Monday, November 27, 2006

Heart In a Box

I don't know.


I watched "Mindwalk" tonight. Yesterday I watched "Stranger Than Fiction" with my wife at the Downtown Cinema Center.

I am a huge sucker for the well-intentioned disassembly of the world. Making sense of it. Doing some kind of meditative, contemplative analysis of our condition.

Like a three year old, I still believe that sense can be made of our predicament.


Today I tried to explain this idea I had to my wife. The idea, which I won't bore you with, seemed so full of resonance and beauty and love. But it fell flat with her. I thought, I don't know. I could change the world with it. I thought, if you heard it, you'd weep and laugh and say of course, of course.

And go do it.

And encourage everyone to do it.


I'll probably do it anyway.


One thing is, I love you. I think about you all the time. I don't say anything to anyone about it. I think Jack Gilbert has it pretty close to right. I don't know if there is anything more important to our happiness than poetry. Just think about Wallace Stevens. What music went on in his erudite head? And then we go on with the killing. With the machetes. In the night. With the terrible disassembly. Our fascination with blood.

My own.

My god, I've stood in the blood, in sticky puddles of it. Brains on a sidewalk, splattered on a wall, in a planter, in the bathroom sink of a hotel room, in a pot on a stove. In my own two hands. Making the pathologist say it again- 'here's the cerebellum.' 'this is the frontal lobe.' 'see that, there, that little nub that looks just like the clitoris? the pituitary.'

this one guy, he killed somebody. he went out to the koi pond in the middle of the night, tried to clean everything up in there.

seemed like a good idea.

but when we were all standing around the koi pond at nine o'clock in the morning, the pond looking like cherry kool-aid, it didn't seem like he'd thought it all the way through.

one time, looking through crime scene photos, I saw a picture of myself.

Squatting down, looking at some blood stains on a sidewalk.

I didn't know it was me at first. Just some guy.

But I thought-

that guy?

He's going to put a case down.

That guy's doing the job.


I seen it was me, a second later?

It made me smile.


What I do is to love this world.

And stand around in its guts, all the beauty of it running red and wet down some gutter, wasted.

Then I make a picture. Maybe
write a poem, a little

Shake my head.


Try to put it down.


I know you are out there, waiting for me. I see your face. What he did to you. The way he left you.

I haven't figured it out yet.

I know you're still waiting.


I haven't forgotten.


Saturday, November 25, 2006

Heart on Charred Wood


A couple of weeks ago my wife and I took a walk through town. Sunday morning about eight, eight-thirty. Cold and clear, the sun up an hour, but lots of blue shadows. We walked up the hill to the old chapel and through the graveyard, then back down. Walking in the alley behind Mustache Pete's we heard the sound of a flute coming from the yard of the Chinese pavilion. An old black man sitting on a chair under a tree held the flute to his lips and played with his eyes closed.

We took the stairs through the forest primeval and came out at the top into more sunshine. We passed the front door of the Lodge and a group of big women came out. One of them opened her mouth and sang the opening of "Amazing Grace" with a strength and beauty that seemed to run right through my heart. She sang the first lines, then fell silent and they walked out to their cars.

Around the corner we passed the open door at the rear of the kitchen. Two women, one dressed as Santa Clause, the other as an elf, shared a smoke in the doorway.

Every other car in the lot was a pink Mary Kay Cadillac.


Of late I have been wrestling with something dark and strong. Trying, if not to tame it exactly, to maybe get it to do a parlor trick or two for me.

So far it will stand on its hind legs and paw at the air, but only when it feels like it.

But I've got it in the parlor.

That's a pretty good start.


My happiness is like a boat upon which I sail through a vast and limitless sea. There are monsters. I have seen them on the horizon and felt them nudge the hull in the night. I have no charts for this place for I have sailed beyond the known world and all markers and warning signs.

Perhaps I will sail off the edge to my doom.

But the wind is fine and the taste of salt on my tongue is a tonic to my soul.

So I sail on.


I hope that your day of thanks sustained you and reminded you of all your gifts.

They are plentiful.


Saturday, November 04, 2006



Things are wonderful here. I am as happy as I have ever been and I am working hard and making good progress. I am going at it hard and sometimes there are magical moments when unexpectedly things fall into place. Good things happen and keep happening.

I am greedy for it and thankful and I hope that is enough.


I want the same for you.


If there is something better than hard work done well I don't know what it could be.
Well-earned slumber.
A clean slate.


I am swept up in a great love.