Thursday, August 16, 2007

the moment your eyes

I've heard said, by those who have lived
here all their lives, that Uptown
rests on living ground. So one day
I parked my car and wandered into the bustling
intersection of Lake and Lagoon
and put my ear to the asphalt.
I did not hear the living beneath
the blaring of horns, but the whisper of unmade zygotes,
the rustle of a hundred missed connections.

I've heard said your face implies you
the moment
your eyes meet the one
you will never have
*Photo by escluso @ Flikr

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


For reasons I do not understand, the otherness of traveling in Europe does not overwhelm. If anything should, it would be this. Dipthonged language that implies a depth beyond our Americanness. Social custom speaking to a mode already gone by. Even the buildings are different. Most doors in German apartments are exactly the same. The door to the kitchen has the same lock as that of the entryway. You can drink spiced wine on the street.

Perhaps it owes to the power of myth of the Romantic within. We want to be a part of this foreignness to make us feel worldly. Perhaps a cultural memory of our origins. The reason some languages sound like songs from childhood. Other reasons are just plain obvious.

One is tripped up, if lucky, by train schedules and late hostel occupancy, opportunities of taste and secret alleys of consequence, but not by the looming strangeness of it all. The small differences stretch us acceptably. I feel it is rooted in the phenomenon of tourism - itself a living thing, though not sentient - in that one is completely submurged, unable to pick and choose what to imbibe. You grow gills or end up at the bottom of the tank.

* photo by Shanghai Sky at Flikr

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Part II: Lines That Encroach like a Web

It is a strange thing to say, but sometimes you find yourself uttering notions of such an odd generality that you are embarrased by them. In speaking of fear and evil, and I will say that strange thing now, that which I have feared most - and thus have found most evil - is the sense of overwhelm in the All. You no doubt see immediately my quandary. It is a queer thing to hear, yet does not seem esoteric as much as simply odd. To single out Everything as an object of repulsion. The individual components are benign enough, but they, coupled with their rippling implications to me and to each other, create a seemingly annhililating blast which all to often renders me frozen and sinking. I attempt to find the balance of these things find that missing call note that we all overloook. Trying to listen to a constant explosion to pick out a C sharp. This great stranger I have named everything from Odin to Progress and my engagement can best be likened to the way a toddler approaches a large dog - a terrible fascination that must be entered.

It comprises a zillion faces, each a simple sound from an even greater cacophony of contexts. It varies and has taken on every imaginable form I can conjure - from the words I perpetually lose my way in to the smoke from my mouth to the electron cloud of possibility each second that comes contains. I reach out to each one through the growl it emanates beneath the radar. To be clear I do not find it all evil in a sentient sense, but in that unique way our species considers evil that which does not care a lick about our survival. Chaotic Neutral. I cannot help but reach out to it, pull myself through it. What else can we do? It is not heroicism, merely the inability to conceive an alternative.

From my chair outside a local bar in Nowhere, MN, I am embraced ineffectually by a network of phone lines. Their angled vectors are the basis for large paintings in the Walker no one understands, but cursorily appreciates. They have birds that dart between them to assure us we are not ensnared. They are exactly what we need and to the proper degree. The lines intersect, convey, agree, and depart as the connection between things in the most simple of metaphors -- the questions from the woman at the next table to the bored 12-year old who would really rather be playing with himself in the bathroom, to the Journey songs on the jukebox, to the reason I have stayed in this chair as long as I have. For a split second I realize that this makes me part of the web itself, part of what I fear, and thus, if I remain loyal to my own sense of connection, part of the larger whorl I have termed evil. Thankfully, the thought lasts only a flash, already on its way, to trailer parks and bourgeois mansions alike, atop strands that connect and back again.
* Photo by Auntie P on Flikr.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Behind the Lines

An aesthete behind the lines mooning over the difference

The one between the sphere of his consciousness (rolling without end like those big marbles on Chinese restaurant Buddha fountains) and the monster truck (“Leroy’s”, it would seem if vanity plates don’t lie) just a few feet away. Hell. I mean he could call it Hell, but would mean no disrespect. On the contrary, he is the sort who would use a mythological term by which to ascribe to it a power, a grandeur greater, by far, than that due himself.

For since childhood, everything overwhelmingly foreign to him he has labeled evil. Vast playgrounds ending in ditches by the road, subjects of interest not immediately mastered, and at one time, a free radical called love. To this day, with three score years of survival under his lucky belt of Orion, his perception still holds true, but now it is the term itself, evil, that has changed. The change is, one could argue, as natural as puberty and twice as important. A change born of experience, of George Bataille, of a realization of his place in it all.

Sunday, August 5, 2007


WHAT I TEND TO LEAVE OUT are the spaces between here and there, where I watch the world with an accountant's eye. But what I omit connects the major organs, veins that are vital but assumed. I caught myself in the car, traversing a minor capillary from spleen to lung of the capitol city. Like snapping awake on a sleepy night drive, I saw going by a million million places from which I should observe the world. A lamppost on West 7th. A Vine Park bush. The fountain where the moon showers more of its attention than anywhere in the city. They were elongated and transient in passing. The only thing that stuck was the blaring ambulance speeding past, The driver's eyes catching mine for an instant telling me he was headed for some memory of mine on its last breath, having failed to honor it properly.

* Photo by Steve Benway (

Friday, August 3, 2007

From a quiet vantage - the machinery, the subtle movings of the city.

We've all experienced it. Perhaps alone, looking across a parking lot or dance floor, the churning that is not so much heard as felt. A combination of beer through dirty lines and flourescent hopes of getting laid. Connections are charged between strangers while heartbreaks are shipped out like couriers into the traffic then to our doors.

At the same time it often sounds to me like a distress beacon to change everything from the outside, as if we ourselves were charged with reincarnation.

* Photo by Jim Brekke (