Monday, January 31, 2005

This poem should hint (Wink-wink, nod, nod) at the passionate pow-wow stampeding in my chest, right now.....

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire aflame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And some one called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.

-- William Butler Yeats

Sunday, January 23, 2005


Here's a love-letter I wrote to my ex-girlfriend Brook, four years ago, in the autumn of 2000. Brook was a sexy thirty-three year old Jungian going through a divorce. I was a 23 year old writer, who, like Peter Pan, kept rifling through females sock drawers looking for my shadow. I found this old e-mail today and, in an endeavor to come to grips with my past in the wake of a new four-year cycle, felt compelled to post it. Feel free to read as much or none.

Dearest (Shnuggly-Whuggly) Angel,

Hey girl, how's life with you? Hope I didn't smurf-n-smurf alike my cold with you this past weekend (you know, like, when we were e-e-e-e-e-e). I'm still weathered and nasally washed-up and went to the healthcenter today to get some more medicine. The nurse said that my sickness, in all possibility, was spawned by malnutrition, not imbibing enough fluids (she explicitly told me using her hands demonstrating that, in this quote medicinal 'context' alcohol was not synonymous with the noun 'fluidity' and such underground collegiate panacea's such as 'Hooch' and MGD should be as now declared void and intrusive to my infective immune system) and mostly just over-actuating my deft scholarly prowess by staying up late at night and writing such kick-ass "David, in addition to being the Universal emblem of theworld's-most-Sensuous-lover ( internationally noted asthe Doob-lay-vay, Ehm, Es, Elle-WMSL, en France) you-also-write -the-most-orgasmic-bedpole-tittering-paragraphs-that-it's NO-wonder your-nervous-system inwardly- capitulates- to- such- maladies-when-your-passion-fraught- paragraphs-evince-the erotic ardorusually- reserved- for- the- likes- of- Lesbians."Anyway, maybe I was just drugged up, but that was I thought she told me...

I ended up writing you two 'real' letters last night at work (the kind you have to lick first) and sent youa botched e-mail which became cyberoptically effaced when my computer spontaneously shut off(MERDE-TECHNOLOGY)....

How is my most benevolent BU? Life there (classes wise anyway) was twice as simple. It was like, @Bradley, the teachers would use Baby butt-wipes and here I'm lucky if I can find a sheath of cardboard. My one literature class keeps my elation sky-high. Sometimes I'm just off the wall in the classroom and the teachers and students smile which is cool, b/c at Bradley I had a proclivity to accost LIT/ CW classes like I was DF Wallace's IJ publicity photo and sometimes (esp. twoyears ago) I would act all Serious and evince this inadvertent My-vocab-makes-your-vocab-look like Cream-of-Wheat sans the raisins type of hip-fatigue semblance (yes-my college foibles)which some of the teachers and V. thought was a cool aura to give offonly intrinsically it was not me......(V is still very much like that-henceforth the bombed dyad)..Today Iactually punned the analogy "A verbal Versailles" to describe something, which I thought was cool for only getting 25 minutes of sleep in the last 36 hours..


The short stories I've been working on, not as assiduously as I would have like to but sedulous in sincerity nonetheless, entail a montage of interlinked motif's...very collegiate ambiance shit slathered in a stage-drop that is very oh-so reminiscent of that ADM-noisome watered town which held so many friable avenues of my dreams clasped in it's dog-bear paw. One SS deals with a "true" FRATBOY ritual where all the boys (new initiatives) clamor around an Avantis gondola and, all, at the same time, choke the chik-a-fillet and the last one whose shlong comes on the gondola is coerced by his so-called gelled-hair and dungareed 'brothers' to "Sink the SUB" if you know what I mean.....yeah, I know. "David, thank you very much for that discourse in puerility prior to lunch." Well Angel, anything for you.

I paid your parking ticket yesterday so next time your down here you won't inadvertently get towed. I miss ogling you and giving you back rubs in the thoroughly air-conditioned summer-shaded library. Miss waking up and walking Zoe and making alchemical coffee in Greata's funky-coffee beaker, miss tickling you on the couch and watching your eyes set into Jungian somnolency. Miss the showers and the unbidden view of Illinois from atop of the Handcock. Miss the spontaneous fling of clothes, the Zoe imprints on my sweater, the sound of Kate Bush on the stereo, the fizzily-corona-bubbles moving up-and-down like a lavalamp. Miss the dissipation of summer, the outing's,Gormans and Guiness, the ubiquity of mocha-huedworshipers of Islam and Indra, the Dunkin'-Donuts cooffee runs prior to class. Cream, no sugar. Miss the sight of your skin in perfect proximity to mine. Missthe sound and subtle hums your body gently emits when it is silent and asleep.

Hopefully we'll be able to purloin an autumnal weekend or two and hit Mattheison or Allerton orChi-town for a crazy (though financially complacent)jaunt. Went for a requisite long walk last night priorto work dandling both a Cuban cigar and mirrored beneath a sheet of respelndent stardust and my dreams. My wings fledge as my dreams leap out of the contour,off the frame, into the wildest thoughts of human genomes........reading poetry and thinking of Walt Whitman and Tennyson and (always room for)Shakespeare. Working on a postmodern treatise and writing and wondering how not to get too fucked by my art b/c I'm so indulgent-and-solipsistic that I stop talking to foreigners......

Brooksie-Angel, know that even though I am not with you I am with you. Hourly thoughts of you beseech me harboring poignant memories. Touch knows you before sight. Hang in there with D'ric. Soon, all shall be conciliated. Slow down. Life offers us enough curves as it is. Pull off the four-lane Kennedy and take that lone country road where only you and your thoughts and the sunset thrive in full bloom. I think and pray(I've started 'praying' since -utilizing Socratic Q &A of course- a non-corporeal-intuitive God must existsince the Divine-ineffable palm of Providence willassist me me with my CHEM lab) for you daily that you will find, above all, equanimity and love.

Time to egress this e-mail and hit the books and sleep.
I love you.

Chin'up kidd-o.


(ironically dated September 11th, 2000)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Entrance by alphabetical troops....

Last couple of days I haven't been able to sleep and have been stomping around my house in pajma bottoms; my body quietly tucked in the helm of my late-fathers flannel housecoat like a drape or a fallen husk-- writing nonstop. This happens maybe twice a year (mostly with "poems"), the words decide they're going to deprive me of even more sleep and I can feel the hard slants and sensual curves of language--the verbal gargle of my life, slowly sieve through my pores, demanding this insomniac to surrender and splatter whipsmart shapes and images against the new born snow of a fresh page.

All I can do is stare at the square bluish tint of the screen and rattle out images.

It's the best feeling on the planet.

Whatever your gift is....whatever your passion, never stop giving.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

Shadows and silkweeds and the possibility of a prayer

Leaving early (early) tomorrow morning for phase two of my vacation. Wakey-wakey arrives at 3:30am so I can bus it up to Chi-town. After that its about an hour rickety commute up to Wilmette where I can capitulate for a couple of hours into the clandestine womb of prayer. In all candor, I hate praying--hate praying!!!! Or rather, I hate praying for myself...hate asking my own myopic heavily Westernized ideology of a Diety for assistance. For wayward orientation. For direction. Even if I'm lodged on a kyak in a remote corner of the Pacific with nothing in paw but a limp compass and a box of stale cracker-jack to subside on, I'm more wont to rely on my own "interior" sense of navigation--where I think I should be going--rather than humbly asking for guidance.

I come from a family deeply rooted in spiritual soil. Growing up we were known as the freakish family who squinted our eyes, lowered our collective chins and "prayed" in public restaurants prior to taxed meals. My parents were never embarassed by this--thanking a supreme being for nourishment (in the similar fashion of our Neanderthal relatives offered gratitutde thanked the spirit of the hunted animal prior to consumption) but myself and my sister were horrified. In the mid-eighties, the age of Max Hedron and ALF, praying in public places was a far cry from posh.

When I was around the size of a firehydrant, my father would come into my room, tuck me in, bow on both knees and pray. He would pray for his childs safety. Pray that his child would be healthy. Pray that his child would know what was right--for his future partner and that the two of them would be blessed. Often, during the prayer, dad and I would volley the lyrics to "Now I lay thee down to sleep" Dad chanting the first line, his son, thirty years younger with a snotty lip, echoing the refrain.

Mother always prayed in the early hours accompanying the gravitational tilt of the planet into the solar tug of dawn. Some of my most cherished memories of my mother were waking up at 5am and watching mother huddled in her green housecoat sipping weak tea, a splayed, thoroughly annotated NIV splattered across her lap like a wounded dove.

Mom always had "prayer partners." Over the past holdiay I tumbled across a huge literary "tome" chronicling decades of my mother's spiritual epiphanies. In one box alone, I found about thirty spiral notebooks, each brimming with mother's swirly blue-inked cursive handwriting.
These notebooks contained my own matraich's "Blogs"--her spiritual yearnings, her humble requests for her progeny. Like her eldest, mom could write for hours; but unlike her firstborn, mother didn't rely on her own intelligent or acuemen; she mastered the capacity to whittle her own ego and ask for guidance in something whose worth transcends temporal material satisfaction. More than any other human I have ever met--my mother has put her stock into something higher.

Don't get me wrong. I have no aversion to prayer; towards the art of supplication and praying--
I've never held qualms abouy uttering "gratitude" prayers. Prayers of thanx and joy. I once heard a Philosophy prof. deliver an emotionally riveting semantic sermon on how the words "thoughtful" and "thankful" were derived from the same etymological prefix.

"At one time a 'thankful person' was synonmous with a 'thoughtful' or 'intelligent preson.'"

The prayers for the departed also hover on the tip of my palate like a canker sore. Uncle Mike (whose an ornery hybrid between Gandalf the Good and a spiritual Socrates) always insists to remember the souls who don't have support. Every time we drive past an open cemetary, I sense Mike uttering the words for those souls that have "abandoned the physical garment and have ascended to the spirtual world."

On my first sojourn to the House Of worship, the caretaker, Eve, ferried me around, addressed me as "honey," and I sat upstairs, head down and uttered prayers for my late-father and grandparents.

Six months later, at Greenlake, I encountered Eve again. She didn't remember me, but when I accosted her and thanked her for giving me that tour (mentioning to her that I happened to be in chicago for my grandmothers funeral at the time) Eve immediately reclined her lunch tray, clasped the lids of her eyes shut and submitted the prayer of the departed in the middle of the cafeteria. The fact that my identity was a blur to her was merely secondary.


After grousing to Nick the Writer and Shannon Moore about yearning to find a short story that grabs me by the labels--I found one. A story entitled "Bamboo" published in the chicago Tribune five years ago. I stumbled upon it via Microfish (ick)'s a brilliant story. A yuppie going through a divorce falls in love with the chain-smoking female carpenter constructing his sun deck. It's been, by far, the best short story I've read in the last three months.

The part of the story that melted into me was one that carpenter, who it turns out was an ex-priest, told her amor that she left the seminary after reading a story about national Geographic about a succinct type of bird that migrates thousands of miles every year, to this one remote island, sheerly to mate.

The carpenter relays a story to this yuppie--how a science experience was conducted. Scientists incubated several of these birds in Scandanvia; hatched their eggs; kept the winged creatures indoors in a covered cage. When the brids swiftly arrived into sexual maturity, they were released into the atmosphere for the first time and they immediately new where to fly. They knew exactly which part of the planet to flock to in order to continue their species. They new where to go, even though they had never been there.

I've mulled over this analogy alot over the past couple of days. That spiritually imprinted in all of us is the ability to know exactly, our purpose---not only to know, but also, perhaps, to live out our destiny as well.

Monday, January 03, 2005

Mara under the Mistletoe.....

Happy New Year to all ya'll blog oglers lurking around the bin of cyberspace!!! I can't even begin to fathom all the possibilities this New Year will avail and wish all who read this joy and happiness and of course, and endless stream of creative karma flooded with fields of laughter and smiles and friendships and lovers and all the things that add meaning to this skip-n-sojourn around the sun.

Highlights from the past holiday include being Net free for two weeks (it's amazing how peaceful life was prior to our warbled obsession), presnting "angels" to Mama Bear on Christmas day --she liked the golden cross I purchased for her better, but that's just her--travelling all around the state, spending New Years eve with a mixture of Iranian dissidents, anarchists, heavy drinkers, Med students, and my best friends Nick the writer, song writer Dave McDonald, published scholar DUST and of course, a friendly close-lippped "button" kiss from my beautiful friend Jennifer on the final gong indicating Midnight (was she Jennifer or was she Cinderella?) .....perfect.

I went Ice fishing with my Uncle and Brother-in-law the day after Christmas. The pond was frosted over with about eight inches of ice. In mid-winter, the brittle Illinois horizon is streaked with a hard nickel back gray refulgence. The tufted clouds seem splattered against the atmosphere in an overhead puddle of silver bulbs. With the snow patches and barren landscape, the sky and the land seem to weld into a subliminal oneness with the earth, with the body, with the soul that yearns--the heart that seeks; the flesh that aches to acheive this sort of oneness.

My Uncle, my late-father's younger brother, is a flannel shirted man of the hills. We drove out deep into the country, swerving down slings of gravel roads and rackety hills. Way out, past Glasford, we found the frozen mecca--the pond, a chalked fount awaiting the orchestrated casts of our wrists; the dips of our baited lines.

We drilled holes, smoked cigars, drank pissing hot coffee from a thermos, froze in between shots of family philosphy and idle jokes.

"That's what Jesus told St. Peter when he tried walking on the water. 'Just try it in December!'"

While sloshing to work in the frigid rain this morning, I came to the realization that the reason I love writing so much is that a writer--the true artists-- understands that he is always a dilettante; always a virgin. There's no black belts, no PHD's, no corporate rungs, no anniversaries. No matter how much a writer has published or written, he always arrives to the pristine winteresque blankness of a page--the virgin whiteness of an oblong sheath--the bridal pinings awaiting inky scratches--the overall newness of language. Same with a painter and his blank canvas; or as my brother in law noted, a doctor with his white coat- an estimatation that no matter how much we learn or acheive about the human body; about the world of art, about the pulsating spirit, we will always be sophomores--always be yearning, acheiving and growing in our finite knowledge of our ever vibrating globe.

True the race may not be to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, nor wealth cosigned to men of understanding, but chance and time do happen to us all. On the advent of this New Year, my friends, let us never forget how little we know, how profound and curious the world is and what a joy it is to be immersed in this bubble of life one magical eternal moment at a time.