31 March 2015

Postcard 10

Do not love a cowboy/he will shoot you/he carries peacemakers//Do not love a whale/it will swallow you whales dive deep//Do not love a musician/she will leave you/musicians have wheels on their guitars//Do not love a bear/it will bury you/bears have scimitar claws//Do not love a model/he will stand too still/models never stand still//Do not love a peach, an apple, an orange, even an avocado/it will grow thick-skinned/all fruit is a stand of trees within//Do not love a light-house keeper/she will stand her ground against the sea/lighthouse keepers must tend their mirrors//Do not love a fox/he will make you chase him/foxes are, each, a day of sunlight//Do not love a bricklayer/he will close you in/bricklayers have plenty of lime and mortar//Do not love a goldfish/she will die/goldfish are like tin coins//Do not love a poet he will immortalize you/poets carry only pens and pencils//Do not love a tiffany lamp/it is always broken/tiffany lamps see nothing whole//Do not love a pack of wolves/when it is cold they will turn on you/a pack of wolves is always stronger//Do not love a warrior/he will penetrate you/warriors have blood on their hands//Do not love a hummingbird/it will win/hummingbirds are much too fast//Do not love a motorcycle/it will buck you off motorcycles are fire-breathing horses//Do not love a horse/it will kick you in the head/every horse hates fences//Do not love a unicorn/it will disappoint you/unicorns exist only where they do not//Do not love a child/he must watch you die/children are more like fruit than anything//Do not love a man or a woman/a man or a woman will possess and hurt you/they are only human

29 March 2015

Postcard 9

"En tout ce qui est repete, quelque chose s'épuise et quelque chose murit. Une sorte de plus profond equilibre est obscurément cherche et partiellement trouve" H.M. 

A factory in Southeast Asia -- from viscous plasticene mix, dyes and natural fibered twine -- produces strings of regular brown beads in a sequence of unknown importance. Packed in gross and shipped in muddy alleys by indifferent immigrant laborers dodging time for a smoke, any break. Shipped, unpacked, bought, sold, commerced all, they find a meaning in nervous pious fingers wearing prayer down to the cotton thread. Hail Mary full of grace. It is not the empty blessing of a priest on payroll, it is not transmutation of blind belief, it is the saying so over and over and over that callouses fingers, forges valleys in the mind to hold cataracts of faith. There is a man who sweeps up after us, who scrubs our toilets and lines our cans. Each action is a redundancy, each day a repetition and he will die on his feet doing it or retire useless. Each flourish of the broom approaches a perfect dancing arc. Each bag pulled, replaced and tied -- a sequence beautiful in intent -- a scribe of transcendental curves in space and time --epicycloid, lissajous, catenary, clilies, isochone, cornu spiral, syntractex -- these could be his rosary as each action moves and dances closer and closer to meaning closer and closer to the valley of faith.

28 March 2015

Postcard 8

I'm starting to see everything in terms of parabolas. The sway of the sun in a low winter sky, the slow curves of a woman's belly and hips, the arc of memory in each direction -- toward the infinite unknowns of birth and death -- the crest I ride in the present, the hills pushing the clouds up in parallel, the birds and bugs -- all that flies, leaving traces of light, burnt for a moment in my eyes. There is no abrupt, there is only the ride of ascent, the giddy round cresting, the descent -- a relief of tension. A smile, a salty path of tear, a farewell. Whirl is King

Postcard 7

I once made maps of each my friends and lovers, flat things with shoals and borders transcribed roughly -- strange symbolic keys, terra incognito, hic sunt dracones, crossed lines of terrain. I once had a lover, butch dyke and whiskey, and we would take out our sexual frustrations on each other like every best friend wishes they could. 
I came upon two women who had conspired to create a map readable to only the two of them, unlabeled. They chopped it up and had the segments scribed in tattoo upon each other's bodies at random. When they made love, as women love each other, wrapped up in sympathies, entwined, intersecting, a jumble on the ever-changing terrain of their bodies, I am reminded -- the waves of energy are only two dimensional images of what is dense and real.

27 March 2015

Postcard 6

Butch & Sundance, Patroclus & Achilles, Hawkeye & Trapper John, Jesus & Peter, Watson & Holmes, Neil Cassidy & Jack Kerouac, Boswell & Johnson, Davis & Samuel, Enkidu & Gilgamesh, Cooper & Truman Tom & Huck, Huck & Jim, Yaweh & Lucifer…

Now let us speak of the great unspoken love affairs, let us speak of the camaraderie of men, today so perverse. In the 40's & 50's the so called greatest generation, hardened in the kiln of the depression, broken on the altar of the so called 'just war' -- as if necessity was synonymous with Justice -- that generation, on whose shoulders this whole mess lies, parked all that trauma in a crew cut and a two car garage. The only response is absurd. As dada followed the first, beat followed the second. That feeling when your eyes are closed and you have forgotten and immersed and the lights come on -- embarrassment. That was the dragon they chased -- with booze and mescaline, with jazz and fluid sexuality --  chasing the hollow echo of a moment of the real. Jesus wept. Achilles wept. Gilgamesh and them journeyed to the underworld -- rent their clothes. David sang weeping psalms,  Hawkeye went mad, Huck and Jim floated downriver. Butch and Sundance drove their cherry-red convertible off a cliff in Peru. Man, man, my brother, my lover, what can we do? We can look upon women and envy their easy beauty so heavy on dainty shoulders, swing axes, fear death, sweet whiskey and cry.

26 March 2015

Postcard 5

I was having a conversation with my bartender and she confessed to struggling with nihilism and being able to muster compassion. I wondered at how many others, unspoken or even unknown to themselves, are having a similar experience and I recall a current fascination. This is the 100th anniversary of the first world war (an event that bleeds into and really includes the second world war). The great powers of Europe and Asia were rotten with the natural rot of colonialism, the hypocrisy of treaties and alliances and the cancer of institutionalized financial interests. For the first time in modernity the line between business and war profiteering vanished. The moneyed classes looked with disdain on the working people who were percolating in socialism and anarchy. In the modern way so familiar now -- war proved to be a palpable vent, enabling businesses, criminalizing anarchy and silencing dissent and socialism. Perhaps it got out of hand, but that is also familiar now. How does our present situation recall that history? Its certainly not a linear analogy, though it could reasonable asserted that profiteering, power asserting, populace pacifying conflict does now exist on a world-wide level, but the powers that be have gotten much better at disguising and exporting the costs of colonialism. Up to my evening conversation, that is how I have been exploring the idea. But with my bartender that night, her bright youth and clear beauty, her sharp and delicate mind all burdened to the point of nihilism, of hopelessness, I imagines that as a social rather than a personal problem and it brings to mind the broken minds who emerged from broken worlds. The half-dead survivors of Flanders, Ypres, Gallipoli, the Atlantic. The results were existentialism, dadaism, neo-futurism, absurdism, the surreal, the postmoderns ripping themselves apart on the tension between personhood and violence, meaning and nothing. Today, we are not watching our brothers choke to yellow death on the sharp wire. We are spared that, we are watching our noble ideals reasoned out of existence, our fellow human's blood on our hands, our very home destroyed and defiled beyond habitation. It is hard to keep caring through each layer of crap.

25 March 2015

Postcard 4

The world it does spin. This we know, not in space as we are told. It spins in time we feel and see. Two hands you have on two long arms. With one you pull at ocean's tides. The other hand is gauntlet gloved. Two brothers borne and lived and died. One was born a knife who plunged hilt deep into hot flesh of girl and man, but contentment was too deep. The other one was born a stone, silent and still but seeking, was dropped into a well. Plop was the only sound he ever made and finding depth plumbed was done. Their sister is a circle ever growing, she whispers in men's ears. Oh turquoise daughter, this world spins too fast for me. There is a pile of leaves that smolders. There is a pile of leaves conceals more death than I have ever seen. There is a top between our legs that spins perpetually. A man stands waist deep in the sea. The rip tide cleaves him in two. Turquoise daughter, birds fall from trees. Turquoise daughter darkening aflame. The sun is burning the western sky. Turquoise mother what are our names? The dog stars fly, the wires scream. There are two breasts, but children three. When she dies she becomes a great white pelican, wings drawing on the water. Then, there's just mankind and her. The pelican is wiser. She cuts apart the piles of leaves. She cuts the breasts from off her chest. She cuts the marrow from her bones. The great white pelican, she cuts like no knife or tide or sharp stone can. She whispers in mens' ears she says it spins too fast for you and wire cuts too deep. This we know, we feel and see -- the great turquoise pelican can cut the tides, but cannot chase the sea.

24 March 2015

Postcard 3

What is timber to a tree, thrusting up and drawing water strenuously? If each cell -- a billion eyes -- could see, what would the timber say, cut loose and free?

"1st, the world is cut in two and like the wind in both we move, on and through. Then we are stripped and smoothed like saplings new, scattered like seeds, and told 'to do'."

"That's a word,"the tree replies,"we do not know. 'To do,' is it something like to strive and grow?"

 "Yes," timber now,"like striving. Though -- growing? Its a sorting out, so really, no. We take iron from water, put one here one there, take plants from soil, salt from air. Split sap from men, strip creatures of skin and hair. When done, we mix them again. 'To do' is forever."

"Oh how I marvel at all you have been and seen. Like birds tell, like you've grown wings!"

"Well, birds are light, They lightly dance and lightly sing. They live quick, but we are lumbering things…" Said at length the timber to the tree, "It is good your soil is dry and stony, that you grow crookedly. It is better to be bent and crooked than straight and strong like me. 'To do' is much too fast, so different than 'to be.'  At last," said the timber as an ax, "it is your turn. But your 'to do' will only be, like a forest, to burn."

23 March 2015

postcard 2


Outside of our universe (or all universes) there is no space and no time. The beings who reside there might more properly be called a being because, there being no space-time, there is no actual dimension of the many facets of being there. The facets are a lower level of infinite but can be more or less depending on how they are expressed. All of this is described approximately as their's is an existence both infinitely more expansive and infinitely more limited than our own. It is tempting to declare these/this being as God/s but as you will see, that would not be quite right. In much the same way that we create money and economies and these creations run intrinsic to us but also external, we -- our universe -- has been created (with others, it seems likely) and operates on rules specific to it but independent of its external "creators" as a complex system. Why would these/this being go to all the trouble? Boredom of course. Eternity and nothingness and onenessness are incredibly dull. Theoreticians have declared that all of this space-time universe is probably a simulation and they re - in their own unimaginative way - correct. A space-time universe, that is, a set of rules, has been established within the non-space-time and then the being/beings have entered it as players - various forms of organized bits of energy according to the rules. A stone, a mote of dust, a star, a fern, a spore, a bird, a tree, people, you and I, are al nodes of the eternal -- the divine -- pushed into this "simulation" be the this/these beings like fingers in a a game by a single and an infinitely many beings over all time and all at once. When a thing is attracted to another, it is the same node overlapping in space-time, because -- why not -- Its all for the eternal to experience the transient.

22 March 2015

In no particular order, Postcard 1

My first day back at work, I was rattletrapping down the trail in my park-green pickup. I was approaching a man and he waved me down so I pulled next to him, window down and killed the radio. Beautiful out, he said, today is my first day out for a walk. I just retired. Congratulations, I replied. He wanted to talk so I put the truck in park. Twenty years as a federal judge and Ive been so busy -- people pulling on me in every way. This is my first day, he paused, I just don't know what its all for. I cut the engine and surveyed the man before me: medium height, solid build, handsome in his Navy sweater. Peppered grey hear and olive skin with only traces of age. Perhaps he was latin american, he was vaguely familiar and had the assurance of a presiding judge, but he was seeking counsel from a man in a pickup. My wife and I are going to Argentina to Buenos Aires. We have been dancing Argentine Tango since we met in high school and we have been married fifty years now. I have danced tango with my daughters and my granddaughters and you know what? My little seven year old grandson, he steps up to my wife, his grandmother and asks her to dance and takes her out to the floor and dances the tango. Maybe thats what its all for, I offer, dancing. But he ignores me. We are going to Sin Rumba where all the stars are , the stars of dancing go to drink: Riverold, Pugliese, DiSarli…You know I just don't know what its all for, he reiterates after a pause. I'm a federal Judge you know. There was this woman in my courtroom and she had to have a translated and she's so ill that she says she wants to kill herself, she wants to end it. I said to the translater, translate this for her: Ma'am, I'm a United States Federal judge and I am using my authority to order you not to kill yourself. The translated kind of looked funny at me but he said it and she just stared at me. (pause) You know, I just don't know what its all for. I suggested he hike up to the crest of our modest hill. Excellent views. It was his first walk after all.

Postcards, an Introduction or an Apologia

For nearly two years I have been making and sending out postcards anonymously. The first were collage collaboration with my daughter, who was just three at the time, and I sent some of those in a traditional manner. They evolved into my own non-collaborative collage with whatever thoughts I was mulling over handwritten on the converse. The time coincides neatly with the time I have been working on a novel, a singular and monolithic creative endeavor. An isolating and lonely endeavor.
I wrote and sent out my ideas piecemeal on the back of strange pictorial glyphs with no return address and no signature. As with all my epistles, I sent first drafts unedited and uncensored. They are random and chaotic, some metaphysical, some poetic, some epistolary. Some are strong and some are weak. Occasionally little tuneless songs. As I re-read them, I feel a loose binding together though.
It was certainly an engagement with the ideas in my head that struggled loose of the bounds of the novel's narratives. It was as well engaging the creative and non-verbal impetus without any specific pressure. It was challenging the need -- my own, and the larger artist's need -- for recognition and validation. It was an analog challenge to the digital plane we currently find ourselves meeting upon. And finally, hopefully, it was giving little bundles of pleasure and thought to others. Maybe some delight, maybe some challenges.  Who knows?

That was the idea. It was not a project or curated conceptual pieces. In some ways then I here admit a failure of pride.
I had started taking rough photos of them soon after I began sending them. Why? Memory assistance could have been an excuse, personal posterity. I did not seek feedback or approval, but some did come, some recipients figured it out and gave me some thanks, and of course that feels good.
I resisted external suggestions to collect them for a show. I resisted those desires internal, to do what I am doing now.
Finally though, what I had feared has been confirmed. The postal service has failed to deliver at least some of my little gifts. Most likely through my failure to rigorously comply with postcard mailing standards or to include a return address. I need no more excuse and have no further compunction with becoming a hypocrite to myself. So I will here collect and post my personal posterity for the readers' shared consumption. I will be, over the next few days and keeping up as I go, posting the images of the post cards sent with names and street addresses redacted, and the writing, questionable at best and often indecipherable in photos, transcribed.
I apologize to any who have received and may hold dear an original and can only say that though the spirit of the gift was pure, the specificity was entirely random. If it somehow rang personal and true, like a small bell, then the mysteries of the universe and the subconscious are responsible and I doubt my fragile actions of ego could negate that. And you hold the original deteriorating in your hand, or on your fridge, or in a drawer! If you have received one that is not so dear to you, put a blank label over the address and send it on to someone else.
I can also use this opportunity to petition the world for more addresses which I am always in need of now that this has become a practice. I will not post anything here that has not had the utmost chance to reach its original recipient out there in the world of matter, space and time - the realm of the US postal service.