Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Bon Annee, or something like that.

Funny, when this was published, it was less than 10 days after...

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hey, I can see the house from here!!!

or alternately titled:  A Room With A View

Planet Earth is blue and there's nothing I can do...

How different it all looks from the maps.  It all seems out of proportion, doesn't it?  Yet this is home.  Still I can see the silt from what used to be home, and passing by that old home, coming down and washing up on the new home.  That's what happened to me.  I am silt from upriver, that washed up here.  Countless particles...

Sunday, December 28, 2014


There is usually a reasonable explanation, isn't there?

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Friday, December 26, 2014

Off Kilter

Anna Madia


Were I to choose a perfect pop record, it would probably be Matthew Sweet's Girlfriend.  Track by track stellar performances...

I am grateful for perfect pop records.

Boxing Day 2014

And there are, of course, new socks which are a bright spot in an otherwise dour ensemble of New York City, pilgrim, hipster, black, navy blue, and charcoal gray.  They are a bright spot on a strange day when my gratitude list began with "new socks" and was then derailed by some unseen force.

I was smiling, and then stopped smiling and couldn't force it back.  It's not anger.  Anger requires energy and what is there to be angry about anyway?  That it's a work day just like any other day?  That's not it, because at least that makes for a potential distraction.  

The empty streets make me sad, and that's a strange irony also.  Were they crowded I would be angry that there were people in my way.  

It could be depression and about nothing in general.

Yet there is a sense of loss too.  It struck me again just the other day just how many people didn't make it through 2014.  They were here at this time last year and there were laughs and plans were made, and then they died.  The sense of loss goes further than that still.  There is grief in the realization of everything I let die on the vine.  Regret is useless now but memories do return, and more and more is revealed and that kicks up feelings.

Those feelings again... 

So I'll spend the day here doing this and that and trying to put together some sort of a plan for moving forward.  Then at the end of the day there is a Boxing Day party and if there is anything left of me but the new socks I will drag it there and smile and handshake and hug and eat and whatever.  Then I will carry it home.  

I am grateful for new socks and if the list goes longer than that you will be the first to know.  


is a place, where nothing ever really happens...


It will be the past
And we'll live there together

Not as it was to live
But as it is remembered

It will be the past
We"ll all go back together

Everyone we ever loved
And lost, and must be remembered.

It will be the past,
And it will last forever.

~ ???? Copied it on the train from a poetry in motion placard, and didn't get the author before my stop came about.  I considered staying on but figured Lord Google might provide the answer, but that didn't happen.  

~  edit -- this is copyright 2008 by Patrick Phillips

The Mirror

There seems to come a point where our compulsion to analyze and micro-analyze becomes cruel and punishing, like an Old Testament God.  Can even the strongest plant withstand the blazing scrutiny of a 24 hour sun, before every shadow and nuance becomes a flaw, a crack in the logic of its own design, and it withers?  At what point do we turn away from the mirror, trust our own instincts, and simply act?

Or simply be?

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Willy Deville -- Heaven Stood Still

It doesn't get any better than this.  I am grateful for love songs.  For the real love songs that may or may not have a happy ending or whatnot.  If it's sung from the heart... real people singing about real feelings, there you go.  What else does a person need?  Some people come up with the poetry and music so we don't have to.

Damn good question, right?


... or get off the pot...

uh... yah.. have a nice holiday...

Those were the words trailing off from my last business call of the day.

"Shit or get off the pot... uh yah... have a nice holiday."

Okay then.

I was mostly gone already anyway, not exactly lost in holiday reverie and thoughts of merrymaking or caroling either.  Charlie Brown had days like this, for sure, but it's pretty certain that sage words from his pal Linus only carried him for so many seasons.

We're not exactly in a Christmasy time, are we.  I'll stick with my promise to save the socio-political commentary for others.  There are far more qualified people to carry on about everything and after a lifetime of pissing straight into a driving wind, it's just not sustainable any longer.  Who has the energy. Someone has to of course but it can't be me.

I'm done.

The more I learn, the less I know.  I never knew what that meant before, but I know now, and that's about all I know.

I'm tired.

There is still plenty to be grateful for.  I will sit down and write a long gratitude list over the next few days, and then I will sleep on it.  2014 rocked my faith though, despite the blessing of the presence of so many wonderful people in my life.  There are a considerable number.

Still, this year rocked my faith.  Today rocked my faith.  What else is there to say?

It's not a question of being ungrateful.

I'm not necessarily unhappy.  I'm really not.

But I am tired.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Double-decker Races on 5th Avenue

Say something...

Five years...

Five years today since I packed it in and made what was, at the time, a half-assed commitment to give it all up and change the way I did things.  The promise was made with no more commitment or resolution than hundreds of promises that came before.  Maybe what made it stick for this long, so far, is that other options were pretty much used up.  Perhaps it was no longer a choice.  It didn't actually feel like there were any other options.  It was quit the life, or die, and the second didn't really seem all that unreasonable.  It's not that I really wanted to go at 48, but we weren't working with all that much hope.  Snuffing it appeared to be the more likely scenario.

December 23rd, 2009 was a pretty chilly day, if memory serves.  The apartment on 18th street was packed into boxes for an imminent move.  The landlady was renovating from the bare bones so we had to go.  The details are hazy.  There were boxes and disassembled furniture.  There were dirty dishes.  There were Christmas presents to wrap.  There was a man lying in a heap on the kitchen floor, sweating in his underwear, despite that all the windows were open.  Nobody told him that a hard detox with no medical assistance was a bad idea, but he didn't really look into it either.  Was it worse than one of the more brutal hangovers?  Hard call.  I'm just going to say that if you've been hitting it hard for a few years it's not the best idea to go it alone.  I don't recommend it.  But I've found that to be true about a lot of things in life, over these last five years.  You don't have to do much alone.  It's not recommended to try hard shit by yourself.  You don't get brownie points for being reckless with your own life.  It may have gotten you a few free drinks in bars if you had a crazy story to tell, but in real life, it rarely works that way.  Just trust me on this one.

So... I'm not really big on navel-gazing, but it's difficult to avoid a period of reflection when you get to an anniversary of anything.  Looking back, it can be said without hesitation that this has been the most difficult year of all.  I buried the person I loved most in the universe, and a few other people too.  I've had to shovel through a lot of wreckage of the past while simultaneously living in a brand new present, taking a lot of what I've learned since December 23, 2009 out into the world and apply it in some trying situations.  Real life... or life on life's terms, as they say.

I've had to let go or be dragged.  Letting go of the past, whether it be events long gone or old habits, is the hardest of all.  Becoming entirely willing to give in to the momentum of change both in yourself and the world around you, and trusting that you'll be okay, is the hardest of all.  Living in uncertainty... well, let me pause and say this.  There are no promises that the circumstances of your life will get any better, but your ability to remain present and upright definitely gets easier, if you're willing to learn and let go.  It does get better.  I remember the older guys early on saying that and grinning, and I recall the bile that their nodding and grinning induced.  It's true though.  It gets better, if only because it gets easier as your reflexes get sharper.  Your ability to face all kinds of feelings gets better.  I can say that with 100% honest and clarity because even though I wake up some days feeling like I'm still in the shit (and maybe I am) I know it will pass.  I know I can handle it.  Semper fi, motherfuckers.  I'm ready.  Give me what you got.

And at the same time I look at the guys with thirty years, and I look at the guys who have now been in longer than they were out.  It's so impressive but at the same time it's frightening.  They all say they're still coming around because they need to.  It's true what they say then, that a pickle will never again be a cucumber, and my worst enemy will always be my very own nature.   It's inside me.  That's scary.

Here it is though.  I'm told I get my marbles back at this point.  Some days lately that seems to be the case, but now what the fuck do I do with them?  That part isn't so clear.  All I can do, at the moment, is gather them up and take my marbles to work.  I feel heavy with loss today when I think about the people that I began the year with that I'm not ending the year with.  There are those I had to let go of and leave behind.  There are a few more that left me behind.  I'm feeling age and road-wear too.  There is a strange, blunt, pounding headache behind my eyes.  The daylight hurts and I'm grateful for clouds and rain.  I'm up and moving.

I can't say honestly that I like where I am right now, but the difference is that now I can say I know in my heart of hearts that I don't have to remain here.  The only thing that can keep me here is me... that enemy within.


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Columns 57th Street New York, NY

What We Want

In a poem
people want
something fancy,
but even more
they want something
made plain,
easy to swallow-
not unlike a suddenly
harmonic passage
in an otherwise
difficult and sometimes dissonant
even if it is only
for the moment
of hearing it.

The female of the species is more deadly than the male...

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

4,11, 23, 22, 50

It really comes down to harm reduction, doesn't it?  At least after a point?  The damage is already done, and then you factor in age and time, which are really the same thing anyway.  It's not like there comes a point where none of it matters and you can just let it all slide.  You can't count on cutting it short by slacking off because you may just hang on despite yourself.  It's harm reduction, then.  Take vitamins and change your diet and get up and move more.  There is nothing worse than remaining sedentary where you sit and decay with your own thoughts.

There's no real reason to wake up feeling this way.

What way?

"I'm feelin' some kinda way."

That's what it comes down to.  There are complicated things with too many sharp angles to get a good look at.  You examine it from any angle and/or distance and it looks different.  Too many variables and your vocabulary collapses and there are no adequate descriptors.  You're just feeling "some kinda way" and "some kinda way" never feels good.  You know Heaven and you know Hell but there's an emotional purgatory where you sit for eternity waiting, for no apparent reason, for a heavy boot to drop.  There is nothing back over either shoulder that may indicate impending doom but you feel it's right there nonetheless.  You're in for it.  It's coming.

There are too many of these mornings and my feeling is that I'm too far into this game to have so many of them.  Just maybe, like the unexplained physical ailments that plague me, it's a byproduct of aging and questionable nutrition.  It would be nice to think that not only can it be explained away that easily, but that it can be eaten and exercised away quickly... that somehow a clock could be reset, at least a little to bring things back around to even just feeling okay.

Harm reduction...

Yet I awaken from these dreams that whose details fade as quickly as my eyes open, and I'm left with feelings.  I'm left with Madeline's Miss Clavell feelings that "something is not right."

That the bottles and jugs of vitamins and nutritional supplements lined up like squat soldiers atop my bureau have been mustered for a war that is already over.  That all the moving from here to there and back to get my heart racing is just dodging bullets that will eventually get closer and then nail me a good one, maybe a headshot.  Quickly would be good though, right?

Those numbers up there at the top indicate that, at some point nearly five years ago, I awakened on alien terrain and like Robinson Crusoe I've had to build a brand new survival skillset.  I'm learning as I go and just as one obstacle is surmounted, there is a new one.  Maybe it's a storm rolling in over this island where I often wake up feeling marooned.  Maybe it's headhunters landing in canoes.  It has to be headhunters because it usually doesn't feel like a social call when another face appears on the beach below.

So maybe that's what "feelin' some kinda way" means, that I'm weary of dodging something inevitable and that I just want to sit down and wait for it to happen.  I haven't figured it out, but just maybe that's it.  There is no apparent reason that one should wake up with the hair on the back of one's neck standing upright and frozen, stock-still and wary.

Fear of something inevitable...

***There is a postscript also, that there are a lot of complicated and as of yet unresolved feelings on a plethora of issues, both personal and otherwise.  They will have to be addressed at some point, or they will abscess and fester.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Oh, Fortuna...


4, 11, 18, 22, 54

Trudging the road of happy destiny, or something of the sort...  There is no small amount of cynicism in that phrase, and what does that say?  It says, "Make no mistake.  There will some rough patches."

It says, "Some days are all uphill."

The founders never come right out and say all this, but it's there.  Some of the passages just sound weary.

I am weary.

Tuesday, December 09, 2014

4, 11, 17, 13, 25

That's the official count as of right now.

I'm not going to lie.  This whole process, they say, demands rigorous honesty and they're not kidding, so why stop now.  It's gotten me this far.  They also talk about avoiding outside issues and justified anger and experience (mine) dictates it's not without very good reason because when you take a look at the MALEVOLENT, BLACKHEARTED, PERVERT SHITHEELS (click for details) that you have to share this increasingly filthy orb with, you're going to question why you bothered.

Trust.  There will be moments when you come to realize that the reason you've always felt so goddamned alienated your entire life is that an awful lot of people are intolerably selfish and mean.  Not all people, mind you, and maybe not even a minority, but an awful lot and you will encounter some of these horrorshows on a daily basis.  You may be related to them or have to go to school with them or work with them or whatever.  There are enough that they will always be right there.

And if you've managed to escape them in your own daily life, remember that you live in a media deluge, so you're going to notice that they are all over the place.  The Earth is populated by a shit ton of assholes, and many of them are in positions of authority.

What is this?  This is a brief rant.  It has been one of those days.  Tomorrow might be another just like this one.  Or worse.

Or better.

Hard call.

We don't really get to make that call, or not always anyway.  Some days are just for getting through.  The single thing you can say at the end of those days...

These days...


Is that you made it through without making it worse.

I feel that it's important that you know in advance that there will be days like this.