Friday, October 30, 2015

Manhattan Bridge 10-30-15







Fugue

Something in there but I would be hard pressed to name it. What is it that they say? Feeling some kinda way... I woke up with it. It wasn't like there was nothing in my head. It wasn't blank. It just wasn't clear thoughts or words. Just a mass of something. Feelings. Not necessarily horrible feelings but not good ones. What to do what to do what to do... push out a loud fart and the dog raises up a bit and just looks at me. I swear she shook her head before she settled back down facing the other way. Hmmmmm. Canceled therapy for tonight. Not feeling well. I know that much. Today is a day for action. Forward motion. This is not a day to poke around in the back-forty looking for skeletons. Plenty of time for all that. Or not. All I know is that I am not feeling right. Halloween is all year in my head and the spooks are very, very restless. Staying busy will help. Cavorting with them will not. Go away or just shut up. I am not fucking with you lot today. Am not. Can not. Will not. Fuck away off. We'll play the rest of this by ear for the next 24.

Refugees

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Complicated

The alarm is set for 5:30 but who needs an alarm anymore? You have to sleep to need an alarm clock. Waking up isn't really the issue. Getting out of bed might be sometimes but that is another issue. My feet are cold for no good reason. The bedroom is warm enough. Still, they feel icy cold and damp. Cold, wet socks like.

The icy burn matches the one I always get in my stomach and it's there now. I am trying to use these relaxation exercises I learned decades ago that never really worked but just maybe this could be the first time. That is doubtful as I am dodging shrapnel memories.

Still thinking about The Nutty Professor and how she cut me down with my confidences, but more feeling this shame because I know there was a window of time that I would have taken her back. What the fuck? What was that about anyway? She was a fucking troll hiding under the bridge! Didn't trust her. Couldn't quite bring myself to like her but I might have told you at the time that I loved her and her steamer trunk full of issues and oddness.

Her strange anti-semitism despite that her son was bar mitzvahed. The undercurrent of middle America racism. The bitterness. The sexual hang-ups. Yah, those. I got the impression that she didn't like it though she wanted to fuck all the time. Was it guilt? Who the fuck knows? My head was too far up my own ass to figure that one out but it always seemed to me that it was more of a validation rite with her. There were things she would do with conviction and others she wouldn't. She said doggy style was sexist and demeaning. Really? How would I know. My motto has always been "no children, no pets and all else sure why not." I didn't try to suss it out. I just wanted to know why I felt desperately grateful that she would fuck me. That was more than unsettling.

This is the shit that goes through my head in the wee hours. It stabs through to the foreground like a shaft of light and then flips off to other tangents.

Why? I guess it's complicated. I am trying to sort it out.

Signs

I don't really know what I believe or don't believe.  I don't know what TO believe and tberein lies the dilemma.  It would really suck to be wrong.  I don't want to be wrong. 

Superstition gnaws away at me some days.  There are (seemingly) signs at every turn.  There are coincidences too uncanny (seemingly) to be coincidental.  I will be thinking about someone I haven't thought about for a while and then suddenly they bump into me in the street.  A song that I was only just humming will start to play in over the loudspeakers in a store.

There are random things I see that nip at a nerve and set the day off in a fearful direction.  A homeless person may look really familiar or say something strange and inscrutable but eerie enough to want to ask...

Who sent you?

Then there might be a silver, sharktooth earring lying on the floor of my entryway, that incidentally wasn't there when I left to walk the dog ten minutes earlier.  Why would this shake me?  No clues here but it did something.  It seems... threatening.

Somehow a hostile gesture even when the rational brain tut-tuts and says, but with no real authority that it is just a tacky piece of jewelry.  It is a fashion mistake.  Someone dropped it. 

Okay. I will try to write it off as the spirit of the season.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The Souls of Acheron


Waiting for the Boatman...

This one has always chilled me to the bone.  I am not versed on the relationship of the Ancient Greek concepts of death and The Underworld to Heaven, Hell, and Christianity.  Anguish is another story.  I know anguish.  And I know desperation.

Desperate anguish.

Hirschl nailed this one.

Maybe it's all symptomatic of my claustrophobia, but this by the way is how I see crowded trains and streets.

And I know what Thoreau said about man living in a state of quiet desperation, but I have never experienced it quietly.  It is clamorous and fetid.

Unless of course you are alone but in the unsettled times this image fairly well captures what goes on in my head, even when I am alone. 

Clamorous and fetid.

On a related note I have been afflicted all day with bursts of memory.  I think the word is flashbacks.  More on that shortly.

Triggers

Very little creeps me out more than discarded toys, in particular the plush beasties lashed to the front of garbage trucks, but dolls even worse.  They really wreck my head.  Where they were once possessed of magic and dreams and life, at some point the lights go out.  They sit there dead with their eyes still open.  It is horrorshow stuff and never fails to chill me right through.

Counting days


This one sort of speaks for itself, doesn't it.   I mean, beyond my ability to take something created for an entirely other purpose and co-opt it for my own cause.

My own thing.

It is never too early for self-flagellation, is it?  That's how it is though.  We create our own prisons and punishments for the crimes we manufacture.  The artist did create this to resonate though. To touch upon someone's inner horror deeply enough to purchase it and thereby support a cause.  

It half-worked.

Apologies but I am broke.  Working on that but for now I am ticking off days.

You know what the real kicker is with money though?  It's the uncertainty of it.  Money can get you out if all kinds of jams.  Without it you just wait for something else to fail. You're always waiting for the boot to drop.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Crazy?


The irony of singling one of them out as crazy doesn't escape me.  There is rather a 'pot, kettle, black' tip in effect as well.

Shhhhhhhh!

Spinning out on shit again.


I scour the Internet looking for a trigger, any random image that may trigger the deluge of word madness.  Well, lately I am satisfied if it is the literary equivalent of stomping on a ketchup packet on the sidewalk.  Think of the sound that makes..

It didn't take much tonight.  Something about this one spoke to... And the words are stuck.

More pressure.

Splat:  it spoke to the truth of my life.  That it never took a lot to upset my balance, either literally or figuratively.  I was born a fucking spastic.  It has gotten better but there are still days.  I will not be remembered for grace.

Nor balance by any definition of the word.

Another night of therapy and we were talking about The Crazy One.

"Tell me about her."

"What do you mean?"

"What was she like?"

The first thought that came to my head was an afternoon in her living room.  We had been kissing in the kitchen.  It was supposed to be a goodbye kiss but somehow our pants fell off and we teleported to the living room where she pushed me back onto her bright red, repro, mid-century modern sofa and  sat on my dick.  We went at it so furiously that the entire sofa scooted all over the room knocking over lamps and shelves.

The words accompanying this memory didn't quite make it to my lips but it is curious that this was the first thing that popped into my head when I was asked to describe her.  Sex was not what defined my relationship with The Crazy One.  The predominant feeling I associate with her is remorse, mostly that I was so upset when this thing with this person that I didn't even like ended.  But I knew before therapy tonight that the tears weren't for her, but because things always fucking ended, and because of most of them shouldn't have happened in the first place.

It went deeper than that too.  There was a stinging betrayal.  Not an infidelity issue really either but kind of deeper than that.  It was the way she gathered all the ammunition from all our intimate, late night confessionals.  Fears about who we were and weren't.  Where we had come from and the places we couldn't quite reach despite our efforts.  She took all these nuggets of my secret truth and formed them into silver bullets and shot me full of holes.

She was one cold-hearted bitch.

No.

She was just hurt and hurt people hurt people.  That she wasn't always so nice is another story.  That I had grown to dislike her is the point.  That I had grown so attached to someone I didn't like but still felt so inferior to is the frightening part.

Yet confronted with the question the first thing that came to mind was rattling the spindly legs off of the fake couch while the retriever bounced around the room barking.

Strange, goofy beast.  Me, her, and the dog alike.  The dog may have been the least strange of all.

Why did she upset my balance so?  I have some ideas.  There was ego involved, but then again when is it not involved.  Maybe more so here but I can discuss that with the analyst.

Not that it wasn't tempting to spill the sofa story like, "Here.  Ruminate on this for a spell."  Rarely one to miss an opportunity to raise an eyebrow, but that isn't what I am there for is it?

Whatever...

Selah. 

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Because...


Horizontal Lines


Just because...

But then again, just because what better way to start the weekend?  Friday night spreading out like a spill all over the city.  It's 8 pm and the Happy Hour People are doing this mitosis, splitting in to two distinct cells, one headed for home and the other for parts and adventures unknown.

Not me.

I've just come from therapy and evisceration where my "romantic" history was dumped steaming onto the floor and poked at and dug through with a stick.  My body hung above the mess, twitching, shuddering.  Something less than actual pain.  More a tangle of raw nerves like wearing my skin inside out.

This is my new happy hour and it's not even a full hour.  Probably for the best.  What the fuck though.  Here comes the weekend and I am pushing through the throngs.  I just want to go home and forget what I just vomited onto a relative stranger.

It's a shame that the good memories, and there are a considerable number of those, are fouled by proximity to the horrible and shameful and tragic.  I want to salvage them from the heap and clean them and preserve them.  Were it possible though, what would I do with these old photos and letters? It's like I've erected this museum somewhere deep in the pit of my stomach.  It has weight.

It has developed its own gravity that pulls the present inside to smother and embalm it.

What do I do with all of this?

Thursday, October 22, 2015

The Fall of the Rebel Angels (detail)

Pieter Bruegel the Elder

You can paint or sketch the demons in your head, or you can describe them in words.  Probably best not to even try to figure them out, though.  You may not be up to that task.  I am weary of all the processes through which I chase down my own, trying to catch, subdue, and examine them.  The dissection pan bores me.  The talking has me exhausted.  Therapy is less than therapeutic. I am ready to bargain with my demons.  

"You can stay.  Just keep it down at night.  I have to get up in the morning.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Stuff

1)  I am pretty close to believing that Donald Trump isn't, nor has he ever been, serious about running for office.  I suspect this is just theater.  Why?  Because he can,

2)  Unrelated, many people , including myself, set themselves up to be taken for granted.

3)  Artisanal Caucasians, having made inroads to repopulating Brooklyn, have reinvented, remixed, and rebranded narcissism.  They are reselling their artisanal identities to new homeowners in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens.

4)  For people feeling nostalgic for New York City in the 80s, check out 8th Avenue between 32nd and 42nd Streets.  It's not cute.

5). I feel like unplugging. 

Manhattan Bridge

It's here!

Thursday, October 15, 2015

William Carlos Williams on imagination and writing



From William Carlos Williams, and this is certainly one way to look at it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Life During Wartime

Funny that after 30-plus years, this song from Stop Making Sense has started making sense.

To me.

You wake up one day, like Rip Van Winkle, in a place that may or may not look anything that you expected to see when you opened your eyes, but you just know.  It's all wrong.

Everything is wrong.

It's worse when you open your eyes and it's the same damn thing but suddenly you realize that you couldn't be farther away from where you want to be.  Same old thing so why all of a sudden the surprise.

Huh.  I just remembered that I am supposed to be somewhere else right now.

Fortune Cookie



Via thisisnthappiness

5th Ave. & St. John's Place, Brooklyn

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Coney Island

I've never been out to see but the very first time I saw the surf pounding the shore I knew I was from there.

That we are all from the ocean.

I also knew that I would return there when I die.  Whatever remains... my remains... row out and drop me in.

Play it back...

Saturday, October 03, 2015

Alafia: The New Tropicalia?


The Yabba

Battles... I am always scrabbling and scrapping for an original sound.  This works.

40 days and 40 nights


  • Argentina: “It’s raining dung head-first.”
  • In Spanish: Esta lloviendo caen soretes de punta.
  • South Africa and Namibia: “It’s raining old women with clubs.”
  • In Afrikaans: Ou vrouens met knopkieries reen.
  • Denmark: “It’s raining cobbler boys,” or “raining shoemakers’ apprentices.”
  • In Danish: Det regner skomagerdrenge.
  • France: “It’s raining like a pissing cow.”
  • In French: Il pleut comme vache qui pisse.
  • Faroe Islands: “It’s raining pilot whales.”
  • In Faroese: Tað regnar av grind.
  • Finland: “It’s raining like Esther sucks”
  • In Finnish: Sataa kuin Esterin perseestä.
  • Germany: “It’s raining puppies.”
  • In German: Es regnet junge Hunde.
  • Greece: “It’s raining chair legs.”
  • In Greek: Rixnei kareklopodara
  • Ireland: “It’s throwing cobblers’ knives.”
  • In Irish: Tá sé ag caitheamh sceana gréasaí.
  • The Netherlands: “It’s raining old women,” and “It’s raining pipestems.”
  • In Dutch: Het regent oude wijven and Het regent pijpestelen.
  • Norway: “It’s raining troll women,” or “It’s raining witches.”
  • In Norwegian: Det regner trollkjerringer.
  • Poland, France, Romania: “It’s raining frogs.”
  • In Polish: Pada ?abami.
  • In French: Il pleut des grenouilles.
  • In Romanian: Plou? cu broa?te.
  • Portugal and Brazil: “It’s raining pocketknives,” and “It’s raining frogs’ beards.”
  • In Portuguese: Está chovendo canivetes or Está chovendo barba de sapo.
  • Serbia, Bosnia, Croatia: “The rain kills the mice.”
  • In Serbian: Pada kiša, ubi miša. 
  • Slovakia, Czech Republic: “Tractors are falling.”
  • In Slovak: Padajú traktory.

  • Idioms for heavy rain.... From thisisnthappiness.com
  • Levity

    Because who doesn't need levity?
    I pulled this off Facebook earlier today.  It helped.

    Rauschenberg


    Something about this one... It hits my brain like an old memory.  Falling asleep in front of the television with the 11:00 news on and the sound down.  Static like old broadcast tv with the rabbit ears.  Static like sleep pulling up an old wool blanket over a long day.  Blinking slowly in and out of the present.  A flash.  A blank screen and pop back to a black and white archive photo.  Then dream.  Then awake.

    Edna St. Vincent Millay

    I shall forget you presently, my dear (Sonnet IV) 

    Edna St. Vincent Millay1892 - 1950

    I shall forget you presently, my dear,
    So make the most of this, your little day,
    Your little month, your little half a year
    Ere I forget, or die, or move away,
    And we are done forever; by and by
    I shall forget you, as I said, but now,
    If you entreat me with your loveliest lie
    I will protest you with my favorite vow.
    I would indeed that love were longer-lived,
    And vows were not so brittle as they are,
    But so it is, and nature has contrived
    To struggle on without a break thus far,—
    Whether or not we find what we are seeking
    Is idle, biologically speaking.

    Edward Hopper Fix

    That should do it for now.

    You will resume your callow ways...



    The accusation.
    The indictment.
    Or maybe the melodramatic breakdown into cacophony.  I can't recall what it was that first seized me.  It captured what I was feeling at the very moment I was feeling it, snotty, childish and all like I will show you I will be vindicated and blah blah blah I will have my day or my fucking pound of flesh thank you Shylock oh my fucking god this is childish whatever.

    Another chilly, autumn day but definitely not so far back.  Maybe ten years at the most in that little apartment on 18th Street.  The Fortress of Solitude.

    There was another song on Her Majesty... Red Right Ankle.  Painful imagery but so... Something I still lack the vocabulary to describe and probably why the masterpiece remains unwritten.  I never learned how to describe feelings.  Hide as many as possible, yes.  Be embarrassed and ashamed of them?  Certainly.  Lay them out freely before me and examine them?  Pick them up and hold them and embrace them?  You must be kidding.  No. 

    So I sit there in the little apartment overlooking the Prospect Expressway and wonder oh my fucking god that is so beautiful why can't I write like that.

    Why?

    Good question.



    How do you get to Carnegie Hall?

    Practice, practice, practice!

    You have to feel them before you write about them, or allow yourself to play the tape to the end.
    Know the emotion in its entirety.  Let it flow.  Open the vein and bleed it out.

    Then, maybe...

    Friday, October 02, 2015

    Amputation

    I tried to sever my early life from my present and future.  To pull up my remains and sculpt a new me from the carnage.

    Of course this crude surgery was wildly unsuccessful.  The partially amputated limb swung behind me with all the gore and nerves exposed.  In time it scarred over but was no less grotesque and impossible to conceal.  Every so often sharp pains would jet through the tortured nerve endings leaving me incapacitated for periods of time.  Or infections, similarly dehabilitating, would set in.

    Now, it has become readily apparent that age will only exacerbate this self-inflicted malady.  It will require continued professional attention.  It will require a sort of surgery, sans anesthesia.

    And so on...

    The Bogeyman is just plain old


    What does it all mean now that the big bad wolf that hung over a whole generation like a dark cloud is just a footnote now?

    Time renders most of us, the best and the very worst, irrelevant.

    Sorry, Charlie.

    I was surprised to see this because you never even hear his name invoked anymore.  Another generation and he will cease to exist, even as a morbid curiosity.

    NPR

    I have this longstanding, long-running relationship with NPR.  I turn the station on in the morning and it remains on all day.  It is, for me, like working the counter in a cafe that fills throughout the day with a rotating cast of regulars.  The core cast is the same and they will have new people, friends and family in town, joining the rotation.  Their conversations fill the room all day.  Nobody sits quietly.  Sometimes I eavesdrop, harvesting tidbits that I look further into later.  Sometimes I tune them out and go about my business wiping the counter and cleaning the dishes.  Often I pray to never hear them again, but that's just about turning a switch. 

    Thursday, October 01, 2015

    Tie a yellow ribbon 'round the old oak tree

    Poop plague in Park Slope.  Yes, this is a real thing.  Someone is 'fertilizing' all the trees along one block in otherwise nearly suburban Park Slope.  It would be lying to say I don't find it funny so maybe there is something wrong with me.  For sure it would piss me off were it in front of my house but it's not.  And yes it is disgusting but it really piques my curiosity.  There has to be a backstory here.  It's been going on for months now.  Furthermore since I pride myself on honesty I will have to admit that my disdain for the artisanal Caucasian culture that has come to define this neighborhood is what is fueling my glee.  Whatever.