Saturday 5th June 2010


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.


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.

posted by mAtt @ 23.37 (gmt+0000)
to /composition

Saturday 7th February 2009


weird weirdness can always be found within the urban dictionary.

'to knowledge your knowledge, you will deal equally with everything within your cipher, which gives birth to wisdom that is showing and proving. everything is everything, which equals one. equality gives birth to wisdom, and mathematics do not lie.'

i cannot tell if the above was a submission that went through a translation bot first, or if someone, somewhere, sought to convey meaning with precisely this string of words. i've been thinking about this lately—the relationship between words and meaning—for various reasons. one such reason is my wife, who is now engaged in a fight to the death with a master's rhetoric program; you would not believe the depth and reach of some of the books in her pile right now, and on the most abstruse topics. another such reason is this collection of goods, any one of which takes frakking forever to compose, takes away the easy option of just saying what i mean, and makes me think directly about what it is i mean to say.

is it even possible for a human to think, without thinking in words? ideas are, as i construct them, really effing abstract; however, for the idea to be useful i need to understand it myself, and/or convey it meaningfully to someone else—requiring words, which are if not totally concrete, then at least far less abstract than the original idea. is it like converting from analog to digital, where no matter what, you lose something in the conversion? or maybe the recipient of the converted idea has a corresponding upscaler built in, so that they may fully reconstruct the original? do our brains contain codecs for meaning?

i understand this is all very aimless and lah-dee-dah and will sound horribly pretentious at your end, and that's not my intent. honestly i sat down tonight and was just going to post that urban dictionary link and have a little chuckle. i have no idea where all this came from. but now the idea is in words, and i have conveyed it, dig?

'language is the liquid / that we're all dissolved in / great for solving problems / after it creates the problem'
(modest mouse)

p.s. 'mathematics do [sic] not lie.' (you had me at mathematics.)

posted by mAtt @ 23.06 (gmt+0000)
to /happiness

Sunday 5th March 2006

fire and brimstone

subtitle: zen and the art of sneaking one whilst the wife is asleep

out the door. sixty yards. right turn—second guess; about face. one hundred fifty yards. left turn. to the end of the road—i pass another hooded figure; i am you and what i see is me? across the street, under the streetlight and into the blackened park.

if my mother knew what i was doing here tonight she'd maybe cluck her tongue at me. maybe.

i see the picnic table in the center of the park's single light, but the very fact of its visibility rules it out immediately. tonight's work suggests shadow. i lean against a wooden construction barrier covering a muddy hole where too many construction trucks have driven. fascist object, taking away my civil right to step haplessly into the filth if i damn well please, i'll show you.

i tear open the paper/plastic wrapper, pull out one of what i came for. click, puff, puff. for moments all i see is an afterimage of the lighter's sparks and tenuous flame. click, puff, puff. kindle, baby. click, puff, puff.

i had forgotten the taste of this particular brand. acrid to be sure, no cubano, but not wholly unpleasant and linked in memory to far more pleasant nights than this. i fill my mouth again and again, and try and fail to blow smoke rings. some of the foul stuff leaks into my lungs, and oh how i cough. some hobbit i'd make.

who originally thought of this? who decided it would be a good idea to pick some stinky weed, dry it, wrap it in paper, burn it, and breathe the smoke? and in spite of the lungs' immediate and intense instructions not to do it again went ahead and did it again? i conclude it must have been a teenager. probably looking for a way to piss off his dad.

puff, puff. at this short distance the combustion is audible. is it the actual oxidation, or some residual water flash-boiling out of the dessicated leaves and escaping into the entropy-addicted universe? at any rate it's beautiful.

and you: i watch you not seeing me see you trundle down the sidewalk, hands in pockets and mind in who knows what. have we ever been here before, you and i, roles reversed?

i dare a cop to spot me, approach and smell the smoke, ask questions. in my head i'm oh-so-brash, agreeing to produce my identification only when he produces the warrant, and only if it has been signed by the attorney general himself. puff, puff. what a troublemaker i'll never be.

and you: i see you jogging, see the thin white wires connecting your consciousness to some hidden marvelous device and wonder if i'd enjoy what you're listening to, if i myself have listened to those same words jogging that same road, syncopating steps with the same rhythm of inhale/exhale. i decide it's as unlikely as anything possibly could be.

puff, puff. i spit, trying to extinguish the burning that always fills my sinuses when i perform this foolish self-poisoning act, the burning that triggers so strange a response, the burning i hope i never get used to.

there, the school where so recently i made my slow four-year migration from front corners to rear corners. there, the water tower in whose shadow i have lived so long but which i have never climbed. there, the field where i made my first real football tackle. there, a house worth possibly more than all the money i've seen so far. puff, puff.

and you: i can see your balcony from here, can see how he's holding you, and think what you have might last.

existence in every direction, i think. i exist in space and time, always will exist. existence forever, in every direction. this does not comfort me. by ways nothing ever ends, but by the same ways nothing ever begins, does it?

uncharacteristic thoughts, even for such uncharacteristic circumstances, i think. perhaps i've been here too long. puff.

i crush out the cherry-red tip. i'm tempted to leave the ashen remains on the swing set for some naïve elementary schoolkid to find and titter over. the temptation passes.

on the walk home, the chill and the essential loneliness make me feel like a character in one of my own off-center stories. i consider how this one will end, and just who's doing the writing.

posted by mAtt @ 1.59 (gmt+0000)
to /composition/insoluble

Sunday 23rd October 2005

bird on the swing

posted by mAtt @ 21.24 (gmt+0000)
to /happiness/insoluble

Saturday 22nd October 2005

be ye informed

an argument against drm. read it. read it!
(by way of)

on the agender today:
one. try to figure out why safari hoses my css. still.
two. try to figure out why i woke up at 7 something and actually felt awake. does that ever happen on a weekday?
three. drink tea. drink more tea.

posted by mAtt @ 7.45 (gmt+0000)
to /insoluble/internet/meta

Sunday 1st May 2005

happy days

the weekend's lan party went off super-successfully. it included such fantastic favorites as unreal tournament 2004, doom 3, and taco bell, with some live demonstrations of half-life 2 and my screensaver.

speaking of the latter, you need to try it. it's called electric sheep (some interesting information about that name awaits the careful reader) and it is a marvel of mathematics and modern networking. oh, and it's freaking gorgeous. one of my coworkers runs it on a computer he rarely uses but keeps on his desk; I'm constantly amazed that he can get any work done. if it were on my desk, I'd be watching it all day. it's almost dangerous in its seductiveness. beware.

highest praise to ian mcewan for his most recent accomplishment. it's far more accessible than the last one I read, atonement, and only slightly less beautiful, likely because it makes overt attempts at philosophy where (I think) the reader should see them between-the-lines like. still, if you can borrow it from a friend or a library or an internet, you should. you must.

my birthday is in a month and I don't know what I want. my birthday and christmas are the only two times during the year when I don't know what I want. strange, that. perhaps I don't like doing something when it's forced, even when it's to my advantage. but let's set introspection aside. the question is, what do I want? the answer is

posted by antimAtt @ 22.45 (gmt+0000)
to /geek/happiness/internet/visibleman

Thursday 7th April 2005

the units of happiness

I was so busy yesterday that it should count for two days.

ONE ha ha
TWO ha ha

the reason I was so busy gets approximately 50 magical miles per gallon and came with about four hours of paperwork. but it is ours and it valiantly protects both the environment and our checkbook from the evil oil companies. what a hero I am.

cheers, tree-huggers. and all the rest.

(this week, saturday arrived on a monday. how disorienting.)

posted by antimAtt @ 0.18 (gmt+0000)
to /happiness/soapbox/visibleman
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