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BY Michael

08/01 Direct Link

I am munching on my late-morning bowl

of oatmeal and music. 

 

The music feeds

as well as the oatmeal

I’ll warrant. 

I have not read

the scientific description of how

the music is digested and

absorbed into the blood stream. 

Nor do I understand its

transformation into

carbohydrates and complex sugars. 

I do not know how long it will

fuel me or whether

it is lasting food or

if I will require frequent

re-fuellings.

There are no pocket guides

to calculate

for a man of my height

eye color and weight

the proper proportions of

jazz, chamber, or

Vitamin Zappa. 

08/02 Direct Link

The sky is seeking rain

This afternoon

In the old way.

In that way the shaman

seeks a successful hunt

by picturing an antlered antelope

pierced

bloody

dragged down

by a group of cheering

healthy hominids.

 

We rise to work

the sky magic this same way

drawing in darker soft stones

the tumbling clouds in the sky

splitting them with the forked tongue

lightening spear

piercing the

rain cloud bell heart

and the wind

tossing the trees

with wild abandon

ripping leaves

it splatters our faces

with hints of secret wet ink runes.

Breathe deeply. She

Is coming very soon.

08/03 Direct Link

Grey sky Blue sky

Moon sky in the morning

This sky hides her face

And will not whisper the way

Like an angry wife she walks

Beside us

in silence

We can fall into a hole

Or walk off a cliff

But her face will not change.

 

She will follow us

With heavy air

Making the sweat flow

Down our backs.

Our heads will itch inside

So that we forget to

Rest

Forget to hunt.

we break like

Rotting sticks throwing ourselves

At her feet

Begging for a breeze

Asking that that night she will

Kiss us with a star.

08/04 Direct Link

I have forgotten how this thing is supposed to go;

whether it is to be a lattice

intricate with countless shining

beam and girder

resting on the finest of points that

the zoning board will relentlessly pound

into a solid foundation. 

There was a day I would have been

one of the young men who

would have walked by and casually

set his shoulder to it to

give the whole thing a spin. 

I would have designed it so it would

have required only that much thrust. 

 

I sit beneath

 

imagining the great round windows  

bursting out one by one.

08/05 Direct Link

Well yes It is another day very nearly like any other. Except for the uncertainty. And yet uncertainty itself is an opportunity. It is an opportunity to choose the thing you want, using the uncertainty as an excuse. It is reason to open dialogue about the object of uncertainty to clarify the situation or even to talk about the uncertainty itself and how the uncertainty developed and the various things it could lead to.  One could take it as an opportunity to point out that not communicating is unhealthy in general, or to discuss what not communicating inevitably leads to.

08/06 Direct Link

The boys are sleeping downstairs this morning which must mean that the closed doors upstairs are hiding the girls.  I know I went to bed late this morning with the sounds of the party still in full bloom still telling myself that I would have to tell Daniel that I would never be able to sleep though all that noise and that was the last thought I recall.  The house is a little stuffy this morning and I open a couple doors to let it breathe, and I pick up the dishes and start the dishwasher.  I start the laptop.

08/07 Direct Link

When I saw you last night I was struck by my inability to communicate anything meaningful.  It is as if my recent experiences are from a place that has no antecedents in my current culture and language and are so alien that my attempts to speak of them erupt as squeaks, gawks and useless noises and gestures that only surprise and embarrass me.  So I silence myself and go away.  It is safe to say that I sleep a lot and that I seem to want to sleep a lot and I am not sure to what that is due.

08/08 Direct Link

I feel around the walls of this 100-words thing.  It is both a trap and an apparatus that allows me to breathe.  It is a cage.  It is the size to which this part of my world has been reduced.  It is the measure of exactly how much energy I have left.  And it is a kind of energy because as I complete this, I fall asleep as often as not.  I think at times to escape this confinement, but I realize that a confined life is certainly better than none and it is not that I am unhappy here.

08/09 Direct Link

We are all liars:

Liars by preference,

Liars by profession,

Liars by lives

lived behind drapes of intimation

and partial confession.

 

We are the liars of lights

where lives are dim,

glowing in pearlescent moisture,

reaching dark‑gloved into the last seats,

packed into the backs of halls

where words hammer

softly on stained, chipped

rough-plastered walls.

 

We are liars stove up

and closed off from the truth,

talking fast with our backs

turned into the silence,

into the consequence.

into the betrayal

into the boards

 

Come here.

COME HERE!

Step into the hall,

where we are all

agreed to conform.

 

08/10 Direct Link

Life seems less dense these days as if the molecules are scattering apart and everything is a translucent fog only loosely held together by an idea of what it once thought it might be.  I reach for an idea remember the spider outside my window and I think it may be the same spider that has been there for several years and that may be why it is so damn big that it causes a chill to go up the side of my head when I consider it.  A spider that big defies logic and catches birds in its claws.

08/11 Direct Link

I bought a new vacuum cleaner today.  I’m not entirey sure I needed one.  Sometimes these things are not as clear cut as they should be.  The old one just was not picking things up.  It was wheezy and had some congestion deep in the motor.  It was one of the household appliances that failed the first week after my grandson moved in.  It was a seventy-five dollar vacuum that had lasted six years, a fair deal it seemed, and after looking at the Dysons I bought another just like the one that had died,   Up to ninety-nine dollars now. 

08/12 Direct Link

It seems that I am hungry.

I’ve not had breakfast and

how can you think of anything

else when you’re hungry?

 

A hungry man will do about

anything and his mind is

likely to wander anywhere.

he is likely to write

just about anything.

 

A hungry man is certainly

not to be

trusted and a hungry woman

With a hungry child is a …

But there are some things I am simply

Not allowed to write about.

The 1976 convention on limitations

of subjects available to consideration

By persons of certain sex, ethnic origin or economic

Status prohibits my comments.

08/13 Direct Link

It is not the light.

Light makes no difference.

You can taste light--

true.

Like honey lemon tea

pouring over the locust leaves

in early autumn

in the evening.

like spicy orange peels

pressed into the sand

flickering in the morning

in the summer.

 

Ok, but light

Makes no difference.

 

I acknowledge it has a certain weight

in the afternoon cutting through the dust

or marking its own passage through objects

that may not have been there before

and that in that it may

lend a body a certain sense of

internal illumination

not yet seen.

 

But light

matters not.

08/14 Direct Link

My grandson has left off chopping on the hedge with the chainsaw and has gone out on the back deck to smoke.  He says he has quit because I got angry.  The hedge looks like a teenage chainsaw project.  I am not angry about the hedge, although I did get angry about his being contentious.  That is what he is, more than any of my other children have been.  He will take up verbal arms against nearly any statement or position.   You find you start having nothing at all to say so you do not have to argue pointlessly with him.

08/15 Direct Link

Well, he did paint the deck and it looked pretty good, all except for the patch in front of the door which did not get painted.  “We need more paint,” he explained.  “Except for the paint which I left in the pan.”  I look at the size of the patch in front of the door and the amount of paint left in the pain.  I estimate the cost of another gallon of paint.  He will argue for a gallon, of course, although a pint would be nice.  Maybe this weekend would be a good time to go for more paint. 

08/16 Direct Link

There are times I am about to write something that I know will get me in trouble.  Like the time I said the bad thing about GM and all my GM students instantly were withdrawn from my classes.  Not that I went hungry, or even saw a reduction in student load.  I did miss talking to the engineers because the GM engineers were more interesting than the Samsung engineers to talk to.  (Does this mean the Samsung students will now go away?)  I do not know why the GM engineers were more interesting.  Hiring policies?  The Samsung engineers are younger. 

08/17 Direct Link

But that is not what is bothering me.  It is this Syria thing.  The chemical weapons and so on.  Our need to start another war.  Mr. President we cannot afford another war.  You know this.  They do not recognize our rule which they violated and we will be in turn violating a rule of theirs that we do not recognize.  In turn they and some friends will violate some rules of ours we they refuse to recognize.  Could you look up from the ground for a moment and into the future for some original idea here?  Isn’t Napalm a chemical?

08/18 Direct Link

The grandson is out with granny Goodwitch, granny Glenda.  He is not at school.  He had a neurologist appointment today, although he does not normally have school on Friday, although he does have school on Friday once a month.  he was scheduled to have it this Friday because he had no school this Monday, but he was scheduled for the neurologist although the appointment did not come off because his mother failed to get the proper insurance authorization and the doctor wants to be paid.  He will turn them away if they do not have proper authorization.  Neurologists are smart.

08/19 Direct Link

I got my new driver’s license today.  I was delighted to see that I had great picture.  Who would have thought I could have a wonderful picture on a driver’s license?  I should celebrate and take it out for drinks, but no one would card me and I would not get to show off my new picture.  I could just go down the street door to door and show people my new picture.  Look at that handsome fella!  Check out nice smile and those great teeth.  I wonder if they have a DMV smile they just pasted over my face.

08/20 Direct Link

My grandson and I are not speaking.  It was a rough afternoon.  He thinks we are not speaking because I am angry about the paintjob on the deck.  Actually I stopped being angry about that a long time ago and am letting him continue to think that because I am enjoying the quiet.  He is a contentious fellow and such an expert on everything that it is easier to let him think I am angry with him and not speaking than to deal with his friendly conversation sometimes.  And he truly did make an awful mess of painting the deck.

08/21 Direct Link

Maybe I have had some difficulty sorting out the boy.  He did sort of appear on my doorstep unexpectedly and although I have had experience with raising them, each child is unique.  They are like snowflakes or maple leaves, only much more complicated.  Ok, so I look forward to days when his fairy grandmother steals him or he spends the night with a friend.  It is a sort of relief.  The last relative who had him wouldn’t let him spend the night with friends.  How silly.  It is essential!   I would not survive without “friend breaks.”  He is so consuming.

08/22 Direct Link

Yes, he is a high maintenance boy.  Grandpa where are you???!!!!  Will you fix me a breakfast sausage? Would you go get me a ladder? My internet doesn't work. Did you shut me off? Grandpa I am sorry I was a dick 15 minutes ago. I love you grandpa. Grandpa can I have some cigarettes? My girlfriend is mad at me; what do I do? Grandpa I am boring. Grandpa you need to buy a phone plan. I almost called you dad. Can I use the dresser downstairs?  Are you using this remote?  Is Christmas a big deal with you?

08/23 Direct Link

I have been an audiophile for a long time.  An audiophile is a kind of a junkie.  My grandson teases me when he catches me looking at pictures of bright red 300-b tube amplifiers on the internet.  He calls it my audio porn.   A real hardware junky is anyone who has more invested in his equipment than his music…some will tell you more than his house these days.  For sure they are characterized by an obsessive desire to collect more audio-related trinkets, amplifiers, squeakers, wires, you name it.  And yes, they stay up late at night looking at audio porn.

08/24 Direct Link

I’ve thinking about buying a new trimmer for about a week now.  I started to several days ago.  I wanted  to just get another electric trimmer.  “You can’t,” said grandson.  “You have to get a gas one.” 

“Huh?”  I don’t want a gas one.”

“Sure you do.  They are better. I’m the one who is going to use it.”

“You never use it.  You are moving back to the UK in three months.”

“Gas is cheaper than electricity.  You will be wasting your money.”

“I don’t want another gas can just for the 2-cycle mix.”

“You won’t need another can.”

08/25 Direct Link

Grandson and I were at Home Depot today and I sneaked off to look at trimmers.  I was holding a Toro when I heard a woman’s sharp voice, “Don’t ever buy anything Toro. It’s a big mistake.  I looked up.  She tore the Toro out of my hands and threw it down in the aisle.  “Here,” she shoved a Ryobi in my hands.”  This is what you want.

“Yeah, that’s what I been talking about.”  It was grandson behind her.  He took the Ryobi from me and started revving it.  It was battery powered and the battery was live.  I backed away. 

08/26 Direct Link

Can I have a car for Christmas?  Grandpa I’m sorry I was a dick 30 minutes ago.  I love you grandpa.  I really need a cigarette.  Grandpa don't be such a dick.  We need barbecue sauce grandpa.  Where is the barbecue sauce then?  How was I supposed to know that?   Want to go out on the porch with me while I smoke a cigarette grandpa? I think I need a car before I get a job.  How do I get to the job without a car?  I don't want to be a bother to you.  What does contentious mean, grandpa?

08/27 Direct Link

This morning has not yet been noted by anyone.

She must not yet obey any particular laws

of morality of man or god or physics or

classification keys

as she slowly shakes her hair and loosens

the cool autumn breeze through her limbs.

 

A white seed pod is lifted from the ground

qscending in nearly a straight line, wavering

slightly and the colors begin to

fine tune as the first automobile slides down

the street, but the driver takes no note.

The sun breaks over rooftops piercing and straightening

great groaning trees,

turning and polishing leaves,

mumbling, still half asleep.

 

08/28 Direct Link

It was because it rained yesterday

Again

That the air became moist

And the varnish on the stair rail became sticky.

Oh I am sure this is some sign of inadequate

Housekeeping on my part

Or that the varnish needs to be re-done

Or something.

At the very least that I should have paid more attention

To the  humidity before I let grandson turn

On the exhaust fan to

Blow the stink out of his bedroom

It will be better this morning though

If it does not rain again oh look

An entire tree has turned gold before my eyes!

08/29 Direct Link

 

I have a new take on the Syrian situation.  President Shrewd is presiding now instead of President Dimwit.  He has thought this through and has no intent of throwing biological weapons of mass destruction—American soldiers—or even chemically based electronic weapons against this country.  Instead his plan is to whip up a frenzy of excitement and to publish the plight of the people while it becomes obvious that he can do nothing himself because he has no support.  This way he retains the support of everyone, and even does a little to solve the problem.  Wonderfully played Mr. President!

 

08/30 Direct Link

I dragged my IPod out of the washing machine yesterday.  Headphones and all.  Was it a message that I have not been exercising regularly enough that I left it unattended long enough to fall prey to the laundry?  It is the little Nano.  The question on my mind, of course is, “will it work?  "I can think of all sorts of reasons why it might or might not, and I have not turned it on yet.  I have seen things like this go through the wash and work fine—well sort of fine after drying out for a few days.

08/31 Direct Link

The Nextgen bridge crew is at their stations, staring at their view screen watching the stars flash by.  They must be in warp drive or something.  This is the worst part of their job, the endless days of sitting in the comfortable chairs watching the same tape loop of starr roll by on the view screen.  The empathy is getting nervous.  She has started realizing she can actually read minds.  It is not what she thought it would be.  Sometimes there are voices, sometimes a jumble, but mostly they are blank.  That is the scary part. Especially Piccard.  Totally blank.