Thursday, March 30, 2006

Artist Explains

The artist explains his intentions, sporting my new (to me) G.G. Allin and The Murder Junkies "Terror in America Tour" shirt, blood stains compliments of Toby Rosa. When Bryn, I, Butthead Bill and a hole in my memory went to see him in Oakland in 1989 some guy punched Bill in the face right as he stepped of the AC Transit bus. Later we brought pieces of cloth partly soaked with G.G.'s blood back to Barrington, banged the shit out of the old piano carcass, got told to shut up. Our eyes were scratchy from pepper spray and our innocence had lost several layers. Maybe I'll find mine (bloodsoaked cloth, not much hope for the innocence) somewhere someday, sell it for big $ (smile here). We didn't see the Murder Junkies then though. I believe he was with the Gutter Dolls, and a crew of roadies made up of young translucent skinheads covered in devil tattoos channelling the devil devilishly with their shirts off. Holy cavalcade of blood that show was beyond, too disturbing to describe in detail here.

One morning last weekend the boy brought me his plastic tambourine, went to grab a rattle, then deftly and suddenly initiated a downhome jam session that was all the way live. Those new tambourines have a much better sound than the kind I had as a kid. I thought his choice of the rattle strange and babyish, until we traded for awhile. The rattle can sound like a bell, a rattle, and two types of washboards, actually a very dynamic instrument. We took turns practicing our rock & roll whooping Owwws, dancing to our own mix, laughing and shrieking along. The session went on and on, partly because he would urge me to trade instruments each time I suggested ending it, but mostly because the fun flowed like sweet hippy wine. Momma finally put a stop to it, but we had tired by then anyway (so had she apparently). The memory of it must have stuck with him because he busted out my tablas that night, and we had a more subdued lesson-type session. All planting the seed of the father-son band I plan on co-opting him into.

Toddler memory is an interesting thing. Maira came over to watch him the other night, and I asked him,

"Do you remember Maira?"

"I remember the cake."

he clearly enunciated.

He saw Maira last at my birthday party a couple weeks ago, so he was right on the money. Later while sitting with Maira where they had sat during the party, he asked, out of the blue

"Where's Annie?"

also right on the money because Maira had come with Annie & Jed. When he heard us talking about how much he remembered about that day he volunteered:


which it took us a couple seconds to get, but was also true of that crispy Saturday, which got me to thinking,

"How much detail is this kid picking up? And for how long will he retain it consciously?"

I have good access to many of my early memories, and hot damn parenthood rocks my world.  Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

So nice that Maira lives close to my office. Here she shakes a branch to generate a blossom shower, which doesn't show up well in the photo, but you get the idea. Maira has various fire breathing sculptures in her backyard, a couple of which appear here. She also knows how to have a good time, so we make an excellent team, both of us somewhat childlike in our fascinated approach to fire. Completely safe of course, if you don't count flesh wounds.  Posted by Picasa

Lucky Waterfall Owl Stars

Pumped up the tires for another off-road excursion into the wilds of Joaquin Miller Park last Sunday. Partly cloudy skies with plenty of sun presented amiable weather, but rain had pounded the area Saturday night, so this park was about the only one that I trusted to be dry enough for trouble-free riding. Joaquin Miller drains fast and it's mud doesn't stick bad, besides, at this time of year exposed sandstone dominates the steep sections. A dire lone wolf I howled down the opening stretch, glad for the redwoods and blue skies. Right away I noticed that the waterfalls were about as full as I'd ever seen them, plenty loud. I love that phenomenon where the volume of white water seems to increase in steps, so I carried that love to where it was headed and laid uncomfortably on the mossy rocks by the crashing agua, just to listen, awesome. Sometime around "good smell curve", so named for the time Quintan smelled some nostalgia charged "hot day in the woods odor" and we spent five minutes rooting and digging and sniffing around there, I noticed that my rear shock was low on air (bottoming out). I figured that I'd test it on Cinderella, and then see if I could make more loops without causing damage (forgot the shock pump). Cinderella laid herself out in her usual breathtaking fashion, but when I forgot about the low air and hit one of her revered jumps, the severe bottoming out convinced me to head back after her. Ate it up, didn't crash but got loose, got that life affirming adrenaline quiver with an unbecoming whoop or two at the end. Down at the bottom of the canyon, where the creek runs eternal, the sound of waterfalls got real big, again causing me to stop. This time it come from four sides, upstream, downstream, my side of the canyon, and the far side, soooo tight. The meadows were full of those little white mini-daisy flowers I used to like to put in my beard, and I kept expecting to see the Herbal Essence shampoo model bathing in the rocky pools. When I got to the top of the Bitch (Sunset Trail) an owl started hooting, and right then I realized that I'd been waiting for that sound for months, missing it, and there it rang so clear. Let me count those lucky stars just one more time. Gratitude opens so many mental doors.

Monday, March 27, 2006

April #1 For Suicide

KCBS spouted with an interesting report this morning, for once, about how more folks commit suicide in April than any other month. Yes they knew, we all thought a winter month would boast that honor. The theory proferred is that people are too depressed in winter, but get a little vernal pep that gets the job done. Same reason anti-depressants sometimes "cause" suicide, they say. I've had a keen interest in the subject since childhood due to my mother regularly threatening to off herself over the years, but never heard about April. I found suicide somewhat of a fear catch-22. You see, my tried and true method for overcoming fear of murder and monsters was to become the murderer or monster in my mind, pump up my prey drive, but when the victim is the aggressor that plan falls flat. Now, it would make sense that attempting suicide would be a felony, punishable by jail time, but the legal system doesn't know what to make of it either. They said on the report that it's the 3rd leading cause of death for males 18-45, killing more than homicides; amazing. Of course, being a little suicidal is a good thing, keeps you from putting your goggles on, going to bed, and waiting to die of doorknob germs. Best in moderation, like insanity. Much power in living close to death and craziness, but the ability to turn it off when it gets uppity is the key. Warriors need that power, and the aspiration and vision of myself as a spiritual warrior was cultivated to a high degree at the church I attended. They had some story about a guy flipping out his enemies by stabbing himself with his own sword, you know, just to show he was a crazy asshole whose surrender could not be rationally calculated or expected. Which I believe is the point of Eminem's line: "Mentally ill in Amityville, don't think that I won't, God damn it I will." Chief Seattle has a whole spiel about it too, in Chief Seattle Speaks; the warriors would say hoka hey (today is a good day to die) each day upon waking. And then there's that Angel vampire show, annoying but true. What was that my biking buddies taught me? Oh yeah, all fun and games until someone gets hurt, then it's hilarious. Works for skating too. Sharing nice meals and conversation is fine, but risking life & limb together forms another level of spirit affirming bond. See, we don't need a draft to get soldiers, just acceptance and $ for college. Now that I've mastered slow smiling I'm trying slow scowling, much more painful, but almost as fun. In Natural Born Killers, after Mickey kills the good Indian and all the rattlesnakes come, he gets into the Indian's old pick-up and has this flash of his irate father behind the wheel of a similar old truck, eyes wild with rage, vitriolic sweat and spit flying - that's the look I shoot for. Must take care or my face will stay like that.

Childhood Revisits

Looking at his mother's mother's father, who now goes by Tata. Fascination without prompting, I found him here in the morning. When I imagine his thought process my own childhood revisits me, memories long forgotten flash past, open closed doors. Ancestral memories seep out of bones, across electric storms over blood-red seas. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Shave Head Instead

Oh screw budgeting my time, too much to do anyway, just carpe diem. Shaved my head for the first day of spring, feels alive in the wind. One's scalp is quite sensitive under "all that" hair. Back in "the day" my buddy Andre and I took a jaunt to the Berzerkeley Rose Garden with our matching fresh-shaved heads. We spent quite a while sniffing and feeling the various roses with our silky soft heads (we were both in the "rabbit fur" stage), laughing and carrying on down there at the bottom where the trees look like extras in a scary movie. This one big Georgia Peach was the shiznits, except for the spiders and ants. Everyone should shave their head at least once, just to feel all the stuff. It makes a big difference to bust out the shaving cream and go for pure skin too. That way, when you go to bed that night your head sticks to the pillow, you can tell the difference between linen, satin, or felt like never before, and also palpate the difference in hair length over a period of an hour or so. Psychic energy gets through better too, of course, so it's best to surround oneself with supportive people, especially if you're female since hair is the law for women in the prevalent death-culture. When I was 16 I convince my mom to shave her head for her 40th birthday. Some repressed lipstick & nylon wearing hag that worked at the bar in Occidental asked her why she did it, to which my mom replied "for fun", to which the old sourpuss barked back "You're sick", but she meant it nasty, full of vitriol, saying what the other chickenshit conformists were thinking. Some people will treat you the same with no hair, others not so, very illustrative of prejudice and insecurities. On my drive from San Jose to SF today I had the sunroof open and felt the coolness of the spring breeze just a might more than I wanted, so I reached for a red corduroye cap I had sitting on the dash. The sun had heated it just so, and the warm softness of that foam rubber lined cap was beyond compare, which is what made me think of writing about all these bald sensations.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Budget my Hours, Simple

Realizing that everything falls laughing through the cavernous cracks in my organization, I have reasoned out that scheduling my weeks down to the 1/2 hour has become dire for me. Hard because I've always viewed such activities with disdain. I only have to do it if I ever want to excercise or meditate again, or feel good about my workload versus work product. Thought I was getting used to 4 hours of sleep/night, but my memory flew the coup two weeks into this most recent work/catatonia bender, as best I can recall. Reminiscent of how I felt after getting knocked out while being mugged in SF - wonder, fear, and a whole lot of unanswered questions I become more selective about asking. Dementia focus training, bueno no. I know what some of you are thinking - go to bed and stop typing. I feel that too, but my soul aches for expression and a written record to consult, so, so, so yes I think I will attempt sleep after setting my worry people about some tasks. The worry people are wee dolls that one can assign tasks to be accomplished during one's sleep.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Equinox take me away

Just sitting here practicing gnashing my teeth and developing general ill will when I caught the equinox slipping into the room. Take me to Stonehenge to catch a frosty beard chill mind melding with the rocks waiting for dawn. Starting to think that this world masquerades, a figment of my imagination, drifting willy nilly out into the hurricane green sea. Anxiety ridden work dreams plague my sleep. Billie Holiday sings "...comes a nightmare you can always stay awake.", which is barely an option. I wake up and tell myself "dream of being in the mountains with my friends", or somesuch thing, which usually works for awhile, but pretty soon it's endless checking and rechecking work crap, not really sleeping at all. Time for a Pagan equinox ritual and some good old fashioned meditation. Honor the four directions, the fecund nature of the season, the power of the longer sun, let go of winter tools, pick up vernal instruments. We've had some sunny but cool days lately, and I keep thinking of the Bradbury[?] story where the Mexican bums all sit around each morning waiting for the warmth of the sun. When the sun comes they hold out their fingernails to soak up the anti-numbness, and just cause it feels so good there in the digital extremities after a long cold night. I see myself in outer space, fingernails huge and thrust in front of me as I hurtle towards the sun, starting to catch fire. Such a simple but hard to beat pleasure, this fingernail warming indulgence. The boy knows all about it of course. He insisted on running around on the deck in 49 degree weather in his underwear the other day. It seemed crazy to me, but I took off my shirt and joined him soaking up the heat off the redwood deck. I said "Oh, the deck is warm". He gave me a knowing look and replied happily "The deck is warm".

The Ghost Dog exudes loneliness & neglect. The wife had a dream a couple years ago that Ghost Dog looked at her once sadly from the doorway to the garage, and then went to lie down and die. Those are the kind of dreams that come true. More to this story than I will write here, but those concrete workers must have been in touch, maybe more in touch than me.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Harvest Moon 2005

The sedan exited the tunnel, middle of October, a couple hours before sunrise.
Eyes adjusted, two sweeping curves later gazed upon the Harvest Moon�s reflection
on the ship trails east of the Golden Gate.
Swaths of water less salty than the rest, therefore lacking the friction to feel the breeze, stretched and twisted, glassy paths on a textured bay.
Currents had given life to the trails, formed them into s curves.
The world shone silver and it was catching. The moonlight sparked my mind,
an awareness of the Monday morning world around me spread down my spine,
along my leg bones, out through every toe, toes turned into colorful spotlights,
danced like fire hoses with no tenders.
The trees to either side of the highway let me know they felt it too, and the crawling creatures in the soil, an electrical cycling usually reserved for the dawn.
Vision sharpened to pierce the surface of the bay,
see the sharks and rays basking, and beyond them,
into the mud below where bones and fossils danced to the Harvest Moon,
suicides and dinosaurs, fish skeletons and diatoms reached out from the darkest depths. The Bay Bridge in the foreground rippled and shivered while the western skyline called to mind Aphrodite reclined and awake.
My October thus shifted.
Lunar inspirations rebuilt me,
from the core of Earth out past the edges of the Milky Way.
I rolled the windows down. The air had no bite but rather a caress,
a tropical essence that had me smelling fruit and sensing nearby tigers,
soft warm and sharp with no malice.
That was when the fur began to grow on my own belly, my palms grew calloused pads, fingernails became sharp and long.
Was I becoming a wolf? Nay, but a wolverine yes,
and how my shifting bones and tendons did ache with the strain.
My blood thickened and eyes shrank, horizons forever shifted.
Gratitude for the present lit my being;
I glanced back at the sedan and saw that my trail of silver footprints lit up the garage.
 Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


To myself, the most interesting parts of the conflicts in Yugoslavia\Bosnia\Serbia\Croatia were the bombing of the Chinese embassy (I'm sure they recall) and the mesmerizing chanting of the crowds shouting "Slobo, Slobo, Slobo" in blizzard weather. I also took a close look at the destruction of the bridges, what with the deep icy water, Eastern European engineering, and overt psychology & economics of such. Anyhow, it sure is an odd looking fish how he died in that cell. That trial was shaping up to look pretty crappy for the red, white, & blue, what with all the war & humanitaran crimes happening here in the U.S. and overseas as we speak. Yes, I'm saying we killed him. Saddam is next, just like on South Park, he'll be crucifix penetrated by the devil in a Texas minute. Take a tip from the fighting Jesus - he didn't get nailed. Everybody's got a due out date anyway, just like those puppies at the pound. What was that movie? Logan's Run? Soylint Green? Trusting karmic law helps ward off depression. Gitmo better bars.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Fantasma: The Ghost Dog

Rounded a bend on 24E today and witnessed that good old Devil Mountain looking snowy and terrible. Every once in awhile I read about some puritanical Christian losers trying to change it's name - guten lucht. The ice seems to run in my veins even as I write, translucent & noisy shards numbing and fracturing away down blood gulch #729. Maybe that's due to the fact I decreased the night time thermostat setting another five degrees. Feeling cold feels good as long you keep a postive mindset, over matter, real banshees wear only short sleeves in the non-mountainous areas of Cali, maybe a brightly dyed wool serape when the fog gets nippy. Just imagine it's hot out and this is the super good AC blasting, so refreshing and good for keeping perishables fresh (that's me). The boy's been asking about the snow a lot lately. Next season he'll be old enough to take the ski lessons I never got while I take the snowboard lessons I never got. Why the hell else do we both have AWD vehicles? Rhetorical of course, unless the answer is "Yes".

Found out one recent morning when they showed up unexpectedly and the dogs weren't kennelized that the team of concrete workers that poured the pad for our new home office had a special name for my big black dog - Fantasma: The Ghost Dog. So proud I about cried. That dog's got soul (and steals souls) for shore, and teeth, and eyes more human than human, like Rob Zombie but better. Tonight when I came home all tired and somewhat sombered out I went to the garage where the Ghost Dog dwells, got down on my knees and just hugged the 120-lb beast. She knew just how to chill, but of course, and felt so soft & warm in the frigid air, on her dirty faded blue rug, on the concrete floor. Lucky me; bless her big black heart.

Had a hard time putting the child to sleep this evening. First he insisted on "Sister's bed", which is his own idea of where his new sister is likely to sleep, actually the guest mattress on the floor that I sleep on each night due to snoring and other considerations. That cuteness won him at least another 10 minutes, and then he must just save the last crap each night until after the final lights out, cause that modus operandi plays itself out real regular. By the time I cleaned all that up my back was too tired to lug him up the stairs again, so various "Go to bed" type cajoling ensued as I loaded my new "Essential Johnny Cash, 1955-1983" discs my brother Matt & his wife gave me into my machine and tried to get back to wage-slaving. He strolled up, picked up the case for disc one, and asked "Who's that?". I told him who and asked if he wanted to hear some. Of course he did, and said "Let's dance" right away when "Hey Porter" started kicking. We were singing the Hey Porter part together from half-way through, both learning together, bloody alchemy. I explained to him that it was a song about trains, porters on trains that is, to which he said with out-of-breath gusto, as soon as it ended "That's a good song". Momma was getting miffed about the hour by then, and I still had a couple hours of work left, but when your toddler invites you to a Johnny Cash dance party at 10PM on a school night I'd advise strict attendance. He couldn't let it end there of course, and quickly found a pencil with one of those purple hairy head things on the eraser end that has eyes and gets crazy hair when you spin it. Very fun, and he didn't even scrawl anything on the wall or try to gouge my eyes. The boy's growing up I tell you.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Less Pigeons Inside Now

Less pigeons inside now that this genius netting has been installed. The down side is the affect it has on my view. The netting has no apparent depth, and so pains my eyes to look at for more than a few seconds. Now the birds have to use the doors like everybody else, which they seem to have no problem with. Back at Memorial Stadium in Berzerkeley they had a pellet gun issuance program going for awhile, until a wounded bird dragged it's blood-soaked feathered self to a empathic looking female worker. Wild life by any other name. They did used to drive us crazy in our SF flat, cooing non-stop outside the bathroom window. I'd just go out and bang on the pipe they were living in and then play loud music, my solution to so many problems. It worked in Panama didn't it? Maybe I should take our president's place; hey, I'm almost of age. After this it'll mostly be stuff I'm too old to do, with the notable exception of cashing out my 401k. Now you know for shore that I am a dreamer lost in the briny mist, clutching a water damaged and coverless King Lear paperback, missing pages stuffed in random forgotten pockets. My mom used to recite long passages of Shakespeare from memory, which I enjoyed because it showcased her anglo-intellectual side, standard knowledge for folks of a certain age, class, and geography. Tristen & I would read long passages up in her Barrington room; fun for a few hours. Wonder if she still has those dusty tomes with the parchment paper. Those inky old rectangles of sacrificial trees could fuel a magic compost heap yet. The Rottie, The Warlock, and the Compost Heap - go ahead and wade on in Aztlan.  Posted by Picasa

Monday, March 06, 2006

In Our Submarine

Thanks once again to Bryn for his unique depiction of me & my son in our submarine. He started a blog of his own recently, which I'd been lobbying him to do for awhile now. It's the link called Purpose Remover, check it. That Egret link is also his. Pisces season is in full swing if you can't tell, and Bryn's birthday is two days before mine, right around the bend.  Posted by Picasa

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Toddler Raising Quotables

The boy has been coming up with all kinds of wonderful quips lately, so I thought I'd share a few.

The other night he brought me Benjamin Bunny from the Peter Rabbit collection to read. I read the title aloud, "Benjamin Bunny", to which he replied "Benjamin Bunny, by Beatrix Potter". I usually read the author, illustrator, and sometimes the publisher. Guess that he's been listening.

He's taken to saying "Thank you sir" after we help him put on his shoes or pants. We're not sure where he picked up the "sir".

We had an inch of rain today and are in the process of getting another inch tonight. He insisted on wandering around the yard tramping in puddles from when it was quite dusky to when it was true blue night, in the pouring rain, looking for worms. Before it got dark I helped him find one under a stepping stone. After I got soaked I went in. Half an hour later he called me from outside the screen door. I figured that he was ready to come in, but he said, "Come help me find the worms. Where's the worms?"

Greg & Desere watched him while we went to the movies one weekend last month. Desere told me the other night that, round about 10PM they were playing with some figurine type toys, wondering when he'd get tired, when he told them that he wanted to get the owl. They told him that was fine and that he should go get it, figuring that it was in the other room. To their amazment, he unlocked the back door, slid it open, stepped out and screamed at the top of his lungs "Owl, come on, OWL..." for a few minutes, apparently calling the real owl that lives in the oaks past our back fence.

He sings the Cake lyrics "Where's the air, where's the air, too much carbon monoxide for me to bear" quite well. We sing it together in the SUV, ironically.

During a 10+minute phone conversation with my mother yesterday, the longest he's ever had, after pretending to be a tiger, roaring & such, he told her "I'm coming to hurt you".

Today, because our washer & dryer are temporarily out of service, he and I did 13 loads of laundry at the laundromat together. Several fellow launderers helped me, seeing the stress level & all, by feeding him, wiping his hands & face, and letting him hang with their groups. He got his introduction to Otter Pop type popsicles. Real nice folks there in Oakland (57th St. and Adeline, I don't like the one by our house). An amazing day. Camille came and helped for the last half hour or so, a veritable blessing. I found myself fairly drenched with sweat on the way home.