Saturday 5th June 2010

tense

amazing what one can find in the piles of stuff in one's basement. an old box has the potential to become a wayback machine.



Tense

Out in some field smelling vaguely old and of aspirin
and the evening’s warm indulgences you dissolve: turn
back seeing stars and recall to memory’s language the thin
outline of Oregon crabgrass toe-thick and the repated sidewalk pattern
of brick as your bare now-four-year feet thump/thud to the threshold of the rear door.

Hum now past the dizzying laundry machines
warming sweaters, underthings, and cats self-cleaned
by cinnamon Brillo tongues. Drift into the entryway, leaving
behind this polyester, these shoes (millipedes have fewer), this static cling
and move: scent-lines float you to chocolate chip cookies, blackberries, other cuisine.



Now full, amble down the green wallpaper hall through the linoleum maze
to the screen through which your treehouse whispers and become
its oak, its leaves, its roof, its looking glass; fear and breathe
as you never have. Feel the sun. You are the vector sum
and king of all that you behold. Watch the breeze—

come grow old now and here. Herodotus could not have said it better.
Construct the mental temporal bridge you cross and burn.
Cold: enter sweater. Pain: insert aspirin. Unfetter
chains of touch, sight, sound, unconcealed
and evolve. Dissolve back to your field.


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Wednesday 23rd December 2009

the space between

okay, seriously. a lot of the time i complain that i have no idea what's going on, and most of the time it's hyperbole or for dramatic effect or whatever. usually.

lately though, i feel like there's this whole separate universe being played out around me and i'm utterly not a part of it. as though there's a club with a secret entrance code, a code which everyone knows except me, and i'm standing at the entrance struggling to understand why no one let me in on the secret.

tonight, as chelsey and i were discussing how to divvy up amongst my coworkers the cookies she had made, we discovered that there were not enough gift bags to hold all the groups of cookies we wanted to distribute. no big deal, right? we'll just put some of the cookies in nice simple plastic bags and hand them out that way, because it's christmas, and they're cookies, dig?

no. dear me, no. such a thing is not conscionably done.

you see, it's the small things that matter. the cookies need the gift bags. worthless without them. it's not the making of the cookies that matters, not the time it spent with mixing bowl or oven, it's the wrapping of the cookies that matters. it's not the words that you say, it's the tone of voice in which you say them. it's not the thing itself, it's the framing and the context and the gist of the thing. it's this parallel world of undercurrents and subterfuge and small all-important para-things that completely fails to resonate with me, to which i have absolutely no sensitivity.

this is why i fucking hate christmas. do you hear me? hate it hate it, with swear words for emphasis. it's not enough that i think well of you, or that i want nice things for you. it is expected that i spend time in thinking about something you secretly want, that i go out and get it for you, and that i wrap it up and put a bow on it, and turn what would be (at any other time of the year) a gesture of goodwill and potentially unexpected awesomeness into just another thing that is done for its own sake. we've turned what might have once been called the spirit of christmas into a fat lot of empty, expected gestures.

a bit unexpected, admittedly, coming from a guy who prides himself on being mindful of the little things.


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Thursday 19th November 2009

these are the things that are broken

ordered list, i choose you:

  1. the car thing that's supposed to save the world. you see, those awesome batteries occasionally die. and apparently they're awesomely expensive. but i have some good news! i just paid a bunch of money to someone to basically let me keep using what i had already paid for.
  2. the iphone. though at&t doesn't know it's an iphone, and that's kind of at the root of the problem. in order to avoid allowing them to ream you on the data plan you have to perform some digital magic, among other steps. but this magic has certain side effects, including people can't call you. ask your doctor if ultrasn0w is right for you—i should have.
  3. the roof. it has holes. in it.
  4. the stereo of my other vehicle. a long time ago i turned the ignition in my truck a certain number of clicks so i could listen to the radio or whatever, but went one click too far, and then back a click, all in rapid succession, and this let the magic smoke out of the shiny lights of the faceplate. and magic smoke, as any scientist will tell you, is hard to put back in a device after it has escaped.
  5. the nail of my left index finger. and now every time i use it it's like the terrorists won their war against the kittens.
  6. the dog. i've made clear my thoughts on the matter of sub-sentient life forms. they exude smelly substances and totally ignorant of this fact. they whine for attention. and not one of them has a job.
  7. the internet. conservapedia.com will eventually become skynet.
  8. my liver. and i have the other items in this list to blame.

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Thursday 14th May 2009

the pros and cons of everything

as usual i'll tell you what i'm talking about.

i have this thing—this … this condition, if you will—one of the symptoms of which is that i am not a big-picture person. i understand things by breaking them down into bits as small as possible, and comparing these smashed-up tiny bits against what i already know. it's quite an involved process and i'll spare you the details, mostly because i don't know them. save us both some time and just label me a deductive reasoner; it's a shortcut but it'll do for our purposes.

i'm getting to the point. the above-referenced album by my uncle roger is what they call a 'concept album,' and follows a meandering—and at times, apparently aimless—path, by assumption: it models the dreams of a married middle-aged man, in real time.

under this assumption, it's no surprise that the entire album is disjointed, incomprehensible, and apparently aimless. but only when you consider the parts, independently of the whole. seriously: read the lyrics for the entire album, and you'll see what i mean. but the whole! ah, the whole. as the last track clicked into place for the first time, i was actually close to crying. actually misty-eyed. for the first time, i saw the world as the other half saw it. and yes, i'm talking about you, you bizarre opaque inductive types.

i'm still getting to the point. as opposite as my brain and this album apparently are, i love it, and cannot get enough of it. everything i am, it is not, and vice versa. maybe this is a case of opposites attract? i can't figure it out.

the point is this: i have no bloody idea what the point is; i just want you to listen to the album, and maybe you'll understand me one quantum more.


p.s. the first ninety seconds of track two. i implore you, go forth, trusting me, into the musical bliss that awaits you.


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Thursday 8th January 2009

there's more to life than this

i bet even you know the old saying about how when you reach the end of your life, you'll look back on it and not think, 'man, i wish i had spent more time at work.'

in my future i see data mining and analyses and reports, a dancelike feedback loop of things happening, to data, to knowledge, to other things happening. and i'm good at it, dig? so obviously it's what i want to do forever, right?

we come to the point. i tend to do this thing when i encounter something i like: i binge on it, totally saturate myself with it, eventually get turned off, stop liking it. it's an extremely male-brained thing to do. i do it all the time in many and varied parts of my life, but so far, not in any of the really important parts. my fear is that i'll inexorably work my way through all my dream jobs, all those things i'd do for free if i had nothing else to do, in exactly this manner—loved intensely, but shortly, and discarded.

i like my job. i really do. it gives me little fixes of certain things i like (including, not least of which, money). i want to continue liking my job. but the first six weeks of the year are my hell weeks, and i'm definitely smelling the brimstone; i hope this is not the year i discover i forgot to pack my asbestos armor. or my boots of +5 fire resist.

i wonder how long i could string this metaphor along. if i really tried.


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Thursday 29th March 2007

yes but in which direction

and in my best behavior i am really just like him
look beneath the floorboards for the secrets i have hid
-sufjan stevens, john wayne gacy, jr.

i've been thinking about this a lot, recently; do not mistake brevity for flippancy.



if M is mood, the magnitude of dM/dt here is so large as to be beyond mortal comprehension.


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Saturday 23rd December 2006

we wish you a merry christmannukawanzaa solstice

and a happy arbitrary point in the planet's orbit.


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