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BY Michael

10/01 Direct Link

It is into the old

into the ancient

and broken bone

the earth slips

tears

and gives us up

with such happy relief.

 

I am with sight today

and in the darkness I

may go where I please.

follow the stones,

the stars.

The slipping sands

move unseen into

the space between sky and

dream.

 

It is into the old ancient

broken bone I belong

cracked and filled with soft earth.

This is one place I will not seek

sleep

nor feel crushed by things I cannot

Give.

Behind the kennel.

beneath the garden’s soil,

there is no finer home.

10/02 Direct Link

It is into the new.

There is no finer

Home.

Into the soft swell

of a musical blossom

lifting you so gently

it barely wets your soul.

 

This comes from places you

have not been

and no second

third or fourth

sight or accident

of birth will have prepared

the restless mind.

 

and yet here you are

in the dark sparking lot

pressing ahead perhaps too quickly

toward the glow ahead.

 

you are caught up and suddenly want

to be there.

Feel it rising inside you

filling veins like new blood.

You don’t need to move.

You are already there.

10/03 Direct Link

Shadows,

I don’t know.

shadows of ideas,

memories,

Clouds of memories

Are all that exist.

 

And even then, colors,

the colors were too

Bright.

Or they were where

A sense of touch was

supposed to be.

 

And I think what was supposed to be

a breath of air

was somehow twisted into

your smile.

The lips I was  kissing were

clearly somewhere

Else

whispering

urgently close back in my mind

 

And fingers  dancing with hands

Somehow simultaneously caressed the back of my neck.

I was curled to my toes

And I remember thinking

even then

It could not be real.

10/04 Direct Link

I woke up looking at the alarm.

It was raining again

in a place where it shouldn’t be

but I put that away

And went down to the kitchen to make

the coffee.

I was looking at the rain when

my grandson scared me

walking up behind.

missed the bus

again.

I got dressed and drove him to school

In the rain.

I had eleven students of my own this

morning and I told one he needed to start

over again.

He said I was the best teacher he’d ever had.

And I took the garbage out in the rain.

10/05 Direct Link

I’m feeling quiet today

and things are going to be

Just fine.

Every touch leaves

its mark on me

and I have learned

to let you sleep while

I read into the night

by the memory of the

light shining

In your eyes.

They tell me I ain’t quite

right

again,

But I’ve put the garbage out

from Almonte

to Yakima

And it smells pretty much the same.

But I do not wish to complain.

I might like to dance

though, gracefully off

Into the night.

Big bare hairy toes

Scuffing leaves across

The yard.

Fox trotting toward the dawn.

 

10/06 Direct Link

There is often a simple declarative triggering event.  Rain is falling.  The wind picks up and leaves, heavy with rain begin to drop again.  I don’t know if the boys are gone or not.  I am pretty sure Michael Is gone to work.  I’d give an even chance that Daniel is sleeping past noon.  This is a public service announcement.  We are the Borg.  We will fuck you up.  Resistance is futile.  This is why everyone feels so futile.  Their levels of anti-futile have been drained during the night, so that by morning they wake up ready for the Borg.

10/07 Direct Link

It is really Saturday, not Monday.  I call my Mother every Saturday.  Ok, sometimes I do not call my mother on Saturday.  Sometimes I am in the Twist, or otherwise too fucked up to call my mother on Saturday and I call her on Sunday.  Sometimes I really fuck up and do not call her at all and in that case I can expect a call from my mother or from my father by Monday, if he has not already called on Sunday.  My mother will most likely not call herself being peeved because I have not called her Saturday.

10/08 Direct Link

It is still Saturday.  I call my Mother every Saturday.  This is a practice I highly recommend.  My mother recently had an accident which affected her hearing.  If she understood this, and if she were aware of it, she would enjoy it more.  “How is your cold?” 

“I don’t have a cold anymore.”

“Maybe you should see a doctor.”

“It only lasted a couple of days.”

“We got flu shots. You should get flu shots.”

“I might do that.”

“Well, you might have to wait then until you are over it.”

“Yes you are right.”

“Take better care of yourself.”

10/09 Direct Link

Of course my hearing is not much better than my mothers.  I have been frustrating my own children for years, and before that my employees.  I have that loss in the range of 4,000 hz where consonants are formed, so that I can tell that people are speaking, but I cannot always pick out the exact words they are saying.  So my brain has to “fill in” the missing pieces with results something like an early speech to text program.  I “hear” the dandiest things.  Everyone around me is constantly using exotic metaphors to communicate what they want for breakfast.

10/10 Direct Link

Daniel floats down the stairs.  It is still Saturday, 1:30, close to his normal Saturday wake-up time of 2:00 pm.  He wanders into the kitchen.  He is hungry.  He must want grandpa to fix him breakfast.  Grandpa should get up and fix him some breakfast.  Uck.  I need some motivation.  What is wrong with Grandpa? Why is he listening to this David Benoit GRP recording he bought at the thrift store for $1.67?  It is typical GRP David Benoit.  Sparkling recording of uninspired music and excellent technical proficiency.  Life should not be like this.  GRP you got it wrong, somehow. 

10/11 Direct Link

All humans feel fear.  It is at its base part of our heritage received from the life forms from which we have evolved.  It has a function.  It keeps us from doing things that are physically or socially dangerous.  Yet there are some of us who can turn fear off.  Even peole who are normally paralyzed with fear at their base level can perform acts which would terrify others by using simple mental tricks which isolate them from fear.  They are able to separate themselves from the body that seems threatened. It is a trick they often cannot control completely.

10/12 Direct Link

It is a simple one and I only have three more to go.  Michael is sleeping upstairs while the TV displays a show about strange sightings and a UFO. It does not even hold my attention and I wonder if it is seeping into Michael’s dreams.  It is wet out back where I work in my study in the lower part of the house.  The deer are not visiting this morning.  I wonder about my affinity for the woods.  They seem to call to me.  The call is not a loud one but it is persistent.  What do I want?

10/13 Direct Link

I don’t know what to think.  They sneak around behind me and then crawl out onto the back porch like reptiles.  I feel like I have been violated.  They must have left a door open.  I can already smell the cigarette smoke.  I’m going to need an Ativan here.  Strike one?  I said we’d try it out.  It is already invasive.  I knew it would be invasive.  Can I have a couple friends over for a couple hours?  What’s a couple friends?  Four or five.  What’s a couple hours?  Ten o’clock.  That’s five hours.  I know exactly what to think.

10/14 Direct Link

I don’t know what made the ears start ringing again.  The curioser thing is that sometimes they stop.  The ringing is the normal state and I would not even notice it except that sometimes they stop and this stopping has me wondering if it is a sugar level or a congestion level or some other thing that I can control making them ring and there is, consequently something I can do to make them stop.  But Jesus, what madness that thinking can lead to.   I was so sure that she would come if only I would do the right thing.

10/15 Direct Link

I will not say it is easy

(The hunger preceeds me

My brain is on fire.)

 

The man boy darts up

The stairs with his package

To hide it while his mother

Slips away from the door.

 

I do not know what brew

From what hell she may

Have brought me this time

But I am responsible

Yes

For sending the message

“The boy needs a visit from his mother.”

 

These things are about control

And I am obviously not

In control

It is not easy.

There is much turbulence and

I seem to have been heavily

Sedated.

Falling free.

10/16 Direct Link

There are times (too many of them) when I seem to exist only in this document.  These words exist.  The entity typing the words, writing these words or whatever it is doing, does not exist.  These words exist.  They have always existed.  They will always have existed.  They will never cease to have existed.  They do not lend any credibility to a “me.”  When I walk away from here I begin to lose coherence.  I begin to fade and start to be absorbed by the ideas and things around me.  I no longer exist. If I come back I might.

10/17 Direct Link

I had a plan, one that provided for continuing as well. But of course there is something else nudging at me that seems to need digesting first.  So I must deal with it. I am setting an alarm for one hour and 45 minutes from now on my phone to wake me at 6:30 should I go to sleep.  I suppose this is part of …what? 

It is part of the thing nudging at me now, nudging me so that I have made the coffee, taken the Ativan, and settled down at the keyboard where I will surely fall asleep.

10/18 Direct Link

It is part of the thing nudging at me that I have settled down at the keyboard where I will surely fall asleep even though my new chair is not as comfortable as the old one was.  I no longer know how many chairs I have gone through but my son says I have gone through three, maybe four in fairly rapid succession in the past few years, all with the same problem: the left arm broken off.  I paid attention to how I used my chair and discovered after some study that I had literally pushed the things apart.

10/19 Direct Link

Yes, I had developed a habit of getting up by pushing out on the arms and that pressure over a short period of time—less than a year for the last chair—literally pushed these chairs apart.  So now I dismount moving forward slightly and pressing down on the arms.  I got this chair at the local Salvation Army and it is made differently.  The frame is not half-inch plywood but is solid wood some pieces of which are two inches thick.  One piece still has the bark on it.  The springs look like they came off a ’48 Buick.

10/20 Direct Link

The upholstery on my new chair is worn in a few places, but nowhere is it worn through. A solid supple leather, I think it will last many years.  Add to this that it is a sort of maroon color that matches absolutely nothing in my house, it is sure to last forever just for spite.

My fingers pause.  I respire.  After this many years of breathing in and out it is an act that desires to be designated as respiration.  Breathing is too pedestrian a word for this and I have long ago become far too conscious of it.

 

10/21 Direct Link

Of course I did have a plan for starting here, an ambitious plan, and I still have this plan, but I will have to shove it aside for a while.  I yawn.  My eyes close.  My head falls back against the chair and I consider taking out my bite splint.  I reach for a drink of my coffee.

 I am feeling a little weak in the middle.  I may have pulled a muscle or something but it is nothing to worry about.  I have wonderful genetic powers of self-healing.  My family history is full of impossible stories about similar things.

10/22 Direct Link

Genetic super powers.  Now there is something to consider. My family is full of babbling rocking chairs whispering these unlikely stories but no one has ever stopped to consider their meaning.  I have because I have actually lived through several of them.  My father is a 90-year-old walking medical impossibility.  My mother may well be too, although it would be strange for them both to have the gene that one of my physician friends described to me.  The superman gene he called it.  A free ticket, he said, to do whatever you want in life, medically anyway and never worry.

10/23 Direct Link

This bite splint is coming out.  I gently let my jaws align, finding their place, along teeth that are in the wrong place.  I should go back to my old dentist, the one who simply fixed a problem instead of arguing that I didn’t have it in the first place.  I was a much happier man when my own teeth fit together when I closed my mouth.  People always underestimate their teeth.

I had this beautiful plan for proceeding here but it went out the window along with my night’s sleep when at two AM my grandson came home drunk.

10/24 Direct Link

I had this carefully crafted plan for working here, but it went out the window when at two AM my grandson came home drunk crashing up the stairs and pounding me from a sound sleep. I became angry.  I so rarely become angry but I was blood vessel popping angry tonight and I had to think because when you are angry, well it seems to me that you are rarely angry about the thing you think you are angry about; rather you are often angry about something else.  And truly, I have no idea yet what I was angry about. 

10/25 Direct Link

I yawn, rub my eyes and wonder if I will have the mental acuity to deal with my job this morning.  I can skimp on some parts, but most of it is one-on-one teaching and most of my students are smart enough that I have to be alert to confront them. I have noticed that when I am getting sleep, my teaching goes well and my class schedules are full.  When I am shorting my sleep, my teaching gets ragged and I begin to get gaps in my class schedules.  No sleep means longer hours in the evenings writing corrections. 

10/26 Direct Link

I pause again, actually placing my hands on my chest to rest.  At this rate I will most likely actually fall asleep around 5:30 and will soundly sleep through my first two or three classes.  Yes Madam Supervisor, I had a phone problem this morning.  It is very similar to the phone problem I have on Friday nights that is going to require me to take full control of the house network and shut down all x-box, laptop, TV and phone internet traffic while I am trying to teach.  I am not sure this will solve my Friday night problem

10/27 Direct Link

I think the issue is that on Friday nights the entire country is hogging what bandwidth there is and there is not enough. 

This chair is by far one of the most uncomfortable chairs I have ever had.  I simply cannot find a comfortable position in it even though it is nearly infinitely adjustable.  Perhaps it may be that I just have not learned to use it.  Like so many other things that come with such a vast array of capabilities I find I am overwhelmed and pick only the basic few I need to “get along” with the beast.

10/28 Direct Link

I just don’t think sleeping is possible in this chair.  But how can you tell whether sleeping is possible in a chair when you are buying it?  That is a thing you have to actually test pilot to know, preferably a couple of times.  You cannot just plop down in a showroom chair and say “this is it.”  It doesn’t work that way.

Now when I close my eyes I can hear myself making funny noises with my mouth as I breathe.  I am that close to going to sleep.  I really need to move this show to the couch.

10/29 Direct Link

 I only have an hour left before it’s time to begin work.  God I am going to be a mess.  What will it be?  More coffee or an hour’s sleep?

It turned out to be the hour’s sleep, and it was not nearly enough.  I had this devilish plan for proceeding here but it has been said that while it is necessary, planning is useless.  I slept through my 6:15 alarm upstairs.  I think Michael Jr. must have turned it off.  Why he didn’t wake me, I don’t know.  Fortunately, I had set my phone as a backup down here.

10/30 Direct Link

The teaching was difficult, I could not possibly take notes, and I was propping my head up with both hands while talking.  Headsets are wonderful inventions.  I am still grateful to my son Tom for the Jabra he got for me.  I had an elegant plan for the work here, but it has been set aside for the moment.  I was scheduled for three fairly solid hours of teaching, retiring to the couch behind my desk at the bell, with the fireplace going.  It was cold this morning.  It’s been getting that way, running close to freezing in the mornings.

10/31 Direct Link

Ach.  Splot for the fantastic illumination I had before I sat down to work here.   Perhaps that was the problem, coming to the workstation ass first.  If I only had come in with the presence of mind to stand on my head or to sit on my own face.  I was sleeping when the boys left, yet I knew they were leaving, so in and out of sleep I was, but I had lost track of the time.  I think I got up in the afternoon, early.  Maybe it was one o’clock.  I had this great idea to write about.