Monday, February 27, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Prospect Park - Coming In For a Landing

When you're an insomniac every sentence out of your mouth can be like a dream.  It forms in your mouth and comes out and by the time you've heard the sound of your own voice, often startling, it's faded and there is little memory that it ever happened.  You know there was a sound, but you can't quite place it.  

Welcome to my world.  

I know I was in the park an hour ago.  My feet were moving.  It was cold.  I can still feel the ache in my knuckles and my face is windburned.  More than all that, there is photographic evidence.  Without that it might be difficult to tell if I were really ever out of bed.  Maybe I dreamed it.  

Perhaps I take photos as a record that something actually happened.  

My friend and I used to muse, stoned, that maybe the present in which we were sitting and smoking and talking wasn't really happening.  That we were dreaming it.  It seemed plausible, except for what I didn't want to tell him.  The sentence would form in my head and move toward my mouth but I would stop.

"Dude, may our dreams never be this tedious.  It's highly unlikely that two people could be having the same fucking boring dream simultaneously."  

But now I take pictures.

And right in this moment I am back in my bed, and unconnectedly feeling a sense of dread.  Something is about to happen.  Something unpleasant.  How can I be so certain that something is about to happen when I'm not 100% certain that something that only just happened actually did?  Fuck it.  Maybe it is connected after all.  Everything else seems to be.  

--  I walked about 13 miles in total yesterday and managed for a good part of it to sidestep feelings about recent news from across the Atlantic.  I came home and played with my dog and did laundry and organized some tax information.  Then I sat up a good part of the night occupied with photography websites and poetry and random stupid things.  I listened to music.  

This morning I came in for a landing, flapping awkwardly like a fat goose into the lake, back to earth to settle into reality.  The sun came up and feelings arose with it.  It seems awfully fucking bright out there.  It's bad enough in here with the curtains drawn and the lights off.  Maybe it's the glare from the laptop screen.  Or maybe it's just too many hours awake and feeling things.  

"You know what we do with feelings," The Crocodile asked me?

"Fucked if I know.  What?"

"We feel them."


Okay.  We feel them.  


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL

It's like glass tonight.  A dark mirror.  Standing looking at the reflection.  Looking at  my reflection.  Reflecting.

Reflecting on the word "metastasized."

Fuck you cancer.

Fuck you.  

How long then?

Six months.  A year.  Two years, mebbe if things go well.

I could come there.

No you cyant.  Ya stay weh ya are, Mister Biggs.  Do dat ting ya do.  Work.  Write.  Tell ya story, Bigga.  I'll read dem and it mek me feel good.  But ya cyant come here!  Seen?


I could feel that thing happening.  I could feel everything shutting down.  I could feel the drift to that place, off to the side of where feelings happen and words don't happen.  She reached in with her words and pulled me back.

How ya woman, den?  How da pickney?


And it felt wonderful for a moment to say that and even remembering who I was talking to and the circumstances and what she had just told me, it felt okay to say the word wonderful and feel it.  Always honesty with Natalie.  Always, because it is how it has always been.  It's what we do and it's what we always did when we weren't doing that other thing, and then I thought about how few people there are that I've ever shared that kind of intimacy with.

Honesty = Intimacy.  

It does.  

Den ya cyan stay right dere, Bigga and do what you do best.  Use dem words and tell ya story.  

And I must've gone silent again.  I must've drifted off because before I knew it she was dragging me back.

What ya thinkin' den?

I'm thinking about feelings.

Ah, Mister Biggs, I know all 'bout ya great big feelins.

And you know this how, Miss Natalie?

Cuz I read what ya write down an' I know anyway.  Always I know.  An' besides, I'm the only one ya write 'bout den, aren't I?  

Ha!  Yah, sort of...

Den go an' tell ya story, Mister Biggs.  Don't worry tellin' mine.  Ya got ya own.  

And she's absolutely right.  We all have our own stories.  We tell the parts we can, and then the story tells itself and somewhere between it plays out.  

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

In a panic, they tried to pull the plug.

The Terminator: The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line August 4th, 1997. Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug.

Too late.  Skynet was already being a dick.

Monday, February 20, 2017

Church & Rogers, Brooklyn, NY

Round the way.

Our heads are round so our thoughts can change direction. ~ Francis Picabia

Friday, February 17, 2017

Reading Bigly Comic Books

Faith redux

There are times when it must be easier to have faith in this god or that one and that there is a rhyme and a reason for every last thing under the sun.  It must be nice to believe with all one's heart that there is an eternal reward. 

Having spent a good part of my life fearing that there really was a god and that he had a shit list with my name on it made my original lapse of faith a relief.  It did create a vacuum though, into which a giant sense of pointlessness came with a horrible wet sucking sound.  That pointlessness is what remained and some days there aren't enough shards of beauty pile on the big scale and balance it.

The Crocodiles say it's about surrender.  Apparently surrender is different and preferable to saying fuck it and giving up. Time shall tell. 

Or not.  Just looking for answers has worn me out. 

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Works for me.


Just once and just once again.

Pondering my last missive... was I ever?  Just once was I so that I took the chance and carved initials into the fresh paint of a brand new train station somewhere far up the line.

MSR + ...

Then a year later, after the sobbing, gagging tears and the pain still feeling fresh though the affair had gone belly up 11 months prior, I was looking at my artwork and promising that I would never fall that hard again.  Never one to keep promises to myself the next one was even harder, and the next harder still.  Then more promises and broken promises and eventually I got a handle on what love was and wasn't and what was just burning loneliness and fear. 

I've forgotten that once or twice since, life circumstances being what they are and coming as they will.

Then I would remember again and forget again, and then just come to accept that loneliness doesn't have to burn. 

And so on.

And so we beat on, boats against the current,  born back ceaselessly into the past... thanks Mr. Fitzgerald.

That new train station became old quickly and my souvenir painted over, and then the building was torn down and replaced.  That's how things work.

A belated Valentine?

A man risked his life to write the words.
A man hung upside down (an idiot friend
holding his legs?) with spray paint
to write the words on a girder fifty feet above
a highway. And his beloved,
the next morning driving to work…?
His words are not (meant to be) so unique.
Does she recognize his handwriting?
Did he hint to her at her doorstep the night before
of “something special, darling, tomorrow”?
And did he call her at work
expecting her to faint with delight
at his celebration of her, his passion, his risk?
She will know I love her now,
the world will know my love for her!
A man risked his life to write the world.
Love is like this at the bone, we hope, love
is like this, Sweatheart, all sore and dumb
and dangerous, ignited, blessed–always,
regardless, no exceptions,
always in blazing matters like these: blessed.

I Love You Sweatheart ~ Thomas Lux

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Prospect Park - DDATHTL

There are few sounds more comforting to me than the crunch of frozen ground beneath my boots.  It's something going back years to being part of a large family in a small house.  There were windows of peace and quiet in the solitude, outside walking the dog, or coming back late from a friend's house.  It is part of that space in between things with defined boundaries.  There is quiet in the white space and it can be found in art, and the space between notes in music.  It is white and frozen and all of a sudden you're left with emptiness that you don't have to find a name for, or a feeling for.  You are left with yourself, and perhaps it's strange to find yourself in a moment where there is nothing but the sound and it starts then not from your ears but from the resonance coming up through the soles of your feet.  You hear it with your entire body and it is only you, and undefined boundaries.  


I awaken quite often with the sensation that I've been pursuing something.  It's not restful sleep.  I wonder where it is I go when I sleep, or maybe I'm just reliving every moment of the previous day... or the day to come.

Going Nowhere Fast

Edward Munch

Self-Portrait With Cigarette

An early experiment with the "selfie."  Self-portraits are nothing new.  Painters going back centuries represented themselves in art, but it's more than that too.  The self-portrait is as much an exploration of self.  A selfie on a mobile phone takes only seconds to sort out, the angle and the pose and what-not.  It takes even less time to delete it forever if it doesn't tell the story we wish it to.  A painting, however, requires more forethought and when you visit the galleries of self-portraiture over the years you discover quickly that the goal wasn't always to capture the most flattering light.  Munch, Van Gogh and even Edward Hopper, three painters of three distinctly separate generations, were excavating truths about themselves, whereas a selfie on a mobile is often about illusion.  Honesty is given the front seat.  It's still egoism but certainly not self-flattery.  It's the artist inside-out, rather than a surface representation.  Munch (and others) were willing to go deep and dark for the sake of honesty.  Any memoir, pictorial or written, should aspire to honesty, even when it's downright ugly.  

Immersive Realism

It bends me backwards, to the point where each of us in this physical world is an animator.  We build a world around everything and everybody we see.  We write their stories.  We give them motivation that may or may not parallel the reality that each character has created for himself.  We may catch a glimpse of the other person's reality when versions clash, and we rewrite our own narrative.  Or we may never see and we go on in our own immersive reality, untouched.  We each animate our own world so maybe it's not such a stretch that we can suspend disbelief when confronted with the depth of detail, or the immersive experience of animation.

Wednesday, February 08, 2017


Trying to recall what I was feeling back in 1978.  Maybe it's best to leave it all alone, lest something unmanageable or unexplainable gets dredged up, but that's not my way.

I pick scabs.

I look closely.

To the best of my recollection it was all about looking for a big, big answer to a question that remained uncertain.  It was a search for some kind of relief but from what isn't really clear.



Anguish that weed, beer and big, fake grins couldn't take care of.

Tuesday, February 07, 2017


Gas Mask?  Check

Big Belt Buckle?  Check

Ghastly Shirt?  Check

Must be the 70s.  I bet someone played Supertramp that day.  It probably wasn't me.

New York Fuckin' City

Potable Quotable - A Little Bukowski

“The problem was you had to keep choosing between one evil or another, and no matter what you chose, they sliced a little bit more off you, until there was nothing left. At the age of 25 most people were finished. A whole god-damned nation of assholes driving automobiles, eating, having babies, doing everything in the worst way possible, like voting for the presidential candidates who reminded them most of themselves. I had no interests. I had no interest in anything. I had no idea how I was going to escape. At least the others had some taste for life. They seemed to understand something that I didn't understand. Maybe I was lacking. It was possible. I often felt inferior. I just wanted to get away from them. But there was no place to go.” ~ Charles Bukowski

Thursday, February 02, 2017