Tuesday, January 30, 2007


the thought of walking to the bean: if you check on the map, the streets are going at all sorts of angles near campus. It took me forever to figure out the best way to walk from where I live to the campus Beanery. It is especially tricky because Kings doesn't run parallel to anything. It is not at all parallel to the north-south streets. Also, the streets running more or less parallel to Monroe aren't parallel to each other either, but run at funny and confusing angles.

"The Gods are of no sect; they side with no man. When I imagine that Nature inclined rather to some few earnest and faithful souls, and specially existed for them, I go to see an obscure individual who lives under the hill, letting both gods and men alone, and find that strawberries and tomatoes grow for him too in his garden, and the sun lodges kindly under his hillside, and am compelled to acknowledge the unbribable charity of the gods."

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

untitled blather

only whoso has raised
among the Shades his lyre
dares, with foreboding, aspire
to offer infinite praise.

No one but that one
who has eaten with the dead
their poppies will never forget
the softest tone.

Though the picture in the pool
before us grow dim:
Make the image yours.
Only in the dual realm will voices become
eternal and pure.

There is a world we're living in, out there somewhere. Sometimes I feel like it is out there somewhere, hardly ever making a dent on my consciousness.

somewhere over in Albany
trains run around on the tracks
the rumbling goes right through you
big dogs bark from on top of boxes
junk and old cars in front of houses
down in front of the river park
the waters come up over the pavement
lights come on as you walk by
gangters with pit bulls
women coasting along on bikes with no brakes

Things that I can do without:
1)nasty comments
2)waiting in long lines
4)mary oliver
5)kata with overly-long slow parts

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

some crazy

skinny guy rides around with headphones on, and the differing dogs and the manners, and the scanners and belts and sliding doors of the mind, conjecture and reason
the keys of mostly flea-bitten swords
deleterious mechanisma
all of the key and the mostly
natural and unnamed parting
among the daffodils and natural looks
the ideas of the inward eye
with the moments in the wash of the sea
the tides and the lengthening
the manner of who might come
into what might be the only real lever.

People stroll by the cafe and I think of that Wordsworth poem about the daffodils "fluttering and dancing in the breeze" and think how much that poem meant , or how much I first thought of it-a real different and powerful kind of language.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


I find that lowercase seems to appear to be much more attractive the uppercase most of the time. The weather was a bit warmer today, and the beanery was much the same. That place is almost mythical to me. It seems that I would hardly exist if the beanery were not there. At some level, I chart all the years of my life as relating the the beanery in some way, from the early days coming back from the vineyard with dirt on my jeans, to the middle years, getting bowled over by some poem or other, to the recent past, sitting and doing sketches or contemplating the ceiling fans. A legend in my own mind.
sitting in the bean with a cup of tea
someone scribbling poetry in the back
a cup of ceramic banging against the wood
strumming on the guitars and instruments
and keyboards, and the letters of the rivers and memories streaming out of the water-closets and incoherent prose.

The grass is green from all the rain, but the trees are bare, and yet the leaves will come back as the seasons progress and the temperature makes its way back to the warm side of things. I see that the bricks on the churches are piled in even rows, and the cracks on the pavement are arrayed in a certain way, and that each word as it is imprinted in each book has a certain type of drivel associated with it, and that the imprint of the normal and the abnormal are in a bit of a clueless abstraction.

i paused by the fountain
the water streaming down
bricks of the red library
the pausing of bicycle locks
a leaf floated across
and ant on it
the ant each in place
the water streaming to the sea
coming back again as rain
a flash of the sun
the ripples on the water

Saturday, January 20, 2007

quotidian qualms

to watch a movie or not watch a movie, that is the question.
"Know this, that God has exacted of thee less than thy iniquity deserveth."-isn't that a delightful bit of prose? It is from the book of Job, which goes to show that the God of the old testament was kind of a menacing type of guy, to say the least.

Here's a little sketch of somebody in a coffee shop. I was supposed to be editing a story, but that wasn't happening, so this was done.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

person with laptop

I was sitting around the bean, wasting time, when I decided to do a little sketch, so here it is.
The weather has been kind of cold, but I have been getting a kick out of riding around town. I nearly broke my arm about a month ago falling off my bike, so that has made me a bit more cautious about riding around, if not just nervous in general, but hopefully I learned something from the experience, like to look where I am going. some guy was out walking his dog after dark and it was foggy, and I didn't see him and he didn't see me. Actually I saw him, but there are no brakes on the top part of my handlebars. it's an old style bike where you have to reach down to reach to brakes. I realized that if I didn't have to make that motion, I never would have run into the guy. anyway, we both basically should have been looking where we were going a little more. he said he was fine, and I was lying there for a while, because I really nearly broke my arm. a month later, it's still a little tweaked out, although nothing to worry about, hopefully, but it was a shock to the system, that is for sure. Riding around in the dark is always a dangerous proposition, and if you are going to do it, make sure you have the lights, for one thing, but also always be on the lookout and drive defensively. Also, riding in the rain is even worse. But it can be done.
The usual people were at the beanery. I won't name any names, but you know who you are. That's a great hangout, if you ask me. There are large windows, and the wooden tables are nice. Sure, some of the people (like me) may be self-centered, but usually I'm just going down there to read the paper, or read a book, or stare out the window and do a sketch or two.

Monday, January 15, 2007


it remains cold. the trees on the leaves are frozen. the cats sit around and bat at things. the espresso reamains dark. frost is on the grass.

it seems to me that we live our lives in most peculiar ways, never knowing exactly what the point of it all is. is the point to sit and blog about endless insane subjects? is the point to cook up burritos with green salsa and sour cream? is the point to read again how our commander-in-chief is messing up this country to the very best of his ability?
i'm going to get out there and do some gardening this spring. vegetables and tomatos and cucumbers and cilantro and all of that kind of stuff, maybe even a tomatillo.
i noticed there is a job at IFCO, which makes pallets. that would be rough work. it would be in my financial interest to get over and apply for that job right now. however, it is to my disadvantage that i don't speak spanish, because i'm thinking it might be one of those situations where everybody else is speaking spanish, and that is kind of a problem because then i can't figure out what is going on. on the other hand, it would be a lot nicer to do almost any other kind of job. nothing against albany, but the commute over there would be a drag, and as much as i love pallets and what they do for people, i don't feel any personal attachment or commitment to them.
i'd rather work out on some sort of farm, far from the hustle and the bustle of the city. or rather, i kind of imagine that i would. it is always quite nice to get out of the city and enjoy the peacefulness of the countryside. on the other hand, i've always been in a town or city, mostly because of whatever job i was currently working at.
i did dial-a-bus for a while, and it was nice to do something on a volunteer basis. that mostly involves driving old people around from one place to another. i was thinking of trying to be a nursing assistant, but that may be too much for me. i'm not sure that i have the personal abilities to do a good job at that kind of thing, and i wouldn't want to be doing a bad job, as in ending up being rude or dismissive to old people, all of whom are having a tough time if they are in a nursing home, so i think for the moment i would rather just get some sort of manual labor job and do that. so i guess i should start learning spanish.
perhaps i should get into insurance. sit around and analyze policies. that would be good. then i could also go down to florida from time to time and enjoy the sunsets and the mixed drinks and the beaches.
or i could be like ezra pound and go crazy, make up stories about my life that made it sound much more exciting than it actually was. no, i wouldn't want to do that. something about ezra pound really bothered me. he was not truthful about his life, tried to create a fake impression of impressiveness around himself, which isn't something that i would be interested in.
then again, i could get into writing long blog posts that go nowhere. that might be something to do.

Joe went over to salem to sit around in some bars and smoke some cigarettes, mostly at those slow-moving bars where the motions happen not at all, and then suddenly. He was digesting a burger and fries. On the way back, the dark of the night was getting to him. He was feeling something through the impressions of the fog, and a nervousness was getting into his viscerae. Suddenly, he decided to head over on Independence highway over to Albany rather than go to Corvallis, and soon was passing over the rolling hills and fields of that area. He had the idea that something was going wrong, and that alcohol was going to relax him or take him out of his situation in some way, and so stopped by the bar, which was closing, and went over to the 7-11 and got some wine. He was strolling down by the train tracks, and over to the river, recalling the "cherry wine" of the Van Morrison song, and the long nights of his youth, and then was on a park bench, and then back in his car, taking a drink every once in a while and staring up at the stars. A guy came around, walking down the street at him, a very skinny guy, with a little goatee and a bizarre look on the street. He got out of the car and said, "Who are you and what are you doing?" Somehow he found out that this guy was out scouting around from his sister's house, and that at certain times in the past he had been employed, "doing laundry." Making things whiter and cleaner. Somehow that seemed interesting, and they went over to get a coffee.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

random thoughts

i'm trying to think of a good personal ad: dude, not a lot of personality, barely says anything, gets up at noon, no job, not that young, not that good looking, but in really good shape. Can do thirty pushups.

that would make a lot of sense. i've been doing a lot of random reading recently, mostly about current events, so i can talk politics, and a lot of hanging out at the beanery, slowly reading every article in the Oregonian, and watching the regulars come and go. i've been trying to get out for at least a walk or a little bike ride every day, to at least get a look at the weather. it's not that easy to get up when you don't have a job to go to, and maybe i'm just getting old or something, but i don't feel like going down to the temp agencies and dealing with them and getting the "temp" sort of treatment. after all, i have extensive experience in the washing of dishes. no, seriously, i had a very good record of doing the job as it was supposed to be done, but that's not exactly going to open a lot of doors in this town. some kind of manual labor would be fine with me, but it would have to be something fairly unskilled, because although i'm in good enough shape, i never learned much in the way of carpentry or anything else.

"it's so hard when you wake up in the midafternoon, and realize that another day is gone." I think that's a line from neil young, Chrome Dreams, which i am listening to recently.

it has been very cold out, and i have the heat blasting. thank gosh for my cats. my cats are a lot of fun. Actually, I'm thankful I have this house to live in, and that I can go down to the library and check out a bunch of books, and do the karate that I do do, and today, for example, the twenty forms that I did had the effect of relaxing me. Then I watched "I'll sleep when I'm dead" starring clive owen. Clive Owen always has a kind of movie star type of energy to his expression. He's a neat guy.

it is important to go out each day and notice what the weather is doing. This winter seems to be fairly normal, although it is colder than usual right now. I thought about entering some sort of "william stafford memorial" poetry contest at the library, but then I thought to myself "why would I want to do that?" I mean, william stafford was a pretty good poet. I respect his stuff. But he is not going to be there. Still, I might go check out the reading.

I try to enjoy the simplicity of each passing moment. And yet, the simplicity can move quickly into boredom. some sort of job may be the answer, and indeed, some sort of job is a financial necessity, and yet no job that i have ever had has really been much other than boring for me. The things that I learned in college never were applicable in the least. They didn't teach ten-key in college, or they didn't teach it at uc berkeley anyway, and they didn't teach me how to clean out a large soup pot. i learned all that stuff on my own.

on the cooking side, i made some tomato-curry-rice soup that was actually pretty good, and turmeric is known to be good for you, so it was also fairly healthy, and then some bread that didn't rise enough, but it's okay. reading around in "beard on bread" by james beard, i noticed a lot of good recipes that I should try for various kinds of bread. I'm been stuck on the basic white for a long time, but it would be good to get some kind of whole grain thing that I could actually eat. then also i've been eating a lot of udon, although I'm not sure that's good for you at all, and then also i've been back on a guacamole kick again. the avocados at Fred's seem to be adequate. they can't be coming from california, though, i don't think. and I made some broccoli tofu stir fry, and some dried shrimp and cabbage, and have been eating a lot of poppy-seed muffins, which may actually mess me up if i have to take a drug test for some job, so i may want to cut back on those, come to think of it.

there seem to be more people coming back to the karate class, so maybe they just left for the winter break, because it really looked like we were running out of people. we don't need a lot of people for a good class, and in fact there's not a lot of room for a lot of people in that space anyway, but we do need at least a few people. i should have gotten up this morning and gone to morning practice, but there was no way i could get up that early after staying up until three, so i skipped it. usually, though, getting up and working out is great, because after that i could cruise down to grass roots and get an espresso (they recently closed down the espresso bar, much to my dismay), or head over to the farmers market (although all yuppies get on my nerves), or maybe go to the interzone and get some food, although i can't afford their prices. Instead, i worked out in the afternoon, which "worked out" great.

i imagine myself to be somewhat like bukowski, but without the wine and women, and some would say, without a shred of talent. On the other hand, there is a lot of good stuff out there. Maybe it's just a matter of writing more stuff down. That could be it.

Can you be 53 and be a "brunette"? I don't think so.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

jeffers generalities

Age in Prospect

Praise youth or not, I think that happiness
Rather consistes in having lived clear through
Youth and hot blood, on to the wintrier hemisphere
Where one has time to wait and remember.

Youth and skateboards are beautiful, so is peacefulness.
Youth had some islands in it but age is indeed
An island and a peak; age has infirmities,
Not few, but youth is all one fever.

To look around and to love in his appearances,
Though a little calmly, the universal God's
Beauty is better I think than to sip easily
Iced tea with lemons.

And there is no possession more sure than memory's;
But if I reach that gray island, that peak,
My hope is till to possess with eyes the homeliness
Of ancient loves, ocean and mountains,

And meditate the sea-mouth of mortality
And the fountain six feet down with a quieter thirst
Than now I feel for old age; a creature progressively
Thirsty for life will be for death too.

-Robinson Jeffers

Thursday, January 04, 2007


"I love the great despisers because they are the great reverers and arrows of longing for the other shore."
Yeah right. Sure.
On the Scholars:
"I am too hot and burned by my own thoughts; often it nearly takes my breath away. Then I must go out into the open and away from all dusty rooms. But they sit cool in the cool shade: in everything they want to be mere spectators, and they beware of sitting where the sun burns on the steps. Like those who stand in the street and gape at the people who pass by, they too wait and gape at thoughts that other have thought."

These are some of my favorite lines. That always seemed true to me, that the poems from various sources expressed ideas that burned into the consciousness, to some extent, and that the only way to go would be to write something of my own, and not some sort of academic criticism, but something inspired by them but different and worthy in some fundamental way.

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 tension. 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. Earth bestows.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

sans souci

Reconcile yourself with Jerry

and be at peace with him;

in this way your prosperity will be good.

Accept instruction from his mouth

and store up his words in your heart.

If you return to the Dead, you will be built up;

if you remove wicked behavior far from your tent,

and throw your gold in the dust –

your gold of Ophir

among the rocks in the ravines –

then the large one himself will be your gold,

and the choicest silver for you.

Surely then you will delight yourself in him,

and will lift up your face toward Bob Weir.

You will pray to him and he will hear you,

and you will fulfill your vows to him.