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BY Michael

03/01 Direct Link

Last week I was lying on the study couch consumed by fever and choking on little globs of phlegm that leapt from my throat skittering across the floor on long white tentacles.  I was perhaps not fully aware of the day of the week when it occurred to me I needed to write. The thing sprung into my brain full blown, from first word to the last in complete detail, and it was quite good.   I even understood why I was writing it. The last thing I remember before passing out was reaching for a tablet to make some notes. 

03/02 Direct Link

I have to put my fingers back on the keyboard.  This thing going on in my head is not being recorded. Typical. I have my doubts about the value of recording.  Still, it is a thing that must be done, and life has contorted itself in weirdly specific ways to force me to do this.  I am somehow reminded of the wicked contortions of the the black locusts, the way their trunks shoot in odd directions. they will sometimes seem to grow sideways and almost always will point themselves at odds with any other tree growing in the same area.

03/03 Direct Link

These are cold

mooney nights

when the fairy ring 

flowers sprout and

begin to sing.

 

There are in this

old world things still rare,

more of the mage

than the iron claw.

 

They drive up

through a crust of snow

having broken

frozen ground.

 

Arranging sparce possessions,

they wait

for their sisters,

early ones reading

from tiny books.

 

Tabbitha is last to arrive

to tolerant smiles.

The youngest, and

her corolla is crooked.

 

But her voice is pure

rising first as the others

join, the song moving,

dancing up the frosty trunks

bursting open sweet buds

calling out the sun.

 

 

 

 

03/04 Direct Link

Every turn of the head finds some greasy sharp-toothed leaping eager beast waiting stage right for its cue to sweep out and destroy us.  We must be kept in a perpetual state of terror? The economic machinery must keep us in a perpetual state of inadequacy and perceived need? Even my son must daily point out some new horror about to sweep down on me? What is that ground cover growing on the hill? It could eat the house if it is the wrong stuff. You need to check it out.  You should check the air quality in the house…

03/05 Direct Link

The room I am in now is the music room. I have my music system here and my piano. This is where I do most of my writing in a recliner facing the music system so I can listen to music while I write.  There is a reason I do this.  It affects what I write, but this is how I have done it for so long I am no longer sure what my reasoning was.  There are many things people do that they have done for long periods of time and for which they have lost the original keys.

03/06 Direct Link

The room through the wall behind me is the kitchen. The floor in the kitchen is ceramic tile and I have periodic pains in my head that feel like I have layed my head down too quickly on those ceramic tile. The floor is 23-feet long and the tile are laid on cement board which is screwed directly onto the linoleum of the previous floor and into the flooring beneath. The kitchen floor is fairly solid.  On either end of the kitchen the doorways have wooden sills I made from yellow poplar, one of those woods you don’t find anymore.

03/07 Direct Link

Next to the kitchen is of course the dining room. It is not really the dining room any more as the dining room table disappeared in the divorce or something like that. It is more of a library/work-out room now, and functions nicely for that, with the exception of the modernistic crystal chandelier hanging from the middle of the room.   I have put a small drop-leaf table beneath this to prevent unauthorized encounters with the light fixture, and this has worked out very well.  I took the sheers off the French doors leading out to the balcony. I hate sheers.

03/08 Direct Link

The month could be a little overwhelming with taxes, house re-financing, and my son leaving for whatever euphemism they have hung on England these days…the UK, yes.  The Uk.  It works for me. As if that were not all that was going on in March. Let’s hear it for Tubo-Tax.  How many of you really feel warm and fuzzy when you hit that “send” button? Or are you repressing a wave of anxiety wondering what you will really do during an audit? And are the house re-finance, the taxes, and the presidential election really unrelated issues? I don’t think so.

03/09 Direct Link

It’s another lovely windows open day.   Tom Son still has his car in the shop, is still driving my car, so I scrounge for dinner. One fact about Tom Son having my car is that it will be gone all day: I can count on this.  Fortunately, the house is full of food. I pull out a bag of wavy egg noodles and find some chicken breasts buried in the back of the freezer. A jar of spaghetti sauce, a brick of orgasmic hard cheese and a half bottle of white wine later and I am a full, happy boy.

03/10 Direct Link

Oh, some guy on Audiogon has a pair of Klipsch Chorus squeakers for sale for $650.  The price seems little steep. However it is not because he has upgraded to Crite’s Titanium tweeters and crossovers, probably worth about $350 by themselves, making the squeakers a deal. True, they are not the II’s, so you don’t get the tractrix midrange horn, which is pretty cool. Oh man, what should I do? Didn’t I just sell a pair of those?  No, I sold the Quartets with the Crite’s upgrades. And I gave away an incredibly sounding incredibly beat-up SET amp with them.

03/11 Direct Link

 

The screen flashes an offering:

thumbnails of women available

to nail over the hole in my soul

to keep out the wind and snow.

 

There is something out of focus

because I know

not a one of them could stick.

no staple, glue, screw, Velcro,

or legal contract would hold.

 

against the thing inside me

that would rise to shove them out,

a thing that would surprise me

as much as them,

a thing whose name and face

I would not know.

 

Yet it would be of me.

And the best of them would say,

“I wish I had known.”

03/12 Direct Link

I will plant my pole

Here

and circle round about

returning at somewhat

regular intervals

Here

as I move tethered

unwinding some

imaginary filament that allows

me to move farther from

Here

at each lap.

There are those

who will maintain that

I am only going in circles,

but I would point out that

It is never the same circle

Here.

I would ask just how straight

A line they follow that brings

Them back again and again.

Why,

I am following the mad happy

Gyre, the elliptic that covers

The world, the map of all love and

Life.

Here.

03/13 Direct Link

I think the carousel

must be tipping

and this is the reason

for your show of alarm.

 

When the platform

begins to grind slowly

against the blacktop

and the thick greased

bearing suddenly lurches

 

and breaks free…

Yes, there will be some

pain

accompanied by

nausea, retching and

disorientation.

 

But you will be free

my pretty ponies.

Free to wobble away from

this terrible tether to some

 

new finer transcendence.

Free to play in the pure meadows

of innocence, ardor

and perpetual light and

happiness and oh!

 

This way now.

Wait until the ride

has come to a complete stop.

03/14 Direct Link

The rumble and clatter

woof and bleat below

seem to shake the house

and there are times I imagine

fine whisps of dusts rising

from the foundation stove

deep into the side of this hill.

 

What you ask is the meaning

of such a racket?

And I lean closer, cupping a hand to

my ear feigning some misunderstanding,

“Huh?”

 

You lean in, louder this time.

But the wall actually seems to move

and the question seems to have yielded

to a desire to be somewhere

else.

 

I know it is she

awake, tugging at her collar,

wanting some polite

company.

03/15 Direct Link

Michael Jr. called last night looking for a place to stay for the night.  I told him this could not be a long-term solution. He replied that would then find another place. This, of course was difficult for me.  It is difficult to tell your son he cannot come live with you, no matter what reasons you have. It is also difficult when you have another angry son at your shoulder who is angry because he thinks you have already told the first son he can move in, and he wrong.  He is most likely wrong on two counts, actually.

03/16 Direct Link

This is one of those dogs

you turn loose and it runs home.

I say, what use is that?

I’m not running a delivery service here.

 

I need a dog that’ll sniff out fairies

or at least one-eyed frogs

with wings.

Even if it is an ugly dog with three

legs and bad manners indoors.

 

I want a dog that will howl

and cry

at the moon’s reflection

in its water dish and run its

ass ragged chasing a full one over

one mountain after the next

until it has forgotten it ever

had a home to go back to.

03/17 Direct Link
Looking at things
slightly hot
slightly evil
a half syllable away from innocence
and gooey rolls hot and dripping
with maddness

frenzy...I'm sure her name
was
frenzy

she wore flowers
dew damp long spring dresss
that caressed her as she walked
all those colors
those shapes
that memory keeps

never a need to rip
to discover what
memory already owns
03/18 Direct Link

I am not sure.

You may be spooky.

My lungs may be wet

from the cold weather.

 

The pressure on my

diaphragm may be

the effect of the poem

I just scrawled

on a construction fence.

It oozed and dripped

like the red paint

with which it was created

 

I am quite taken by the shape

of your shoulders and

have never seen anything

quite like your eyes.

 

We fit together in the most …

go ahead, list all the synonyms for

impossible and unlikely…

 

Yet you insist with an

unshakable confidence

that we are

like ooze

and red paint.

03/19 Direct Link

But then

construction started

on the house across the street.

Its big loud shovels,

Yellow, toothy

clotted with dirt hardened like rocks.

Bolts and hex nuts the size

of her thigh.

 and men.

Standing around the way they do.

Men yelling and grunting.

A dark lock of hair

and flash of teeth

through stubble

flying over her coffee

The slam of long boards

and smell of fresh pine

not at all.

She peeked out the front window

And then over the fence

Her gown pressed against

The damp cedar there.

Really nothing to see.

And she in her bare feet.

03/20 Direct Link

I am moving into the spring of 2005.  Michael is still living with his second wife.  He is under the headphones this morning. He gets up early and uses headphones so that he does not wake anyone else.  This is a habit he will discontinue quite suddenly in the near future, but he does not know it. His entire life as he knows it is about to be turned upside down, and soon there will be no one else to disturb.  We are talking small personal catastrophe, rather than global, so there is no need for anyone else to worry. 

 

03/21 Direct Link

My effort seems to come to little more than nostalgic remembrance of things past. What’s wrong with that?  There is little else left here.  Michael seems sometimes to believe in more and I have to admit it is contagious, that he infects me in a positive way.  Perhaps it is positive.  He convinces me that what we are doing is more than it seems.

 

Peachy called about an hour ago.  Charly has died.  Perhaps this is something like what happens to Michael when I leave.  I don’t know.  Michael is so much more reactive about it. He is not detached.

03/22 Direct Link

By December of ’06 Michael has lost his job and Terry has taken a travelling job, returning to the house every other weekend. He has a re-curing prayer rolling in his head.  Please God, don’t let her come home this weekend.  Let us be.  By Thursday the kids start getting twitchy.    On those weekends, he drives 200 miles to his parent’s house.  This is the current state of the separation.  She is not yet ready to admit that anything is wrong with the marriage.  He is dreaming rabidly. Perhaps it is the drugs.  His dreams are collages of his life

 

03/23 Direct Link

He dreams he is driving to Ohio.  In the dream the drive is an impulse, as most things in dreams are. He is driving a small green Oldsmobile, with a name that begins with a “V.” He has never had a green Oldsmobile, but his son once did.  Sleep covers the road, so that when he puts on the brakes, he hears a hissing sound, but the car does not slow.  The hissing is the car sliding on the night.  There are no other cars on the freeway.  The police have closed it down.  He has missed the barricade somehow.

 

03/24 Direct Link

The green Oldsmobile. There was an option, a choice in his life where he would have wound up owning and driving the green Oldsmobile.  Terry had talked him out of it.  Its name did not begin with a “V.”  It was an Alero.  Why did he invert the “A” in his dreams? Was he combining possible paths?   Were there any paths where he stayed with Terry?  More importantly, were there any paths in which he found peace and sanity?  What did they look like? What were those dreams?  Where was he living?  He suddenly realized that the dreams were important.

03/25 Direct Link

He had to not only realize that the dreams were important but also to retain and act on that realization.  He pauses for a moment, wondering what was the likelihood that he would remember and act on this realization.   His ears are ringing. The left side of his head aches like a cast iron skillet.   The Green V-Car is rolling down the greasy black highway toward the same death we all are scurrying toward.   What is on the other side?  Light?  Dark?   Science fiction?  Religion?  Bad Odors? More of the same?  An ache in the left side of your head?

03/26 Direct Link

It is August 2007.  Michael has been getting better. This is the month that smacks him in the head with a ball bat.  It is not like he did not see the bat, or see the man standing there in the dark with the bat.  It is not even like he knew he wasn’t going to get hit, but it was part of his role to play, to stand there and take the hit.  August 17, 2007 was the day she definitively did not show up, the day he spent on the phone listening to her pack and encouraging her.

 

 

03/27 Direct Link

In retrospect, that event probably was the final punch for him.  Others would follow, and it was characteristic of him that he would spend the day there on the phone watching it unfold, listening to it, fully aware of what was unfolding, having already seen it come and go.  He knew what was going to happen.  He knew she was lying to him, to herself, and he wanted to make it easy for her. He hated the parts where he rebelled, where he fell apart.  He knew he had defective parts that could not handle the stress of her leaving.

03/28 Direct Link

It has been two years since he moved into this apartment, and he still likes it there, although it is getting a little dirty. Used to be, he’d just move to a new apartment when that happened, but maturity seems to have made him reluctant to move. Anyway, he’s been cleaning. The coffee and end-tables he bought when he moved in still had those little squares of glue on them where he took the stickers off. He bought a can of Goof Off, mostly toluene I believe, and it worked marvelously, except now the apartment smells like he’s been huffing.

 

03/29 Direct Link

Michael will spend most of that December alone.  He will be generally unaware of this, unaware that he has been injured.  Like a wounded person who has lost too much blood to maintain an awareness of his condition, he just sloshes and slips in his own blood.  It’s a cloudy, rainy grey day here.   He continues making candles.  He continues making the magic that brings the woman’s spirit to him, that brings her heart to him.  He has remembered this much of the magic and works it ruthlessly.  He has forgotten about unintended consequences in general and about magic specifically. 

 

03/30 Direct Link

 August is for watching the butterflies play in the sunlight over the lawn below.  He wonders whether these pretty flutters are dying agonies, mindless bio-calculations, or songs of bliss. The closer he looks, the less he knows.   He can pin the wings, split the soft cockpit, and he will not find a single spark, will not hear a shriek, or a sigh of relief.  He can follow the delicate plumbing, take it apart, and explore the space between each sub-atomic particle finding nothing more than what he already knows: There is a thing he apprehends as random dance in light.

03/31 Direct Link

By August of 2009, I have left Michael.  I have left Susan.  I have returned to Michael in a vision.  I have let him see me burning holes in the ground with words of all things. When he gets to where he has seen me all he will find are scorched holes smoking in the rain.  This is the utility of words, Michael.  This is their power.  You can scorch deep holes in the ground, but you will not gain one iota of understanding, and my power is small compared to yours, if you would remember how to use it.