Despite the Forecast


despite the forecasts, it turned out that today was more beautiful than yesterday.

The sky, appearing at first a soft even grey, reveals itself to the deeper gaze as a complex gauze of endless and unregimented strands. In the reduced palette of the gray, the constant contradiction can be sought out. That constant contradiction of the purple and green, which hides in shadows in the gaudier flashes of open sun, is playing everywhere across the largest of spaces of sky available, and there to come from the hidden obvious, lighting and intensifying itself from inner tiny fires banked against the infinite cold. “Here, see my heart! I reward you oh lone seeker!” Proud imagining of reward, available in this arena to even the one giving a moment to try to work with the failing old eyes.

Oh, I had heeded the warnings and done what I could with the hey-making yesterday what with it being Spring and all, anticipating a day of no emergence as the ice revenged today. But, a couple of partly contrived, partly coincidental errands proved enough to convince me to go out to do walk just enough, anyway. The wind in my face immediately affected judgement, there was no way to rule more enthusiastically for advance or retreat (though the latter may have allowed a second thought of retrieving mittens and balaclava). In the lapse, a great furor arose in the court. If nothing else the issue of remaining sanguine, moving blood about enough to avoid immediate demise in any case, at last and post haste was recognized.

Once underway, and under the sky (see scene one), it seemed one might just as well go down a ravine after all. There was less traffic and blather of other humans to filter this eve, anyway.

When it was sunny, there was that struggle to concentrate on the voice of the water over the humans. Like, despite efforts who can filter a lawyer who shows up in the park apparently just to speak loudly and repetitively about client billing and tax returns while managing her children and dogs. (The children and dogs were cute, but thwarted in their goals, starved for attention and riddled with unheeded anxieties about each others’ mortality. “But, I just don’t want her to die!” “She’s fine.” “I don’t want to go back to the house, we just got here.” “Mommy forgot to make a phone call.” “Davey is staying” “He’s with Jeremy.” “Why can’t I stay with him?” “Because that’s not what we’re doing.” Stick with the plan, no matter what happens; unless you have to make a phone call.)

Turning toward the ravine seemed to signal for a shift toward moodier lighting and more dramatic effects. I got the best of the snow, in my face and skirling across the blacktop in wild crack-the-whip lines. Foot traffic was light on the descent, just a couple hardy souls in their big metal shells running their engines and leaving their lights on to spoil the skyline. But, oh, above, the fingers of the trees. More overall and above all than even yesterday, between the broader dark and slightly less dark grey. Above and calling for attention with their confusing but pointed gestures. So many hands, so many fingers. More and more as they pull the gaze. The fingers are dividing, multiplying, getting tinier and more to the point all the. I feel them in my fingers, the cold that has worked through the inadequacies of gloves heightening attention and identification. Pointy, prickly little sticks burn at the ends of my sleeves. But, surely I didn’t have that many fingers when I left the house? They must be bundles of fingers within each finger that mirror the trees. The veins themselves, each becoming its own pointy hot messenger.

dream 11/20/16

I think there was a dream within a dream. It seems like I was watching/playing some sort of video game with narrative movie content, or a movie with interactive screen elements. I remember a dialogue and a related clickable room. In the scene a young man and woman were talking, and she was saying she was going to have to miss some recurring event they usually did that involved LP’s and discussion thereof. (history? reviewing? something more complicated involving relationships between disparate LPs in their history or gestalt?) It became clear that the two had once been very close in some way but there had been a rift and then a drift, as the guy was saying “I guess it wouldn’t surprise me it would be easy for you to blow off most of the stupid stuff we do, but LP night?!??” And then there was some screen play in a record store scene, and you could click on the LP’s in the record rack and their image would zoom to an enlargement with cover art and liner notes. there was some object of shuffling through them and trying to find ones of some particular significance based on different criteria and I think match the disparate releases to each other on that esoteric basis. The images of some of the familiar covers stirred deep and powerful emotions within me.

Then I woke up, and was thinking about how important LP’s had always been to me, and how weird and messed up it is that I could never manage to release any; for a second I had a wave of correct thinking, that this was what I should be devoting my time to. Then I remembered that there was money involved, and how that has always been my kryptonite and I get shorted-out whenever it is in the equation. At this point I started getting emotionally wracked, lying there in a dingy motel room with the 1950’s style ceiling fan slowly turning overhead somehow mirroring my spiral into mal-autobio. Suddenly I became aware of how strangely empty the room seemed. I looked again at the door, open to the screen, and the tear in the screen door directly diagonal to the handle. I stood to take better inventory, and it added up to zero. First thing I thought about was my instruments. Okay, the guitar was just an ebay Epiphone; but the specially worn 1917 Gibson mandolin is not replaceable in any sense!

Then I woke up again, this time in a cluttered half-double as has been more often the case. It took some time to explain to myself that I had never been in that motel room, and that I didn’t have to jump up and start dealing with this situation.

dream 11/19/16

awake after 3 hours whiskey and cigarette steeped sleep from yet another disturbing dream ending.

Was out in the country somewhere house-sitting at a big suburban kind of place, and there had been a bunch of people there partying, it was a holiday weekend or something, and we were in the big double-garage with no vehicles in it and I was doing, in the face of all logic and reason, a rendition of “New York, New York”. Kind of a half-ass jam with some video maybe. And, I guess I got wound up about it; going, hey, in spite of everything, let’s do the big ending as a parade with all these people, big video scene. Maybe it will be some sort of ironic triumph to cap my sputtering unseen, unheard, inadequate and incomplete life’s work, come on. But everyone was ready to leave, and went off saying “the moment has passed,” and ridiculing me in various ways.

And I said, “oh yeah, well you know what?” and then I floundered for a strong statement about their attitudes and lives in general and was just stammering and unable to spit out even a simple-minded curse when one of the departing suggested over their shoulder, “fuck you?” “Yeah,” I agreed, “fuck you!”

And then I was alone with my failure once again. (Except three people drove in on their bicycles; I thought maybe to see me but they had promised the absent owners they were going to drop some stuff off. They said they thought they’d find some big jam going on and I was debating whether I should suggest we play some anyway.) then I woke up feeling awful because it all seemed so everyday realistic.

Dream Journal entry

Long dream, one of those ones I returned to after half-awakening several times. It was terrifying but wildly magical, so I couldn’t help wanting to see what happened. Well, hell, since everything was in the process of being destroyed I wanted to stick around in the hopes there would be a good twist. It was just about looking like there might be, and I wouldn’t have gotten up but a stink-bug started buzzing in the window above my bed, and I knew it would soon be finding its way INTO my bed, and trying to cuddle. I keep telling them, I’m not into them in that way. Jumped up with more verve than usual for the last 20 years, and the details of the dream were already vanishing. Wish I could get a DVR for these things. I’m going to write what I remember here, looking for pen and paper will just let more escape. could be long even though a fragment.

Fragments. Foreign guy of unknown ethnicity on the road giving me some sort of cryptic predictions and sense of mission. Later more or less back in a best-case version of my ordinary life, in a cluttered rental puttering about poking at the thousand unfinished projects. Little girl who comes through the window (followed by a pet or a random stray maybe?) Woman who may be a parent tasks me with hanging with her, other important things to attend to. but there is a sense that there is something urgently important and also not that easy in keeping the girl safe. The girl is just totally fun and whacky and doesn’t think anything of crawling up on the roof and/or other dangerously wrong fun. But with a way of making it right by feeling it is. Mysterious couple, maybe self-representing as guardians. Ready to take custody. Too contained, too rich, too smart. Turn out to be involved in some grand evil scheme, fundamentally deconstructing reality (or illusion, depending on your belief system), or at least the threads of the weave that make it sometimes bearable, sometimes enjoyable for us. After some melting and reconstituting, precipitous hanging, a couple changes of residence… I don’t know, bunch of shit happened. Finally escape was necessary for a small band of allies, some method that further played on my fear of heights… balloon? top of a very tall truck or yak?… much of what had been going on was explained by the girl as she told us she realized that it was her irrational imagination that was able to reverse the destructive events, just because of the strength of her belief in things reforming. But, as she explained this it became clear that she had suddenly become mature enough to express it to us in words and thus too mature to have the power any more. By this time we were passing through a landscape with little life and mostly broken architecture and sidewalks. Foreign guy from beginning of dream passes us driving a busload of dead, broken and bleeding Mexicans. Looks pretty hopeless to me, but he is going on with grim determination and I know he has best possible repairs in mind. The girl is starting to lose it, succumbing to weeping nostalgia: “I wish we could be back in that place” and I see a picture of that bottom half of a house with the porch on front where she crawled through the window in the first place. As she starts to dissolve into it, the older woman, now holding her hand, suddenly becomes intent and as she gives me a knowing look. I know what she’s thinking. And I can feel that it may be true. The girl is becoming irrational and going back to early childhood, and if everyone can let go enough it will become true and the magic will be able to work again…

the dreams of sisyphus

this was tonight’s FaceBook status, which will give you a good idea of why I should just keep to myself. This is not really written, it’s ejaculated. If were to come back and re-write, maybe I would put in something about how beautiful the stone and the grain and complexity and the beauty of the drawing upon it and the magic of it’s transmogrification and transmission were to me. though, if the images couldn’t do that, though, what use are mere words.

What’s on my mind? The dream I had last night: another return to the lithography shop. I keep finding myself back there, in spite of the incalculable threat to my back condition, the increasingly insurmountable time and money challenges, and the general hostility and toxicity of the art school environment. Always trying to sneak in a few hours at the end of a semester when no one is looking. searching for that large stone with the drawing I’ve been working on for 10 years (which in reality is in my basement, far too far from a press) and wondering if it has survived. (the teacher had a tendency to hand my stones out to other students to grind off and re-use even if I still had an image on them.) I have even had a dream where I was lying down and hugging a litho stone. but, this was a real shop dream full of technical details and difficulties. first, the drawing looked a little pale and the surface looked kind of liquid. wait! has the teacher gone ahead and etched it? No, wait, I remembered, I did get around to doing a first etch. so, it was at that crucial stage where the drawing had to be washed out with solvent through the gum mask, and some idiot at the sink sloshes water over it which dissolves the gum arabic, except for the adsorbed film, making it impossible to rub in the thin asphaltum base before inking it… not to mention the bits of carborundum grit in the graining sink water… so, great difficulties but still something more than I have left in my real life where I hardly even feel like heating up that frozen dinner tonight.

Anyway, then I was trying to get some help moving the stone from the sink to a table to try to roll it up anyway, and asking someone (over and over and over) to please bring the fork-lift over, and this Tarzan-like guy was going to help me shove it over. “Don’t pick it up”, says I. He starts to pick up his side. “”DON’T PICK IT UP!!!” I suggest gently. (the way to move a 200+ lb. stone is to slide and shove it.) So, he picks it up, and I’m stuck holding up my side as well until I can convince him to gently set it down again. (the stones are brittle and fragile as well as heavy.) I woke up with my back aching, barely able to straighten up.


 Well, then again, a couple days ago I had a dream I was eating Cheetos. That longing, anyway, I was able to fulfill. (they don’t make ’em like they used to, though.)