IT'S FUCKING COLD IN HERE. I better go chop some wood and carry water. Sometimes living way out in the boondocks is a hassle. I got to walk a quarter mile through foot high snow and down the slippery hill to the spring. Then I have to chop a hole in the thick slab of ice and scoop up two gallons of water filling these here buckets. Takes over and hour. Then back up the slippery slope, I'll probably fall to my knees at least once. I'm pretty good though since I recently bought super deluxe snowshoes. Then the quarter mile back, passing some incredibly ancient trees. When its warmer out I sometimes sit down and meditate beneath these friends of mine. They are so strong and peaceful. Today though I will hurry this water in the house and then go split some logs. Heat the hut the old fashioned way. I'm an expert on lighting lingering and warm fires. It's a skill I've developed over the last three years I've shacked up in this here hut. Yep, three long years. And here I am still here chopping wood and carrying water. Like the old wind mill in the valley brought over piece by piece from Ireland in the 1880's. It just keeps on turning. Sometimes with a slow almost imperceptible rotation. At other times when the season of the high winds arrive the arms spin so rapidly that it looks as if its solid. Getting used to the pitch dark out in the wilderness was extremely trying for me. Oh, for about the first three months I hardly slept a wink all night. I was jumpy. I had the sense that I wasn't alone. That there were crazy people wondering through the hills and valleys. A murderer limping, dragging an axe along the dirt road to my house. Homicidal maniacs dancing around my hut. I'd hear a noise and pull the covers over my head and remain motionless till the next episode., Let me tell you there are many such noises that come out during the dark phase. You know people, mostly men, who are aggressive and violet are another bread altogether. I met some of these specimens while in prison. Oh man, that's a whole other story.
Anyway these guys are freaky. Often they've got screwed up teeth and a smile that sends shivers down my spine.They have this look, maniacal is the only way to describe it but you get this sense that they are not held back and that they can, like a wolf, just attack you if it so strikes them and just for the fun of it. The ones that went so far beyond their boundaries and snuffed another life out gives me the sense that I'm on a cliff just at the point of falling for these seretonin deficient individuals have no sense of boundaries.
Boundaries. I'm losing my sense of boundaries. It's been happening slowly over the years and is one of the main reasons I moved way out here, away from the rabble. The rabble, oh what a waste! There is some bitterness in my voice, its true. But, alas, it has become part of my experience. I am what I is. Got some cool, clear, fresh water. Cold water on a frigid day homeopathically warms me. I still hear those pipes, gliding their sweet melodies through the air. I used to play the Uilleann pipes. I miss those days. Out here in the thick of it I carved a few crude instruments. They play pretty good but there was nothing like those pipes and all those beautiful lasses that danced for me. I was in bliss, in heaven, I danced, composed music,and choreographed my pieces for all the world to see. I was the man. The Lord of the Dance. And then like the great Nijinsky my mind collapsed.....like a house of cards.
When I was a wee lad I used to spend hours constructing all kinds of architectural wonders with decks of playing cards. I even won a number of art contests and it got me scholarships to architectural school. I learned the secret of balance and form in those days; guided by a kind of intuition and focus. I knew that these structures, so beautiful and grand, were extremely unstable. Often during the new and full moons I hear the fullness of the pipes filling my soul. I don the leopard costume I wore at my last performance and dance throughout the night, giddy with joy .
Oh Salome.....Dionysus, pan, the satyrs, old Bacchus arrive.....No longer do I think of marketing it,of yakking about, concerned what the rabble think or feel toward it. It is liberating out here in the world of HUT! Oh, when I had the narcissus sickness life was so constricting; I felt as if a cobra were choking me. Now don't get me wrong I had my share of fun. And it is vital that I had those wild experiences. So I also feel deep gratitude for the rabble. I am part of the rabble for you... Hidden away here for three years is the culmination of "all of it." Sometimes tears fall down my at the intense feelings I have for your world. You are out there interacting with the populace. What a wide variety of human beings and their life conditions. Tomorrow I am going to bake the weeks bread. Lots of kneading. When I was back in LA,having immigrated from Ireland, to pursue my dreams, or should I say my illusions, I was amazed to see a TV show on Life's meaning or some such thing and all throughout the show were these corny references to baking bread and now I baked bread and find it spiritualizing. I often let my conscious mind hang in a rocking chair most of the time. I've trained it and given it its freedom to lounge around. A permanent vacation. When I compose it comes forth to some degree but I keep the door wide open. I'm not perfect, not by any means a serene hermit sage. Not in a long shot. But, hey, who wants to be a sage? I'm not interested in money anymore. Just enough to last till the breathing stops. Spare change is all I need. Got any? IT'S FUCKING COLD OUT HERE IN THIS HUT OF MINE!!!!!!
Karawane: Or, the Temporary Death of the Bruitist
A Journal of Performance Praxis
AHIMSA TIMOTEO BODHRAN, NEW YORK
the third kiss/el tercer beso
(or how we arabs say good-bye)
for AC who taught me how
in my culture we say good-bye with not one kiss but two sometimes three this is also how we say hello dos besos one on each cheek
i will take yr face querido i will take yr face inta las manos n hold it turn it towards the light that i may c it touch it lean my own face against it kiss it each side knowing that i have a whole world in my hands my lips will linger perhaps a moment too long pero solamente un momentito i will look inta yr eyes beyond them look inward go inside u like the many times u went inside me n we will know querido we will know it is time
en mi cultura we say good-bye no con un beso pero dos y a veces tres this is also how we say hello dos besos one on each cachete
but no querido u will not b receiving the third kiss tonite we give out el beso only sometimes
those times when we r tired or drunk or in a hurry those times when we have gone thru room after room of relatives kissing so many cheeks that we lose count so that the rooms swirl before us n all we can c es labios rojos y partidos de besando y mejillas rojas y doloridas de pellizcando a mental checklist in our head reminding us of whose cachetes r next of how many more we have ta go n how we r even related ta these people ta begin with n there r those times when we r outside the home around our elders when we want ta show them el respeto that they deserve (in those situations it is best ta kiss one too many times than one too few) there r also those times cuando está con alguien holding them being held by them when u don't want ta let go cuando un beso leads ta another y un otro y un otro y un otro until finally u lose count bcuz u want ta
pero ahora no es uno de aquellos tiempos no querido u will not b receiving the third kiss tonite u r not my relative n u r not my elder n i am neither drunk nor tired nor in a hurry n as of tonite u r no longer my lover so no querido u will not b receiving el tercer beso tonite now is not one of those times ven ven a mi ven a mi querido offer up ta me yr face so that i may take it inta las manos y sujétalo turn it towards the light that i may c it y tocalo lean my own face against it y besalo each side one last time knowing that yo tengo el mundo entero en las manos mis labios will linger perhaps a moment too long pero solamente un momentito i will look inta tus ojos beyond them look inward go inside u like the many times u went inside me n we will know querido we will know we will know it is time ta say good-bye say good-bye querido may u walk in beauty n may u find peace good-bye good-bye querido good-bye
Previously published in The Evergreen Chronicles
la lengua of love
my love for u es multilingue many-tongued washing
over us with each wave of appreciation this gift of
sharing u n yr body with me wetness n warmth
heat hot springs from the ocean floor always
returning wave upon wave of undulation
always finding ourselves on each
other's shores with no course
back nor wanting any
nor wanting any
(previously published in Minza)
Lessons in Excavation
for Sandra Maria Calvo & Maria Mazziotti Gillan
although it is true I have been "american" for six and four and three generations
I have been irish and german jewish and arab spanish and african far longer
my roots there in europe the middle east nord afrika and the mediterranean
(across an ocean twice traveled and even more removed)
are much deeper stronger thicker
than these mere branches thin and weak shallow
and overshadowing the ground upon which I was born
check the soil below they run for miles
those above their distance measured
in only feet and inches
(perhaps it is best this way)
in winter the leaves fall
the thin branches grow thinner gnarled and grey
matching the sky above indistinguishable
(to some the tree would appear dead)
there are still those of us
who know the truth of things
who know the benefits beyond shade
who know other ways of living beyond the grey
who know what lies beneath the surface and
who still dare
(previously published in The Hammer)
During the winter months in Arizona the drifts blew over the horned toothed lizards creeping along the road. Dead air, stalled cars, rocking the mesas, a lip of cloud twists upside the head. Dozing from all the pointless traveling, never-ending fatigue, circling overhead with the buzzards, Martin limped back to town. His mind floated empty above the plains going nowhere as he walked, one foot slightly shorter than the other. He gazed upwards to the glare, squinting, a few tears formed dropping and evaporating on the pavement, splashing onto the sleeping lizard's tail. Without water for three days his though processes stuck in a firmament of transparency. Every now and then an oasis appeared, but upon further reflection, nothing was again to be found. A sad and blissful state of affairs. Contradictory arisings from the depths. How many more hours would he have left? Martin didn't think on these things. martin hardly thought at all. He was as quiet as the lizards snoozing solid under the sun. So this was his life. As life continued rambling on in the big cities round the glove as people watched with vapid eyes the media monster devouring their will to create, Martin created an epic around his echoless steps. His soles were worn down, his socks torn by the rough friction, at times a tiny pebble caressed a blank spot on his underfoot causing a slight lisp in Martin's totality. The rabble continued its movement--births and deaths, delusions and illusions, love ad hate, all the dualistic notions of the prosaic amoebas were completely silent in Martin's blissful sadness. Does anyone see Martin now? He sees all. Of us!
He tried to reconstruct his life for a few moments. It was a blur. Where were the highlights? He sat down on a red rock, took off his torn socks, wiped his sweat-filled brow with them, and flung them into the desert wind. The buzzards were licking their lips, singing their song of death. Martin's neck fell forward and he drifted off into a sleep. He conscious shifted to the unconscious theatre, but the curtains remained closed. A loud squawk startled his mental continuum and he was back to this long road.
Martin slowly got to his feet. Martin played tunes from the beyond, swaying, heart fluttering, wind silk white drifting sand, golden red droplets twisting. Music all IS. Melodious Martin. His new stage name, his new life, his new dream . . . And heeeeeeeerrrrrse the legendary MM: Melodious Martin. . . . A smile crept along the rocks, a humongous shadow cast against ancient wind blown rocks. A single yellow truffle bloomed in the sea of red Martin placed the silver instrument into his shirt pocket and bent down to breathe in the warm aroma of the yellow trufflet. Hmmmm, the nose-consciousness-ringlets of dancing invisibilities; ear-consciousness-vibration massages smoothing on in; taste-consciousness--a parched desert with oasis more real than dry tongue, not a bad sort of affairs; touch-consciousness--a senseless sensation of thickness and thinness titiallas over the empress dermus; eye-consciousness --licking in the no-taste experience up a dimension of flickering color-shape phenomenon. All the consciousnesses working as they should, unobstructed spontaneous self-arising display. A peacock was seen, open tailed magnificence shimmering under desert noontime yellow oven. How much more awareness can Martin's karmic load hold? Will the whole impure karmic garbage within Martin's being be taken to the cosmic laundry for purification, transmutation and liberation; both transcendental and worldly? Or will Martin's ordinary trite mind re-emerge, moving him closer to true liberation, but not quite yet? Only time will tell or . . . not tell. He just followed the peacock; taking out his pipe, calling all those beings that have a karmic connection with him from whatever realm, his knees cracking under the weight. A smile formed on his parched lips. If he collapsed right then and there he wouldn't have minded. He was at peace, happy even.
He started moving again. How far to go? It seemed endless. He had a goal, it was true, but he had already tasted the fruit. The fruit within the path. The fruit within the fruit. Ah, the sweet nectar filling his soul. Martin's ego was left 25 miles back, roadkilled, squashed . . . What a difference!
As he staggered onward his eyes caught the shine of dirt blinding him for an endless moment. He walked over to the shine. Bending over ever so slowly he picked up the reflection. It was a musical pipe. Was Pan following him? He put the pipe to tender lips and softly blew. A strange melodious sound emanated from the cylindrical shaped instrument. Martin's heart fluttered and his joy deepened even more. Was this what a revelation was like? But there was no one around to witness this momentous occasion. Or perhaps the universe itself was the witness. These thoughts never crossed Martin's mind. (How do I know? That's how the story was passed down.) Martin was just experiencing the unfolding..
Do you want to stand alone against the whole world? There's no place for originality in architecture. No one can improve on the buildings of the past, one can only learn to copy them. We've tried to teach you the accepted, historical styles: you refuse to learn. You won't accept anyone's judgement but your own. You insist one designing buildings that look like nothing ever built before. This school has no choice but to expel you. It is my duty as your dean to say that you will never become an architect. You can't hope to survive unless you learn how to compromise. Now watch me: in just a few short years I'll shoot to the top of the architectural profession, because I'm going to give the public what it wants. You'll never get anywhere. You've done four buildings in four years. It's no use, Howard. Why don't you give up? So you want to work for Henry Cameron, huh? Oh, I know he was a great architect thirty years ago, but he fought for your 'modern architecture' & he's done for now. What do you get out of it? Give in. Learn to get along with people; you'll be one of us. Why do you want to work for me? You're setting yourself out to ruin yourself, you know that don't you? I ought to throw you out of here before it's too late! I..I wish I'd done this at your ageoh, why did you have to come to me? I'm perfectly happy with the drooling dolts I've got. I don't want any fool visionaries starving around here. You're an egoist! You're impertinent! You're too sure of yourself! Twenty years ago I would have punched your face with the greatest of pleasure. You're coming to work for me tomorrow morning at nine o'clock. Now now now/leave these here. Now get out! Wait! What's your name? A Voyage with Ms. Remshied on the Amazon: An Account of the Journey Under the Stars of the Refrigerator. This could be called The True Mice & Rats; a rebuttal to being phased out & a response to the phrase "people disappoint me." Obviously I think that it's too easy to say, as well as a cliché. But you have to put in your time; you have to prove yourself. The stakes are too high & somehow manage to compare working artists with an inventive Type A stereotype of books, film & high art. What the heck, any man's work is public property. Suddenly not good enough anymore. The thrill is gone! The avoidance now by design. Would rather clampdown its mouth than risk being uncool: the fake profundity of silence. BIG genius(& not very HUMAN). I don't know what I'm supposed to do. You were supposed to slap my face. You were supposed to do that several minutes ago. No? You don't want to do that? You see, you don't keep track of my career, but I watch yours. We're never going to have a revolution with this thick set. We're never going to have a MOVEMENT with these ridiculous standards/high STAKEism. You can't turn men into slaves unless you break their spirit. Why do you think I denounce greatness & praise mediocrity? Great men can't be ruled. Why did I preach self-sacrifice? Man must not aspire to any virtue that cannot be shared. Oh, I wouldn't know about that intellectual stuff, I play the stock market. I play the stock market of the SPIRIT. & I sell short!
Howard, look at those buildings: giant skyscrapers - yet they made them look like Greek temples, gothic cathedrals & Mongols of every ancient style they could borrow. Just because others had done it. THESE ARE MY CITIES. I SPOKE THESE BUILDINGS. Where we are now the great scattered: sleep scattered. Conversations scattered. Goals, inspiration, talents & abilities scattered. Scattered down the sidewalk of sentence, rules of reduction(plunder phonics). Initial- gesture/protraction. Washing dishes & vacuuming makes moves commensurate room. Opening & yelling out of the window that this car wreck creates in the sound of everything. & for this we try harder to cross the floor of the face/to grow wings & sing. So it is in this way that we reach the complexion of sentence; the ceiling of sound at the attempted mouth of language. Before dialect there was sound; still formless. On the last mountains of language - digging a site/setting up in ice & rock in reversal archeology - in word-silence. We lights-sky; insegrade. Too young to ever really know/too young to even touch the ground. The solar system of handwriting/the laws of expanding language-theory of universal symbol-systems; alighting into a language of new letters uncovered & named after numbers! A language reBUILT in sound-movement. You can see it ever as I speak. I built that. Combination letters/participle geography: vowel-consonant-inversion-replacement/contractions reorganized & opened to include invisible letters & as yet unattempted word-marriage. ALL THE ANDS IN THE WORLD COULDN'T SAVE US NOW. Someone like Jack Kerouac, as far as writing to the end of the breath; extending lines to the end of the breath. Or multiple sounds at once. I s blank verse or cut-up technique comparable to free jazz? How about automatic writing & improvisation? What might a meeting between Coltrane & Artaud have produced? Or, if his final to quartets had been poets, what might Pharoah Sanders have meant to words? Where would we be if John Coltrane had been an English teacher, a linguistic expert or a writer? What would he have taught? John was always attempting to explain, in as many different ways as possible, his search for sound & God. No creator was prompted by a desire to please his brothers. His brothers hated the gift he had to offer. His truth was his only motive. He held his truth against all things & against all men. He went ahead whether others agreed with him, or NOT. On a particular night in New York City, God is my Copilot is performing the song Straight/not. Or at least that's how they introduce it. & that's what it says on the set list. But what we hear doesn't sound like that song(or perhaps it started out sounding like it, but then moved into something else). At what point does it stop being Straight/not & start being something else? How far does the notion stretch? How deeply into shape, sound & content? Because this certainly doesn't SOUND like Straight/not. But that's what it says on the set list.
IT THEREFORE THINKS: 'I'll find originality yet! I'll find genius later! It will be somewhere ELSE; some stereotyped city: Paris or Barcelona(not HERE). The time isn't right. The genius will be exactly twenty-four years old; he will wear a floppy woolen suit(won't talk as much).' So come for the Ueber-man, stay for the banal mediocrity of so-called big-city LIFE"Oh I'm so young, I'm so goddamn young"/IT THEN FIGURES: 'He wasn't that creative. He wasn't that smart. Look, he didn't know what attrition meant(this surprised us).' Cliques are growing in isolation[see Dogme 2000, paragraph one/line one]; we are the problem. We put down competition.We are competition. We put down cliques. We are cliques. We didn't come to this town to be unknown. & we won't accept brilliance unless it has a two-hundred IQ/speak five languages/have the sense to use small words instead of BIG/not always wear the same trousers(some degree of personal hygiene). 'But my work speaks for itself. I've no need to talk/whatamI, Madison Avenue? & I won't accept genius unless it's a dot-dot-dot.' Disabling mental illness? No, YOU pick up the phone! YOU put yourself out! You come to ME/I'm SHY! Like PULLING TEETH!(People disappoint me). I take back my emulation/I take back my 'impossible, pathetic friendship.' Where are the rest of the original temp-pool creative people?(Do a little dance)Bring on the next novelty! & in attempting to execute toward modality, towards microtonality, towards harmonics; towards NAMELESSNESS, & tells you, in fact, to GO! I'm ready to go Seattle! I'm ready to go Atlanta! I'm ready to go Chicago! I'm ready to go Boston! I'm ready to go Omaha! We will power belief with this! Think we're going to apologize? We'll celebrate instead!I am throwing down the pen from behind my ear/hurrying home to write/& reading every book I can get my hands on - because - reading seems to be the only weapon that remains applicable in growing these wings
Interesting people are loners. you can't meet them. get out! can't break up their marriages or
usurp their secret fire escape lovers. there are none; the walk alone. who produced these
individuals? not Madison Avenue or Milan. tattoos, interesting? piercings, interesting? very long
hair, very short hair, interesting? vintage clothing; high fashion? interested? interested yet?
bisexual? interracial? boho? like on T.V.! not weird enough. who paved the way for identity (not
these people). consider the intelligentsia of time: bit thinkers in smoky backrooms. all in ugly suits
& ties. members of the Bauhaus, of Dada, private salons & think tanks. outside the
university(often); outside the court. creators of the thinking-edge. can't even read their writing!
they looked like narcs! they were uncool. they were very uncool. so square, they'd level the world
beyond its shrunken-head tattoos & all its affect. they freaked out. & it freaked people out. like
Ulysses & The Rite of Spring. when we rant that 'it's just looks' or 'all is vanity', we imply that
there is something else. there may NOT be! What do people care about? look at the pyramid of
THINGS, PEOPLE; IDEAS(materialism, Jerry Springer, & original thought) interesting? why did
the punk cross the road? he was stapled to a chicken. what do you think skinheads talk about?
punk rock? they talk about their families & their jobs. WHAT is interesting? WHO is? what is
radical? who made the PROTOTYPE? why copy it? my moral: why copy anything? you want to
be unique but first you have to be a true individual: that means no more cliques. no more TEAMS.
no more GIRLFRIENDS. no more BOYfriends. NO MORE PROPS. but see how eventually the
underground goes middleground...'Liberal' sees expensive copper pan at Williams-Sonoma. want-
to-buy. forget about grassroots & Marxism. artists& cultural neighborhoods strews with 100lb
boys (crystal meth bulimia) entire city of boys & that prop: either a girl, a dog, a cellphone, or
snarling or spitting on the street with that ridiculous SWAGGER. where have I seen that before?
oh yeah. EVERYWHERE!(or male couples)...the world is full of E.M. Forster women & Anne Tyler
men. the barback is a D.J. Star! your girlfriend's in a review about temping for Amazon.com. the
real horror of the modern city the unreal city today is its hypocritical MINDSET: young, hip,
plugged into the web & can't think for itself! wait for it to be DECIDED! so we have corporate-
endorsed ravewear & syndicated prison-issue Hip Hop. all you you won't be BEAT UP(fashion
isn't as brave as it is fearful). loners are never cool. James Dean was an interpretation. I'm lonely
in this place of people only LOOKING or acting weird. they can't access weirdness, they can only
GUESS! they never had it repackaged and run up the flagpole like a trend. they only borrowed it!
they just paint it on like ARMOR! I finally REBELLED against cool. they said that I 'lost' my cool,
that I freaked out (which is VERY uncool & apparently undesirable); I must have felt PASSIONATE
about something. cool isn't dynamic in any way. how did it ever catch on? how could anyone in
any century look around & be BORED, or subsequently adopt this as an identity. NOTHING WAS
EVER ACCOMPLISHED THROUGH BEING COOL, BUT EVERYTHING WAS ACHIEVED BY
FREAKING OUT. INTERESTING PEOPLE ARE LONERS. YOU CAN'T MEET THEM. GET OUT.
not weird enough. it's not weird enough! when we were out there changing the tide...wanna be
lonely? wanna give it a shot? oh, I don't know; I'm not saying this right. I should ARTICULATE
this better...simplify: maybe something...GET OUT!
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