Archive | February, 2012

Broke Down 49er Blues

29 Feb

My son he got the fever, my wife ran off and died
My daughter lets the fellas hover like horse biting flies
And me my days are numbered, I while it all away
Dreaming in my whiskey of a brighter day

10 Guys who seem like Nice Guys

29 Feb

1. Tom Bosley
2. Jimmy Stewart
3. Robert Guillaume
4. Lyle Lovett
5. Bill Murray
6. Jamie Bell
7. George Foreman
8. Wayne Knight (not on seinfeld though!!!)
9. John Lithgow
10. Malcolm Jamal-Warner

Now I could be totally wrong, but all these guys seem like nice guys. Please don’t shatter my illusions.

A Party in the Suburbs

28 Feb

The party should have never happened. It seemed like a nice idea, a husband and wife celebrating their brand new home, but the furniture wasn’t in yet, she got drunk and sulky, and I ended up getting stranded in suburbia. All I did was wander around the circle streets looking at all the houses identically gleaming in the nighttime. Hands in my pockets with nowhere to go. This place was not for me.

I remember when the house was being built. How he left a music box, a jeweled case, and a jack-in-the-box on the brand new stairs for her to find them. Fancy little boxes sending odd glimmers in the plywood and sawdust.

In the backyard a volcano was already acting up, spitting out blobs now and then, and oozing into the long grasses. Near it, a path full of mud and a hot spring.

But sliding past the hot spring, the mud, and being very careful about the volcano, I get to the wilderness–a huge tree-filled section that is away from the suburb circles and angry parties and social games. Just trees growing up tall and spaces to do things in: the real world, not boxed in.

A Hold-Up

27 Feb

I was buying some supplies at the convenience store when this crazy woman tried to hold up the place using throwing darts.

They were the kind of darts people use at bars for a game.

Though I can understand why the 10 or so people at the convenience store were nervous (the woman was obviously crazy), I don’t understand why they acted like she had a dangerous weapon like a gun.

They were all huddled in the back of the store waiting for the cashier to deal with it.

I was going to give her my cash (she obviously needed it) but she demanded my wallet. I was not going to give that to her (yeah right debit card) so I walked out.

The people in the store acted like I was being really dangerous in doing that. They stared at me. I left to get the police.

10 Books

26 Feb

1. The I Ching
2. One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish
3. Cheap! Fast! Good!
4. Philosophy For Dummies
5. Poems, Poetry, Poets
6. A Bell for Adano
7. Across the River and Through the Trees
8. The Man who Loved Children
9. Because it is Bitter and Because it is my Heart
10. Toxic Bachelors

Your time is up.

24 Feb

Sooner or later they come for you. It’s inevitable. The thing is to get ahead while you can, to set up in advance.

That’s why I have my bunker–rooms and rooms that I’ve been putting together, stocking away food, drinking water, the works. I have a room of books, and a library, and a generator with fuel. I could live there the rest of my life comfortably, if not a little bit lonely at times. And nobody can get in, except through the magic door, and I only know the word for that.

My best friend tipped me off one day when I was getting groceries. I immediately started running. Don’t go in the car, they always go there first, go by foot. I ran across parking lots and past the groups of tourists taking pictures and posing for each other, happy because their number hasn’t come up yet. It will; it comes for everybody.

So I get to the door of my bunker–a hidden door in the middle of a wall of ivy near the highway. Immediately I know something’s up, because I can hear noises, can hear people coming in a marching tromp tromp tromp, and I know I got there just before them.

I whisper my magic word, and the door opens. I run in, in the dim underground hallway, and I whisper the word again, but the door won’t close. I say it louder and louder like the door is an auto language system that isn’t quite getting my voice, and the people are coming. I press the door closed, but before I can snap it shut a hand reaches through, pressing a shotgun into my arms.

They’re offering it to me. They don’t believe in going after someone without a fight. I’m pushing it back. I won’t play this game.

I break into a run–though the space is huge for a bunker, it’s really just an interconnected series of rooms, so I don’t have many places to go. The bunker was designed to have only one exit after all–and I’m tipping things over, trying to slow down the dozens of feet that I know are behind me.

And I’m stuck in the room in the very back–I push water bottles in front of the door and crouch on one of the top shelves, knowing the room would only allow one man at a time through, but also knowing there were many many men, and I could not last forever.


23 Feb

I’m thinking of a small pile of sugar deposited on a diner booth table (red tiles) from one of those tiny packets. Why am I thinking this? I don’t know, but the image is repeating in my mind like the Der Kommisar over and over in my head.

Raw sugar–the white stuff, that sweet flavor that just explodes and melts in the back of my throat. I used to suck on sugar cubes–a horrible teeth-rotting habit, but I did. I found them charming in their sort of time-warpedness. Also to look in the box and see them all ordered up in comfortable rows–I mean it’s no worse than eating a candy bar or something, is it?

It’s like I’ve turned part black ant with that picture in my head–the idea of making sugar pictures with a finger and the dust, or of sprinkling it all over like some wonderful fairy dust. The lovely cookie sugars that look like metal, or those pretzel cookies that have big squares of sugar just gleaming on their nooks and crannies.

Sugar–instant picture of desire. Funny thing is that I never liked sugar cane–it was too woody.

Huh. SUGARSUGARSUGARSUGARSUGAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Mindfulness and William Henry Harrison

22 Feb

It’s really hard to be mindful in the world. Pulling away and meditating, ok, but when things around me are happening, say at work, and there’s all this stuff going around, I can feel myself scattering and losing focus. I feel like a firefighter putting out one small fire at a time on the fringes of a barn burning.

Why is this? Why all the daily chatter? Maybe I’m afraid of having a blank slate. Maybe it’s scary to do that with other people. They might draw their pictures on me, they might leave greater imprints. I know this is not necessarily true.

It’s such an odd thing to look towards my individual motivations, the why of things. I don’t know why I tend to do certain things, and maybe that part is unimportant. (Or more likely the why will show itself when the why shows itself and there’s no amount of thinking to make it happen even a second sooner.) I guess why comes last.

In the meantime, a thing I saw today at the V.A. was a showing for president’s day. They had Washington and Lincoln (ok I can dig it), Reagan (not my cup of tea, but I can see why he’s there) and William Henry Harrison. The last threw me for a loop–why him? He was only the shortest termed president ever who didn’t have a chance to do just about anything. Perhaps they wanted someone to round out the group or something.

And then I was happy, because somewhere William Henry Harrison was being celebrated for something, because of the oddball choice that brought him to this passed presidential show at the V.A. Because even with his one month of office he was still president, and his name is still on the list. Also he did accomplish one thing:

in his death, he forced the American government to figure out the problem of succession, much better with a peaceful death like this than after an assassination where everything is tense and dramatic. That succession solution has allowed America peaceful transitions even after assassinations.


20 Feb

A craftsman, an artisan. Something about those words just resonates with me. Many roles associated with the arts do not. I am not one who believes that the romantic Byronic mode is a healthy one that lets people have good lives. Art is a means of expression, however, bringing out the inner demons, making art a box to hold feelings, seems a bit small. An artist’s job is not to imitate god.

A craftsman. It’s too bad that craftsperson does not work as a word, and craftswoman sounds…wrong, because I certainly don’t equate that word with gender. Craftsmanship is being really good at making something, but rather than focusing on the maker’s relationship with that thing, the focus is just on the thing. Inherent is a level of quality; a good craftsman makes things of good quality. Artisan might be a better word, but I can’t separate that from bread.

Also craftspeople don’t believe in suffering for art. I find the idea of suffering for art laughable, because art doesn’t appreciate someone all the more for suffering for it. Also suffering is a human condition that exists independently of what a person does. The idea of, say an accountant, being better because they suffered is laughable.

No, a craftsman–a workshop that is warm and has all the tools nearby, dark and inviting with earthy smells and flame. I could happily spend days down there just making good things.

10 Things I’m saying No to

18 Feb

1. Harm for anyone for any reason.
2. Anything involving bad smells.
–Though I just imagined a jail where a felon had to stand on a moving conveyor belt that went through different smell areas, all of them awful, and varying so they didn’t lose their punch. That’s a YES! idea. Not to do, just to think about.

3. Anybody who tries to make me feel bad.
4. Anybody who is mean to old people.
–I’ll no anybody who is mean. But mean to old people is a particular pet peeve of mine. Nobody stands up for them, and there’s many more old people in America than any other kind of person.

5. People/places that are trying too hard to sell me something.
–shops with staff that want to help me too much, telemarketers, news corporations that use product placement, pop-up windows at websites, movies with too much product tie-in, bands that are more about stuff and image than music. Nothing makes me angrier than finding out something is secretly trying to sell me stuff.

6. Image meaning more than substance.
–I’ve decided that everybody is cooler and smarter than me, so I don’t have to have the discussion anymore.

7. Partisan discussions on anything.
–These discussions seem to be more about creating more conflict than finding a compromise on anything. Oh and public ranting too.

8. Thoughtlessness
9. Reaction taking the place of decision making.
–other than in the middle of a raging fire.

10. Judging others.