yourself), (which brings up the interesting question of whether “hearing voices” is legitimately what’s going on and maybe needs to be pharmaceutically (or with food and activity and breathing) dealt with, if you’re the one generating and feeding that speech, breathing life into them and actively engaging in and with them), but maybe music, something you enjoy or have been wanting without really “thinking” about it, desiring to “listen” to all day. And so then here it is sort of out of nowhere, for your ears only. You can turn the bass up, you can treble and dress up, even remove the vocals or get another individual’s stamp on them. Wild ability to alter things, stretch or shrink to suit the current need or even omit, repeat endlessly. Or only whatever favorite parts. As an example, trying to see if you can get the same effect, large sound in anything like a similar way, but on and in your own control and creating. Trying to literally turn it up. (And at what level does it begin to damage your ears?) Or attempting first the simple enough one single melody or any music within your mind. Begin and have playing this sample, track off an album or otherwise, and then add another. Maintain if possible and then randomly or have chosen prior to this, a third. Match rhythms which usually helps and to even envision actual musicians performing the pieces themselves, perhaps in separate rooms of a studio or home. All together in sound at least from the perspective of the neighbors next door or down the street. Or from where you, presumably, stand and are situated maybe in a hallway, equidistant to each door and beyond that the groups continuing their rehearsal, as you attempt to draw yourself down that carpet and corridor a little farther, and to add yet a fourth door, on the other side of which another band might be playing. Artists with instruments entering in conveniently through another entrance to the room, sliding glass or for levity, climbing in through the window either large or small, falling over one another if you want. Getting up and plugging in, laughing, unaware or else uncaring as only the not-really-alive-anyway can (and which we are left only to envy that ability), and beginning their own addition to the cacophony and yet also oddly in time with the others for at this stage things such as that, a stability or foundation to try further, like a fifth, become almost essentially one overall tempo. Maybe sitting down cross legged now in the slim space and trying to make it as easy on yourself as you possibly can while you try not so much to make a standard sense of things as to simply not be thrown from that bull in general by the strangeness and disequilibrium of it all, the effect such disorientation may have on your narrow human senses. Then also, “external” to this, the sheer effort to begin with of allowing those instruments to keep not only ringing out but ringing true, keeping in tune. And in the way that ambulance sirens slightly change and seem to bend as they become farther away (or is it instead near), and that unintentional, just happening thing you sometimes notice and maybe don’t think much of. Same with that faintness of an old film or just faded advertisement on city block wall, or juxtaposition of two even non-touching buildings or other surfaces and which one
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wouldn’t even put together in complement this way unless they stopped where they stood, and did. So there the “volume” of sight. Pitch of seeing and being touched or moved by. Beautiful visual effects “made” by just putting a body in a certain spot, pointing eyes in a certain direction. And how many things can you overlap and be “looking” at simultaneously. Then start to accumulate them. Then try and start to make them move. (See? It’s fun.) Or resolve of a piece of music. A part where it might come back, make sense by way of repetition or otherwise sync-up and be correct. Also how it might also carry it’s own “resolve”, wherein it holds a disposition (or personality) and is indeed saying something. Maybe even outside the knowing of the person who wrote the music. They, after all, only being users of notes which of course already exist in the world. Proof of this is the every time any sound occurs anywhere, in a way, they varyingly match some pure, flatted, sharped tone or group of them, in one way or another. Pleasantly or clumsily or fashionably or incorrect / unsustainably / unintentional, or not. (Even slamming your head against a wall.) (Which brings to mind the question of that referenced world and world of sounds, actually, itself, attempting to “say something.” And using the grinding of motor, creak of door hinge, slap of swimming body on smooth water or of course, musician thinking they’ve chosen the notes they arrange or just suddenly play.) The experience of the individual playing a musical instrument, that they are of course making the music, while at the same time enjoying it and in not the same manner in which they’ll be doing so (if they do) when they listen to it. That difference of experience, and the levels to the constraint of course needing to make sure certain limits and requirements are kept-within. The balance, more, of making sure of these things, while at the same time loosely creating them. Doing the things necessary to make it happen at all. And yet being free enough to get anything down. And so certain parts bring a close of the eyes (or the whole thing), and some areas make the spine tingle or back of the head bow down, (like the whole thing), light up with whatever they’re thinking/not thinking/free from thinking finally for once and only for the duration of that section, even. Transcendent lucky seconds made, and which too can be found in listening afterwards. But then to add the worry over performance, and so maybe easier for some to access it solely with the music of others. Not hearing mistakes which the person who made that music cringes at (probably equally without good reason.) Or unending and deadening, deaf to wishes of you for it to stop. Something you’ve created and can’t get it now to be dropped. Pleading in your little voice to Please, back off or I’ll call a cop. (Music being life and life being a music that’s imperfect and embedded with strife.) Address a force to bring order when this is the order, disorder, diseased and on display like the proud owner that it is, of every one of who thinks there’s a way to circumnavigate that disaster’s reach. Or escape to another place, planet of distance, disillusion in what space is afforded or found a way to have access to, permanent or not. More important than you never being able to leave yourself and what you’ve done behind is the rude fact that neither can you lose or be rid of the human condition in the first place. Probably even when what we think of as “the end” comes and visits, bringing with it its own inseparable, insufferable idiosyncrasies and intentions. More than likely quite different than what we all believe or have been talked into believing it to look or feel like. Or maybe just the compulsion as with an unstable or dangerous person who wishes to do anything that others do not or else innocently cannot understand. Maybe just something as fairly objectively and universally accepted as being not worth a
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second’s real attention. (Smile, back away, and watch their hands.) Fairly solid argument, especially when you feel that there’s no real person or institution that can give you a real answer to your question, to your questing. (How would you really know for sure you’ve lost it if you think that every one telling you you have, has? Who do you turn to then?) (Or do you just keep slamming your head against that wall.) Maybe worship the art you do, instead. Giving energy, praise, time and effort and anything to whatever it might be. Or even what you spend time on or with (substances, other people, anything empty and capable hands might get themselves clamped-down on.) Doing what you can to reach into what you are. Find a thing by degrees removable. Bring it back to the surface for the rest of us to bite into despite how unfinished or imperfect you think it is. Even a thing that takes on a significance for you and no one else. And which would be, and maybe rightly is dismissed as nothing. Or endless efforts and blood sweat and tears essentially for naught. Misdirected struggle but possibly getting closer as the years and the projects move on. Which is any personal reason and which hardly matters in any fashion less than what current standards are lauded by those around you. Or that even standardized and stock “non-standard”, “out of the ordinary”, which most of a certain time find to be so appealing or which form a type of irrelevant bar. Such as spell a word right. Make correct sounds from some mouth you’ve got and that to another native or learned and familiar speaker might be heard to approximate a thing they, in turn, in what mother tongue they understand and employ as well, can get to mean something. Take a deep breath and confide to them: “I feel...”. Cluster of letters while they move through the air or however they’re formed through what method of communication from one person to the next. Unfixed meaning of a man or woman's experience, flexed. Unfinished myriad of implications, their expanding passions, undiminished. I feel...

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Karl Jensen was born in 1975 in Fresno, California. He lives and works in the Bay Area.