loss two

another loss -ii

We stayed up all the night long tradin’ EDM cuts and smoking, and kept mostly quiet about all the damage our exes done us, knowing in our hearts the damage we done them, too. This here was as close to the street as I ever got, out of luck on the room I had paid for every week for several months, (someone had spotted my cat and complained, again, pets were not allowed) with the half-promise of a room in West Oakland, from the mouth of a corrupt attorney with one foot in the dope game and high all the time. I had no other recourse, none at all! This was twenty eleven. I had only to be willing to scrub and paint a small room full of furniture and covered in multiple cat stank, and I could stay there for the summer. This was the house of a second attorney, an alcoholic moonlighting as a cat doctor at home, who got in over her head on Magnolia by DeFremery Park. The day I met her she asked if I wanted to make a quick buck, and walked me downtown while instructing me how to serve papers. I remember hesitating as I approached the window, a government agent behind glass, and looked back to get a nudge on from under the wild gray-hair, permanent slouch, and a wandering eye. She offered me a drag off her pint of Southern Comfort on the way home. I was fifty bucks richer, cash, and desperate. My unemployment had finally run dry  in this boarding house on 28th @ Telegraph, telling time by Kojak episodes, and my friend whom I shared a room with finally got sick of me or spun out, and bailed. By that time I was already sharing a bed with a punk I met, upstairs, and not around much anymore. On my bicycle most of the days, a Motobecane i had mail-ordered online several months ago, and always brewing pots of some of the finest grounds from Indonesia I procured from Sweet Maria’s down the way, a local coffee distributor a stone’s throw from the Port of Oakland. Didn’t have a job and wasn’t really looking most of the time. PTSD was my common denominator, and divided up my senses, hanging them far and wide by the neck, until dead…
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in my twenties and thirties

i was the kind who got kicked out of bars for mouthing off, demanding attention, who wandered off and misplaced myself in different American cities, found myself thirsty, dazed and alone some afternoons, in alleyways woke by the sun, after nights i would rather have forgotten but stand in my memory still … yet i could always find refuge in the nearest public library or local reading room where the silence could be so loud, you could even hear fingertips striking keystrokes to the tune of the turning of pages, and there in the warmth of centuries of collective wisdom could i manage to wonder how am i alive? there must be a God or the spirits of my predecessors looking out for me, i am so blessed and cursed, i am … my twenties and thirties were absurd at times, my natural privilege did not always work for me because i convinced myself i oughta earn anything. of course i held a job down most of the time and was responsible about rent and stayed mostly out of jail. i was neither thief nor leech on to another’s good fortune; i mean i made and paid my own way. i was often in a relationship. i thought i was in love a couple of times but in the end i wouldn’t work for it, i wouldn’t make the sacrifices and maybe, just maybe, i did not want to be loved. i was critically self-centered and bursting with pride as i walked solemnly toward my next humiliation. i think i wanted to be punished. back then, i was not interested in god.

Shine cafe in Sacramento. photo by K

circa 09.01.2011

09.01.11

The truth is confusing, the confusion is disturbing, and reality does not give a damn. My heart holds vacancy for the life of them. and you. Still to attend to the sky in its entirety.                          Sea. The depths grow green to Royal blue. Where all lies over exposeD in a happy residue. Off center in allostasis. From the residual, extract the amplification. Subtract from that all that you already know or believe.  The tattooed kneecap. the hair weave. The eyes tell of suffering behind capri ankles. The wrist-roll up to three quarters a sleeve.                The honesty cannot be found from infusion thereafter. She was left to floats on water boiling. Like a poached egg. Then arises Thick, like crisis in love. Then arises as vapor- Clear
by J Nickel

m x memory ending

m by memory -xi (fin)

Yes, being WIRED had coalesced cultures all across the earth, simply the most powerful force in the paradigm shift. What normally took the flash of a couple hundred years in the pan, took only a hundred plus, facilitated by the mighty conveyance of internet connection. Many subcultures rebelled against the seated powers once they became aware (almost instantaneously for common citizens, dependent only on the functionality of a modem in an electric grid) of the relative freedoms other cultures and countries had which they had not and wanted. They got restless under the thumbs of a ruling class they had limited stake in appointing. None of these performances on the dramatic stage of sentient theatre had the innocence of virgin material, there would be no immaculate conception by so and so producer, writer, director, star, or egocentric asshole. There would be no trailblazing invention at all. It became clear that you go with what you have, your essential ingredients, and make something more of it. Make a clearing and let it grow. Any farmer could rule the day. Meanwhile the old controllers and their desperate need for control would be stripped to the wire,  primitive and unworthy looking, and frayed. Easily spotted for removal by the arbitrators of theatre in whatever form they chose to express: tv, movie, made for tv movie, short in some indy festival, drawing on some ipad, page in some kid’s sketchpad. It didn’t matter! Just as the tarnishing of heart and soul, in a rusty mechanical sort of perfectionism, could be caught on an intellectual hook and pulled up and out of the path of vital life,  so could the real, unblemished heart and soul of common decency be ever sparkling for us to see and believe. And so we would have cause to celebrate again. Love was out in the open. Then back to work again.

m x memory

m x memory -vii

The leaders of the silent majority were, in this case, unrecognized; the best intel found them having just departed around the time you wondered aloud where they were. This brought tears to the loyalists eyes, although it may have been the preponderance of onions. You knew they had been there by the discarded skins rustling around your feet… everyone deserves a moment with those who wrote the principles they chose to live by – 4 seconds of fame – such an act of devotion impels unity and the kinda nonlocal intimacy comes of hearts and minds in alignment.

K after a 20-mile race!
Yet the antagonists are always gathering like clouds and forcing the separations – an end to to the aforementioned sunshine – and the fading vibrations become absorbed in rugs beaten over handrails in city streets and back alleyways. Rugs are beaten publicly, of course, as they are well known to be taken out upon, in these lands.

murder. by memory

murder by memory -iv

the murder by memory series. parts i-iii go way back.
i hesitate to proceed with it, as it moves into something more like philosophy than simple creative writing. more like activism.   -k

torture was clearly a primitive defense of any society, forcing noncompliants into submission to meet specific aims of a culture. less clear was how a supposedly highly evolved culture involved in numerous humanitarian causes could keep it insular and protect the rudimentary institution of torture. if culture was to evolve, torture would cease to make sense. if culture was to be evolved, it would shutter the chambers and send all devices and mechanisms to their proper places behind glass cases in the future museums devoted to the betterment of the lives of the victims of torture. yet culture, like its individual constituents, tends to return to the primitive defense mechanisms when under duress: repression, regression, projection, reaction formation, and sublimation. and then covers it up in denial… torture. what would it matter the criminal or the crime? the use of an instrument reflects back on the one using it. if i pick up a sword and run it through someone, i am now a murderer. even if i kill a murderer with their own very sword, i am -nevertheless- a murderer, too.

journal

Journal # 08.22.16

We used to walk together down to the boatyard with grandma in the village, trading gossip and good stories about things only locals knew about the lake. The long and deep winters burrow into you and you become reflective in the intervals between cutting and hauling wood for the fire. The snow falls night and day and you are steady and still as the lake frozen over. You listen to the wind whistling through the gaps. The world outside your windows is beautiful and unforgiving, and you develop a deep respect for the ways of the world, the season and its accompanying challenges. Some are keeping bees and tapping maples for syrup. Others are hunting and trapping. Still others are shopkeepers and schoolteachers. The many state and national parks are staffed by rangers and historians, though the groundskeepers are always the heart of any place, for they can remember how it all came to be.

Only they can keep the place running. You will know them by their oil-soaked shirts and plain stained pants, and a ring or two of keys. Only they are entrusted with certain secrets which more than likely will go to the grave with them – but their honeys know, too. My grandma lost her husband in the early seventies by a heart condition, and then outlived him by a quarter century. She ran an antique shop called The Barn in Melvin Village, NH. She traded in painted barrel staves and chests and American furniture from the 20th and 19th centuries. Sometimes I imagine her all alone up there in the strike of a desolate winter, getting by with the help of neighbors and friends. I can see her striking it up over coffee in the living room adjoined to the barn, with any of her favorite local all-around men. Serving them coffee in the peeking of dawn. I see the hardened swollen hands receiving and carefully encircling the ceramic coffee mugs, and sipping the coffee she percolated, black. I see both the pain and laughter in her eyes. The mutuality. Her love lost. And the easy conversation goes to shop matters and upkeep, and rumination over how long things will last. And god, do I miss her.