Monday, January 16, 2012

Things I Saw

(written 8/12/2011)

Just the other day on a bus, far away, I rode for a distance a map cannot measure.
My eyes were pinched against the swords of an amber sunset, my arms and legs bathing in sweat and sweet.
Nonetheless I saw a hill, forever rolling…cascading greens pulling over one another to melt into a voluptuous mountainside playing leap frog.

A pair of trees with trunks bulging at all sides from the Mother’s persistent pressure.

A flock of birds cast in a cordial shadow of rouge, not dark enough to frighten or create mystery, but the color that feels safe like a quiet friend.

A dead dog lying belly up flocked to by a chorus of grubby flies rubbing a stream of legs together.  They rehearsed a crass victory dance upon their over-sized meal, the type of feast they’d never have without the unconcerned locals who care more for their white rice confections than skinny strays pock-marking the streets.
Even the dogs with homes are saddest looking breeds. They beg for some things, something, anything more than the mocking remnants occasionally tossed their way.

I saw an old man resting his diseased bones.
His atrophied eyes could barely comprehend his own shape or deteriorating flesh. Nonetheless, he lined up next to the best of them, those brown skinned stallions fresh from the womb. 
And never did I see a tear squeeze through those lucid trap doors. ‘Til this day, he is the strongest man I’ve passed eyes over.

A sky, unlike no other, was dancing with itself for the hell of it.
The sparkles in its long, wide wake dripped colors that strained into ignorant orbs.
The pink and orange, the gold and auburn, they mingled like sugar and warm water while tasting just as kind. These hues spread prehistoric wings that shone with a brilliance our human capacities have no way to explain.

And amongst my view I was possessed by the smell of fried plantains, fried bread, fried cheese, fried fried. All the peddlers’ grease had accumulated from centuries of hocking goods. It gathered there in the street gutter, glossing the children’s slick black hair, preening and pruning them into the caramel Buddhas they were fated to become.

I could’ve seen for centuries or just a faded moment. I’m still not sure which I chose, or what I was supposed to do.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Almost one month in...

I am almost officially one month into this year long experiment. The past week or so has brought a good deal of action with Sweet Pea.

I have faced such frustrations lately. I cannot figure out the water issue. I had a dream last night that the water was flowing and there were tons of sparkling christmas lights blinking away inside. So, maybe that's a good sign.  I have been trying to figure out how to get the water flowing. The tank is full, but the button for the pump is non-responsive. I am racking my brain and exhausting my patience.  I have also been working almost everyday at the bakery and have thus not had adequate time to sit down and solve this problem. Tomorrow is my first solid day off and I vow to be closer to, if not complete in, sorting it out.

This week I did make progress in other areas though. I purchased special "blackout" blinds, installed them, and now have more privacy. I can turn on my lights (all battery run) at night and not worry about being seen.  A couple friends have come over since I've installed the blinds and have validated that they couldn't see any light peaking out from the windows. So, that's good!  The blinds also seem to have added a little more insulation. It's still freezing cold at night, but it does feel a little teensy weensy bit warmer. I mean, I'm still donning two pairs of socks, leggings, a flannel and a thick fleece robe to bed, but those who know me know it's not uncommon for me to be cold even in a heated home. And, along the lines of heat, I managed to finally acquire a suitable heating source. With the help of the internet-wiz Benjamin,  I was able to peruse a collection of catalytic propane heaters by Olympian that are RV specific and safe.  I found a perfect sized one! It comes with safety features that shut the heater off when there is too much Co2 detected in relationship to breathable oxygen or if it falls over. It runs off of propane, instead of electricity, so I don't need to run the generator or have an external hookup of any kind. I can continue to be discreet while staying warm!! I ordered it and should be receiving it in the mail any day now! Here's the link:

All is not peachy though. I got another warning, this time from the Oakland police, in the form of an absurdly neon orange sticker slapped against one of my windows. How rude! My friend, Mikael, and I spent twenty minutes trying to scrape it off today before I had to leave for work, and still it's only half gone. I am really annoyed that they tagged my window with the sticker instead of just putting a paper on my windshield or something. The warning was a reminder that I have to move my vehicle every 72 hours, at least a mile, otherwise I will receive a $250 fine. Ugh. It was different in Newark, I just had to move the vehicle 100 feet, now it's a mile. Learning as I go.
OOOOOkkkkay, I need a new game plan. The streets is rough, mehn! Before I got the warning, I had been thinking along the lines of trying to find a backyard where I could park Sweet Pea and pay the tenants of the house a little money.  But, after getting that warning last night I decided that this needs to be a priority.  I can't keep it on the streets unless I want to deal with this every couple days. And, I really don't.
So, I posted an ad on Craigslist, and put the feelers out on Facebook. Now, I'm just asking all of my friends if they know anybody living in Oakland or Berkeley who has a back or side yard and would be willing to let me park it there in exchange for mooola. If you happen to read this and have a suggestion, please email me at: Thanks kindly  :)

I'm looking to purchase a video camera so I can record some stuff and add it to this blog. Hopefully by next blog I will have something picked out and on it's way.
That's all for tonight. More soon.

Saturday, January 7, 2012


Obeyer or patience,
Coveter of kindness,
Soother of angst,
Retreater from fires

Your eyes project softness
And hands cultivate peace.

My dear brother,
You are what keeps the scales balanced in this mad world.

Appreciator of perfection,
Admirer of symmetry,
Somehow your casual strand of words has always swayed my decisions.

How scared I’ve been those times with you sick and torn,
Claimed by hospitals and suffocated in your mind’s scorpions.

How I’ve ached to be your buoy and cried in trembling fear that I may awake one day to face life without you.

My beacon of unconditional goodness…
The deep waters of your compassion never fail to expose another league.

The older one,
Always more harmonious in your ways,
Always wiser in your silence and clever in the grays.

You have been my friend for twenty-six years,
Never hurt me or lashed out or burdened me with superficial woes.
The calm respect for your sister’s rage is something I don’t take for granted.

May the fondness for joy return to your heart, and may you smile a sunflower in an unrelenting monsoon.
May you regain the strength to forget your fear.
May you release the guilt and it’s seductive doom. 

A Very, Very Short One: The Youngest of Three

She was my best friend.
The youngest woman of three could never know her love. I watched her pain, witnessed her pine for the counterpart always an inch too far away.  Though she didn’t speak, I saw her lugubrious eyes day to day, and on the last they revealed a bank of secrets. In sweeping sheets of midnight blue, similar to the monsoon of an Arizonian June, those eyes so wretched rained words from their center and sighed:

“Heavy are the beads that ache to detach from me, ache to be liberated from me. They want a motion of spontaneous flight. Spinning on their axes these pear-shaped droplets grow heavier each moment. Filled to capacity by the ages of desire…days, hours, minutes…of fantastical possibility, I am exhausted and broken.”

From my separate space only feet away I watched her crumbling. Her mouth remained still, yet her voluble eyes could not be shielded. She acquiesced, weak yet proud. The thin neck of those droplets snapped, releasing their prisoner toward a ground made of stone. In that moment, the youngest of three forfeited her erring desires towards the earth where they splattered and crossed in tiny moats. In that moment of surrender she exchanged curiosity for reality and thought for sensation. Once again her eyes spoke:

“With only ghosts of memory and skeletons of the future, today I’ve exchange this excessive guessing for simple contentment. No longer do I want you, Love, I want only to be rid of you. The beads have divorced my palms and I’m no longer bound by their invisible pressure. As a result of my own force, I’m a victim no more. My affection does not wane or flex. Rather, it has retarded under gravity’s innocent law and crashed hard below my spirit into glittering faces. Now I watch the faceted liquid evaporate into the soil.
Dear love that I will never know: Our opposite hearts spiral in this quivering honesty. Ultimately, what you do not possess creates the truth that, though for years it has been determined on rising, the fire I tend for you in unrequited. It will never know its place as a phoenix.”

I held my friend as she wept, though we never touched. It felt like years and she quickly put on her sunglasses, afraid to show me her eyes so abashed and transparent. Reluctantly I left her side after she pretended to regain her strength. I promised to return when she needed me and I vowed to see her eyes on the day that they instead beamed fluorescent with love.  But, I didn't. In fact, I never saw that look in her eyes. It never materialized for the heart that pumped her blood failed her night. She was gone from this realm, and has never been resurrected. The purity of her youth was encapsulated in those years and it will never emanate any farther than my saccharine memories.  

With a Pirate's Influence, I Breath in this World

Awoke with a reverence for the morning
For possibility, for life in its holographic beauty,
The gorgeously fluid parameters of experience.

Today, I will be.
Today, I will flourish.

Today, I will push the limits of what I know and peel back the layers of understanding that cushion my view of existence.

There are fires burning close.
And while the sirens that frequent my ears continue to rip through the streets unchallenged, the alarms sounding in my heart are duly noted.

It may be unsafe to believe in our egocentric system of golden-bellied capitalists, but I refuse to extinguish the hope in my common peoples’ ability.
Even if they smolder, the modest man and woman still smoke.
Our message remains alive in the silhouette of our struggle-
-in the upward twirling of our passion
-in the addiction to the impulse to create, to share, to breathe our art form and inhale it with a junkie’s lust.

We, the artists, are poor and small.
We, the creators, are worn thing from too many jobs.
We, the ground-shakers, wear sore feet from daily stomping.
But we, the deliverers, will not stop.
For, this age is so burdened with pathetic apathy.
The kids are married to technological distractions, attached to miniature disasters that devour their creativity, which gnaw in subtle ways at their life force and replace it with a subsonic hum of anxious emptiness.

This indefinite continued progress of existence may showcase a purposeless war-
selfish in its goal to encourage death in exchange for “freedom”,
false in its promise for “change” or “hope”-
But our lives will not be discarded. Our vision is not detritus.

We, the producers, will continue to write, persist with our melodic salvations, and carry on in those hopefuls designs embodied in paint, graphite and clay. 

We wake up in the morning under the empyrean chance of something better.
And we fight for that reality with an enduring ardor.  

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Continuing from the last blog, my fears of Sweet Pea not starting that day were fulfilled. When I went out after writing the last sentence, I tried turning her on, and guess what, you’ll never guess, no, really, it’s totally unexpected…the stupid thing didn’t turn on again!!!!  
Yeah, I had a freak-out moment. A really good one. An absolutely necessary one. I couldn’t even deal with looking at her I was so infuriated, so I stomped up the stairs to the apartment that I’m house-sitting, sat down at the kitchen table, and stared at a white wall.  Coincidentally my best friend from Tucson, Arizona called me then. There are only a handful of people whom, if calling me while I was in the state I was, would hear my voice in real time rather than voicemail, and Emily’s one of them.
So I answered and got to complain about my obnoxious little project and how Sweet Pea continues to fail me, and by time Emily and I hung up, I was over my fit. 
Next I called Osmudo, explained that, “Hey, I just paid you 250 bucks, and this kitten is still not purring!” and he gently explained that it would be no problem for me to bring it in and leave it at the shop so he could go over a couple other things.
“I am out of money!” I protested.
“Yes, yes, it’s okay. No worry. Just bring and we look at.” he replied.
Ugh, I could not deal with a AAA truck ride at that moment. It would have to wait.
“Fine, I will be there tomorrow.”
“Yes, yes. Tomorrow good. See you in morning.”

Next morning, Friday the 30th I call AAA once again, around 9 am. The same guy shows up, knows me by name now, but does a double take because since last week I’ve painted the cab pea green.  But, really, there are no other giant rusting RV’s on this street so who else’s could it be? By noon I have dropped her off at Osmudo’s shop, and gone through the circuit of bicycle, BART, bicycle back to my temporary home.  While at the shop, I hovered over the guts under the hood and tried to make sense of it all. Osmundo’s helper, Ricky, isolated a possible problem: that my battery had shifted around while I was driving and was leaking its charge due to touching a large piece of metal.  Ricky secured the battery in its proper place and connected it to an external rapid charger. Leery of just assuming the problem had been fixed, and desperate to not have to go through this scenario once more, I asked the guys if they could hold her at the shop for a couple days, try to turn her on each morning, and just make sure that she will actually start. The triple AAA guy was super nice, but I wasn’t interested in having another thirty minute drive through Oakland, Berkeley, and El Cerrito with him the next day.

New Years comes and goes, so does Monday, the 2nd, and Tuesday, the 3rd, and this morning, the 4th I find myself back on bicycle-BART-bicycle towards the shop to collect her. Yesterday, Osmundo informed me all is well, and that the only thing going on was the battery situation Ricky had fixed. I picked her up today, cruised back through town to park her and begin some of these projects that need attention.
After that I rented a ZipCar and sped to Urban Ore in Berkeley, where I was able to find some interesting cabinetry with which I made the shell of my compostable toilet.  I wasn’t able to finish today though, because I still need a toilet seat, a handsaw, and a large piece of wood for the top where the seat will rest. I also need to pick up sawdust or woodchips, and I’m hoping to find those at one of the woodworking shops that flank Urban Ore.  Tomorrow I’m returning there for more wood anyways, as well as for a door for the bathroom, so maybe I can sweet talk a woodshop into donating a bag or two of dusty chips.

Tomorrow I’m aiming to complete my toilet and door projects.  If there is time, I’d also like to continue working on the “Sweet Pea” banner I started today too.  No more “Big Ugly”!!!.  In cursive, I sketched out her name with dark blue paint, and perhaps tomorrow I can trick it out with gold and other colors. Once I can find my stinkin’ camera cord, I will attach the pictures. 

Update on water situation: Maybe there’s a leak in the water tank? Today I tried to fiddling with it again, initially turning on the engine, switching a couple buttons back and forth, then turning off the engine, starting the generator and doing the same.  I opened the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom, but only heard that same gurgling noise. Odd…I have a hard time believing 38 gallons of water could sneakily leak out without me noticing…there must be something else I’m missing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


The balmy touch of your silent soul weighed heavy in the faded violet hours of this year’s first morning.
I could hardly be anything than a lump of dissolving clay, tears melting my cheeks as they slid out in diamonds from the corners of my eyes.

There could have been something more to it…perhaps the drug pulsing in spicy language through my veins, circumscribing my heart with the power of its crimson verbs,
it’s tone something of a myriad, not distinguished clearly or kind, though comprised of many distinct colors.
It’s sensation an ocean’s wave rewinding of salt and movement.

I couldn’t pin the feeling down or capture it in a peaceful cage because there was no finger of mine free with which to press.
The fingers had slipped into the atmosphere along with linear thought, and I sat poised over a heavy porcelain plate like a monk in concentrated prayer.
I was emotion.
It was fear.
And the death that lurked in the haze was not one of complete truth, but one dangerously close, insomuch that my knees weakened with regret. 
A cowardly attempt to fight back over, I knew the bandwidth of my mourning was ever swelling.
It jutted unattractively in a greed that soured the swiss cheese criss-crossing my eggs.   

The timbre of your memories is cursedly catchy, easy to hear, and frequently playing.
How does one mitigate the painful pleasure in this tender recounting?
It’s as if one has no control over its loop.
Or rather, more likely, that my humanness is at its best, a fine layer of memories atop the trembling substratum of longing.
The thing I call consciousness is a piteous realization I needed your love like oxygen. 
I needed it for years because it was born from between heaving chests, asphyxiated from the choking gases of cities and failures. 
My fallacy, I should accept, is the impression that I have grown in conviction or matured in wisdom.
The illusion I have advanced in character may simply be the longing to incarnate as an epitome of loving partnership.
When inspiration was severed, I gasped in the stinging awareness that I could not cling to your speckled skin any longer for retribution.
I was alone in life’s layers now, with an aphasic catastrophe dancing in the potential distance.

We can stop hoping to be.
In this surrender to humility, the furtive germ of insight may have a chance to find us.
When it does, may it expand four lungs with a new way to breathe.