Thursday, December 23, 2010
So I has me this new phone and I gots me this app that allows me to post to my blog from the great wide open.
Point is, I am trying to expand and improve my digital footprint. A blog that is updated once a month and a dormant twitter account are hardly the way to go. But what with having little free time, the computer doubling as the tv, and the previous inability to update anytime/anywhere, things just kept failing to get off the ground.
I figure I hate deadlines and obligations (mostly because I fulfill them, I guess I was raised right or something) but if I set some up maybe it will keep me honest, as they say.
So I'm going to aim low - updates twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday (whether I've got anything to say or not).
Let's see how it goes.
Monday, December 6, 2010
Way haul away, we're bound for better weather, to me
Way haul away, we'll haul away Joe
Nothing is ever free, ever bound outside of position, positionality. we are bound, then. bound and gagged and starting blind with bilge switch eyes and a hunger for a farther. I stood there on the decking and beggered for a birding, I stood there on the good ship and bound my feet for home. I should have known better, should have known they were to kill me. I should have known a better but at least I know it now.
A knife, the mate, he slipped me. A knife to cut my bindings. A knife, the mate, he slipped me, into my bed he came. A ship bound for freedom, a ship bound for glory. A ship they say was bound, but bound was how they held me.
A night then, a night, when given a beggers glass o vinegar, a slip a sip a glass and grasp at the cask a rum (salt pork and peter and with the glass and gasp, the rigging and rigged, I to the sea was to call my last breath and last home). They hauled and heaved and luck would turn the storm, a jonah a jones, and honing the blade, the knife the mate he slipped me I cut finally my bounds, my binding, the rock the millstone dragging me to the deeps the depth the darkness that calls me and Davy home. And swimming and smiling and breathing free at last but hardly and ever free I made for the open for the last for the depth and the deep and the sand and the silt and the land that any would call would call it land might it be land or die here in the struggle to swim this last and this last and the list and the once more inthe breach good sirs and one
a message, no bottle, never found.
Grad school (again) would certainly be a nice opportunity to move all the bookmarks a little closer to the back covers. As I get older (and surprisingly find myself thinking clearer and broader than I did in the heady days of youth) I find that time is such the rare commodity.
And it is so easy to get distracted. I've just spent the last couple minutes on Amazon. I've checked email and facebook. Poured the last of the coffee. And puttered around in general. Always the case that when time is of the essence that I often waste the most of it. I have to head out in about 30 on errands and such that will end this day of "freedom" that has mostly been taken up by sleeping in and catching up on that other lost commodity. This post is going nowhere. I was hoping that striking the keys (even though I lacked a initial idea) would lead me in a noble and notable direction. Like the discussion of architecture I was having with Gina yesterday. Or the one on Bigfoot I was having with my sister. No such, apparent, luck.
It's times like these that you feel you have to do something really important just to affirm that you are alive, that you can. To say that yes, when staring out into the vastness of the universe and infinite possibility I do recognize my insignificance, but it does not numb me to stupor but frees me from fear. And yet the arrow of time once again pierces my gentle heart with a mocking grin, implacable as ever.
We are at a tipping point in history. Of this much I am certain. Of this much I can see.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Thursday, October 21, 2010
First I misplaced the ending
Then I lost the plot."
Monday, September 27, 2010
Sunday, September 26, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Monday, September 13, 2010
I'm trying. And I am full of good excuses.
I thought, this morning while walking around the neighborhood hunting pups with the Binns, that I should write a memoir. A sort of memoir. A "what I can remember of my life without having to look anything up" memoir. A storytelling, then. Because my memory is often both better and worse than most. Remembering odd things like obscure numbers but forgetting names and events. A storytelling of my life based on my current circumstances and current disposition. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Now it seems like a lot of work that I don't have time for based on a payoff that may never come and a recollection that will almost certainly upset a great number of people and cause my mother to worry (needlessly) more than she already does. I mean, sure if it's a best seller like Eggers had it would be a great way to launch a career. More likely - nothing. And I find it hard enough to spare a few minutes for the blog. Let alone the novel. And now somehow I am also going to find time to pen facts?
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Then they’ll kill him with self-confidence
After poisoning him with words"
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
FUN with cats and dogs and marmosets and green things and cannibalistic fish (yes, fish) (Jimi 6, the shark episode, part 1)
It was 1994 and Kurt Cobain had just left the world a bit more depressed. Jimi was listening to good music, reading a couple good books, and scoring decent X, but he felt that something was missing in his life. At first he though it was a woman.
It was 1995 and there was nothing new under the sun. Jimi was newly divorced and had a second child to show for it. Not that he knew his son at all. The boy would be 11, Jimi guessed. Maybe it was time he showed up and took the kid out whoring. Did estranged fathers still do that these days? (Sometimes Jimi the Fix lost track of what century he was living in and what dues he owed his liege.)
It was 1997 and Jimi was heading up the kitchen on a research station off Cape Agulhas. The scientists were studying Great Whites. Jimi was wondering why L.L. Cool J would be cast to play him in the movie. They were nothing alike.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
*** FLASHBACK *** ALERT *** FLASHBACK *** ALERT *** THIS IS A WARNING FOR THE FOLLOWING COUNTIES THAT A FLASHB
It was the woods. There was probably acid.
It had began as a normal walk in the woods away from civilization, responsibility, and social mores. Jimi began in by sounding a barbaric YAWP! in a basso timbre at a volume he had never previously dared express. The angel trumpets and devil trombones echoed in his joyous cry (G.L.O.R.I.A).
It was his third day eating wild mushrooms and berries that the nice naturist down by the creek recommended when the animals started talking to him. It began as whispers in the empty forest. Mostly about what was good to eat and whose coat was coming in good this season, boy did she look smokin'. But then it got weird. Jimi stopped by a tree stump, drank some water, and smoked a bowl. And waited. Two days later Longfoot Coney came and introduced himself. In return for the knowledge of the wilderness, Longfoot took from Jimi memories, emotions, and the psychic scars of a life of petty crime and recreational drug abuse. Talking animals get off on that shit. Longfoot threw in a death prophecy for shits and giggles. He had never meant for it to come true.
The prophecy went something like this:
"In the beginning there will be three signs:" Longfoot Coney spoke in a clipped tone, eyes rolling into the back of his head, mumbling and shaking like a wino with the DTs.
"1. You will break your arm.
2. You will contract syphilis.
3. A clown will give you three gifts, one of which is more than it seems.
Then you will be betrayed by someone close to you, someone you did not expect.
Then you will die.
Do you want me to go on?"
Jimi did, but Longfoot didn't have much more to say and none of it is really worth repeating. Who cares where secret lettuce patches are or the wormhole to Alice's Restaurant is? Didn't think so.
Anyway, stay tuned for the shark.
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
- Uncle Leonard
It was morning in America and Jimi the Fix was sniffing glue with Marky Ramone.
By night Jimi was writing long form essays exploring everything from critical theory to political economics. Though not technically trained in anything, Jimi was something of an autodidact and his Xeroxed pages were collected and treasured like Dylan bootlegs in certain circles. (They were posthumously published in a three volume collection as Welcoming the Void: The Burden of Intelligence during the Cold War with a foreword and afterword by Dr. Hubert Gaintree, PhD.)
Occasionally Jimi mainlined heroin. In was New York. In the 80s. Like tagging crumbling walls and subway trains with Dali replications and dada originals, it was part of fitting in with the crowd. He grew to enjoy the particular taste of crimini mushrooms and was technically homeless for at least 3 -4 years. During that time two girlfriends gave birth to children that were not his. Though he considered himself artistically satisfied in a way that he would never again achieve, he felt that he was becoming quite the misanthrope. He retired to a hermitage in the Adirondacks in order to find peace and talking animals.
The next stage of his life reads almost exactly like a Norther European fairy tale.
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Jimi had been running numbers and a few substances on the side with the full knowledge and permission of several influential gentlemen and their associates for going on eight years. He hadn't been moving up (his family had no connections, he was just a two bit con who happened to have a name ending in a vowel) but he had been making money. An enterprising individual, Jimi had diversified his business(es): he ran newsstand (which made his illicit distributions simpler), he owned several more, he pioneered the idea of coffee and donut carts (at least in his neighborhood where he owned 7) and he made sure that the kids had their ice cream in the afternoon and the businessmen had their umbrellas on rainy days. His work was semi-legitimate and profitable, he was a noted member of the Chamber of Commerce and the local Kiwanis Club. Then came the misery. Jimi met Caroline, the devil's twin sister (twice as mean and much more attractive in the form fitting mini dresses.)
Caroline hired Dexter to remove a certain CEO of a certain multinational competitor of the Cavendish Corporation. The bomb went off 20 minutes after Jimi was scheduled to make a weekly horse drop. Jimi was late because his dick was burning (from the syph, he was careless during the 80s and 90s and slept with a fair compliment of dirty men and women despite the scares and warnings. He was not, what one would call, an ideal citizen.) and he had spent the last hour drinking cheap wine and crying in a public men's room. Throughout his 30s, when asked why Jimi had stopped saying "never trust anyone over 30", Jimi always responded that syphilis had saved his life. The conversation always ended there. Dexter Burroughs was successful in the hit. Later he would be contracted to remove Caroline. In this too, he was successful. Jimi was taken out by competitors. Dexter was not jealous. It was the nature of the business and he charged a premium rate. The bomb was a precision job that barely did any damage to the structure of the building and was noted by police and FBI inspectors as being premium work beyond any level they had previously seen.
Jimi drank red wine on the night he was betrayed, I drank red wine while writing this post (coincidence?)
At six, little Jimi had broken both arms and both legs (not at the same time), spent a total of 6 months in a hospital, and had conned all his friends and acquaintances out of their allowances for 2 years running. He spent the money on comics that he read once and then stored in plastic. The collection, willed to his daughter Constance Marie, would sell for a surprising total of $1.73 M.
At ten, Jimi was permanently excused from attending school (his arguments for "street smarts" were very persuasive).
At 15, Jimi had slept with all of his mother's friends (married, single, men, etc).
At 17, Jimi was working full time for the Family and living in Alphabet City shithole. He was not addicted to heroin, though he had tried it and did sell it at a tidy profit that he kicked up the chain.
At 21, Jimi had married and divorced the Don's younger daughter. He counted every day he remained alive as a blessing. He began to compose his memoirs.
Yes, in part 3 there is still going to be a bomb.
Hey Kids! Have you heard the story I am about to make up about Jimi the Fix? No? Well then, listen close: ...
Sometimes you have to wonder.
New computer. New pint of cheap wine. (not that young anymore) And staring at the ashes, the ruins, the wreckage of a life, the lost aberrations(a systemic anomaly The Architect and The Oracle will pretend to fight over to stave off boredom and rake in millions) of a system that is running on fumes. It would seem that I have
1. quarterlife (+/-)
He took the boardwalk like a fish to water. A dead fish, scaled and filleted for the grilling. That is to say, he dropped, bleeding, with a few more holes in his head than he had asked for and a longing for a slice of Aunt Jen's Kiwi Lime Pie. Even his wife and kids thought he deserved it. His mistresses missed the money but not the sex.
In death, Jimi the Fix was to prove far more formidable than in life. That, however, comes later. First, his son: Gerald Byron, 26, carpenter.
Gerald Byron, 26, was a carpenter. He was not skilled. He did, however, enjoy his work and dedicated much of his time and talents to charity. This was how he met his wife: she volunteered in soup kitchens serving the men (mostly) and women and children for whom he built readymade houses. Gerald had an odd relationship to charity work. Unlike his soon-to-be wife, he did not approach helping the less fortunate with a sense that those who can give back should give back. He did not feel he owed anyone anything. Nor, though, did he feel that he was in charity because he could not hack it as a regular carpenter or contractor in the "real world". His skill level was what it was. He would never build furniture. He was no artist. He did not delude himself. Perhaps, though it is truly hard to find a fixed answer to a question so weighted, but perhaps, he built houses for those who could not afford to buy them because they understood the value of a house. Of a house as shelter, as basic human need. Of a house as home instead of investment, instead of a temporary way station and source of equity. Perhaps he enjoyed that for his clients, his work had obvious, distinct, concrete meaning. Perhaps. Gerald was a quiet man and kept his thoughts and feelings close to the chest. He supplemented his income by winning at poker (every third weekend at the Indian Casino, never deviate from the pattern. Deviation marks a gambling problem, call the 800 number). His father was shot twice in the head, once in the chest on a tuesday in March. Gerald was in Tennessee that month, he built four homes for 13 people and 3 dogs.
Stay tuned for the THRILLING continuation of the Epic of Jimi the Fix (spoiler: part 3 contains a bomb and part 6 contains a shark)
Monday, July 26, 2010
Der 12. November ist der 316. Tag des Gregorianischen Kalenders (der 317. in Schaltjahren), somit bleiben 49 Tage bis zum Jahresende.
[There’s something happening here, but you don’t know what it is. Do you, Mr. Jones?]
In dim lighting, everything is a lie. A pen, to a wall, in an instant. I was younger then. A brief instant. A red sharpie and a subway wall. I had no poems. Just a bellyful of wine, an idiot’s grin, a woman’s inexplicable love. I was truly in the moment. I drew. I scrawled. I laughed and spewed nonsense. It was glory. It was nothing. It was a moment lost in the millions. Scrubbed from the walls by baffled city workers later come Monday, but it was there. It lived. And perhaps, for a moment, I was free.
Welcome to Buxom Blueberry, population: 17.3
[Time to face the strange. ch-ch-ch-changes.]
Like bobcats. Like chained bobcats wrestling with a bowl of rabid tuna fish. Grits. Mayonnaise. And a worn copy of Candide oder der Optimismus.
- Just say you were smoking.
- I don’t smoke.
- Fine, just say you went to the woods to take a leak because you don't trust technology. Just make damn sure you don’t mention you actually went inside.
- Willards, I was just here looking for you. Where were you?
- I was smoking.
- Oh. Very good. Carry on then, boys.
[debts that no honest man can pay]
When John Dillinger died, his last thought was of the Pope’s phone number. Not that he realized it. Or it’s importance. // Years later, a child was born with a curiously shaped birthmark: a Thompson machine gun. He was blessed twice with Holy Water before being given over the Church. Next Generation Six-Gun Holy Roller. // These colors run any way they choose.
- It begins with a warm glow. A warm glow and a sickly pallor. From the outside you will look like you are in the worst of fevered dreams. Ranting, raving. They won’t trust you. They probably won’t believe you. If this is all to give you a chance to convince someone of something, this isn’t your poison.
- That’s not what this is.
- Ok. Like I said: you are going to look terrible: sweats, fevers, maybe some shakes. You prone to jitters? If you are, you’ll likely have them. Just the way of it. You’ll have to deal. But terrible as you look, you will feel amazing. Lucid. And I mean lucid. You have never been so awake, so aware. I’m sure you’ve done a lot of drugs, mind-expanding shit. Yeah, well, you have no idea what’s in store for you. You have no idea what your mind really is capable of. It truly is amazing. You will be clear of mind and body and purpose in the way that only the most trained and advanced monks and yogis are. You will understand.
- That’s what I’m looking for. How much?
- You do realize, don’t you, that you only have 36 hours? This isn’t something for nothing kid. This is the old magick, these are the laws of nature. There’s no bargaining, no second chances, no backsies. 36 hours. And then you die.
- Yeah. I know. I get it. I have to finish the book. How much?
Après moi le déluge
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
You work all day, clouded in the unreliability of the times, the changing nature of a desperate age growing desperate, growing sad and you think, hmm. I think, hmm. I'm getting paid, I'm doing a good job. It's hard to find good help these days. Etc. &c.
I want to get back into painting. I miss playing my bass. In fact, I think I'll go get that out now.
Do you remember Steve Guttenberg from Police Academy? Yeah, that was funny. I like things sometimes. I've thought about becoming an officer of the law. From time to time. I always think better of it. I think I'll go pick up that bass now.
Monday, July 5, 2010
It was a PBR (A 16oz can 4 pack) kind of night. A night born to irony and self-deprecation. I would go on, but I won't.
Work is what it is. I'm watching the first episode of the X-Files. Because it's apparently important to my generation. If amazingly heavy handed and patently absurd.
Perhaps, then, I just want to look into the wilderness and babble like a deranged fool. Like a man who has stared into the sun during an eclipse. Greater is no man that this: that he might sleep for 15 hours and then wake, refreshed, and drink a keg or so of beer. It is a question of time. A question of.
District 9 is an awesome movie. Girl With the Dragon Tattoo is a good but severely overrated book. The Book of God and Physics seemed a similarly good foreign novel with depth and intrigue. It is, however, terrible. You probably shouldn't read it.
The Bourdain books though, you should read. They are good. Kitchen Confidential is more consistent, but given the circumstances of the writing, not terribly surprising. Esp. vis a vis the food. Which is an important thing. A very important thing.
Wow. X-Files really is absurd. If only I were more credulous. If only I had started watching at the beginning and could have ignored the first few terrible episodes in order to get to that amazing episode mid season two that changed everything. You know, like Buffy (or so they say). I guess you had to be there. Maybe this is the way that people who missed out on LOST feel. Seems plausible. More plausible than this show about "aliens". Whatever. It might be a while before I take the time to watch episode two.
There is a quietus. There is a risk. There is a magnifying glass placed near to the sun, an anthill, and an eternal flame. There is a question written in spray paint upon a public bench at a children's playground, it is non-specific: are you done yet?
Friday, June 25, 2010
I'm writing again. Working on my last chapter for my first Storied project. The new app is in the iTunes store. I should check it out. Jotting down some ideas about the grocery project. Starting out what seems to be a new Dexter Burroughs adventure. I never know when I start in on these things. It's not the way I work. Which I suppose is much of the problem with the all of my artistic endeavors. I lack planning and foresight.
Have you ever watched yourself type in a mirror. It is oddly disconcerting. And yet surprising how easily your brain gets used to the idea.
I am always intrigued by how the brain works. It's always capable of so much more than we realize.
Work is what it is. I would rather be working with food at a more advanced level, in a more creative and rewarding capacity. But it serves. And the schedule has improved.
I haven't painted in a while. Finn doesn't offer me much time to pursue my lesser artistic hobbies. He is far too enthralled with smacking the amp and fucking with the volume knobs (he wants them up to 11 and damn the man if his little ears can't take it) for me to get much opportunity to "slappa the bass". I guess I am going to devote the time I do get to writing. I'm better at it. As I progress in my various other artistic pursuits, I realize how much I have to learn, to practice, to develop. I recognize readily the significant difference between adequately serviceable and elegant finesse. I can crush words and sentences into shape, less so with brush strokes or knife work. Not that is reason for me to give up on my dilettantism, just an increasing need to focus on the writing for the time being.
When are the second gen iPads coming out?
Good enough. I'll be back later.
Sunday, January 31, 2010
There are things I will miss about New York. It is a city like no other. Perhaps the city. And I will likely still refer to Manhattan as "the city" for some time, even though I am miles away and never actually lived there. Our end of Brooklyn was really never anything to celebrate. Except for the fruit markets. I'll miss those. It's hard to beat a 24-hour fruit market.
I'll miss the trains. I would say public transportation, but fuck if I ever enjoyed riding a bus. I'll miss the city, or the things that go along with a city of such a size. Cultural institutions. Bars of all stripes. The food. The attitude of New York: a certain indifference, a certain inclusivity, a certain je ne sais quoi. I'll miss those nights where I would sober up with a sprained ankle in midtown wondering how I got there and where the closest N train was. Ok, night. But I hear it was a good one.
I'll miss the places. Grassroots. Circus Fruits. McSorley's. The Magician. Otto's Shrunken Head. Menkuite. The Strand. Yes, the bookstores will be a hard one to make up. The internet is a poor substitute for a good conscientious bookstore. So it goes.
Perhaps I will miss the museums and performance spaces of the city. I mean, I should. They tend to be rather impressive. I enjoyed the opera I saw. And the plays. But I feel as if I never fully took advantage of them, as if that was one missing page in my fairly incomplete guide to the city. I never saw enough shows. Did enough crazy and outlandish things. So it goes. I am slowly coming into my own. The universe will catch up to my story eventually. Or vice versa. We go on.
I would say that most of all I would miss my friends. And it is true. Or I will miss the times we had when we had them. Drinking at the 'roots over pitchers and arguments on Derrida. But so many of them left New York before I did, that perhaps that is a claim of a different nature. A regret of growing older and apart from, well in this case, grad school. Which is true. I miss grad school. I miss being able to have an intellectual conversation about pop culture and low culture at that. And I miss being able to have an unintellectual conversation about high art and philosophy. Those are matters that I will have to take up with the grand imperious internest in the future, I suppose.
I have never had much attachment to place. To any locale. I figure it is a product of my upbringing and the fact that I moved at certain, but formative, times. I don't find it to be a detriment. It makes the future all the more interesting, I suppose. Unbound to the past. Unbound to regret over leaving "home". Not that I don't have regrets. I regret that I didn't take full advantage of a city that I regret I never fully understood. I suppose it is damn near impossible to fully understand New York, but I should have done better, I should have done more. I regret that I didn't live in my ideal New York. I regret that while I had a neighborhood coffee shop and a neighborhood bar, neither were anywhere near my neighborhood. Or all that close to each other. I have this vision of what it means to live in New York. And I never experienced that. Not to say that my experience was bad. It just wasn't the one I had hoped for, or the one I know is there to be had, the one that suits me best. But I feel the same way about Vegas. Maybe it is only in leaving that I realize what I have missed. Maybe I'll go back. But just like re-reading a book of my bookshelf (now in one of 30 boxes on a truck somewhere on the eastern seaboard) there are so many other options. There are so many other things to see, places to go, bars to stumble into and out of.
In closing: it was a good two and a half years, New York. Thanks and you stay classy.
Thursday, January 21, 2010
The world is falling apart and I am wearing sweat pants stained with baby food. I haven’t showered in a while and that during that last one I only had a chance to wash my hair, not the rest of my delicious filthy body.
Our government is impotent and vainglorious at the same time; a winning combination. Apparently 60 is no longer the magic number, 41 has taken its place. As if the sole point of being a respected member of one of the most powerful and notable legislative bodies in the world was the ability to ensure that the guys you don’t like don't get their way. Picture Nelson in a $4,000 suit with a $300 haircut and no class staring across the aisle, “Ha ha!” Nothing says senator quite like pouting in the corner. Campaign finance reform has proven to be a meaningless gesture and corporate interests no longer have to pretend that they aren’t buying elections. And life goes on as usual.
Haiti is a disaster of relatively unprecedented magnitude. At least for this hemisphere, in recent memory, not involving colonization or plague blankets. Which is terrible. More terrible is that it allows us to forget, pass over, and ignore all the disasters of regular magnitude that are happening all the time.
Our newsagents are bickering children in a shouting match hoping to drown out the inevitable drone of progress. The New York Times thinks it’s going to charge for its internet content. China thinks it’s going to stop Google. And the most interesting thing going these days is the “Late Night Wars”; which are, all things considered, a lot more interesting than the real wars being fought in our names (if only they could have been canceled in seven months).
But as I said, I am wearing sweat pants stained with baby food (blueberry yogurt and spinach to be specific) and my son is in his room crying himself to sleep because his teeth hurt. The world is falling apart. The world is just the same as it ever was. At least American Idol is back on the air.
“Everything under heaven is in utter chaos; the situation is excellent.”
- Chairman Mao