Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Reality



My Mary



Who lives where Beggars rarley speed?
And leads a humdrum life indeed
As none beside herself would lead
         My Mary

Who lives where noises never cease?
And what wi' hogs and ducks and geese
Can never have a minute's peace
         My Mary

Who nearly battl'd to her chin
Bangs down the yard thro thick and thin?
Nor picks a road nor cares a pin
         My Mary

Who (save in sunday bib and tuck)
Goes daily (waddling like a duck)
Oer head and ears in grease and muck
         My Mary

Unus'd to pattins or to clogs
Who takes the swill to serve the hogs?
And steals the milk for cats and dogs
         My Mary




Tuesday, April 07, 2015

poems




Down in Reno
some seedy hotel
two fat people
amused by a rubber dinosaur

was down at the circle k
a bum looking for a cup of coffee
grizzled and disturbed
had encountered an old black man with a cane
had been here and there with a backpack
learned an odd sort of kung-fu
demonstrated in the misty grass
needed a ribbon to tie back the hair
needed a sleeping bag on a cement floor
asked me for a dime later
walking around with an indian
lighting up cigarettes in Starbuck's.


2.
Dear Atlantic Editors:
  I am hoping you will like these poems.  I've written quite a few poems, and enjoy the reading of Rilke, Dickinson, Whitman, Jeffers, and quite a few others, so I'm hoping that you will enjoy the style that I have come up with.  

  Chris Farrell
  Corvallis, Oregon



Short Biography:
  Christopher Farrell studied East Asian Languages at UC Berkeley, has done a variety of odd jobs, and currently is working as a dishwasher.  He has lived in Japan, the Soviet Union, and Poland, and has mostly been working low to no-skill jobs around Oregon for the last decade or so, but he also takes long walks around the countryside.  He writes poems about average people and bizarre experiences.








 
#1)

Down in Reno
some seedy hotel
two fat people
amused by a rubber dinosaur




#2)

was down at the circle k
a bum looking for a cup of coffee
grizzled and disturbed
had encountered an old black man with a cane
had been here and there with a backpack
learned an odd sort of kung-fu
demonstrated in the misty grass
needed a ribbon to tie back the hair
needed a sleeping bag on a cement floor
asked me for a dime later
walking around with an indian
lighting up cigarettes in Starbuck's.

3.
3.
On Mary's Peak the rain came down
out the foggy windows the huge trees
I drove out a side road
far hills covered with green
electric poles cutting down the hill
a little creek ran by
in which I washed my feet, and drank
blackberries and thimbleberries here and there
failing heavy force of that which remains...
unsaid, and yet pervades all things
from this eye of the world
nature and its quiet rain


Patsy Todd was born in Compton, California, on August
3, 1929. 
She moved to Oregon in 37 during the depression, picked fruit, and her father bought a farm
and sold it in í47, moved to the coast, built a motel,
called the Miles Motel, went to Chemeketa, learned
to weld, worked at Wadeís manufacturing plant. Mother
did rations, worked for a millionaire, the father
building fences, mothing taking something, moved
father out to St. Helens and rioting started. Worked
at Smokecraft in the ë70ís, linen mills in Jefferson,
talked about Burt Reynolds. Smacked her because she
liked Bob Hope, not Burt Reynolds. Joined the union
and quit, kind of fraudulent run in Salem, bring my
grandchildren. Canít see after wreck, living with man,
worked in restaurant ìChilibowlî, early shift, met
guy, snow started, guy came over, started the affair,
died of a heartache. Clarence came home smelling of
gasoline, left, after six years

-somebody told me this story and I wrote it down.

 

Friday, April 03, 2015

My Mary



Who lives where Beggars rarley speed?
And leads a humdrum life indeed
As none besides herself would lead
My Mary

Who lives where noises never cease?
And what wi' hogs and ducks and geese
Can never have a minutes peace
My Mary

Who nearly battl'd to her chin
Bangs down the yard thro thick and thin?
Nor picks a road nor cares a pin
My Mary

Who (save in sunday bib and tuck)
Goes daily (waddling like a duck)
Oer head and ears in grease and muck
My Mary

Unus'd to pattins or to clogs
Who takes the swill to serve the hogs?
And steals the milk for cats and dogs.
My Mary

Who frost and Snow as hard as nails
Stands out o' doors and never fails
To wash up things and scour the pails
My Mary

Who bussles day and night in short
At all catch jobs of every sort.
...etc.

-John Clare, Major Works, Oxford's World Classics.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

ripening barberries



Already the ripening barberries are red,

and the old asters hardly breathe in their beds.

The man who is not rich now as summer goes

will wait and wait and never be himself.


The man who cannot quietly close his eyes,

certain that there is vision after vision

inside, simply waiting until nighttime

to rise all around him in the darkness-

it's all over for him, he's like an old man.


Nothing else will come; no more days will open,

and everything that does happen will cheat him,

Even you, like a stone,

draws him deeper into the depths.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

12



hail to the spirit that can unite us;
for we live really in figures.  Always
go the clocks with little strides
along with our intrinsic days.

Without knowing our proper place,
we act as if from true relations.
The antennae feel their sister-stations,
and the emptiness of space

bore...pure tnesion.  O music of forces...,
aren't the interruptions turned away
by the indulgent affairs of the day?

However the peasant works and sows,
he never reaches those deep sources
where seeds turn into summer.

-rilke, sonnets to orpheus.

Friday, March 13, 2015

felony flats

the outer doors were a backyard and the shovels lined up in even rows
houses down the alley, shopping cart by the railroad
four old cars rusting and shining and moss-covered
and the barking of a dog
and the outer truck in working order
tiny house in gravel walls and barking
across the street a trailer
dudes working on a wrecked car
stars in the skies
the river close by
the trains running by in different tracks
and the heavy feels
and the animals and the grass
littering sideways on the road
even in the hand of the mind
the deep ditch running through the mind
and when she opens the door
pained and lined and suspicious
not far from the felony flats
near a few old trucks.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

story from a while back

This is the story of Joe Altenburg, of who we know very little. He is a man, lost among the sea of men, and moving about them lost in his own way, subsumed in his mere ability to think as he can, and confused, as the most of us are, or would be, or could be, if we thought enough or didn't think enough.
His alarm went off at six, as it did every morning without fail. Spring was coming on, through the Venetian blinds. He had the blinds closed, because it always seemed as if there was too much light coming through the windows when he was trying to sleep. The sky was mostly cloudy lately, and he looked up at it from time to time, when he took the time to open the blinds. The clock was a blue GE model built in a square shape and antique desing. It must have been about twenty years old because he got it from an old pawn shop for five dollars, and the thing was quite dependable, although its clock radio only picked up AM, so he ended up listening to a whole lot of right wing sound announcers when he woke up. Somehow the clock alarm was timed so that it would turn on just when the news was going off, and today it had something to do with the election. At least it is not the weather, he thought to himself, because the weather had been quite terrible recently, with flooding, and intense cold, and just about everything else, it had seemed. Everything was spread out on his floor, and there was nothing separating his own body from the floor but a mattress. The floor was covered with a red carpet that gave the room a strangely bright and faded look. His books were spread out here and there, and clothes were here and there, piled on the dresser, and piled underneath piles of other clothes.
The first thing that Joe did every morning, upon coming into his conscious mind, was to take one step over to the wall socket, and plug in the white cord that connected to the lamp on the table, so that he could see what he was doing. Sometimes the cord would get caught on something, or the lamp would be turned off at the base, and this would lead to more lurching in the dark. Finally he got it turned on, and then turned back to his bed to look for his glasses, which were usually right off the bed by the side but there were a number of different locations where they could be at different times. They had silver rims, and round frames, and held up well for a number of years, and would hopefully hold up for several more, he thought to himself, with some anxiety. A few days before he had woken up to find one of the lenses to have fallen from the rim, and he had to put it back in again. That was always the first sign that they were starting to go, that the lenses would start to fall out and become loose in the frames. He had bought them over three years ago from an optician in Berkeley with a little black mustache who had said that they looked great, compared with the monstrosities that he had worn before that.
Everything was quiet at this time of the morning, and the air smelled clean and fresh, and there was an aura of tranquility and acceptability about that time of the morning. As he put on his clothing, a sense of the wonder of the sense of things came to him and he looked at himself from space looking down onto the oceans and continents, and there he was, in his room putting on his clothes. "Today I will think of the unity of the way of things, and the universal sense in the part of the actual course of my own activities," he thought to himself, and put on his jacket. "Every action has its significance or insignificance, for in the long view of things, in the infinite course of time, there is no significant actiion or worthy or unworthy goal, or any thing at all but the forces of man struggling in the here and now, the thrashing about. The drift of things..." he went on and on and on, and went down the stairway to the kitchen, and there was the espresso maker, hexagonal, sitting on the stove, and also the coffee pot, and the pan from last night, and the rice cooker with the light on.
There was a scratching at the door. It was Fred, the old cat, who knew when Joe got up, and knew that if he was lucky he could get some attention. But Joe went down to the basement to get his clothes from the dryer, and then back up to the kitchen to sit and wait for the time to be right for him to leave. He never left the house until 6:38, because any earlier and there would be a long wait, and any later and he might miss the bus. He went over to the freezer and cut off a slice of bread and put it in the toaster, and waited for it to heat, still in kind of a daze from the morning. There was a copy of Whitman on the table and he flipped it open and started to read..."did you think these were the words, these lines, dots, swirls, these are not words.....the substantial words are in me, in you." he read slowly.
He took out his key and opened and closed his door on the way out, and the cat stood there looking for him. "Bye cat, I have to go and make some money." he said. The trees were starting to look greener and the sun was making weird patterns over the north hills. His feet pattered on the ground, feeling the pavement carefully through the soles. His pack was light on his back, and the morning was unusually warm, as if the day would certainly be warm. The bus pulled up at the curb and he got on, and recognized most of the people on the bus, including the driver. The lady in front of the seat where he was sitting was talking about macaroni and cheese. "She uses some kind of fancy pants recipe and she puts it in the oven and it turns out quite well" she was saying. "My husband doesn't have a fancy job like yours does." she was saying to the girl beside her. Joe got off downtown and crossed the street to the bus stop where he had to wait for the bus to take him to Beaverton. It wasn't long in coming. There were a bunch of people standing and waiting around already, waiting for the same bus. The cafe in the office building near the stop was crowded and it seemed like it might be nice to go in and have a bit to eat, but there was no time. The bus pulled up, and there they were, having to get on for sure, because it only ran once every thirty minutes, and by that time he would be late for work. He recognized everybody on this bus well, because it ran every day, and it took about twenty minutes to get tohis job, ....

Sunday, March 01, 2015

what the heck is going on?


I often ask myself that question when I look or try to look too far into ways that aren't productive or possible for me to figure out, so I usually end up just sticking to the program and trying to screen out the negativity and all around messed up to beyond all belief nature of the question being what in the heck I was wondering of speaking of, but decided I didn't care anyway,


So back to just enjoying the weather and stuff I like doing and keep things to the positive level here.


I think somehow I can't avoid trouble, for some reason.  At least we have this musical gig coming up.  I don't know what the heck I'm doing tomorrow though.  Maybe just the usual, or more of the usual, and maybe something healthy to eat instead of my usual unhealthy diet, or go for a walk.  I sure hope the weather gets a little less cold.  People are funny and unusual and the world seems incredibly messed up really, which is bizarre because I thought I liked the way this town was, but there goes to show that I'm clueless.  Maybe I'd rather stay that way, not that I care anyway.

The point being, I should go back and listen to Obscured By Clouds, the whole album, at least once or twice .....


Friday, February 27, 2015

What the fuck happened to our trailer park?




eating pizza at Blondie's was a big reason to walk down telegraph.  They sold (maybe still do) a lot of slices.  Good pizza.

So, beyond that Telegraph: it had some good coffee shops, populated by students much like myself.  (I didn't start drinking coffee until age 25, but that's another story.)  So, yeah, great bookstore, Cody's books, sold new books, and then the next door shop, Moe's, had five floors of books.  Then there were Shakespeare's, one other cool one, then Shambhala books.    Not that that means much.  Then there was your classic head shop, AnnaPurna.  Couple record stores, ....lots of food.  Yeah, sounds pretty good.  Well, it was easy living because I lived in a dorm and just had to go to class and try to learn stuff, much of which was interesting.  I got my grade ten.
The other thing about Berkeley and Oakland is that, when I was there most, 89-91, walking up Telegraph from Oakland...or is it Shattuck?...was quite a walk, and you'd just be walking gradually uphill .....
nice walk.  the air's worse and the sun is brighter, so it is a trade off.  between Oregon, I mean.


Wednesday, February 25, 2015

poem nineteen, sonnets to orpheus


Though the world change as fast
as cloud-shapes manifold,
all things perfected at last
fall back to the very old.

Past flux and vicissitude,
more freely and higher,
still endures your prelude,
god with the lyre.

We do not understand
grief, nor love's phases,
and what death keeps concealed

is not unveiled.
Only song through the land
hallows and praises
-Rilke, Sonnets to Orpheus

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Beginning My Studies



BEGINNING my studies the first step pleas'd me so much,

The mere fact consciousness, these forms, the power of motion

The least insect or animal, the senses, eyesight, love,

The first step I saw awed me and pleas'd me so much,

I have hardly gone and hardly wish'd to go any farther,


But stop and loiter all the time..

-whitman

Friday, February 13, 2015

steeply sloping hour



My life is not this steeply sloping hour,
in which you see me hurrying.
Much stands behind me; I stand before it like a tree;
I am only one of my many voices,
and at that, the one that will be still the soonest.

I am the rest between two notes,
which are somehow always in discord
because Death's note wants to climb over,
but in the dark interval, reconciled,
they stay there trembling.
               And the song goes on, beautiful.

-Rilke


Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Expostulation and reply

Why, william, on that old grey stone,
thus for the length of half a day,
why, william, sit you thus alone,
and dream your time away?

"Where are your books?..that light bequeathed
To beings else forlorn and blind.
Up! and drink the spirit breathed
from dead men to their kind.

You look round on your Mother Earth,
as if she for no purpose bore you,
as if you were her first born birth
and none had lived before you!

One morning thus, by Esthwaite lake
when life was sweet, i knew not why,
to me my good friend Matthew spake,
and thus I made reply,

The eye-it cannot choose but see;
we cannot bid the ear be still,
our bodies feel, where'er they be,
against or with our will.

Nor less I deem that there are Powers
which of themselves our minds impress;
that we can feed this mind of ours
in a wise passiveness.

Think you, 'mid all the mighty sum
of things for ever speaking,
that nothing of itself will come,
but we must still be seeking?

-Then ask not wherefore, here, alone
conversing as I may,
I sit upon this old grey stone,
and dream my time away.
--wordsworth

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Composed upon Westminster Bridge, September 3, 1802


BY WILLIAM WORDSWORTH
Earth has not anything to show more fair:
Dull would he be of soul who could pass by
A sight so touching in its majesty:
This City now doth, like a garment, wear
The beauty of the morning; silent, bare,
Ships, towers, domes, theatres, and temples lie
Open unto the fields, and to the sky;
All bright and glittering in the smokeless air.
Never did sun more beautifully steep
In his first splendour, valley, rock, or hill;
Ne'er saw I, never felt, a calm so deep!
The river glideth at his own sweet will:
Dear God! the very houses seem asleep;
And all that mighty heart is lying still!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015



Lean out the window,
    Goldenhair,
I heard you singing,
    A merry air.

My book was closed;
   I read no more,
Watching the fire dance
   On the floor.

I have left my book,
   I have left my room,
For I heard you singing,
   Through the gloom,

Singing and singing
   A merry air.
Lean out the window,
   Goldenhair.

(why the last word above is appearing larger than the others, I don't know)



 

this picture is of the sink at the New Morning Bakery, my workplace for years and years, washing dishes.

She asked a dime of me



I wrote this long ago, probably late nineties.  altered it slightly



She asked a dime of me
I could not reach my pocket
She asked me for the time
I could not raise my arm
She turned to go, I thought to smile
but could not change my face
I finally reached, it seemed to me,
quite a sorry place.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

 keep rewriting this, but the idea's the same
I have an idea of living out in some small valley in the coast range, surrounded by the beauty of nature, living simply, doing a lot of gardening, and living in proximity to many friends. I would have a place with a wood floor to teach yoga, tai chi, kempo, karate, aikido, if the instructor is good. Me and anyone who wanted to would play music or do art.
People would stop by from far-off places, and there would be great discussions in rooms fueled by wood fires, and mellow parties with music on special occasions, but music would be happening all of the time, as would art of all kinds. We would all be living in close proximity, so we could bicycle or walk everywhere. This would be in a valley in the coast range, and would not be any sort of cult, because people would live there voluntarily, and there would be no conflict with the laws and policies of the local government, for the most part. Those of us that wanted to spend a lot of time gardening could do so. Privacy and space would be respected, but there would be a constant social environment with good conversation and good things happening, to take part in or not, and hopefully some good writing would result from it. Sort of like the next step up from the famous parties at Ken Kesey's place in La Honda that Jerry Garcia and the Dead attended. It would be a similar beautiful environment, but a step forward from the drugs and chaos of the past, to an environment where we could talk about the kind of world this should be. And safer in terms of keeping control of excessive drug use, in some way.
I know there are such hippies hiding out in the coast range already (definitely know that now!), but maybe we could take it to the next level, beyond where it is now. Many people live out there at peace with themselves and surrounded by beauty, but in my mind, the interactions of people living there and people visiting can have a real effect on the course of events and negotiations in the real world of wars and politics.
I always hoped to live in a place where good social interactions occurred on a daily basis.
This type of thing already happens every year in the form of the Oregon Country Fair, but I was thinking of a permanent community with many visitors and no sense of stress...and much time to live in a quiet way in tune with nature. Quiet would be a big part of it. I’d like to live in a quiet place and work on gardening more than now.
Tell me if you want to be untagged, but it seems like a good idea, right?
Good discussions would be nice. It's like that Henry James story where he and certain people greet each other and acknowledge that they were both at a place, hosted by somebody, where great, or substantive in some way, discussions took place. Collin's the only guy who remembers those Berkeley days, but those days weren't all great, that's for sure.
Here's a little aside about yoga and karate:
Doing a lot more yoga would be great. It's a very important aspect, in that it sorts out the connections and strengths in the body, and yoga people understand those ideas and go beyond what we know in karate, because although we stretch, most of the class is movement, some of it fast. Still, doing the forms in karate is, like tai chi, meditation in movement, or they can be done that way. People are put off karate because they see strength and anger and fighting, but in our style it's affectionate anger. We always shake hands after a

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Highland Reaper  (mostly but not all borrowed from a Wordsworth poem.  However, some of the words are based on my experiences, that's for sure)


v1
   C                F           
behold her, single in the field, 
   C                 G
scattered highland reaper,,
  c               F
alone she cuts and binds the grain
 g          C
and sings a melacholy strain

v2
will no one tell me what she sings

perhaps of plaintive far off things

or some more humbe pain

which may be or be again


chorus
dm              em               
she wears a coat of blue
f                  g
oh too deep,  oh too true
dm              em

 f                 g
more than I can find    


V3
F C 
she sang her song as it had no ending
as when she cut and binds the grain

and I listened motionless and still
as the song came through the hills

V4
when I think over those days
through the earth’s fire and flame

the music echoing tthrough the trees

and the song came through the hills

Thursday, January 15, 2015

The Song the Idiot Sings


They don’t bother about me.  They let me be.
They say, “Nothing can happen.”
That’s good.
Nothing can happen.  It all comes and wheels 
steadily around the Holy Ghost,
always around that same Ghost (you know)-
that’s good.

No, of course not, one mustn’t think any danger
could come in that way.
Of course the blood exists.
Blood is the heaviest.  Blood is heavy
Sometimes I think I’ve had too much.
(That’s good.)

Oh, isn’t that a wonderful ball!
round and red as nothing at all.
Good things that you created it.
But will it come if you call?

How strangely this whole thing behaves,
into each other driving, out of each other swimming,
friendly, a touch uncertain.
That’s good.


   Poem by Rilke translated by Robert Bly, from German (but you knew that alread)


So, the reason I can do all this academic stuff and spell words correctly is because I went to the University of California, Berkeley, and graduated.  Then I went on to deliver a lot of pizzas.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Keats

I stood tiptoe upon a little hill,

The air was cooling, and so very still, 
That the sweet buds which with a modest pride
Pull droopingly, in slanting curve aside,
Their scantly leaved, and finely tapering stems,
Had not yet lost those starrry diadems
Caught from the early sobbing of the morn

highland reaper

The Solitary Reaper
  
BEHOLD her, single in the field,
  Yon solitary Highland Lass!
Reaping and singing by herself;
  Stop here, or gently pass!
Alone she cuts and binds the grain,         5
And sings a melancholy strain;
O listen! for the Vale profound
Is overflowing with the sound.
No Nightingale did ever chaunt
  More welcome notes to weary bands  10
Of travellers in some shady haunt,
  Among Arabian sands:
A voice so thrilling ne'er was heard
In spring-time from the Cuckoo-bird,
Breaking the silence of the seas  15
Among the farthest Hebrides.
Will no one tell me what she sings?—
  Perhaps the plaintive numbers flow
For old, unhappy, far-off things,
  And battles long ago:  20
Or is it some more humble lay,
Familiar matter of to-day?
Some natural sorrow, loss, or pain,
That has been, and may be again?
Whate'er the theme, the Maiden sang  25
  As if her song could have no ending;
I saw her singing at her work,
  And o'er the sickle bending;—
I listen'd, motionless and still;
And, as I mounted up the hill,  30
The music in my heart I bore,
Long after it was heard no more.



I used parts of this poem and wrote a new song based on it recently.  Here it is:

Highland Reaper


v1
   C                F           
behold her, single in the field, 
   C                 G
scattered highland reaper,,
  c               F
alone she cuts and binds the grain
 g          C
and sings a melacholy strain

v2
will no one tell me what she sings

perhaps of plaintive far off things

or some more humble pain

which may be or be again


chorus
dm              em               
she wears a coat of blue
f                  g
oh too deep,  oh too true
dm              em

 f                 g
more than I can find    


V3
F C 
she sang her song as it had no ending
as when she cut and binds the grain

and I listened motionless and still
as the song came through the hills

V4
when I think over those days
through the earth’s fire and flame

the music echoing tthrough the trees
and the song came through the hills



It's gonna be a huge hit.  (well, that would actually be a drag because I'd get accosted by fans....)




            











Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Wednesday, November 27, 2013

a copse in winter


Shades tho yere leafless save the bramble spear
Whose weather beaten leaves of purple stain
In hardy stubbornness cling all the year
To their old thorns till spring buds new again
Shades still I love ye better then the plain
For here I find the earliest flowers that blow
While on the bear blea bank does yet remain
Old winter traces little heaps of snow
Beneath your ashen roots primroses grow
From dead grass tufts and matted moss once more
Sweet beds of vi’lets dare again be seen
In their deep purple pride and sweet displayd
The crow flowers creeping from the naked green
Adds early beautys to thy sheltering shade
-john clare

Thursday, November 21, 2013

another day coming up

It is early in the morning.  Maybe I should go for a walk.  I guess I could walk down to sheris...get a coffee..


I think I will do that.

Monday, March 25, 2013

mi corazón, por pablo neruda

mi corazón, es tarde y sin orillas,
el día, come un pobre mantel puesto a secar
oscila rodeado de seres y extensión,
de cada ser viviente hay algo en la atmosféra,
mirando mucho el aire parecerían mendigos,
abogados, bandidos, carteros, costureras,
un poco de cada oficio, un resto humillado,
quiere trabajar su parte en nuestro interior,
yo busco desde antaño, yo examino sin arrogancia,
conquistado, sin dudo, por lo vespertino.

My heart, it is late and without shores,
day, like a poor tablecloth put to dry,
sways, surrounded by beings and extent,
there is something from every living being in the atmosphere,
lawyers, bandits, mailmen, seamstresses,
and a little of each occupation, a humbled remnant
wants to perform its own work within us.
I have been searching for a long time, I examine in all modesty.
ovecome, without doubt, by evening.
-pablo neruda, ....un hombre chileano\