Tuesday, May 24, 2011

am I too intellectual for my own good? Maybe so, but then again, what the heck. I decided quite a while ago to stop apologizing for my personality. It is what it is, and it's okay. There's some decent points to be made, somewhere in the recesses of my thought patterns, I suppose. So there you go. At least I'm looking on things from a fair angle, and maybe that's the most you can ask.

Sometimes I end up in situations that seem to be exclusively chaotic and negative, but at least I have the sense to extricate myself, or maybe the freedom to extricate myself, I suppose. There's a point to be made that I'm too detached, but I start thinking that and then I get a good conversation with a good friend and think to myself that I'm not too detached, I just have good friends that make sense for me for where I am at right now. That human connection that is so necessary for everyone seems sometimes to be in short supply, but more and more these days it is around and it is there for me to both help and be helped, as everyone is struggling to get through the rough patches of life. I never get caught up in negativity these days, and I hope my good fortune continues, and I need to challenge myself to do better, if I could only figure out exactly what I should be doing differently...There are concrete and achievable goals, for example, in karate, and those give me some mental stability and peace of mind for dealing with chaos when I find it out there,...not that I have it all figured out.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

new idea

simplified and fairly unique
shearing off tension from the problems created
far from me, in all the strivings and trials
trying to sort out how to stay apart from all things
from the tensions that might crawl through me
a thinking man and the sun shining down
magnetic tensions and forces one sees through the day
the music of forces
the trials that come to light
find a way through the tension of a string
and the sheep out in the pen
and all of the little ideas and laughing tensions
which we love to have in the keeping of our ideas
and the points that matter
and to feel the idea of sunlight coming down on the shoulders
just as it does for everyone
wondering if the world can stay good and make sense.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


Friday, February 11, 2011

wandering clouds and rain

Endless amounts of coffee framed by wooden tables and concentrating on the characters and the words, inscribed through the directions of thought out there in sincerity somewhere, striving for a sort of upright feeling I might figure out, some kind of curious self-congratulatory explanation or maybe an act that corresponds with a thought in a real way, as much as I can tell, for what it is worth. And yet the anxiety out there somewhere, the curving features of numinous wanderings, the acts and the repetitions, the innate setup of situations and people, decisions that make something happen, a decision to be somewhere, or not to be somewhere, a decision reinforced somehow with good thought and feeling, energy in positive form. One can drive all night trying to get somewhere and never get there, but after a while there has to be something done between here and there regardless, and a hope of some kind, of some kind of recognition in the form that appears with itself in an idea of the kind of reality, or the kind of force of the actual and now somewhere, some kind of idea where things are good enough, that things change, people remain, and the rivers keep on flowing somewhere and that it can all come around into the kind of simplicity that I see, or at least think about and think is right.

Friday, February 04, 2011


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

clouds pass by

The problems that I find, I seem to find having completed somewhere else, in some other mind, in some other day, long ago. I get flashes somewhere, some kind of green heat in the ends of the words, a completion through the times of other details, the energies of women walking around, long black braids and headscarves, creating double shot espressos and other complicated drinks in the laughing curving understanding coming from the thick wood tables that have been rapped upon and sat next to through decades of light and ranges of focus, and the strings of various bands altering their structure somehow, and the river going by so close to here. There must be some idea in there somewhere.
A dude walks in with a thick leather jacket, just have gotten off a heavy motorcycle, not the type to get on a bicycle and ride around, but he comes in to do complicated graphic design work on a fast computer, and might be from eastern europe or something, or maybe I just got that all wrong. In other words, a new resident of the tables along with the college students, and all of the plants and the changing relaxations of details, and the violinists and the trombonist in town for a while from up somewhere in washington, who can play a beautiful rendition of Cole Porter, singing and playing like he is having happy things to say.
The crazed Neil Cassidy ripping around through the streets consciousness is not that far off, as the details of life can be immensely interesting, as dull as they can seem from some perspectives. From some perspectives, this is just a still life with laptops, but things change every day. The buildings and geography are the same, but little differences and new interactions and societies add up to good things at times. I suppose. In any case, it's all about making the right choices, I suppose, or having a good direction, but hopefully combined with those unknown flashes of inspiration and consciousness and music that define art and life.
Lots of interesting people in the Beanery. You could make the mistake of thinking that all people are like this, but that is categorically not the case....this is one environment and there are so many others.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Westminster Bridge

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 the 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, vally, 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!
-by william wordsworth

It's good to have the wordsworthian sense of awe at the beauty of nature, and the appreciation for the weather and the growing things and the subtle fluctuations in the natural environment every day. Every day's weather is unique and changing, and there's a space there for appreciation of it, apart from whatever stresses may occur. It's pretty funny, because I see people caught up in little dramatic scenes that are leading them into more trouble, (I'm not talking about everybody, just some groups) and I'm glad most of the time that I've figured out how to not get caught up in unnecessary strife. Strife happens, and you want to limit what you get into, I guess, and have time for the general appreciation of things.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I am, you anxious one.

I am, you anxious one.

Don't you sense me, ready to break
into being at your touch?
My murmurings surround you like shadowy wings.
Can't you see me standing before you
cloaked in stillness?
Hasn't my longing ripened in you
from the beginning
as fruit ripens on a branch?

I am the dream you are dreaming.
When you want to awaken, I am that wanting:
I grow strong in the beauty you behold.
And with the silence of stars I enfold
your cities made by time.
-rilke, book of hours

Saturday, January 15, 2011

a nice idea

a nice idea to figure out
a friendly attitude, somehow, somewhere
and the manners and the running energy
somewhere out on the coast
the shaded trees and the waves somewhere
down over on the Nye beach winds
the solid block of sculpted oak
chasing through every certain varnish
we though it was a friendly thing somehow
some nice idea put into words.

Friday, January 14, 2011

a small kitten played in a pile of intricately patterned clothes

the guitars and sounds of the beanery seem to cohere, along with a double espresso and I feel as if the lights of the stars and the flowing rivers out there in green somewhere had an agent of consciousness somehow tied into all the changing lives and aspirations and difficulties that come and go between contributed food and bad coffee and the fleeing spectacles, and arrows trying to reach the other side, the pools hit by stones, the ripples flowing outwhere in some kind of perfected detail, and wondering why the people and the times reflect the unit of moss of the tree and the branch, coming up into each successive breath and each successive effort through all the continuations and stretching details. The beautiful sound of a song of a chord can reverberate through the wood out there, going through all the ideas and chaos that continually arises. The days are slowly getting more mild and the signs of spring are going to be coming out. The continual cyle of the seasons and the breezes going here and there, walking under trees showing the rippling effect from each detail.

I was getting kind of interested today in the book I am translating from Japanese, "Some Prefer Nettles", by Junichiro Tanizaki, because he was talking about the types of architecture in Japan. The stuff near Tokyo (in the 20's) was not as beautiful because the earthquakes kept destroying everything, and they had to use stronger materials. whereas the stuff near Kyoto was more beautiful and traditional. Of course 99 percent of all that stuff is gone now, but it is still true that Kyoto has more of the Old Japan feel to it than Tokyo.

Here's a fragment of a semi-true story that I wrote from years ago:

This new house was filled with stacks of all sorts of thing, and a man named "River John" appeared to live there. A small kitten played on a pile of intricately patterned clothes. It was dark. They were smoking weed, and the atmosphere seemed otherworldly and surreal.
Tracy appeared to want to take off. I let him drive. We drove in circles, it seemed, here and there, and it was cold out, and very late at night. We stopped somewhere, near a house where he knew people. He got out to see if they were up, came back, and we both got out and walked down a pathway, through a door, and into a trashed room with a torn up couch, the windows covered with plywood.
I think I was there the whole night, sitting on the couch, staring at the walls, watching people of mysterious origins and intentions come in and out, through the main room to the other rooms. I may have drifted off at some point. Her "sister", Lisa lived in the back room with her boyfriend. Lisa would come out occasionally and start yelling, sometimes at her dog. Sheila was doing laundry in the kitchen, and the machine was vibrating, or maybe it was the nervous look in her eyes that appeared to be a vibration.

a wave of wind
the grass outside
washing machine is humming
Sheila shoving clothes
into the washer
She can't think about anything else
dishes are piled on the counter
a pit bull exits
the rear room
somebody yells something

Another woman in the far room would come out at various point and appeared to be gripped by demons. She was contorting herself in some kind of dance, and I could have no clue for why this was possibly going on, or what could be wrong with her.

Monday, January 10, 2011

who is going there?

who is going there?
with springtime all adorning her?
with the leaves of downstream rivers
earrings and tassles in the hair
faded colors of greens and browns and stripes
details between the overenthusiastic vowels
something about the upright thought and stance
an uprightness have possible correspondence
a possible correspondence and a wonderful
demeanor, details, strivings, elements,
worryings between the changes of the seasons
through the paths out on the sound

There are good and upright things in life. To the good things correspond to the beautiful, and is morality and uprightness seen in outward demeanor? Maybe. Who the heck knows. Then again, there are those flashes of introspection, and they let me see into the elements of things, the deeper patterns, or maybe they make me go in a good and better informed direction, and that is all to the good.

The morns are meeker than they were --
The nuts are getting brown --
The berry's cheek is plumper --
The Rose is out of town.

But gradually things will climb back toward spring, in the long unexplained cycle of the seasons will continue, and people will follow their impressions and magic will come out of the woodwork.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Lean out of the window

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

My book is 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 of the window,

-from Chamber Music, James Joyce

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Poetry and the ebook.

I don't think books are ever going to go out of style. One of the main joys of poetry is to look through books that you own, and find the poems that you appreciate. Everything about the tangible part of poetry is important, including the condition of the book, the typeface, the design, and on and on. Poetry, writing, and any kind of deep thought and creation of new words requires access to the written word, and the format of the paper book is not something that can be replicated by one device. There's room in the world for both approaches, of course. I'm not an ebook hater. But people that think that soon all books will be going into the junk heap are not really thinking clearly. Either that or they never read books, which is a shame for them, for what they are missing.
I keep wishing I had a copy of James Joyce's "Chamber Music" and "Pomes Penyeach" for the spare format of those collections. I can read some of the poems online, but it is nothing compared to when I had the actual book to read. I think I got that one out of Doe Library at Berkeley. Something about the paper of certain poetry books focuses your mind on the seriousness of the approach of the author. I am thinking in particular of Robinson Jeffers' book "Roan Stallion, Tamar, and other poems", now out of print. It has an excellent typeface, and a little introduction by the author describing a walk through the woods and some impressions of the weather near Carmel. One line from one poem, I remember reading in a coffeehouse in Portland in 1995. "Great enough both accepts and subdues, the great frame takes all creatures." That line had a big effect for some reason. If I had read it on a Kindle I would have no book to associate those poems with.