in my neighborhood pt. 20


What I’m Reading:

“At the heart of every creation is a need to connect, even if it is to connect to no one in silent defiance or a curious desperation. The inner world is even more immense than the measured world we have created out of wants, hunger, and sometimes, need. Every word marks an act of creation, an intent, and often not a studied intent.”

— Joy Harjo / Catching the Light

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gelid & jealous

the moon jejune?

rough are the exteriors
its seams are where the dreams
get in
the interiors full of barbs
protecting the sweet potato red
soft monsters jelly delights
bright as the blistering moon

the moon jejune?

pellucid gelid & jealous
of the first ray the sun
too self-sufficient self-
sustaining to know a self-
reflexive nature
with no
natural light of its own

What I’m Reading:

“Every star
is an exploding mortar”

— Vicente Huidobro / “Equatorial”

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she was free

Magic the Toilet Seat

When it came down to writing, it came to the toilet seat. She had no idea why, but images, concepts, lyrical passages flowed in torrents through her.

What magic the toilet seat?

It didn’t happen on the bus—with the furtive judgmental stares. She didn’t flow in the library—where stifled coughs emanated from carrels and sentinel towers of books. She didn’t flow anyplace else at home: not her desk (she regretted choosing the smaller city-sized one) or at the dining table (where all thoughts invariably siphoned back to the weight-related remarks from father—or “what about the kids in …” [your choice of developing 1980’s nation here]).

Every other space was an obstacle; the atmosphere an impediment; the surface too angular. It was only here on the toilet seat from 4:00 to 4:30 every morning, where the dreams unspooled again vividly, each one remembered in the finest detail (see that glint of moonlight on the shards of glass?)—it was on the toilet where imagined conversations wrote themselves, where she was thee hypnopompic amenuensis. Here all creation and worlds unimagined resolved themselves in full dimensions.

Here she was free.

Here she sits still.

What I’m Reading:

“Rise and Shine.
The World is Doomed.”

— The Nib /

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what it meant

The Contractive Subtractive (redux)

There were erasures to make. He made the erasures. There were no complaints. The work was done. He moved on. When more erasures were required, he made those; and in this manner his work was accomplished, and he continued erasing. This is how it was to be alive then. This is what it meant to finish. Whatever you take from this—you must know this—this was only one of many ways of moving through life. There were alternative ways of working, and of moving through life. That much is assumed. That much is certain. When he needed more erasures, he did this:

What I’m Reading:

“So write for yourself. If yourself is Stephen King or Colleen Hoover, congratulations. You’ll have millions of readers. That’s publishing and reading and the market. If yourself is an audience of one, congratulations are also in order. In the end, that’s what writing is really about—finding your vision and your voice, and being true to them.”

— Viet Thanh Nguyen / “Pep Talk from Viet Thanh Nguyen” /

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read a lot

The Best Stuff I Read This Week

“We are not apparent in the cultural streams that establish and define American thought, art, and culture. We are not present at the table, though we appear perpetually at the table every Thanksgiving in stories told to our children in educational institutions across the country. But Natives were not there at that table. There was no table. Their heads were on stakes giving warning around the newly constructed towns by the settlers, built on Native lands.

These false narratives of Native peoples continue a story of cultural genocide.”

— Joy Harjo / Catching the Light

“I was born—don’t know the hour—
Slapped on the ass
And handed over crying
To someone many years dead
In a country no longer on a map…”

— Charles Simic / “Come Closer and Listen”

“–I dreamt I went to the doctor’s and she gave me eight minutes to live. I’d been sitting in the fucking waiting room half an hour.

(A long silence.)”

— Sarah Kane / 4.48 Psychosis

“There’s an undeniable chimp-with-a-chainsaw horrified fascination in watching him try to handle it (and, one hopes, an enduring and salutary proof of the fact that billionaires are not geniuses), but so far he has managed to turn an imperfect communications system into a dismal swamp.”

— Bill McKibben / “Organizing After Twitter” / Substack Newsletter

“Here’s the thing about writing novels, or writing anything, that should be hopeful. You can do it with teachers and classes and peers, if you need mentorship and encouragement. But you can also do it all by yourself. In the end, you do it all by yourself anyway. In the lonely hours (and writing is probably 90 to 99% lonely hours) it’s all you. Outside of having others read your work—and the business of publishing, which you shouldn’t be thinking about—all it takes to be a writer, day after day, even if you’re successful, is this: 

Write a lot. A lot.

Read a lot. Deeply. And widely.

Write for yourself. 

No expensive courses needed.”

— Viet Thanh Nguyen / “Pep Talk from Viet Thanh Nguyen” /

“The bee sees a psychedelic airstrip in the mouth of the lily.

If anything can save us, it’s nothing we can do for ourselves.”

— Amanda Pecor / “If the Saviour Came Back to Boneville, Georgia”

“Poetry (and other forms of writing) can be useful as a tool for finding the way into or through the dark.”

— Joy Harjo / Catching the Light

What I’m Listening To:

“I’m so bored of thinking about men
Look at the news
Is it that time again
Whens our chance
To move on
And heal
I just can’t believe
That shit is real”

— Mhaol / “Bored of Men”

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in my neighborhood pt. 19a

Perhaps … not a fan of the New Deal?

What I’m Reading:

“Man is an invention of recent date. And one perhaps nearing its end.”

— Michel Foucault / The Order of Things

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this is this

Apologia Sine Qua…Compos Mentis in Capitalist Perdition

There’s an app for that — it tells me I once lost a corgi and I’ve now lost a fire extinguisher. Then, there’s an app for that — which tells me to fall in love with writing. Not because of the money or headlines I’d make, or the critical acclaim, or the twittokgramface-o-sphere / housewife-o-idol-talentdancing places I’d go, but because without it— this writing benediction-affliction — I’d feel bereft, bereaved, and aggrieved. And so I do this, because a filmmaker makes films; because a painter paints; because a writer writes. Because divine discontent. Not for the cash prizes, the 30-under-30’s or 5-over-50’s, the grant, the convocation to retreat, the fellowship, or cameo on the pixilated-tripe-du-jour for a shot of heebie-skeevy rope-a-dope… but just because this is this. Feels good. Like a permeable biological membrane to a transport protein. Huh? Because art is a way of passing through life… duh!

What I’m Reading:

“Every time I open my lips
I flood the void with clouds”

— Vicente Huidobro / “Night”

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crackle and hiss

Another Record (redux)

Two 33 1/3 rpm records are arguing with each other on Christmas Eve 1992.

One record, Casserole by The Tinklers, cedes the polemic to the other—The Shaggs’ Philosophy of The World.

“That’s OK,” Casserole says as it spins to a stop. “They’ve played you the most. You win, but you’re turning into a groove-less hag. All crackle and hiss!”

Philosophy of The World says: “No, it’s awful. They’ve bought our compact disc replacements. ‘The future is not as good as it used to be!’”

“Hah!” Casserole says, “good one, but that was on another record.”

What I’m Reading:

“… I would leave this earth and these stars, because I would take nothing with me from here, because I’ve looked into what’s coming, and I don’t need anything from here.

— László Krasznahorkai / “I Don’t Need Anything from Here”

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why belligerent robots

Aural Disjecta Dream-Fu

Headful of childhood
Disjecta—jingles, and tripe—
Where is the off switch?

His white man savior complex—
Why Marlin Perkins?
Why Animal Kingdom, why?

Why Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em?
Why belligerent robots?
Rub-a-Dub Dolly?
Why can’t I turn-off my head?

Maybe, I’ll get back in bed.

What I’m Reading:

“I tried to run away from the pain named childhood…”

Kathy Acker / My Mother: Demonology

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platters of skeevies

Pluot of Complacency
(from The Lost Epiphanies of Melodramas Undone Compilation)

You son of a—

What’s a compliant pluot of complacency mean?!

Is that an insult, a compliment? It doesn’t feel like it is. And what’s with leaving me this lone clue—this stained and forlorn note. What gives? Where are you? Have you run off to hike your long distance trail again? Were you not going to call me again for a couple of weeks, then suddenly call from Hot Springs, North Carolina? And what of the kids? The dogs? The vegetable garden? The flower beds?

So I’m a compliant pluot of complacency, huh? Well, suck on this, squarehead! I’m gonna’ break every bit of vinyl in this room—this mausoleum to your youth—and I’m gonna’ start with these Scraping Foetus off the Wheel records. I’ll be damned if I listen to one of those platters of skeevies again. And these Throbbing Gristle records … first I’m taking a hammer to those and then into the wood chipper. And those Coil, Psychic TV, and Swans records—some white gas from your hiking stove and they’re the monticule of your funeral pyre I’m burning your played-out effigy over.

Don’t bother calling. I’m off with the kids and dogs to Burning Man. Damn the house, the rutabagas, the dahlias and calendula. Hoist this on your petard … petunia-brain!

What I’m Reading:

“Nowadays you guys settle for a couch
By a soporific color cable t.v. set
Instead of any arc of love…”

— Bernadette Mayer / “[Sonnet] You jerk you didn’t call me up”

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