Thursday, June 25, 2015

Lost Moments

And that's what life is unless you're one of the select few for whom the Universe comes together as with a single,  grand raison d'ĂȘtre.

Just moments.

But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  If you're not kicking your own ass because you can't be a hero, and you stop to breathe, you can string together a linear masterpiece of...

Of moments.

You really have to pay attention though.

5:30 this morning and I'm out with the dog, my best friend.  We're doing our thing and I see a neighbor coming up the street, still hammered from last night.  He can barely walk and he looks like he's in serious pain.  He appears to be using everything he has just to stay upright.  His skin is hanging and yellow.  His jaw is slack and his mouth open.  It takes all his effort to pull himself up into his pick-up.

He's going to drive?

Wow.

But he does.

It makes me wonder if he even remembers his "moments" last night, and if they're at least enough to make this morning worth it.  If I were to guess I would say he will probably not remember much of this morning either, he was that far gone.

And it made me think of all the moments I will never get back.  There must be a considerable number.

Just gone.

Not only did they not last but there is nothing left of them.  My only souvenirs are lingering health issues and some bad teeth.

Moments.

That's all I'm shooting for now -- things to remember.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Moments Like These

Street art is like that.  It's done as an offering.  A person may see it just that one time, maybe coming through the light when it's green.  Or maybe you catch the red and you see it and it barely registers.  Or you look long and hard at it and wonder what it all means.  But maybe you already know that nothing lasts.  I passed by this on the corner of Broadway and Grand.  A mail lady stopped and waited so I could get a straight, clean shot.  She gave me a moment to get it right. 

About an hour earlier I was on the corner of Broadway and 14th at Union Square.  A small crowd of people was gathered around a high school boy in a graduation cap and gown.  He was on the pavement having a seizure.  I didn't take a picture but you best believe people did.  It probably wasn't the first photo taken of him that day, but again, moments like these don't last. 

Moments like these never last.

Moments like those never last.

I mean... nothing lasts. 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The Phoenix

The photos don't do justice to my magical thinking.  Leaving therapy, the entire sky red, like the whole West Side had burst into flames... some ancient beast exhumed and breathing fire. 

An omen.

Or just a meteorilogical phenomenon. Last year, writing daily and the old world breaking surface regularly like an old humpback... everything seemed connected.  Everything was a sign. 

Everything and nothing.

Potential Clients

Monday, June 22, 2015

Friday, June 19, 2015

Word of the Day: RETROMINGENT


Retromingent: Urinating backwards. Also an animal such as a raccoon that urinates backwards. As in: "You have revealed yourself as a miserable, carping, retromingent vigilante, and I for one am sick of wasting my time communicating with you" (Benjamin C. Bradlee, Editor, The Washington Post). From the Latin retro- (back) + mingent from mingere (to urinate).

Sadly, my life is plagued with people like this -- passive-aggressive shitheels who will mark everything, despite any inconvenience to anyone, including themselves, just to say they were there.  

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

From Battery Park to Pier 15

Union Square Today

Hmmmm...

BEZT via StreetArtNews

And it speaks to a certain melancholy, downgraded from near-panic and dread and anger.  It may, at some point over the next couple days, move into grim resignation, which is quite a distance from acceptance.  Acceptance would be ideal, but resignation will work for the time being.

It could just as easily escalate all over again and that green hangover haze will gather around me like a fog.  That's what it feels like, and who would know that feeling better?  Not that it's even possible but it feels the same.

... born back ceaselessly into the past.

Fuck you, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Fuck you.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

In a state

via a Scottish comedy thing

It's just that sort of day.  If I could drop a deuce down the chimney of your favorite chippie, I sure would.  It doesn't require an excuse.  IT. IS. JUST. THAT. SORT. OF. DAY!

Because I say so.

Dreams, dreams, dreams...

Two nights ago they weren't so much dreams as a storm, rolling thunder and lightning stabs of pain in my head and limbs.  I woke up with one of those back-of-the-neck throbbing, nauseous pains that induces vomiting which creates pressure which brings more pain.  Everything screamed, "call in sick."  Except for the responsibilities which demanded that calling in sick wasn't an option.

Whatever.

I got it done.

I came home and rolled in and out of bouts of fitful sleep.  There were dreams but God only knows what they were.  They couldn't have been pleasant because this morning is downright foul.  I am unfit for human consumption.

I would shit down the chimney of your chippie and laugh.

Admit it.  You deserve it.

Or not.  You may or may not but either way it isn't about you.  It's about something that even I can't put my finger on.  I feel depleted.  My supply of "nice" is seems used the fuck up and it leaves an inventory of things I've never been in short supply of.  It's all the stuff that used to give me that warm, fuzzy feeling when the world seemed hostile and threatening.  It's what I had in my arsenal that told me that, yes indeed, I'm going to get through this.  Nice to see it's still there.

Just in case.

I deleted the collection of inspirational readings and meditations that comes to my e-mail inbox every morning.  We won't be using that today.  It's not a question of should because I probably should.  It's the issue with won't.  We won't be using it.  Today could really be a hell of a ride.

OR, something could derail the hate train and make it all fluffy clouds and birds chirping.  It feels unlikely at this juncture but it has happened in the past.  There are days that are just about riding currents.  You wake up in a downdraft and then...

I doubt it.

The crocodiles will say that a man can restart his day at any point, no matter what has already happened.  They are right, to my experience anyway, but the man has to want to restart it.  That's the problem today.  I don't know if I want to reboot.

That's bad.

Maybe.

The crocodiles do say also that it's not about who needs it.  Everybody needs it.  It's for those who want it.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Brooklyn Waterfront - Bay Ridge to Owl Head

Afro Hooligans - Dissociative Trance Disorder

Equally troubling and compelling, so sitting here trying to decide if I would listen to the music without video accompaniment, or if the video would be as jarring without the music.  Overall, they do complement each other perfectly, but...

And then there's an odd personal identification.  There were countless, endless nights that this recalls.  Moving in a trace state, strobing in and out of here and now consciousness, mostly oblivious to the wreckage of moments before.  Is that what they intended?  Who knows?

I feel this, though.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Repeat - Astor Place Zoo

Manhattan Bridge Pedestrian Walkway to Brooklyn

2nd Ave and Houston, NYC

Fate, Chance and Twelve Packs,


You threw empty Miller ponies
at DANGEROUS CURVE signs along 461
on the ride back from the nearest wet county
& now in the playground gravel you see glass
scattered like tea leaves & you don’t know
if they’re telling you to write more poetry
or go build a nursery on the west coast
of the Sea of Cortes. First, your will
must evaporate like moths when a tree falls
in the forest. You must speak
like an orchid, fancy yet tender, bold enough
to be rooted in bark. Somewhere in the stars
is written a holy bibliography
of the places you’ve published your urine,
mostly on drunken nights long ago
in a Kentucky summer when the world was your toilet,
existence a mishap. Lean in now, listen
to what the rain says as it shines
the glass & gravel & pokes its way
into the cracked dirt as if Earth’s dark loam
were something you could peel back
& slide into until the sun returns.
It probably sounds corny but I got well reading inspirational literature in the morning.  Well, that wasn't all but it was part of it.  It was probably just the willingness to take the suggestion and do so but there you go.  Those who have known me well will see this as a confession of guilt.  Not that this is in any way inspirational, at least not in any traditional sense.
Whatever.
This poem... I'm still processing it.  I read it yesterday and can't quite sort it out.  There is something there though.  There is something familiar though that digs deep in under the ribs and pulls.  It's like when the hillbilly singers go into that high and lonesome things they do and it resonates down deep, even if you never lived off in Appalachia.  Or the lone bagpiper thing.  
Who is Ron Salutsky?  A writer, a poet and a teacher -- that's what Google brings up.  There's something more there too.  He's been places that I've been.  He doesn't even have to say the words.  There's a secret language spoken and you either know it or you don't.  We all know each other.
Like Freemasons?
No.  More like aliens.  A wink and a nod, and that quick 'yah, I'm here too' reassurance.
Gotcha.
I'm off this week, not exactly sailing on an even keel and kind of lurching along parallel to the current.  It's hard to say what that's about.  There will be days like this, is what we know.  You can do everything right and still be wrong.  That's just how it goes.  I want to reject the TGIF cliche but it's appropriate this time around.  It's time to withdraw and regroup, and maybe read inspirational literature or pray or meditate or masturbate or some fucking thing.  Whatever it takes, because there just isn't enough coffee in the world to make me want to wake up, suit up and show up today.  
Today is painful.  
At least right now.  
I want to, as the poem suggest, peel back something and slide into it until the sun returns, but I think what's really bugging me is some sense of loss.  There is something that's not coming back or something that I'm just not going to get back.  This feeling may simply be time and loss.  It can't be rolled back.  That was then and this is now.  Yah, this is time and loss.  It's like reaching that age where old injuries barely remembered become nagging, chronic pain.  It's like packing a moving truck and pulling out of the driveway with that fucking feeling that you've forgotten to something.  Maybe you forgot to shut off the gas and you've already gone back again, and again, and again, but the house is empty.  
There is nothing back there.  
Hit the gas and keep going.  
It's gone.
It's all over.  

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Damn Good Question


1) Write a drug memoir and spare none of the gory details.

2) Fuck someone famous and write a tell-all biography.

3) Ask Adele if you can collaborate on an album.

4) Be really jaded, marry an old man.  Wait for him to die.

Don't write a blog.  Blogs don't really work.  

Trust me.  

Mining Emotion

via Olivier Garraud

You have to go down the rabbit hole with his site, just a bit, and click randomly to find the most compelling images.  There are no instructions and no maps or legends.  Just click the images and you'll find something.

Analysis or therapy is rather like that.  You click randomly on an image or issue or topic, close your eyes, and let it open.  That might be over-simplification.  It often doesn't open readily, not for me anyway.  Its more a process of vomiting on the floor and examining the pieces.

Wait!  You don't like that image?

Okay, then.  You remember being a kid, right?  And you would be looking for something specific in the toy box and just couldn't seem to find it.  You obsess and obsess on it and think maybe it's lost, or perhaps you left it at a friends house.  Finally you just tip the whole damn thing over and let it all spill out on the floor.  Then things turn up in the mess that have little or nothing to do with what you were seeking but fill a much more immediate and vital need.

Toys you had forgotten you owned.

Garraud's site is like that.

Therapy is kind of like that.

I won't say there have been any epiphanies.  You don't bury things for decades and walk away and all of a sudden remember where you lost them.  Other things turn up though, that are not exactly revelatory or vital, but there they are.  You pick them up in your hands and examine them from every angle, trying to place together the feelings coming up and wrapping around it, and you just say...

Oh...

Oh.

And they're right there in your hands:  toys, or often pieces of toys or games that you can't fully remember and you wonder if you should just throw it out, or save it in case you find the whole thing.  Then you obsess a bit.  You can't throw it back in the box because it might get lost again, but that might not matter anyway, but you don't know how much it might matter if it does, so you leave it someplace out in the open where you can keep an eye on it until you figure it out.

That's what it's been like so far, and I wish there were more to tell you, but there are no personal revelations as of yet.  There have been no breakthroughs.  This is just about breaking open my head to figure out what makes the rattling noises.  I'm pretty certain though that when I find something it's going to be really simple but really jarring at the same time, not unlike Garraud's image above.  There is as much detail there as anyone should need to find a personal connection.  There are no blanks to fill in.  It's all very simple and it's right there.  It's not because I'm more vulnerable, even if I'm more vulnerable and prone to tears than you, or more so than usual.

There will be time also to sort it out.  The forecast is for sun and moderate temperatures.  I will be out canvassing neighborhoods today and going door to door.  I will be logging miles on foot, which is how and where I find myself, out in anonymous neighborhoods surrounded by strangers.

Today I am grateful for walking, and for sunshine, and for strangers.

You think that last bit is odd?  Just try it.  Try being anonymous for an afternoon.  Don't check your texts or phone messages.  Don't check-in on Facebook to see what your people are doing.  Try to stop waiting for the phone to ring.  See how long you can go without touching it.  Count your steps one by one.  Empty your mind except for the numbers in your head as you count.  Don't look at anything specific but wait for images to come to you.  Listen in on conversations in foreign languages that you have no comprehension of.

Try to be empty.

Try to be "not you."  Or to not be anybody just for a few moments.  It's peaceful.

Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I thought I was the only one that did this.

via This Isn't Happiness

From ghoulies and ghosties, and long-leggedy beasties, and things that go bump in the night, Good Lord deliver us!

It's not the things that might creep about my bed, but all that might creep about inside my head...  These  creatures are infinitely more terrifying than anything the rest of the Universe may conjure.

So it could very well be the change of seasons.  Or maybe it is that the weather doesn't seem particularly committed to any specific season and we are all stuck on a teeter-totter between hot and cold, creating this cognitive dissonance.

Oh wait!  That's just me.  There hasn't been a poll or a consensus on that.  I've yet to turn on the news and hear the anchor say anything like, "The entire population of the Northeast is feeling some kinda way..."  Silly me.  I am torn between thinking I am alone in the universe and some manner of magical thinking where everyone already is or should be thinking just like me... all residents of a funky (not George Clinton funky) bleak, ghetto.

It's not quite depression.  It's a general sense of not being quite in step with my footsteps, or in synch with the words coming from my mouth.  It's a split-second delay, like standing to the side and just behind someone who looks like me, passively observing the action, and of course the inaction.  It's a split-image when looking in the mirror, double-vision, or not quite in focus.  A shake of the head and the images join momentarily and then settle back to broken, almost imperceptible.

Curious enough, but the images are closer to joined than in the past.

The past.

There has been a lot of attention paid to the past lately.

My past.

I've probably used this analogy before but there has been a lot in the news about dredging the Hudson River to clean up toxins.  Environmentalists on one side say this action is vital to the future of the river itself.  Opponents have said that leaving it buried is the only option for everyone living downstream from the area to be dredged.  The argument has been going on for years now with no resolution.  The jury is out on how this dredging process might apply to my personal toxins.  I would be more than happy to leave it buried but it appears to have been leaking out for a long time now.

Bite the bullet or take the punch or use whatever metaphor that is most applicable.  You have to suffer if you want to sing the blues, as they say.  Like an abscessed tooth, it appears that it must come out.

Or maybe it's just the weather.

***And then again, I just read this passage about a bird stretching out its wings and riding an air current, rather than struggling against it.

A little creative visualization maybe.

Maybe I can do that just long enough to get a safe landing on the other side of this.