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2014

January

1 - Sold off share of Black Drop Coffee House to Ryan



February


1 - Mnemonic Device


7 - Villon material

Worked on Villon material.

Set up journal files.

Synced info to iPad.

Watched a video about Hogeway
http://alz-caregiver.com/cnns-worlds-untold-stories-dementia-village/

From Wikipedia:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hogewey

Relationship between the Truman Show, Bellingham and Hogewey.


8 - Gone to his death, an unknown daydreamer

Watching Greystoke, 1984. Reading Burroughs, Tarzan of the Apes. It has been 30 years.

Christopher Lambert did an admirable job. But with Burroughs’ godlike descriptions fresh in my mind and the iconic Frazetta cover paintings, it does not seem humanly possible for an actor to capture the essence of Tarzan.

Last night read Vidal’s Tarzan Revisited. I wonder how many others read all 23 of the books?

“Burroughs might have gone to his death, an unknown daydreamer, if he had not started reading pulp fiction. He needed raw material for his own inner serials and once he had used up his favorite source, Rider Haggard, he turned to magazines. He was appalled at how poor the stories were. They did not compare with his own imaginings. He was like a lover of pornography who, unable to find works which excite him, turns to writing them. Burroughs promptly wrote a serial about Mars and sold it to Munsey’s. His fellow daydreamers recognized a master. In 1914 he published his first book, Tarzan of the Apes (Rousseau’s noble savage reborn in Africa), and history was made.”

Excerpt From: Gore Vidal. “Tarzan Revisited.”

I find myself increasingly turning to the books of my youth and young adulthood.


Working on the Memory Cathedral: Straight Tip to All Cross Cove, establishing contexts to memorize: historical and biographical.

Memory is holographic. See Koestler - Janus. The more elements surrounding the thing that is to be memorized, the greater the resolution of the “memory image.”

In the same way that Janus was anti-reductionistic, my theory of memory states that each holon functions as a whole comprised of many parts and a part of a greater whole. Only by understanding the dynamic relationship / context, can the memory element / holon be grasped / prehended completely, with the presence of mind that allows for the highest level of absorption.

The current memory theories and champions of memory contests are reductionistic in their belief that the parts have no context and can be associated with any set of images in order to better remember them.

The odd sense of wrongness I had at reading about memoirists “cleaning out” their memory palaces.


To do:

Villon
Ur-Death
Black Drop Review
Update other reviews
Outline of Death of BJ
The pamphlet to accompany the Codex of Little Hope
Mailout: postcard: Jones’ Bros. Bone Cleaners
children's stories: watermelon hat, last of n's, wow mom wow, the snorebeast

piece on the different types of memory theater - see photo - the swiftian dangers of becoming dated-

update all Bellingham Reviews to third person, start with Black Drop -

start process of adding everything to Laughingbone.com

add what's up music reviews to BR

first thing to Staci is pamphlet for Codex of Little Hope

postcard / mail art to go out next week
submit to Bellingham Review Context


Up late. Reading about Villon and French history.

Louis found Chip in the kitchen making himself a Bloody Mary and asked him, “Who's Ezra Pound?”

Chip said, “Ezra Pound,” stirring his drink and then pausing. “He was a heavyweight. Beat Joe Louis for the crown and lost it to Marciano. Or was it Jersey Joe Walcott?”

Elmore Leonard, Riding the Rap, 1995
Quoted in François Villon in His Works: The Villain's Tale by Michael Freeman, 2000
http://laughingbone.blogspot.com/2014/02/he-was-heavyweight.html

Campbell’s Soup and crackers. 
Lonely man’s late night solace.



The Day Spent in Dreams.

Caregiving for Jerry in the morning and evening.

Finished Tarzan of the Apes - which ends on a cliffhanger to start The Return of Tarzan.

The end of ToA was very rushed. Looking forward to Burroughs slowing down again. Don’t know if I necessarily agree with Vidal’s assessments of Burroughs’ action writing abilities.

Still wrestling with configurations to use the iPad as a writing tool. Problems with wifi and covers.

Had a healthy bowl of queso with chips for dinner.

Haunted with having let go, surrendered, released any hold on youth and sexual vitality.

I am ugly in the mirror and do not mind.

Headaches and liver are bad, but not as bad as they were.


9 - Working on Ur-Death

Up at 3 am. Working on Ur-Death.

Coffee and paranoia. Attempting to distract myself through work.

Song: There’s a book, dog-eared

There’s a book
Dog-eared
From all the years
It spent howling

There’s a page
That appeared
In the House
Where I was hiding

And the words
Tell of a man
Who was lost
In the life he was living

And the letters
Drawn in the sand
Disappearing
And no one remembers

There’s a story
With ragged hymns
As thin as
A spiderweb

And a writer
With too many sins
And far too much
Time on his hands

And his life
Tells of a man
Who was lost
In the myth he believed in

And his words
Are buried in sand
Fading away
As soon as he speaks them


Dream: This is the one I have summoned up from the dead

in an old house
living there with someone
recent and from years ago
a girl comes over to interview us
a sudden dimming 
and then darkness
as if we had just been talking
and the sun went down
discussions about death
the smell of death
a joke about the litter box
for the cat
the interviewer wants to see
this seems silly to me
we walk into the utility room
there are strange cup pipes
in our hands
metal surrounded by thick rubber
the interviewer is there for a moment
and then gone
now it is completely dark
I am leaning casually against the sink
holding my strange cup pipe
think I am talking to someone
but there is no one there
I call out to the person I live with
no answer
then I call out to the interviewer
no answer
I think maybe
they went back
into the living room
I start to leave
but become disoriented
and am still in the utility room
thinking about the smell of death
I call out to the interviewer
hallie, hallie, hallie
no answer
but someone is coming
I can hear them in the darkness
and now I am slightly lucid
in the dream
and I realize I am calling the dead
there is dim light on the horizon
an evening
I can see shadows forming
I call out again
hallie, hallie, hallie
and someone is there 
with me in the darkness
more lucid now 
in the dream
almost awake
I can feel the dead one
that is there with me
the one named
hallie



At the Barnes and Noble Starbucks.

Slept the afternoon. Sent out emails with current links:

Introduction: When the Canaries Stop Singing
Three Criteria for the Memorization of a Poem
11 Translations of Ballade de bonne doctrine à ceux de mauvaise vie by Francois Villon
A New Translation / Rendering of Villon's Ballade de bonne doctrine a ceux de mauvaise vie
Fresh Hay
Why Are There Bones in the Nightingale’s Nest?

to Shannon, Jennifer, Shelton, Staci, Myra and Anna.

Those last friends.


Everyone just called him B. Jones. He used to sit at the corner table in a small cafe in Austin, Texas. Les Amis. Radiating misanthropy.

In Search of the Bull (aimless searching, only the sound of cicadas)
First meet B. Jones - Austin - Les Amis - Mountain = name of the bookstore - monastic bookstore - how we became friends - hole in the wall - at the bookstore - the bike accident - the disapperance

Discovery of the Footprints (a path to follow)
the letter - what happened to the bookstore - where he lived - the journey to the monastery - last supper in espanola - hitchhiking - picked up by the Sikh - the hunters - 13 miles down the red road

Perceiving the Bull (but only its rear, not its head)
Arriving at monastery - he was here, now gone - stay for thanksgiving - a monk, ex-penitente comes to me - tells me jones is up in the canyon

Catching the Bull (a great struggle, the bull repeatedly escapes, discipline required)
Leave the monastery - walk up into the wilderness - following pathless path - find jones at a camp behind three huge stones

Taming the Bull (less straying, less discipline, bull becomes gentle and obedient)
Jones is dying - problems from the accident - nights by the fire - conversations -jones asks me to burn him when he dies

Riding the Bull Home (great joy)
Jones dies - gather wood for a pyre - try to burn him - not enough wood - graphic description of burning - hair and eyes gone, face burned off - the arrival of the vultures, coyotes and bees

The Bull Transcended (once home, the bull is forgotten, discipline's whip is idle; stillness)
Decide to chop Jones up - burn him smaller pieces - the monk? - more bees, vultures and coyotes - bees feeding on what is left of his face - vultures waiting in the trees - coyotes moving closer - one steals a leg -

Both Bull and Self Transcended (all forgotten and empty)
Seven Days burning the body - snow - on the 7th day, eat some of the meat - carve meat from the bones - collect the bones

Reaching the Source (unconcerned with or without; the sound of cicadas)
follow the bees to the source - the cleft in the high canyon wall - the hole filled honey - push all of the bones in - finally the skull - honey oozing out of its eyeholes

Return to Society (crowded marketplace; spreading enlightenment by mingling with humankind)
coming down from the canyon - exhausted - mentally broken - monks take care of me - sheriff from espanola - the monk's tale - no body is ever found - take me to jail - let me go


11 - Holographic Theories of Memory

Working most of the night on Villon. Biographic and Historical Context.

Reading and writing 11 to 5:30

Break to watch DS and CR.

Eat some rice, broc and carrots.

Chips and salsa.

Email reply to Shelton.

Listening to music: Stranger in Town

Reading about Holographic Theories of Memory

Headaches persistent.


12 - Wolves of Paris

Reading the Wolves of Paris by Daniel Mannix. Evocative portrait of the age through the eyes of wolves.

The wolves in The Messenger - the appearance of the archetype

Exploring Vectors radiating around Villon

Stevenson short story

Etymology of Villain - reference to villein in Wolves.

The Villon biography that remarks upon this… look up

London’s Call of the Wild and White Fang - projections of the author’s morality into the characters of the animals. A means to look at man from the outside. Bambi. The Bear. Human are almost always the worst of the animals.

Watching The Messenger for a filmic portrait.

Reading about the weak and insane king of France, Charles VII - the king whose death freed Villon to disappear.

Shakespeare - 1564 born 101 years after Villon’s death 1463

Also reading Richard II, Henry IV 1 and 2, Henry V - the rise and fall of Falstaff

Chimes at Midnight. The Welles theme.

Name of the Rose. Lion in Winter.

The factors involved in the Renaissance.

How we look back from this distance of time and can easily see…

What was is like then? Marketa Lazarova

Then Beethoven. Morris Bio. Listen to 5th, Late Quartet in B flat major.

Make Doctor’s appt for March 4

Deep Sleep. Rich Dreams. Around 6 pm

Wake at 10.

Listen to Beethoven. Post on Laughing Bone. Hoffmann and Sullivan quotes.

http://laughingbone.blogspot.com/2014/02/beethoven-destroy-all-within-us-except.html

3 books on Beethoven: Morris, Sullivan and ?

Listening to Beethoven finally a joy. In my old age. Like the woods when I was younger. The same with memory practice. Solace amidst sorrow.

Anthony Hopkins analysis of the 5th. 

Watching the messenger.

Waiting on the Hollow Crown.

Building the Memory Cathedral for myself - not for anyone else. I am the audience.

Second day of attempting no salt, no sugar, no dairy, no meat, no alcohol.


13 - Preamble to the Constitution

Spent all night writing.

The memory cathedral. Inspired by the work being done with ALZ patients and music. Wrote about the Preamble to the Constitution. Not quite finished.

Worked from midnight to 6.

Stopped to eat a Caesar salad.

At the Starbucks up north. Waiting to go back to Silverado.

While I am writing, everything feels right. As if I should be doing nothing else. That everything should be turned into writing. Writing constantly, relentlessly.

Email. Letters. Reviews. Stories. Novels. Poems and Plays. I have wanted to have this ease of writing for years and years. And thought it would never return.

With the iPad and the keyboard, I have a set-up to use my time most effectively across multiple platforms. Using the technology as a tool and not being used by it.

Email to Anna.


15 - This place for so long

Worked all day on these two graphics. The first of the new mail outs.

Postcards printed, addressed and ready to go. About 50.

Been trying to get back to this place for so long.

Heart problems keep me from going on.





16 -

Healthy dinner. Steamed vegetables.

Trying to relax. Balance.

Read. Watch a film. Sleep.

Realize there is always an inner tension.

Slept more. Feeling better.

Weight = 157 Blood pressure = 153/103 HR = 69 Temp = 97.3

More exhausted than usual.

Total calories for yesterday = 503 Na = 568

Calories today - just after midnight = 566 Na = 295

So it’s natural to feel slower than usual, I suppose.





17 - Working on Villon material.

Working on Villon material.

Caregiving am and pm.

Help to clear away fallen branch in alley.

Washing clothes and cleaning up the place some.

Stop by to see Ashley at Juice It.

She said she had a nervous breakdown. I do my best to offer support.

Buy some Jasmine tea from the herb store.

Work printing postcards and updating contacts.

Care giving pm.

Jerry sullen. Mom stays in her room. I have to feed her, change her clothes.

Trying to stay awake for Roger and Shannon to get in. They are delayed because of a mudslide on the tracks.

I go get them at midnight.


18 - 

Slept late - until 7. Up late to pick up Roger and Shannon at train station in Fairhaven.

Mom not in good shape. Had to stay in the room and feed her.

Errands to Skagit bank, Stamp and Coin place, post office.

Discovered that the postcards for Awaken Ye Dreamers are too big by about a half inch.

Come back, work on formatting InDesign and the printer to make the postcards work.

Work on merging contacts with Gmail, Facebook, etc.

Print about 35 out of 85 cards.

Walking around Padden. Towards evening. Not as many people on the path. Takes about an hour. Just a little over 2.5 miles.

I stop by the bridge to record the sound of the water flowing out of the lake, through the concrete dam, into the creek.

Working on memorizing three pieces:

John Webster's Dirge:

CALL for the robin-redbreast and the wren,
Since o'er shady groves they hover,
And with leaves and flowers do cover
The friendless bodies of unburied men.
Call unto his funeral dole
The ant, the field-mouse, and the mole,
To rear him hillocks that shall keep him warm,
And (when gay tombs are robb'd) sustain no harm;
But keep the wolf far thence, that 's foe to men,
For with his nails he'll dig them up again.

Initial encounter with Webster was through The Waste Land:

That corpse you planted last year in your garden,
Has it begun to sprout? Will it bloom this year?
Or has the sudden frost disturbed its bed?
Oh keep the Dog far hence, that’s friend to men,
Or with his nails he’ll dig it up again! 75
You! hypocrite lecteur!—mon semblable,—mon frère!”

In the footnotes, this note:

Cf. the Dirge in Webster’s White Devil.
Then, Eliot's Whispers of Immortality begins:

WEBSTER was much possessed by death 
And saw the skull beneath the skin; 
And breastless creatures under ground
Leaned backward with a lipless grin. 
Daffodil bulbs instead of balls 5 
Stared from the sockets of the eyes!
He knew that thought clings round dead limbs
Tightening its lusts and luxuries.

Walking through the forest around the lake, repeating that beautiful line:

The friendless bodies of unburied men.

And the ever present wolf. And Dylan Thomas' “war on the spider and the wren.”

Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 1. A Churchyard:

Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow
of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath
borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how
abhorred in my imagination it is! my gorge rims at
it. Here hung those lips that I have kissed I know
not how oft. Where be your gibes now? your
gambols? your songs? your flashes of merriment,
that were wont to set the table on a roar? Not one
now, to mock your own grinning? quite chap-fallen?
Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let
her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must
come; make her laugh at that. Prithee, Horatio, tell
me one thing.

The suicide of David Foster Wallace haunting the second line for a moment. The archetype of acting: the actor holding the skull. The humor amidst the bones. The vision of the kiss like a veil over the skull. And that last question: what becomes of the ruler of all the world?

Psalm 23, King James Bible:

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 
He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

This quiet piece as I am coming back to the beginning of my walk. Ducks dark on the water. Wondering about a shepherd, tending his herd. Prophecy of Jesus Christ. Puzzling over the translation that has a sheep eating at a table, being anointed with oil and having a cup. And furthermore, being the house of the Lord implied to be a slaughterhouse. A curious psalm.

I step towards the ducks to take a photograph. They all swim away from me.





19 - Worked on Memory Cathedral

Woke up around 4. Weight = 249

Worked on Memory Cathedral

For this invention will produce forgetfulness in the minds of those who learn to use it

http://memorycathedral.blogspot.com/2014/02/an-elixir-not-of-memory-but-of-reminding.html

Happy with that. Took a break to watch DS. Slept from 8:30 to 9:30

Worked on finishing Villon material:

http://memorycathedral.blogspot.com/2013/08/poem-1-straight-tip-to-all-cross-cove.html

Letter to SW:

Add rendering to Bone Carver.

S:

How are you holding up?

Job comes to mind. I may have told this to you before, so bear with me, but I often see my current existence as that of one of those guys crawling across the desert. Like in cartoons. The trembling hand reaching out to pull him further along. The lips cracked across, whispering: water. He comes to a dead tree. Pulls himself up to sit against it in the narrow shade. Small relief. But better than the relentless sun. Then, one by one, the vultures arrive, each settling like a funeral's overcoat on the branches. The man watches the birds. The birds watch the man. Every so often, he drifts off, hears the sound of wings. His eyes bolt open. He is ok. But the birds seem to have moved a little closer. He tells himself: if I can just keep looking alive, just enough to keep the birds at bay, just another hour, another day…

Sums it up for me. Everyday, I keep enduring. I wake up to find I am still here. I used to feel lucky this way. Now, not so much. Regardless, there is enough time and space to fashion a few rough beasts that might slouch along for some time after I am gone, some traps to catch the birds of appetite. Beside my bones will be these reliquaries of sticks and stones full of their bones.

Jan- April I quite literally teeter on insanity. I feel terrible and I blame the outside world while hating myself for it. Going in I know. Coming out the other side I know. In the middle I know I know going in and coming out but still I trip and fall and fall and fall.
I say aloud, I fuckin hate winter and people. It's like The Road. Everyone's the enemy anything that's good is in the distant past. There's no room for anything outside of merely surviving.
I see the goodness of my wife and son yet I know I'm dying and they'll be better off without me.

I feel this. That grey world out there and all the happy shining people in it. But there is this strange love. Through all of the grey bland drooling mindless sad sad daily drama, there is this guttering pilot light that remains. Sometimes I am the bottom of the ocean. Pressure. Cold. Blackness. And the pilot light is like an acetylene torch. How? It is a mystery. All the light that was once my mother seems gone except for this insistent spark. Still there. Deep down. And I know, it is enough. Enough to keep looking alive. To live through this. To endure this pain.

It's sick. Why'd the chicken cross the road ? He didn't he's dead in the middle.

A vulture of death swooped down and dragged him across. Aren't we the cherry duo, Vladamir and Estragon, desparados waiting for the pain?

One month and three days till the first day of spring…

I take great solace in the sense that time moves ever faster as I get older. Just a little longer….

One of the oldest songs in English, could easily be recited by Bugs Bunny or Daffy Duck.

Sumer is icumen in,
Lhude sing, cuccu;
Groweth sed
and bloweth med,
And springth the wode nu;
Sing, cuccu!

Awe bleteth after lomb,
Lhouth after calue cu;
Bulluc sterteth,
Bucke uerteth,

Murie sing, cuccu!
Cuccu, cuccu,
Wel singes thu, cuccu;
Ne swic thu naver nu.

Sing, cuccu, nu; sing, cuccu;
Sing, cuccu; sing, cuccu, nu!

My rendering:

Summer is a coming in,
Sing loud, cuckoo!
Growing the seed
blowing the reed,
And Spring new in the wood,
Sing, cuckoo!

The ewe is bleating after lamb,
The cow lowing for calf;
The bull is leaping,
The goat farting.

Merry sing, cuckoo!
Cuckoo, cuckoo,
Well sings you, cuckoo!
Not stop you never now.

Sing cuckoo, now! Sing, cuckoo!
Sing, cuckoo! sing, cuckoo, now!

Take care, my friend.

Not stop you never now.

Sing cuckoo.




At Lake Padden. 3 miles today. Up through the back trail to avoid people. Initially just watching the flow of my thoughts as I walked, things to do emerging below the surface, bits of song, melody, memories of friends and family, conscious of my reflection on the surface, trying to see down to the depths. Irritated by the presence of others. Knowing I will have to find more remote areas to walk in as the weather improves.

Working on prose today. Starting at the beginning of the index: The Gettysburg Address. Focusing only on this. Already memorized, just refreshing and reminding. Nothing else for the entire walk so there is no pressure to move on to another piece. Here and now there is plenty of time and space to meditate deeply on Lincoln's words.

I can feel the sinews of my mind - images of vines or green tree limbs - being twisted into this thought. One of the effects I love most about memorizing is when you can feel your thoughts being forced into the thought-language of another - especially if that other is Shakespeare or Lincoln.


22 - Current To Do List.


Slept in. No snow by the time I got up.

Body weight = 249. Blood pressure = 168/106 Heart rate = 56

I was recently up to 267, so I have lost 18 pounds. Headaches are not nearly as frequent. Nausea has gone away, as has the persistent acid reflux. Still have some shortness of breath, but not as bad.

Been walking the shorter path around Lake Padden and also the Sehome Arboretum that last two days.

Working on prose memorization. Refreshing a passage from Edward’s Sinner at the Hands of a Angry God, two passages from Moby-Dick, “He tasks me, he heaps me…” and Father Mapple’s Sermon, the Welles version. Also, Desiderate by Max Ehrmann.

Finished the first of the postcards, Awaked Ye Dreamers. Send out 100 even. Still a few scattered more to do.

Also, set up laughingbone.com for people on The List.

Have about 90 of Jerry’s Shaving Mug Collection. Working on a plan to photograph them, get them online and sell them. Ebay, website, blog combo.

Working on a way to move all writing, images, artwork, song from blogs to website.

Entry for Jabberwocky in Memory Cathedral: http://memorycathedral.blogspot.com/2014/02/poem-2-jabberwocky-by-lewis-carroll.html

Also on Bonecarver: A Rendering of Sumer is icumen in: Not stop you never now http://bonecarver.blogspot.com/2014/02/a-rendering-of-sumer-is-icumen-in-not.html

Made a rough song for Jabberwocky. https://soundcloud.com/scot-casey/jabber-wacky

Good communication with Shelton.

From old list:

Ur-Death - quixote 
Black Drop Review
Outline of Death of BJ
The pamphlet to accompany the Codex of Little Hope
children's stories: watermelon hat, last of n's, wow mom wow, the snorebeast
piece on the different types of memory theater - see photo - the swiftian dangers of becoming dated-
update all Bellingham Reviews to third person, start with Black Drop -
start process of adding everything to Laughingbone.com
add what's up music reviews to BR
first thing to Staci is pamphlet for Codex of Little Hope
submit to Bellingham Review Context





24 - Second day. Snow.

Second day. Snow.

Watching film.

A.I. - moving and poignant, well crafted. My third viewing, first to consider the symmetries of the beginning and the end, to note there are no “aliens” but “super-mechs.” The mirror of time in Kubrick’s Shining. Curious about his other films. Impressed with design of film in particular. The doubling theme.

The Great Beauty - appreciation for the pastiche narrative, impressionistic, almost surreal. Not connecting the dots, but allowing them to form an overall image. Homage to Fellini. Desire to go back to Rome.

Alice - surprised at how much it imported from Jabberwocky as a narrative engine. Still enjoyable. Better film than I thought it would be.

Dorian Gray - was expecting it to be dreadful and was pleasantly surprised. Wilde’s story remained more or less intact, which speaks well for any great story. Still prefer the 1945 version - if only for George Sanders.

Minority Report - more Spielberg. Vision of the future still holding up pretty well. Cruise is tolerable as always. Again, more layers to the film than first realized.

On the deck: Nostalgia, Schindler’s List, To Rome With Love

Some writing / research on Edwards’ Sinners at the Hand of an Angry God.


25 - Walked around the snowy paths of Padden. A lot of fallen trees.

Read Tartt’s Goldfinch until 3.

Woke up late - around 11.

Walked around the snowy paths of Padden. A lot of fallen trees.

Worked on Merton’s Thoughts in Solitude and The Whiteness of the Whale.

Dictated this about The Death:

Is it that we have presentiment of our own death?

That the world is suddenly charged with a grandeur that was not previously there.

I think back to the Zen monks who, knowing death was immenent, composing a haiku poem to capture the essence of their being.

I walk along. There is worm eating into my heart. I can feel it burrowing deep into the core.

Blake’s Sick Rose.

My sense of smell is gone. My vision is diminished. As is my hearing. Nothing tastes any good. Kafka’s hunger artist.

Remember to be fragmentary. Epigrammatic. But do not forget humor.

Writing with no burden, no effort, the feeling of going into the woods when I was a kid.

The sense of play, the sense of joy upon returning to the source of joy, the wilderness.

Borges above all. Style of Wallace’s Infinite Jest. House of Leaves. The accessible intrigue of Griffin and Sabine.

I live on a lake like Walden. The care-taker. Gunstream. I keep the path clear for others.

The cold of the PNW vs the arid deserts of the SW.

The pressure of death like Borges censorship. Joyce’s grape.





26 - Caregiving in the morning

Caregiving in the morning.

Jerry sick. Went to IHOP.

Out to Marlys’ to pick up and sign on their taxes.

Came home slept. 11.

Was up late reading Goldfinch and working with a music app.

Woke up at 2. Out of Padden.

Working on the Dahlberg piece about Sancho Panza and the Artist as Quixote.

Taking recorded notes most of the walk about The Death.

Stop by the Y for 20 min.

Caregiving. Box of shaving mugs.

Back home for salad, cheese and crackers.

Feeling sick in the heart. Aspirin all the time.

Fixed the problem the USPS has with the cards being “Not Macinable”

Printed out more.

Downloaded a lot of stamps.




Lake Padden


Another technique for memorization.

Fill in the blanks, remember the essence: subject verb direct object.

works especially well with prose - which tends to follow logical patterns.

sometime during this process of filling in the blanks, you learn more about you different and your thinking different from that of the author of the quote.

needing a warm-up while walking before starting to memorize - analogous to the change of brain states I wrote about once on Have You Washed Your Bowls?

On The Death of

When I first came up here, I used to sit on the far-side of the lake, depressed and withdrawn, now I just memorize

autobiographical - nothing about the parents - memorization is a mystery as to why

island smilier to Fidalgo - 5 or 7 lakes - names, mapped out

three sections : purity - the desert simplicity the mountain - grace - the ocean

incorporating a lot of steiner, being redeemed from barbarity by culture, memorization is what frees me from the depression and moral emptiness - benjamin’s quote at the base of every work of art is a pile of bones - adorno

On memory - how long a sentence may be before it is memorized, then how short it becomes

Benjamin’s idea of a book of quotations - the space between each quotation charged with what would normally be inexpressible in prose. Dahlberg and Govinda - the thread that links them.

The beginning of each chapter - the synecdoche - as in Call It Sleep - also Jeffers Deptford trilogy - the rock inside the snowball - how a small thing means everything

The mythologies of absence: or pretending it is still there, the as if
The wizard of oz, the man behind the curtain
god being dead, people still believing 
koestler as if

My version of the story of Lao Tzu at Han Chao pass -
how he becomes the gatekeeper, the teller the singer of the myth of the on who is gone

Possible beginning: “Jones once told me a story…
then the lao tzu story

every chapter beginning: Jones once told me…

This was told to me by Jones

Remember the freedom and the depth of Dahlberg, the experimentation of Burroughs

The magical subtle mystical process of what might be called “re-chunking” (better word) of the various meanings of the word into the concrete meaning it needs for the context of the sentence, all the words of the sentence into the ONE thing that is now the sentence and its meaning, the sentence into the overall paragraph, the over paragraph into the larger world around it.

This walking around Padden trying to memorize a new thing - especially prose - but anything - working on Can These Bones Live by Dahlberg - such a deep meditative contemplative process, to walk each step, to move through the language each step, thinking, considering possibilities, surprised at what the possibilities end up becoming. Beautiful thing.

Drug in the Death are wrong. The wholesome discipline. David Duncan, River Why. Helprin.

The connections and correlations between the Death of B. Jones, the synoptic gospels, Citizen Kane, Rashoman,

Note on Sinners at the Hands of : what are our preconceptions of the sense of the sermon or story? God holding a sinner over the Pit of Hell. What is our memory contained within? Moby Dick: Ahab and the Whale. Don Quixote and the windmills, Hamlet and the skull. Containers to hold memory easily. Culture tropes and cliches.

Note on the ontological hesitancy paralysis before creation - Steiner - the act of doing - hitchcock’s macguffin - it must be done - in relation to the brain waves and states of consciousness - the forcible entering into the creative state - death bores through castle walls - the mind parasites.

B. Jones Don Quixote Sancho - He did not treat me well…

Note on the Lakes of the Island - not enough rain or snow, from some place deep….

No time limit but the natural limit of walking around the lake - Learning Can These bones live - first impression - wax tablets - shakespeare - impression in memory -

I have to take seriously what I do…

The thing to admire in walden about Thoreau : hiding the allegory in such natural language



March

8 - Wake up just after Midnight

Wake up just after Midnight.

Lost a few days. Sleep. Restless dreams. Depression.

Reading J. Archer. Prisoner of Birth - Update of Monte Christo
Finished C. Carter - The Crucifix Killer
Finished J. Patterson - Private L.A.
Finished A. Weir - The Martian

Watched Finding Nemo. Greystoke. 12 Years a Slave.

Trying to regain traction.

Went to Dr. On medication for High BP. Diuretic. Lethargy. Diarrhea. More tests next week.

Spent some time reading over LB Blog. Something there.

Told to lose 50 lbs.

Need to walk today.

No money.


12 - Working on the Edwards piece

Working on the Edwards piece.

Building historical and biographical context.

Foundations of Early America.

Tracing lines of intention and influence: http://memorycathedral.blogspot.com/p/source-material-for-jonathan-edwards.html

DISCOVERY

Antecedents: fisherman, vikings, natives crossing east to old world, “those explorers unknown to history” - the one hundred monkeys establishing new boundaries / limited / liminal realms for explorations, clearing the ground for “historical exploration.”

The seas were full of ships. Native population of the New World prior to “discovery.”

Columbus | America

The New World was first termed “America” by a German mapmaker, Waldseemüller, who credited Amerigo Vespucci with its discovery.

SETTLEMENTS

1587 - Sir Walter Raleigh founded Roanoke Colony.

Thomas Hariot’s A Brief and True Report of the New Found Land of Virginia from 1588.

1590 - The Roanoke Colony was found deserted.

1607 - John Smith founded the Jamestown Settlement

Biography of Raleigh -

The School of Night
Alchemical Allegories
Shakespeare’s Tempest 
Virginia - the New World - Prima Materia -

KEY

Hakim Bey: “The opening of the 'new' world was conceived from the start as an occultist operation. The magus John Dee, spiritual advisor to Elizabeth I, seems to have invented the concept of “magical imperialism” and infected an entire generation with it. Halkyut and Raleigh fell under his spell, and Raleigh used his connections with the “School of Night” - a cabal of advanced thinkers, aristocrats, and adepts - to further the causes of exploration, colonization and mapmaking. The Tempest was a propaganda-piece for the new ideology, and the Roanoke Colony was its first showcase experiment.

The alchemical view of the New World associated it with materia prima or hyle, the "state of Nature,” innocence and all-possibility (“Virgin-ia”), a chaos or inchoateness which the adept would transmute into “gold,” that is, into spiritual perfection as well as material abundance. But this alchemical vision is also informed in part by an actual fascination with the inchoate, a sneaking sympathy for it, a feeling of yearning for its formless form which took the symbol of the “Indian” for its focus: “Man” in the state of nature, uncorrupted by “government.” Caliban, the Wild Man, is lodged like a virus in the very machine of Occult Imperialism; the forest/animal/humans are invested from the very start with the magic power of the marginal, despised and outcaste. On the one hand Caliban is ugly, and Nature a “howling wilderness”–on the other, Caliban is noble and unchained, and Nature an Eden. This split in European consciousness predates the Romantic/Classical dichotomy; it's rooted in Renaissance High Magic. The discovery of America (Eldorado, the Fountain of Youth) crystallized it; and it precipitated in actual schemes for colonization.”

INTERNAL / SUBJECTIVE / EXPERIENTIAL COLONIZAITON VS EXTERNAL / OBJECTIVE / THEORETICAL COLONIZATION

THE FOUNDING FATHERS: THE STARVING TIME: DIGGING UP CORPSES

The grim bone cracking reality of this passage:

“They ate their horses, then rats, then shoe leather. Some were driven to murder and digging up corpses. Others stashed food as they planned a secret return to England. Food was begged from the Indians or, if not forthcoming, stolen. The resulting cycle of attacks and counterattacks brought more misery and death.” [NHC]

GOD'S PLAGUE: THOUSAND AND THOUSANDS OF DEAD INDIANS

“Portions of coastal New England that had once been as densely populated as western Europe were suddenly empty of people, with only the whitened bones of the dead to indicate that a thriving community had once existed along these shores. In addition to disease, what were described as “civil dissensions and bloody wars” erupted throughout the region as Native groups that had been uneasy neighbors in the best of times struggled to create a new order amid the haunted vacancy of New England. “

Nathaniel Philbrick, Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War

THEY SPENT THEIR DAYS DIGGING RANDOM HOLES IN THE GROUND

Historians could hardly tout Virginia as moral in intent; in the words of the first history of Virginia written by a Virginian: “The chief Design of all Parties concern'd was to fetch away the Treasure from thence, aiming more at sudden Gain, than to form any regular Colony.” The Virginians' relations with the Indians were particularly unsavory: in contrast to Squanto, a volunteer, the British in Virginia took Indian prisoners and forced them to teach colonists how to farm.

In 1623 the British indulged in the first use of chemical warfare in the colonies when negotiating a treaty with tribes near the Potomac River, headed by Chiskiack. The British offered a toast “symbolizing eternal friendship,” whereupon the chief, his family, advisors, and two hundred followers dropped dead of poison. Besides, the early Virginians engaged in bickering, sloth, even cannibalism. They spent their early days digging random holes in the ground, haplessly looking for gold instead of planting crops. Soon they were starving and digging up putrid Indian corpses to eat or renting themselves out to Indian families as servants—hardly the heroic founders that a great nation requires.

James Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me

THE MYTH OF THE MAYFLOWER

13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 
14 For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. 
15 And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. 
16 But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.

Hebrews 11:13-16 King James Bible

The English colonists did not specifically label themselves in the letters, books and documents they wrote. Sometimes they referred to themselves as Planters (colonial farmers) to distinguish themselves from the Adventurers (men and women who financed the colony).

“Bear in mind that the Pilgrims numbered only about 35 of the 102 settlers aboard the May/lower; the rest were ordinary folk seeking their fortunes in the new Virginia colony.” - Loewen, Lies My Teacher Told Me

“Even free white women, not brought as servants or slaves but as wives of the early settlers, faced special hardships. Eighteen married women came over on the Mayflower. Three were pregnant, and one of them gave birth to a dead child before they landed. Childbirth and sickness plagued the women; by the spring, only four of those eighteen women were still alive.” - Howard Zinn, A People's History of the United States

“The Mayflower Compact was the first governing document of Plymouth Colony. It was written by the Separatists, sometimes referred to as the “Saints”, fleeing from religious persecution by King James of England. They traveled aboard the Mayflower in 1620 along with adventurers, tradesmen, and servants, most of whom were referred to, by the Separatists as “Strangers". - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mayflower_Compact

WITH ALL OF THIS IN MIND….

Researching the Tempest - Allegorical Interpretations - Readings aligning it with the New World - Cobb’s Prospero’s Island, Goddard’s Meaning of Shakespeare, Bloom’s Shakespeare, Ackroyd’s Shakespeare.

Black is the badge of hell / The hue of dungeons and the school of night. - Love’s Labor’s Lost

References to Marlow in Ackroyd:

“Lord Strange has also been associated with a group of noblemen and scholars who have become known as ‘the school of night’. It met at Sir Walter Raleigh’s London dwelling, Durham House, and included among its members Raleigh himself, the Earl of Northumberland, George Chapman, George Peele, Thomas Heriot, John Dee and perhaps even Christopher Marlowe. […] Shakespeare probably alludes to them in Love’s Labor’s Lost, a play that was written as a kind of ‘in-house’ entertainment. Although he was not a member of ‘the school of night,’ he knew its purposes.

A passing reference to a salamander and fire and ‘the school of night’ caught my attention. Went to Wikipedia:

The School of Night is a modern name for a group of men centred on Sir Walter Raleigh that was once referred to in 1592 as the “School of Atheism”. The group supposedly included poets and scientists such as Christopher Marlowe, George Chapman and Thomas Harriot. There is no firm evidence that all of these men were all known to each other, but speculation about their connections features prominently in some writing about the Elizabethan era.

Raleigh was first named as the centre of “The School of Atheism” by the Jesuit priest Robert Persons in 1592,[1] but “The School of Night” is a modern name; the theory was launched by Arthur Acheson, on textual grounds, in Shakespeare and the rival Poet (1903).[2][3] The wording derives from a passage in Act IV, scene III of William Shakespeare's play Love's Labour's Lost, in which the King of Navarre says “Black is the badge of hell / The hue of dungeons and the school of night.”[4] There are however at least two other recorded renderings of the line, one reading “suit of night”[4][5] and the other reading “scowl of night”.[6][7] The context of the lines has nothing to do with cabals: the King is simply mocking the black hair of Rosaline, his friend Berowne's lover. John Kerrigan explains that the line is perfectly straightforward as it stands, a riposte to Berowne's praise of his dark-haired mistress as “fair”, and any attempts to load it with topical significance are misleading; the simple meaning of “black is the school where night learns to be black” is all that is required.[8] However, some writers have seen the line as an allusion to Raleigh's 'school of atheism', and have used “The School of Night” as a name for the group.

In 1936 Frances Yates found an unpublished essay on scholarship by the Earl of Northumberland, an associate of Raleigh and supposed member of the movement, and interpreted it as inspiring the key celibacy theme of the play.[4] The supposition is discounted as fanciful by some, but nonetheless received acceptance by some prominent commentators of the time.[4][9][10]

It is alleged that each of these men studied science, philosophy, and religion, and all were suspected of atheism. Atheism at that time was a charge nearly the equivalent of treason, since the monarch was the head of the church and to be against the church was, ipso facto, to be against the monarch. However, it was also a name for anarchy, and was a charge frequently brought against the politically troublesome. Richard Baines, an anti-Catholic spy for her Majesty's Privy Council, whose “task was presumably to provide his masters with what they required”,[11] charged in an unsworn deposition that he had heard from another that Marlowe had “read the Atheist lecture to Sr. Walter Raleigh [and] others”. This tale of hearsay, from a paid informer, conspicuously fails to substantiate the charges of atheism against the group.[12]

THE SALAMANDER

Wikipedia: Numerous legends have developed around the salamander over the centuries, many related to fire. This connection likely originates from the tendency of many salamanders to dwell inside rotting logs. When placed into a fire, the salamander would attempt to escape from the log, lending to the belief that salamanders were created from flames.[54] The mythical ruler Prester John supposedly had a robe made from salamander hair; the “Emperor of India” possessed a suit made from a thousand skins; Pope Alexander III had a tunic which he valued highly, while William Caxton (1481) wrote: “This Salemandre berithe wulle, of which is made cloth and gyrdles that may not brenne in the fyre.”[55] Further, the salamander was said to be so toxic that by twining around a tree, it could poison the fruit and so kill any who ate them and by falling into a well, could kill all who drank from it.[55]
The association of the salamander with fire appeared first in Ancient Greece, where Pliny the Elder writes in his Natural History that “A salamander is so cold that it puts out fire on contact. It vomits from its mouth a milky liquid; if this liquid touches any part of the human body it causes all the hair to fall off, and the skin to change color and break out in a rash.”[56] The ability to put out fire is repeated by Saint Augustine in the fifth century,[57] and Isidore of Seville in the seventh century.[58]

Salamanders' limb regeneration has long been the focus of interest among scientists. Researchers have been trying to find out the conditions required for the growth of new limbs and hope that such regeneration could be replicated in humans using stem cells. Axolotls have been used in research and have been genetically engineered so that a fluorescent protein is present in cells in the leg, enabling the cell division process to be tracked under the microscope. It seems that after the loss of a limb, cells draw together to form a clump known as a blastema. This superficially appears undifferentiated, but cells that originated in the skin later develop into new skin, muscle cells into new muscle and cartilage cells into new cartilage. It is only the cells from just beneath the surface of the skin that are pluripotent and able to develop into any type of cell.[61] Researchers from the Australian Regenerative Medicine Institute have found that when macrophages were removed, salamanders lost their ability to regenerate and instead formed scar tissue. If the processes involved in forming new tissue can be reverse engineered into humans it may be possible to heal injuries of the spinal cord or brain, repair damaged organs and reduce scarring and fibrosis after surgery.[62]

Salamander brandy is a liquor supposedly indigenous to Slovenia. It is said to combine hallucinogenic with aphrodisiac effects and is made by putting several live salamanders in a barrel of fermenting fruit. Stimulated by the alcohol, they secrete toxic mucus in defense and eventually die. Besides causing hallucinations, the neurotoxins present in the brew are said to cause extreme sexual arousal.[63]

A KEY THE SCHOOL OF THE NIGHT - TURNER

http://frederickturnerpoet.com/?page_id=145

But even in the fear and calumny we can see a grain of truth, I think. What Hariot had actually said about the Creation of the World was more subtle than Wood’s quotation: it was that in a sense the two statements ex nihilo nihil fit (out of nothing nothing is made) and omnia fint ex nihilo (out of nothing everything is made) could both be true and did not contradict each other. Now the Aristotelian idea that “nothing can come from nothing,” as King Lear puts it, is surely opposed to the Biblical account of creation of the world out of nothing. Antony à Wood is obviously confused, or his Latin has deserted him. Hariot would have been quite orthodox in denying the impossibility of creation ex nihilo. But what he really maintained was a very mysterious paradox: that both nothing, and everything, are made out of nothing. Obviously our theme, of the world and nothing balanced across the fulcrum (or yoke, or jugum, or yoga) of the scales, has recurred, more clearly still. How can we resolve the paradox? Perhaps one way is suggested by Marlowe’s claim (according to Kyd) that he had as much right to strike coins as did the Queen. That is, perhaps the world has the same sort of reality as the value of a coin: a conventional reality, for it is “only” convention that distinguishes between a counterfeit coin and a genuine one. If the universe is indeed the result of a “fiat,” a spoken word, then it is obviously of the same order of being as a conventional entity, such as a law, a game, a contract, a marriage, or a fiction. Like Moses’ “subtilties,” the universe itself is a Noble Lie. “All the world’s a stage”; the “great globe itself, yea, all which it inherit, shall dissolve, and like this insubstantial pageant faded, leave not a rack behind. We are such stuff as dreams are made on… .” Vives’ fable comes back to us again.
So the world is like language: a self-maintaining, self-validating conventional reality. Indeed, it is language: or, one might say, language is it. The act of translation, then, is not merely an epistemological operation, but an ontological one as well. We know already of Hariot’s fascination with the nature of translation: his friendship with the Amerindian princes Wanchese and Manteo, his naming the unnamed-in-English, his linguistic and orthographic investigations. Now, through Walter Raleigh, Hariot met the translators John Florio and George Chapman and became closely involved with the issue of translation in general, and the translation of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey in particular. In Chapman’s dedication of his Homer he thanks his helpers (including Robert Hughes, another member of the School of Night); but his chief praise and gratitude are saved for Thomas Hariot, whose learning was essential to the whole enterprise. Muriel Rukeyser thinks that Keats noticed Hariot’s name in Chapman’s dedication, and that Keats has Hariot in mind in his magnificent “On First Looking into Chapman’s Homer”: Hariot is both the “watcher of the skies” and the explorer who looks on the new ocean “with a wild surmise.”

28 -

S:

Apologies for any thunder. Been a rough week. Holed up in a Starbucks fighting a cold. Listening to Oscar Peterson's “I wants to stay here (I loves you, Porgy).” I remember the first time I heard it in Austin. I can almost smell the summer night: cut-grass, honeysuckle, gasoline, beer. Never ceases to amaze me how music replenishes the depleted stores. Reformation. Restoration. Reparation.

Contemplating auguries of innocence. Vs experience, guilt. Like a guilty thing I go back, dwell in memory, refuse the present.

I have never believed myself to be more capable of writing something significant. And I have never felt more convicted that it makes no difference.

Hope remains. Like dregs at the bottom of the bottle. Watts' painting: Blindfolded with a broken lyre, shivering in the interstellar cold on some other planet. Isaiah 59:11 meets Kafka: There is hope. Just none for us.

Even if the instrument is broken, you can still make music.

I cling to this still-born notion of creating artifacts, totems assembled in the Waste Land, stacks of stones on the path to the Apocalypse - or something that might dance and sing over the graves as Death walks brazen and piles the bodies high. Blues in the Key of B(one).

I tunnel deep into my memory these days, reciting the poems like prayers to myself, the hestitation and halt of recall sitting like a canary on my tongue. Things fall apart. The centre cannot hold. And the lack of conviction stands with diminished gravity against the passionate intensity of this Vulgar Age. The lubricating letter difference between Keats and Yeats. Where but to think is to be full of sorrow. Here is the revelation that is at hand.

I truly hope to see you and your family again, to trade songs and stories over a table, to share food, cups of coffee, wine, beer, laughter.

I am here until the end of my parents. The iceman cometh… with the slow shuffling steps of a child heading the principal's office.

I hope you and your family are well. I deeply enjoy the images you send and those on the site.

:S


April


Priest
Re: “Stop the clocks.”
I am afraid we lost someone, but I do not who.

Scot Casey
No, no one in particular. But I am fairly drenched in sorrow these days. Kafka seems appropriate: There is hope. Just none for us. My parents continue to decline - in slow and relentless agony. Bearing witness to two people you love gradually losing their minds more than amply feeds the dismal testimomy of my creative life. I do try to maintain my sense of humor - although it is perhaps better suited to the gallows.

I hope you are well, Priest. And I thank you for the considerate comment.

Priest
Selfishly, I would recommend coming to Austin, drinking beer with old friends, singing, followed by more beer and increasingly incoherent story-telling.
(I could be projecting– maybe that is just what I need to do)

Scot Casey
Yes, I would love that. Sometimes people ask me, naturally, when I am going to be free to travel and resume my own life. As soon as my parents die. It is one of those unsettling moral dramas: I know each of them, being in their “right minds” would wish to die now. But they do not. And I cannot help them - as much as I have meditated upon the pillow. Yeats' eternal spirit tied to the body of a dying animal. How to unloosed that knot?

When that day dawns, I hope to see you in Austin and share a beer or two with you.



May

29 - State of Self



The attempt to gain control. The thousand little rituals. Resumed.

The sense of solitude. Of lone-ness.

No one cares.

The body is the temple.

My word is represented in my flesh.

The outer space is a reflection of the inner world.

Re-construct the self daily.

Imago and archetype.

Fight against the ever deepening sleep.


State of Room



Recovering. Time burning by. The last whatever like sitting on a speeding train. Life passing by outside. Just dreaming against the window. Letting everything go again. Again. And it gets harder every day to get off the train. To care enough to make the leap, which seems huge from the train but is really just a step. And I am off: walking around Padden, memorizing sonnets, going to the gym. My world has just accumulated around me, piles of the detritus of living collecting, dust, hair, dirt, trash, chaos. What happens when you just let go.

Weight up to 265.

Walked around Padden again today. Third day in a row. Went to the gym. 15 minute workout. Now to clean up my world, establish ritual and order.

There is no one here but me. No one really cares about any of this internal dialogue. Arete.

Paideia: Wikipedia:

In the culture of ancient Greece, the term paideia (Greek: παιδεία) referred to the rearing and education of the ideal member of the polis. It incorporated both practical, subject-based schooling and a focus upon the socialization of individuals within the aristocratic order of the polis. The practical aspects of this education included subjects subsumed under the modern designation of the liberal arts (rhetoric, grammar and philosophy are examples), as well as scientific disciplines like arithmetic and medicine. An ideal and successful member of the polis would possess intellectual, moral and physical refinement, so training in gymnastics and wrestling was valued for its effect on the body alongside the moral education which the Greeks believed was imparted by the study of music, poetry and philosophy. This approach to the rearing of a well-rounded Greek male was common to the Greek-speaking world, with the exception of Sparta where a rigid and militaristic form of education known as the agoge was practiced.

Sed omnia præclara tam difficilia quam rara sunt. Spinoza

All things excellent are as difficult as they are rare.



30 - Walking around Padden. Setting up the Heart of Darkness.


Walking around Padden. Setting up the Heart of Darkness.

Brief glimpses of hope.

Constructing a self in fragments salvaged out of the rapidly diminishing day.

It is as if I am living in between the scenes, backstage memorizing Shakespeare, stealing moments, working on a palimpsest of The Death and Heart of Darkness in the flashes of lightning, going to the gym.

Increments. Always building. What the memory work has taught me. Just a little every day, in the moments in between. Without even trying, suddenly I am up to 40 sonnets.

Thus with the fat that has accumulated on my body. Thus with the books that are piling up around me. Thus with the writing is forever forgotten.

Just a little. Every day. Without fail. Re-minders. Milos of Crotona.

Prufrock’s spoon sized measures digging a way out of this prison cell.

Notes to Shelton:

Oddly reflective.

Saw an image recently of a man burning the rungs of a ladder that he might use to climb over a wall that surrounded him.

These paradoxes amuse.

Eliot's key. Dancing around in my cell. I might have be in prison, but at least I have a key.

The one-eyed man studying life through a microscope.

Peter Lorre in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, sinking down as he holds on to all of his riches.

The man in the maze carefully covering his footprints.

The gravedigger who digs too deep and throws his shovel out to let someone know where he is.





The minuscule nudge of motivation that makes the difference between doing and not doing.

Once began, you wonder why you ever waited.

But those million lilliputian thoughts that keep you still and quiet and dying only multiply over time.

You know you were not doing anything anyway, why not do something?

Ancient dichotomies: being vs non-being.

Why create anything else in a world where nothing matters?

The haunting question that the lilliputians chant endlessly.

Mallory:

“The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”


31 - hearts of darkness

watched hearts of darkness.

tequila. wine. frozen pizza.

ghost of michael herr.

letters to write.

staci. tom. greenhill. books that have changed my world.



Padden


Shannon and Roger to airport in the morning.

Slept and dreamt away the first half of the day. One image: a dream of trying to get back home. Recognizing where I was, but it was no longer my home. Anxious in the dream that I no longer had a visual representation of home that was accurate.

Walked Romeo up Seahome Arboretum.

Considering stress, resistance. Using the model of weight training. Every day, adding on a little more weight - be it another poem to memorize, an extra set at the gym, another mile of walking, an extra 10 minutes of memory work, a single paragraph of writing, a photograph, a letter, a postcard, always adding more “weight.” The Work comes naturally at the point where I feel I am “in shape” and I am far from that now.

Every day. Trying to incrementally add a little more. To maintain ritual and discipline.

Tempted this afternoon to go down an old road. And deliberately chose not to. Went for walk around Padden.

Also in conversation with Jennifer, talking about Jerry moving into assisted living, she said, And then you can get a job again. And it dawned on me fully at that moment.

How soft I have grown. Must re-squire the capacity for solitude, to become hard, a stranger to the world. Detached from others and the ghosts of others in my psyche.

In many ways, I am lost. But I know the direction I need to go. I know how to be found to myself again.

Paideia: balance of body, mind, heart and soul.

Walk every day - 3 + miles / at least an hour
Memory every day - the sonnets 43/154
Gym everyday - 2 miles in 20 min. / 1 hour weights / body wt to 225
Eat better every day - nothing packaged / no restaurants
Write everyday - at this point, anything / heart of darkness :: the death

It is rooted, based in the body, from there it all extends.
The mind makes shows its will in the flesh.
Harmony / Balance
Cultivate Elegance



June

Sunset from 16th Street


Watched the sunset from the porch with the dog and cat.

Wine. Guitar. A breath inwards.

Declined to spend the evening with Ashley.

Need to be alone. Cultivate the capacity for solitude.


1- On Track

On Track. Parents. Dog. Gym. Padden.

Working through anger in solitude.

Mostly upset at how far I have fallen.

But this knowledge is power.

Also, I don’t want to talk. So sick of writing and talking. Just want to do.

The simplicity of being and doing. No separation between thought and expression.

Working to transform the flesh - some weird alchemy to turn fat into muscle.

All I know is that I have to keep maintaining the rituals every day.

Jerry and my mother are in bad shape - destroyed mentally.

It drives me. Something must come out of this.

But first the body, the foundation.

Strong in the gym. Good session of memory work walking around Padden. Working on Indexing - first and last couplets. The Indexing Story:

Beauty's ROSE solitary in World War I muddy TRENCH. Reflecting in a GLASS the face of the EXECUTOR, Death, who admires the FRAME of bone, adjusts it with his HAND to catch the SUN. Suddenly, there is MUSIC that fills Death with SHAME and then, HATE. Death places his SEAL upon TIME, assuming the role of the FATHER of Time, showing meaning in the ASTRONOMY of the stars, the figures of which move upon the STAGE in a poor COUNTERFEIT of reality. Death places it all into a TOMB for the duration of the zero SUMMER until is reborn like the PHOENIX and has a new FACE. The MUSE writes character into the FURROWS that line the ACTOR's face whose EYE shines like a MARIGOLD in the sun. He dressed in new APPAREL placing a fine JEWEL on his lapel, a sign that he has endured the TORTURE at Heaven's GATE and has been able to translate the MOANs of God which echo around an abandonded cathedral filled with Saint’s TROPHIES and BONES, lumiscent with a heavely ALCHEMY that makes the bones shine like PEARL. Winding around the bones are brairs with razor sharp THORNS which drip blood BLOTting the stone. LAME men kneel down to lick the blood hoping God will show them an INVENTION to replace his ABSENCE from the world when like a THIEF, he took hope from the world.


2 - State of the Room



Weight = 260

Three month goal = 225 :: 3 pounds per week

Simple plan = burn more calories than I take in

1726 calories in food intake today. 
748 calories burned

Calorie deficit = 978

Goal = less than 1000 kCal per day

Fed animals while Roger and Shannon are in San Francisco.

Took Jerry to the endocrinologist, Dr. Turk, early this morning. Jerry’s mental state has significantly degraded. He responds, but just sits there in his wheelchair, defeated, ready to die. I think he is mentally astute just deeply depressed.

I patted him on the back at one point. Said, we are going to get this figured out. He said, Thanks for the pat.

Back home. Made breakfast:

Haggen Chuckanut Deli - Roasted Tomato Basil Bisque, 1 container (3 cups ea.)
Tillamook - Sliced Swiss Cheese, 5 slice (28 g) 400 5
Haggen - Sourdough Bread, 2 slice

Worked on mail outs for the most recent postcard: The Unicorn Evils Run Him Through

Also, tried to find a shaving mug that I sold to Joe A. Wasn’t here. Drove to Jerry’s. Wasn’t there. Drove back here. Took all the mugs out. Realized I couldn’t find it. Sent an email to Joe. Took the Sewing Machine mug to the post office. Frustrated.

Took a nap from 1 until 4. Reset. M* Again, fought against the monkey.

Took Romeo on a walk around Padden. 2.85 miles. Faster pace. No memory work. But felt good. Stronger.

Reflecting on victim’s consciousness, the current notions of trauma, on being convinced we are weak and ineffective, distracted by a million lilliputian things from every doing anything of consequence.

Back home. Fed animals.

Went to gym. Lower body. Felt very strong. Had to force myself not to push too hard.

Back home. Long shower, grooming. Trim beard with new trimmer.

Steamed potatoes for later. Made dinner:

Organic Girl - Hearts of Romaine Leaves, 1 container (18 leaves ea.)
Cardinis - Caesar Dressing, 2 tbs
Fresh Gourmet - Classic Caesar - Premium Croutons, 12 croutons (7 g)
Fresh Gourmet Cranberries and Walnuts Glazed - Salad Toppings, ¼ cup
Bananas - Raw, 1 large (8" to 8-7/8" long)

Apple - Med Red Del, 1 Medium

Grapes - Red Seedless Grapes (Correct), ¼ Cup

Downloaded Last Week Tonight and Cosmos.

Need to do at least an hour of memory work before going to sleep.

READING

Paideia by Jaeger
The Prestige by Priest
Will and the World by Greenblatt


Paddler on Padden


Up late. Watched John Oliver, part of Cosmos, The Daily Show.

Three glasses of wine, peanuts, grapes.

Healthy. I like the word.

Hygiene. Cleanliness.

Setting the house in order.

Guided by the better angels of my nature.

Culture over barbarity. The answer to Steiner. Bluebeard’s Castle.

Working towards Purity.

Purity :: Simplicity :: Grace


***


BODY

Weight = 258

Food kcal Intake = 1981
kcal Burned = 1032

Deficit = 949

Asleep last night at 3. Up at 8 to feed animals.

Back to sleep. Dreams like doing drugs.

Slept until 1.

2:30 Went to Silverado to get mom, took her to see Jerry. He was happy to see her. Said, he hadn’t seen her in such a long time. It was sad. Two people who once loved each other, each dying in their own separate ways.

Took Mom back.

4:30 Walked Romeo up the Arboretum Ridge Trail. Feeling low blood sugar.

Back home. Made some lunch.

Campbell's - Home Style Creamy Gouda Bisque With Chicken, 1 container (2 cup (240ml) ea.)
Idaho - Small Baked Potato, 3 Potato (70g) 2.5 oz

6:30 Went to pick up Shannon and Roger.

7:30 Gym. Good upper body workout.

8:30 Padden at sunset. Beautiful. Fewer people. How I like it. Memory work.

10:00 Home. Shower.

10:30 Dinner

Cardinis - Caesar Dressing, 1 tbsp
Organic Girl - Hearts of Romaine Leaves, 3 Leaves

Idaho - Small Baked Potato, 2 Potato (70g) 2.5 oz
Guerrero - White Corn Tortillas, 9 tortillas

Challenge - European Style Butter- Salted, 1 Tbsp

La Victoria - Salsa Suprema - Mild, 2 tbsp
Grapes - Red Seedless Grapes (Correct), ¼ Cup
Apple - Med Red Del, 1 Medium

Wine - Table, red, 1 glass (3.5 fl oz)


4 - Reading Late

Reading late until 4. Up at 10:30.

6.5 hours sleep. Convinced sleep is absolutely necessary for proper memory function.

Saw this last night: http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/06/04/sleepless-nights-raise-brain-levels-alzheimers-protein-study-finds/

“We think normal healthy sleep helps reduce the amount of (amyloid) beta in the brain and if your sleep is disturbed this decrease is prevented,” said the study’s senior author Dr. Jurgen Claassen, from Radboud University Medical Center in Nijmegen.

Reading Gone Girl by Flynn

Changes in the flesh keeping the mind burning. Added BCAA and a New Chapter B-Complex.

Comtemplations of PURITY.

You are what you eat. What goes into your body as fuel determines how the mind will function.

The Prosperous Few / Restless Many argument is predicated upon distracting the masses. The sophisticated apparatus of this world.


Photo of Nancy at Jerry's bedside. Two months before she died. 




28 - What They Carried: The Final Family Estate Sale

As many of you know, my parents, Nancy and Jerry, have Alzheimer's. Both are currently in assisted living and are relatively happy - all things considered. But they have a lot of possessions - beautiful elements of a beautiful life - that they no longer need. So we are having one final estate sale. And this one is in Bellingham in Jerry's apartment. 

The place is packed with some really nice pieces of furniture (an absolutely stunning hand-carved Chinese Tea Table and Louis XIV style sideboard), kitchenware, dining ware, China so fine you can see through it, a stamp collection amassed over 50 years, British Cigarette Cards, Occupational and Fraternal Shaving Mugs, a Champion Juicer powerful enough to make bone juice, lots of office supplies, hundreds of Country Bluegrass Blues CDs, Johnny Cash and Assorted Vinyl, decorative objects ranging from Buddhistic netsuke, Celtic and German crosses, Shiva Nataraja, Tibetan Mala Bone Necklaces, Railroad memorabilia, Carved Wooden Boxes that were once full of the New Mexico Desert, Crystal Glasses that were once full of laughter, Everything that two lovely people who mean the world to me carried through life with joy and celebration and love, and what they carried is still ringing with love. It is all bright and shining and Nancy and Jerry would love for you to have it. If anything, just come on by to say hello to me and my sister. We'd love to see you. 




July


27 - All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music

“All art constantly aspires towards the condition of music" Walter Pater

“Crime and punishment,” says Emerson, “grow out of one stem.… All infractions of love and equity in our social relations are speedily punished. They are punished by fear.… Commit a crime, and the earth is made of glass. Commit a crime, and it seems as if a coat of snow fell on the ground, such as reveals in the woods the track of every partridge and fox and squirrel and mole.” Was Emerson, too, an Elizabethan? On the contrary, like Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, he was not a “fool of time.”

Goddard, Harold C. (1960-09-15). The Meaning of Shakespeare (Volume 2): 002 (Phoenix Books) (pp. 115-116). University of Chicago Press - A. Kindle Edition.

Now the unconscious, whatever else or more it may be, is an accumulation of the human and prehuman psychic tendencies of life on the planet, and the unconscious of any individual is a reservoir that contains latently the experience of all his ancestors. This potential inheritance is naturally an inextricable mixture of good and evil. Hence whenever the threshold of consciousness is sufficiently lowered to permit an influx of the unconscious, a terrific tension arises between forces pulling the individual in different or opposite directions. Samuel Butler has given classic expression to this struggle in Life and Habit:

*It is one against legion when a creature tries to differ from his own past selves. He must yield or die if he wants to differ widely, so as to lack natural instincts, such as hunger or thirst, or not to gratify them.… His past selves are living in unruly hordes within him at this moment and overmastering him. “Do this, this, this, which we too have done, and found our profit in it,” cry the souls of his forefathers within him. Faint are the far ones, coming and going as the sound of bells wafted on to a high mountain; loud and clear are the near ones, urgent as an alarm of fire. “Withhold,” cry some. “Go on boldly,” cry others. “Me, me, me, revert hitherward, my descendant,” shouts one as it were from some high vantage-ground over the heads of the clamorous multitude. “Nay, but me, me, me,” echoes another; and our former selves fight within us and wrangle for our possession. Have we not here what is commonly called an internal tumult, when dead pleasures and pains tug within us hither and thither? Then may the battle be decided by what people are pleased to call our own experience. Our own indeed! *

This passage makes clear why an unmediated polarity is a distinguishing mark of the unconscious and suggests a biological reason for the Delphic character of all true oracles. Every sentence, declares Thoreau, has two sides: “One faces the world, but the other is infinite and confronts the gods.” An oracular utterance is merely an extreme form of such a sentence, an incarnation in microcosmic form of the duality Butler depicts. In choosing between its worldly or infernal and its unworldly or celestial meaning, the individual without realizing it recruits an army, the good or bad impulses and acts of millions who have gone before him.

Goddard, Harold C. (1960-09-15). The Meaning of Shakespeare (Volume 2): 002 (Phoenix Books) (pp. 117-118). University of Chicago Press - A. Kindle Edition.


30 - Email to Shelton Walsmith

Not very well. I think I have commented to you before that the three encounters of the Buddha, old age, sickness and death, leave out insanity. I have put some thought into this. And figure the Buddha just considered it understood that to live in this world full of suffering without seeking a way out is insanity. It is just a given that life is insane. But, obviously, there are degrees of being able to cope and mange one's self in the world. Some can fake it. Some thrive in it. I just feel a constant gathering weight. For a long time now, my duty has been to bear witness and offer empty consolation to the agonies of my mother and step-father. I generally just keep talking about anything that comes to mind. Asking questions that are not answered. Remembering memories of their lives that they no longer have. Reminding them of who they used to be. But after a few hours, I am hollow and wordless. I am drenched in sweat and my flesh is foul. The hospital room is suffocating, under enormous pressure at the bottom of an invisible sea of pain. My mother, who re-broke her hip, had to most of her femur replaced, is in constant pain. She begs me to help, to relieve her pain. My step-father, diminished as he is, can only endure it for short spells, as it breaks him down to witness. Every time I see my mother, I consider killing her. The soft pillow over her face. A whisper of love. And she will be no more. But, as yet, I do not have the strength to do it. Yet it haunts me insistently, a tiny devil on my shoulder whose humane argument silences any opposing angel's logic. My own health is bad. Yet, I still eat poorly, drink to excess and do not exercise. I hurry to sleep each night like to end the drama of the day. I wake with dread every morning. I can still fake it and smile and smile and be a villain still, but my smiling affable apparel has grown threadbare and unclean. I avoid the company of others. I detest the language of sympathy more than that of schadenfreude, which I also hate. The place where I am living is beautiful. Up on South Hill, it overlooks the bay with a view over the San Juan Islands. The sunset every night is magnificent. Deer roam freely and happily. Flowers bloom in profusion. Blues skies every day. The Truman Show. It oppresses me mightily. I cannot enjoy it. I shake my fist and curse at the deer. I close the windows on the sun. The joy and happiness of others seems a personal affront to me. I want to believe love is a lie. I am laughing. I am not so far gone as to not see how humorous it all is. In fact, it is only this dark humor that gives me any sense of hope. But it affords no company and is best suited for solitude. I would apologize to you for sending such words on. But I know you have a sense of what I mean. There are those that pull out hoary cliches about how this too shall pass and arrange their smiles for compassion. And then there are those that know it will not pass in any way, ever, that it will remain, driven down like a nail into the skull. Whatever splinters of happiness we might stumble over on this world should be left intact to infect the flesh with a small measure of joy and not removed to be enshrined above the altar for some poor redeemer to be crucified upon. See: I am still a funny guy. As they say in clown college, it is best to leave them laughing, so I will.

Addendum on August 1st:

the oppressive view from my window

there are still
roses and diamonds 
down here

the slow climb out
of the hole
again again and again
no longer asking why
just going through the motions
waiting for meaning to engage
and I know it will
and the one good thing
about being down
is that everything else is up
excuse my splenetic venting



August


1 - Increments. The daily rituals of Milo of Croton

Increments. The daily rituals of Milo of Croton:

“Anecdotes about Milo's almost superhuman strength and lifestyle abound. His daily diet allegedly consisted of 20 lb of meat, 20 lb of bread, and eighteen pints of wine. Pliny the Elder and Solinus both attribute Milo's invincibility in competition to the wrestler's consumption of alectoriae, the gizzard stones of roosters. Legends say he carried his own bronze statue to its place at Olympia, and once carried a four-year-old bull on his shoulders before slaughtering, roasting, and devouring it in one day. He was said to have achieved the feat of lifting the bull by starting in childhood, lifting and carrying a newborn calf and repeating the feat daily as it grew to maturity.” - Wikipedia

Carrying the bull every day.

Making the increments into rituals.

THE FLESH

261 pounds at the Doctor’s office. 258 pounds at the gym. I need to lose 60 pounds. 3 pounds a week. 12 lbs a month. By the end of the year, back to some condition of health.

Resistance work at the Y for 30 minutes.
Jogged/Walked for the first time in a long while at Padden for 30 minutes.

I need to lower my blood pressure. I want to get off these meds that are making me feel so poorly. The only way to do it is to lose weight and get in shape.

Most of the time I think: I don’t want to go back to Ithica. I like here with Circe just fine. Only wishing a few times a day that I was with the Lotus Eaters.

Still working on the Sonnets. Still setting 41 to 43 into the mental table. Moving onto 44 to 46. Rehearsing up to 51 now.

Reading a lot of secondary material. Going to Vendler, Kerrigan, Booth, Duncan-Jones and Paterson through the iPad app.


I wonder if I can write myself out of this and find a way back to God.


I sick to death of staring again and again and never finishing. Dozens of books are in my head. Have been for years. Perhaps to die there.


3 - Weird nightmarish dreams

Weird nightmarish dreams. My mother as a greenhouse full of plants.

Protein shake.

Trying to do anything I can to get my body back into shape.

Jogged / Walked Padden 2.75
Arms at the gym for 30 minutes

Weight 253

Went out to see Mom and Jerry. Shannon showed up.

Lunch of chili and crackers, banana and apple.

Met with Shannon about Silverado bill.

Walked briskly around Padden 9 to 9:45

Two glasses of OJ.

Up late last night reading The Mockingbord Next Door by Marja Mills. Watched some of To Kill a Mockingbird.

Cryptic blog post on Laughing Bone: “Well it's better to be silent than to be a fool.” - Harper Lee

Weird dreams: at a wedding, Deathrage’s. I didn’t have a shirt on. Everyone looking at me. In the kitchen. Think I see my mother cooking, walk over, an invisible force is stirring the bowl. Outside on the patio, looking for Jennifer. A pit bull attacks me but no one thinks anything of it. It is biting the sleeve of my coat. I am mad. Jane is there. She removes the pit bull. I am still trying to find Jennifer. I call out her name. She is nowhere. I call out her name again and again and wake up.

I try to call Jennifer. No answer.

Banana protein smoothy.

Roger and Shannon take a motorcycle trip.

Walk Romeo at Arboretum.

Go out for quick visit to see Mom and Jerry.

Workout at Gym. Legs. Very sore.

Weight 252

Talked to Alan R. on the Lobby about ALZ

Make a baked potato and roasted broccoli.

Exchange FB mail with Mike LeDonne about Sonny Rollins

Talk to Jennifer. She is not doing well.

Walk around Lake Padden. Working on Hamlet soliloquies and Sonnets 43 to 47 and the 20s.

Back home.

Shower. Shave.

Haunted by a passage I read on Tabletmag.com:

Henry Roth Slept With His Sister and His Cousin
Now that you know the novelist’s incestuous secrets, is his newly reissued ‘Mercy of a Rude Stream’ quartet worth reading or not?
By Adam Kirsch

“Ira’s incest becomes the magnetic core of his personality, drawing to itself every kind of crime and debacle. Like Saint Augustine stealing pears, Ira commits sin after sin, as if to demonstrate his incorrigibility. One of the things Roth writes about best are Ira’s jobs, the various kinds of work he did in 1920s New York: selling soda at the Polo Grounds, delivering fancy food-baskets to rich people’s houses, greasing the axles of subway trains. But again and again, Ira ends up unable to avoid stealing from his bosses, just as he can’t stop himself from stealing the fountain pen at Stuyvesant High. Once you have violated the incest taboo, what do other taboos matter? Once you have ruined your soul, why not ruin your life?”


4- Email

Email sent to Shelton, Ashley, Jennifer, Andrew, Chip and John:

Perhaps you will find this interesting. It is not a confession, merely an insight that I thought I might share. These things we once discussed…

There are memories that we share that are unique to my life and have a value that transcends expression. For this, I am deeply grateful.

Someday, I hope to see you all again.

Scot

I don't know if any of you have ever read Call It Sleep by Henry Roth, but it is a beautiful book. Concerning the Jewish immigrant experience in New York early 20th century. The first paragraph is pristine:

“The small white steamer, Peter Stuyvesant, that delivered the immigrants from the stench and throb of the steerage to the stench and throb of New York tenements, rolled slightly on the water beside the stone quay on the lee of the weathered barracks and new brick buildings of Ellis Island. Her skipper was waiting for the last of the officials, laborers and guards to embark upon her before he cast off and started for Manhattan. Since this was Saturday afternoon and this was the last trip she would make for the week-end, those left behind might have to stay over till Monday. Her whistle bellowed its hoarse warning. A few figures in overalls sauntered from the high doors of the immigration quarters and down the grey pavement that led to the dock.”

Synecdoche for the entire novel. The ship itself. The place in between. The not yet there. The waiting. The immigrants, the main character of the novel, gestating within, awaiting birth on the shore. New World. Beautiful.

The novel was a moderate success in 1934. Then was re-issued in 1964 to great acclaim. But nothing had been heard from Roth for over 50 years. Many said it was writer's block. But when Roth re-emerged with a final book not long before he died, it came to light that he had been haunted by an incestuous relationship with his sister. It shaped, warped, his life like a hidden planet. This internal portrait of Dorian Grey that he carried around in his soul.

I recently read an essay on Roth with this paragraph:

http://www.tabletmag.com/jewish-arts-and-culture/books/180662/henry-roth-quartet

Henry Roth Slept With His Sister and His Cousin By Adam Kirsch

“Ira’s incest becomes the magnetic core of his personality, drawing to itself every kind of crime and debacle. Like Saint Augustine stealing pears, Ira commits sin after sin, as if to demonstrate his incorrigibility. One of the things Roth writes about best are Ira’s jobs, the various kinds of work he did in 1920s New York: selling soda at the Polo Grounds, delivering fancy food-baskets to rich people’s houses, greasing the axles of subway trains. But again and again, Ira ends up unable to avoid stealing from his bosses, just as he can’t stop himself from stealing the fountain pen at Stuyvesant High. Once you have violated the incest taboo, what do other taboos matter? Once you have ruined your soul, why not ruin your life?”

For far different reasons, I know the argument of this sentence like my own blood. I used to think of it in terms of the joke about would you do X for $10? How about $1,000,000. If yes, then the argument is about money, not principle. Then in for a penny, in for a pound. The road of excess lead the the palace of wisdom. If a fool persists in his folly, he will become wise. And so on.

The gift of a sharp mind can rationalize anything. Absolutely anything. Quoting chapter and verse along the way. My soul ruining itself over and over.

But then, like so many, my life was sold out by false promise and illusion and became an empty dead thing. To chase the dragon was to go nowhere. The road to ruin became just as - more - mundane and boring than the main highway I turned off of long ago. And more importantly, it either led in a narrowing circle or a serious of increasingly dead-ends.

When I fortunately found my way out of ruination, I had a deep sense that I didn't belong on the main highway anymore, didn't deserve it. I felt I should be punished, placed in prison, forced to wear a scarlet interrobang on my chest. And I was more than lucky. My life since moving away from Austin has been graced by so many opportunities and offers. Bellingham has been so good to me. Still is.

I am the luckiest man I have ever met.

But I still felt deep down that I had a great debt to pay.

And now I know this. The witnessing and the care of my parents as they slowly loose their minds is my burden, my weight, my albatross. And I don't begrudge it. I try to not to complain about it. Of course, if I had known how it was going to play out, I would have gladly chosen being raped every hour in prison instead of my parents having to suffer. Quickly: I don't believe myself at fault for their situation. But if I could've traded, I would've in a heartbeat. But this is my dark seam of karma or fate (or whatever inadequate word) that I have to work. And I am all right. I can live through it. I know.

I also know an answer that I did not know before to the question above: Once you have ruined your soul, why not ruin your life?

It is in a dying man's last whisper and the scream of a new born, the strangest, most difficult word I know: hope.

I leave to Emily:

“Hope” is the thing with feathers -
That perches in the soul -
And sings the tune without the words -
And never stops - at all -

And sweetest - in the Gale - is heard -
And sore must be the storm -
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm -

I’ve heard it in the chillest land -
And on the strangest Sea -
Yet - never - in Extremity,
It asked a crumb - of me.


5 - More weird dreams that fade from memory the moment I awake

More weird dreams that fade from memory the moment I awake.

Up at 9.

Smoothie.

Bank: Skagit. North Cascades.

Back to bank: Chase then WECU.

Get script filled for HZTZ.

Silverado for meeting. Work out payment. Much less than we thought.

Talk to Jennifer. She is doing better.

Dark Hagen for fruit, vegetables, steak.

Home: ate a huge petite sirloin, shitake mushrooms and baked potato. Over-ate.

Received Don Paterson’s book on the Sonnets.

Nap for two hours.

Jog / walk around Padden. More jog than walk. Still took over 30 minutes. Getting better. Still sore.

Then to gym for upper body. Tired. But pushed through.

Weight = 254

Back home. Shower.

Read Paterson. Essentially what I have with the sonnet app, but easier to process as a book. Excellent in it’s utter lack of pretense and easy displays of erudition.



16 - Nancy Lee Thompson
07/13/1939 – 08/16/2014

Nancy Lee Thompson passed away peacefully on Saturday, August 16th in Bellingham, WA with her husband and two children at her bedside. Nancy was born on July 13, 1939 in Dallas, Texas to Clarence and Mattie Callaway. She attended Hillcrest High School in Dallas and the University of Texas at Austin. Nancy was a teacher, talented gardener, fantastic cook, and an adventurous world traveler. She loved animals and had a deep spiritual connection to nature. Nancy is survived by her husband, Jerry Lynn Thompson, and her two children, Shannon Lee Casey and Scot Keith Casey. A private ceremony will be held at Heart Lake on Fidalgo Island, where she and Jerry loved to walk with her beloved dogs. In lieu of flowers, donations in Nancy’s memory may be made to the Whatcom Humane Society. 










30 - Yard Sale! 3219 Pinewood Heights. Until 4:30. Furniture, books, clothes, toys, odd ephemera and thingus. If we have it, you can buy it! And this is the last sale I hope to ever have.

Big giant, enormous (Strunk & White style) sale. Rescued from the Titanic. Souvenirs from D. B. Cooper. Howard Hughes' fetishes and sex toys. P.T. Barnum's greatest fears. Lovecraftian anomalies. All exposed to the filthy lucre. Make the pilgrimage. Friday. Saturday.





September

11- Texas Big Sky



13 - Margaret Moser Sales in Austin.







October

1- Come by Casa Que Pasa on Friday for ArtWalk. The middle room is full of Bonesy Jones' work. I will be there from 6 to 9 pm. Prints available and I will be in close proximity to tequila. Plus there is a ton of bone and skull related beautiful art by other local artists! Hope to see you!


2 - Works by Charles “Bonesy” Jones will be on display at Casa Que Pasa, 1415 Railroad Ave., during October and November. Jones subtly “re-interpreted” stamps from around the world to convey his unique message that “Bones Are Truth.” The rare exhibit by the idiosyncratic artist opens at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 3. A few rare, signed and numbered prints, and postcards, will be for sale that evening. 



3 - 20 Stamp Detournments From the B. Jones Archive

Never before exhibited works from Charles "Bonesy" Jones will be on display at Casa Que Pasa for the months of October and November. Jones subtly "re-interpreted" stamps from around the world to convey his unique message that "Bones Are Truth," contextualizing each piece with an often ironic poetic message. Don't miss this rare opportunity to view the works of this idiosyncratic and unusual artist. I will have prints (a few rare signed and numbered ones) and postcards for sale during Art Walk on Friday, October 3rd. There will also be additional information about the extraordinary life of B. Jones.







If you are wandering (but not lost) amidst art tonight, stop by the Redlight for the Monsters! show. Outstanding local artists representing beautiful terrible monsters. It's like being in Goya's "Sleep of Reason" with great drinks. Oh yeah, there is a B. Jones piece in there too.





November

8 - Scot Casey & Robert Lashley :: Sound & Language for a Forgotten Film

An entertaining and unsettling "new soundtrack" to a forgotten film. There will be death and bone related cartoons before the main feature. Also authentic bones and delicious flesh will be provided on a first come, first serve basis. The Music is all about the Devil and the Words are all about the Fire.






December

31 - New Year's Eve Variety Show! at the Honey Moon

Ring in 2015 with more entertainment than you ever thought could fit into a single evening — as Honey Moon presents our first ever New Year’s Eve Variety Show! We’re planning a cork-popping line-up of music, dance, storytelling, circus arts, poetry, prognostication, and multi-media flights of fancy. The show gets underway at 8:30 pm on Wed, Dec 31st. 

$10 cover gets you all this plus a special noshing buffet and a complimentary cider toast at midnight. 

Advance tickets available by calling 360-734-0728, or stop by Honey Moon at 1053 North State Street Alley.

Featured artists include:
Aerialists: Dream Frohe & Jenn Perry
Musicians: Ani Banani, Biagio Biondolillo, Ross Brackett
Dancers: Jenna Bean Veatch & Damian Cade
Storyteller: Harper Stone
Puppet Show: Ani Banani
Poet: Ellie Rogers
Multi-media: Scot Casey
Astrology Readings: Kat Bula, Down to Earth Astrology