On Father’s Day 

Perfect night to perfect day. Seventies, clear, clouds like warships marching through the sky. Dad came out, went in on a rant about the curse of the family name, showed a big gash in his head, which he got after a pack of unconscientious gals at the coffee shop got him all riled up and he bumped his head on his car getting in. I don’t like when he says that, that we got bad luck, bad mojo, seems a self-fulfilling prophecy to me. 

Why can’t our genes be associated with victory, success, fortune? I smiled though and listen, even joke in a similar vain, accounting my own similar and recent bad luck, AC went out on Honda, needed new rooters and breaks on the truck. There’s no point, and its negative to fight it. Instead I hijack the genes on my own time, the story in my own mind. We have to accept the darker undertones of the tale, a bastard’s journey to kingship, return of the prodigal son. But what does Promise Land look like? I’ve been forced to consider. 

There’s irony in my Dad’s dark outlook, it’s the other side of over confidence. He was always pretty successful socially, friends, girlfriends. In his high school senior picture he looks like Super Man, Christopher Reeves incarnation. Tall, handsome, full head of hair, stylish white bell bottoms. The caption says he’s helping a younger student. He was class President, Captain of the football team, scholarship offers for wrestling. He idealized those times. His Mom and Dad divorced his senior year. I think this is what got him. Grandpa went a little wild, was an alcoholic. I’m convinced Grandma Gene,  Grandpa Pete’s mom, was a witch, a good one. She made little piles of rocks all through out her yard, stacked up at night under the moon and stars. I feel her in me when I stand in the field at dusk; we are happy, at home. 

Britney cooked huge steaks and veggie packs on the grill. Ran a notable grill, orangey grey charcoal stack. Grandpa played ring-leader with the gang. They teased and provoked, debating how the water balloons would be dished out after lunch. I feel and realize my clone like nature watching it all. How we are the same just slight variations in time and space, even my wife, and how we put up facade of separateness, but it doesn’t mean anything. My Mom had a falling out with her Mom, didn’t talk for years. But I realized later they probably thought about each other more cause of that, obsessively and neurotically probably. 

After lunch we had the water ballon fight and then jumped my rider mower, my Father’s Day miracle. I thought it was done, but we pushed it to my Dad’s car while the boys took turn steering. I could tell the old man had the itch to mow, he’s recently moved from his big yard, but he let me have at it, and went inside with the boys.

I checked in on them later, sat there in a row yucking it up and playing video games. There’s something here that transcends the tawdry, and cheap word “love”, but that’s what it is. It makes my cells ache, yearning to make it permanent, imprint it on the over-soul for eternity. But true success is only when you let go, praise and love, but don’t grasp. I finished my mowing. The farm is looking great. I’m happy like kid. Blessed on a perfect day, so lucky. 

Perfect Night in Des Moines 


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It was a perfect night tonight. The heat broke, has been ninety plus for almost two weeks. Won’t really rain, just spit. Left our little Eden and went to the big city Des Moines, for dinner with wife’s coworkers. There are those nights, summer nights, where everything thing seems clean, shiny, put together. Des Moines is quintessential fly-over country and I hope it stays that way for ever. I truly hesitate to even brag about it publicly, so as not to alert the unwashed masses of its awesomeness. One of the main reasons is per-capita, pound to pound, Des Moines is actually a world class food city. It fertile lands and deep agricultural roots, along with its geographic centerness has brought many influences and culturals to bare. 

This agricultural industry have created stronger economic health. This and things like the caucuses have made Iowa oddly relevant at times. I think Iowa, and probably that whole region is like the United States’ shire. There’s a good mix of political and ideological left and rightness, which at the current time and day strikes a unique and important balance. People are generally friendly, respectful, and none portentous, excluding the author, of course.

I like my wife’s gang at work. Their ornery and silly, and I’m sure they’ve banded together in the trenches of the modern health care system; these people have seen some shit. We ate at Bubbas downtown. They serve quality Southern style dishes, fried chicken and waffles, chicken fried steak, white cheddar grits, home jams, corn breads, mac and cheese, red beans and rice. They have an extensive booze selection. I had a Bubba julep, bourbon and mint and something called a Porch Sipper which was delicious, think it was bourbon, but had cucumbers, basil, mints and something sour in it. We shared and laughed. The server was charming and informative. Bubbas has a classy old school lounge and bar. And you know what, it shares a sizable class. Hell, right next store is a French-influenced restraunt Django, which look qaulity as well. There are more delicious and interesting things to eat in Des Moines then I can even try to get too. 

Driving around admiring the city, the patios were packed with people, smiling, with their friends, enjoying their Saturday night. Hope. Potential. Food is so much more than just a basic need. I was ranting about this to Brit after I came in from farm chores last night. How I didn’t want to be in Nature, but Of Nature. Part of it, not an explorer penetrating it, controlling it. How I feel a symbiotic relationship with my plants, wedding and watering them, how I nourish them and they nourish me, and how kids and families were like this; you nourish them, they nourish you. Talked about this video I saw about kids in India pulling a giant python out of the river for fun, playing with it, and how we still jump at garter snakes. How it’s better to relax about bugs and critters. Accept the swarm around you, pulsating with life. 

We got home and the skies took to play. Summer storms yearning to rain, but empty, dry. The lightening in the distance, striking a portrait at will. Chay comes to get me from bed, says the grey lights out his open window are freaking him out. Light slices the canvas, highlighting bulking, thickly painted clouds. An ocean of fireflies undulate in front yard of the house, dancing in the electric atmosphere. Fireflies. Never knew there could be so many fireflies….

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Gipsy Fortune Teller
Houdini-Gresham 

Washington, D.C., the nation’s most beautiful city, heart of the democracy, hub of the forty-eight states was in 1926 also the city most infested with palm readers, astrologers, message mediums, slate writers, crystal workers, and “rag head rackets” generally. In the shabbier residential neighborhoods their shingles, showing an upraised palm, were thick; sometimes almost every brownstone house to the block had its prognostication parlor. (264) 

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Houdini-Gresham 

Vaudeville tempo had changed mightily during the time Houdini was away, selling Liberty Bonds and making motion pictures. The country seemed to be marching to Georgie Cohan’s “Over There.” Autos were faster and roads were better for them to be faster on. Pioneer Station KDKA in Pittsburgh had begun daily broadcasts and America was in the grip of a new mania soon to replace the Ouija board–sitting crouched over crystal sets with earphones clamped to its ears. The big build-it-yourself radio boom was just around the next corner. And to a generation that had gone through the First World War, the sight of a man jumping of a bridge and getting out of handcuffs under water created no hysteria. (227) 

Two weeks from mission complete.

Two weeks from mission complete. I’ve been on hiatus from computer, running operations. Shut the internet down. Felt good. For years now, about six, ever since we bought our first house, or rather got a mortgage on a house, wife and I have pined for the country life. Big lots, less people density, farm-stuff, crazy gardens, chickens, maybe a pig or two, who knows? Things had reached a feverish pitch roughly two months ago. As our kids are getting older 2, 4, and 6, change is looking less scary and more revitalizing. We came to the conclusion we would start trying to sell our house in February of 2017, but as we sat there one night and thought about it more, like the fact it could take several months or more to get it done, and no better time then the present, and really what was stopping us? We knew a lot of course (Contingent Contracts, Winter, etc.), and it has ended up being a lot, but none the less, here we sit, two weeks from closing on our current house and a new farm house on December 23, 2016.

It’s sort of remarkable really. I’m still in the whirlwind of it all to relate it appropriately. There’s secrets in all this. Which I will relate for a small fee. If you’re a cheaper, wiser man, I will tell you the key right now. The key is best summed up by the title of book I read once, by Susan Jeffers called Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway. That’s it. Dreams always hold this element of fear. You fear you and it won’t live up to your expectations, you fear the hard work and change a dream might entail. Your Will scans for hurdles as you plot the course, and highlights easiest solution to these hurdles, which can often make giving up seem like the best option. But it’s not, feeling that fear, rolling in it, chewing on it, sucking back the sickening slurp and hocking it out, and doing what you want to, is the best feeling you’re gonna find, I say. I think the only exception is stupid stuff, like really stupid stuff, jumping out of plane, no parachute. But maybe that’s the key to flying, Faith of a mustard seed and all that.No, physical safety first, then any unreasonable, but awesome dream should be pursued.Forget the rest of it.

It’s practical too. You pursue a dream, and you will learn skills which help in other areas. Maybe guitar won’t make you immediately rich and successful, but all that practice, focus, and pleasure in progress, leads to a person who can accomplish even more challenging tasks.

Then one day you’ll hold the guitar, or the paintbrush, or hammer, and you’ll realize your doing things you didn’t know how to do before. To be great you have to do something that will make you scared. Seems some important paradox in that. Just too damned excited about it all to pontificate more. Ill be back…

P.S. Just knocked back some heavies ones in the Literature realm, Lolita, Orxy and Craker,   As I Lay Dying, The End of Eternity, amazing works, so much to say in response may have to do a dangers of Padding the Reading Part 2. Dystopia had a me a little worn thin in all that though, had to look away, Lot’s wife.  But that’s the true power of the bitter pill, there’s secrets there too, I think. Every read any of those? Let’s talk about them!

Morning Stream

Middle of the night Kein, 4 yrs old, made a run for Mom and Dad’s bed, because it was “so comfortable” The several attempts included a potty break and snuggles from Mom. He does the stiff hand on the bed karate chop, his face coming through the shadows, “I just want to sleep in your bed.” Cute, infuriating. Parenthood.

Woke up to this article, from New York Post titled “Cops arrest knife-wielding clown who chased teen on subway.” I suggest you read it. Take a good look at the picture of the guy. Think about It for a second. Seems to be three options, all of which make me uncomfortable. First one, the money motive. Someone is paying these people to do these pranks, which are actually crimes. The second the perpetrators themselves get off on the act of scaring other people, and the attention, maybe like veteran-clowns down on their luck (the guy was 53).  A version of number two, these people are attentions seeking individuals and really, really, stupid. Or lastly these may just be demon infested, killers clowns from outer space. The second seems the most likely  one and scariest of all. The perpetrators are just like fractured, arrested-development weirdos who don’t get that they’re endangering themselves and others.

There was something about how well that guy was put together that makes me think it’s not number two though. I know crazy people can dress snappy, but its the subtlety of the outfit that gets me. Perfect clown get-up, but blended with the large coat into a grey-man everyday look. Allowing him to get to his stage, before his mission was blown. It’s not over the top. It seems attention seeking, thrill seekers, would want to go for a little more flair in the act.

Couple kids put a school on lock down in my city a couple weeks back dressing up as clowns. My six year old came home talking about the clowns which were scaring everybody. The neighbor kids had been hyping them up. I wanted to write this Literary Theory type of Essay, in the draft I started I titled it The Thin-Line Between Fact & Fiction”. The basic premise was because of how much artificial entertainment the average person ingested in a day through TV and computers, that they now spent more time in that artificial environment then the real, natural world. But further, that if we could sort of transport ourselves over there, what was to say those things couldn’t, and didn’t push back. Stephen King who has made several of these meta-moves in his own work is an interesting way to look at this. The merger of literature and film itself seems to be one of these processes of manifesting the imagination, and he definitely played a role there as well.

The point of all of it was to suggest maybe we need to sober up, dry out. Give our legs a stretch. Get out of the frontal lobe. Dive down into our bones, our heels. That we were losing something, merging with something else. Something that would dehumanize us. The clowns are scary. I also saw this video the other day, about this even more real knife attack in a New York subway. Someone had videoed it on their phone. The men wrestle and then one of them beings stabbing. People clear out, except for the random straggler who tries to scoot passed the scene. The guy who is stabbing has an accomplice, who tells the people who half try to intervene to “keep moving”.

Well, that’s all before the coffee. Take away point, watch your back! Think about things. I think they call it “situational awareness”. See subtle signs of clown gear, make sure you smile at the guy , and look him in the eye. Make sure he’s one of the good ones. And like the guy in other video said, “keep moving”, everything is okay. Not really. That came off a little menacing. I apologize.

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Ursula. K. Le Guin-Lavinia

Though people often confused it with weakness or duplicity, tact is a great quality in a ruler, whether of a country or a household; awareness of the other allows respect, and people respond to it, returning the recognition and the respect. Aeneas governed with tact, and was beloved for it. (204)

Later…

11:46AM Got over 1k words on WIP, pretty great, scary stuff. I don’t dare divulge the premise at this point, but it’s ornery as hell. I realize I didn’t explicitly answer the why, in the why are things so fucked post. I was getting there in umbra talk, the immaterial state of existence and nonexistence, which we emerge from. The truth is I’m not exactly sure why things are so fucked. I have theories, speculations, evidence, but not really a specific why. Perhaps there isn’t one why like that, some all inclusive answer. Perhaps the question is just too general to really matter. I see that.

4:16PM Realized angst-ridden rant posts are part of problem. As an apology I offer a list of solutions to the Suck…

-Jimi Hendrix
-Sunshine
-Foot Rubs
-Laughter
-Hot Coffee
-Dancing
-Dirt
-Sex
-Conversation with the Muse
-Effigy Mounds
-Pyramid at Giza
-The Sphinx
-Ray Bradbury
-Sunflowers
-Our Fathers and Hail Marys
-Ten Deep Breaths With Your Eyes Closed

Why are things so fucked? AKA The Problem of Evil, An Anecdote

Probably happens to you, watching the news, sitting in traffic, waiting in line at Wal-Mart, it just hits you, things are totally fucked. I see evidence everywhere. Giant grey produce bins at the grocery store. I like to go as early as I can. Avoid the fuck-stuff. Produce manager’s job every morning is to come remove the spoiled, wasted food. It’s a big bin. For days I’ve watched him just loading it to the brim. Delicious greens, pears, bananas, all just left to rot, then to the dumpster. I think about how much waste this grocery store has in a year. How little fruits and vegetables this neighborhood actually consumes.

Getting gas. “Kyle! Kyle!” A man screamed across the parking lot at his friend. Guys hops out the truck. There old friends, probably High School buddies, slap each other on the back. Start reminiscing. Saw the Texas plates. Thought it looked like you. Figured it had to be. Fuck, how you been? Good, good. How long you been in town? Few weeks, you live around here now? Yep, just a couple blocks up. Awesome, yeah I’m staying with my parents. They live in these apartments, social security type thing, up on 33rd street. Oh great…When did the arrested development phase of humanity begin, my mind wonders? I’m pretty sure I was born into it. I can testify to its presence from my earliest memories, say circa 1987. I’m sure I was aware of it then. Its colors are Pepsi red and blue, synthesizers and bass, Aquanet, smooth tanned thighs.

From research, and considering good USA specifically, I think the Great Depression strikes might me as a likely starting point. Maybe more broadly we would want to place it during the Industrial Revolution, 1760-1840s, when the massive modern cities were created, and people left their agriculture and tribal roots and got in the race for the dinero. But that’s just the “arrested development”, no more human beings phase, the true fuckery, well that’s as old as time itself isn’t it? Isn’t a bigger fuckery than the umbra itself, the primordial black abyss that spawned the whole thing. Where laws of physics and causation are suspended, anything is possible, welcome to La-La-Land. Table of two. We’ll get you right over here. Next to Larry, his wife Marge, a six pack of tall-boys, and a cartoon of cheap cigarettes. Would you like a t-shirt?

Lady at my kids school the other day had to be told to move out of the bus line. Multiple signs state this fact. A dozen people lined up on the streets, with signs, and vocals established this fact the first three weeks of the new school year. Most everyone seems to get the message. Except for the roots of fuckery, they never seem to get the message. She had to be asked to move. Almost gets in a wreck puling out, goes around the block, parks it on the median in a front of a house across the street. Gets out of Escalade (chop my dick off, if that’s paid off), begins to assault young child in the back of the car. I will beat your fucking ass, if you scream again. Shut the fuck up. Stop screaming goddammit.

I stand there, blood boiling. Another parent and I make eye contact, give each other the look. Social consensus, fuckery. The lady comes over to talk. We can’t believe it. I tell her I’m about to snap, but then I’ll be just as bad, making a scene in front of everyone. Fuckery provokes other fuckery. A chain of fuckery stretching into the horizon, a stunning purple and blue horizon painted by Bob Ross…

It’s 9:55AM, I’m in the lab. I am Holden Caulfield, and you’re all phonies. Let’s get these words.

An Antidote:

You have nothing to fear!

You have nothing to fear, the worst has already happened. It’s true. I won’t bore you with a list of atrocities, but I’m sure your heart can name a few. More of the worst is sure to come, but you shouldn’t fear that new batch either, because the worst has already happened and passed and come again. It’s probably happening right now, now, now.

I could challenge you to think of the worst fate for a human, and you would not be able to come up with a torture or torment which hasn’t already been accomplished, or one of equal value. My mind can’t think of one, except for exaggerations, like a billion flesh eating fire ants, giant planet destroying meteors, things like that, but of course a short study of the universes, galaxies or whatever will tell you those things probably happen all the time too, like right now, now, now.

So the smallest seemingly trivial aspect of life is a profound accomplishment when it is put in its proper context. Breathing. Calm stream of consciousness. Sip of water. A place to sit. Consequently, most of our worries in this light seem sort of small. Being broke, or single, or overwhelmed by a career or family, is really nothing compared to a planet teeming with life and the possibility of life being annihilated by a giant rock, or nukes, or whatever.

I think most people in life go through this sort of fracturing of self, as bad things happen, until your optimism muscle and sense of self is ruined, and you end up broke, wicked, burned out. That’s why positive people are so special, and usually young, like a raging fire in the blizzard of the cosmos. This truth is why we love Art and Sports, anything that allows us to see passed the true state of things, to a fantasy, for a moment.

But I suggest another way, some days. Stare it in the face. Each moment remember, now, now, now. Each breath, the worst has passed, and you’re still going, and that thing you love is still there. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there. Nothing to fear. Now. Breathe. Pause. Still there….

AJM 3:01PM 9-17-16