They fly low slung along a horizontal line of thought. At least they used to. How lucky do you feel today? I saw them rise, one after the other, arrive at a height and dive into the water. The sun rolled through cool cloud cover. It wasn't emerging any way complete.

On the drive to drop his child off at school, the radio related this certain news item. As he glanced up from his coffee at the cafe, his cousin talking about the economy, he caught a glimpse of a TV news anchor with a certain image related to this news item emblazoned on a widescreen. Driving Hollywood Blvd east toward the freeway, instead of the souvenir T-shirt shops and tourists, instead of the sportswear billboard, an image came to him. It took a trip around the block, outside the coffee shop to locate a parking space.


I strike the existential mode, you lean to the essentialist, with stylish lifestyle gestures. I hanker to caress quotidian notes, while you go off beyond the horizon. Yet there you are still, I would remind you. It doesn't matter, you assert, you have the look of hard-won endurance in your spleen and soul. What is it that we are drinking, that surrounds us, this coffee?

A teacher complained about a student. Another complained about the administrator who many seemed to dislike for an abrasive voice and pronounced indifference. A couple of students complained about various lacks of the latest issue of the school newspaper. Somebody complained that the latest round of budget cuts caused the district to cancel all recycling programs, yet the district produced massive amounts of paper waste. A bus driver cracked acerbically about another driver who had taken his usual spot. That was as far as he was going with the grievance at this time.

I would speak to you. I would detain you on your way and speak to you. It's all a rush pell-mell to get from point A to point B, and when we get there we may be well and dead. As we go the distance, I would detain you. The moment was, or will be, illuminated by light in the sky.

Man on the sidewalk sticks out his tongue; every passersby who puts a quarter on his tongue can view the man swallow the coin and in an obvious conditioned reflex, punch himself with terrific fury in the face as hard as he can. After ingesting a full day's work, he can collect himself off the concrete and make his way off across a parking lot.

More than 170, 000 men, women and children are in prison or jail in California. The United States, with 5% of the world's population, imprisons 23% of the world's prisoners. Somebody's out there looking for somebody to kill. Marine platoons go house to house in Iraq. In Afghanistan the sons and grandsons of men funded, armed and supplied by the CIA plant shells in the highways. Entire blocks of neighborhoods of New Orleans, Detroit, and other cities are destroyed or abandoned houses. The transient who killed the teenager was caught with his arm around her neck on an ATM video. One third of air strikes by unmanned predator drones in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Pakistan and Yemen are estimated to kill civilians. These drones are 'piloted' by people at facilities outside of Las Vegas, NV. It may not be apparent yet, but this picture is on fire at the margins.

The monk’s hoods of automobile front ends meditating upon us. Cabover semi-trailer trucks. Containerization (or containerisation) is a system of intermodal freight transport using standard intermodal containers as prescribed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In Laurel Canyon where I picked them up at Esme’s house, I told the girls that the front of the “Country Store” used to be scrawled with psychedelic flowers, peace signs and filigree in primary colors, around the corner from (according to blogs) Jim Morrison of the Doors house. After dropping Ruby in Highland Park, an older gent in lurid flourescent yellow peddled across our lane, cutting us off on his reclining bicycle with mirror dangling on an extended armature from his helmet. My daughter complained about his get-up, his presumption of our lane in the public road. I said that our larger engine, all these engines surrounding us in the traffic stream, didn’t remove his right as a human being to a place in traffic. “Bikers have rights too,” I said. “Cars have to share the road. The world doesn’t belong to them.”

The animal is there before you covered with loathsome reeking tar. You know that if you reach out and grab it, that it will become alarmed and react with who knows what alarming reflexive strength and speed, survival instinct causing it to respond to your grip and presence with what awkward horrid movement, gawky flopping filth-spattering thrashing about. It is exhausted and likely to die on this spot, this animal.

“Who wants to prevent the fishes in the sea from getting wet? And the suffering themselves share this callousness towards themselves and are lacking in kindness towards themselves. It is terrible that human beings so easily put up with existing conditions, not only with the sufferings of strangers but also with their own. All those who have thought about the bad state of things refuse to appeal to the compassion of one group of people for another. But the compassion of the oppressed for the oppressed is indispensable. It is the world’s one hope.”
—Bertolt Brecht

What roads and highways have you in your long leg bones. What rain and winds you have in your tangled hairs and curls in your ears. What ranges of temperature, frost on granite and poppies blooming in the highway median, in your hapless attitudes. What voices and memories of voices have you in your misty DNA and DNA saliva. What bodies, what California, what coastlines you take in stride in your walk, in your arrivals. What atmospheric shadows, what thunderheads rolling across the terrain, what discoloration swirling in the liquid, in amber distillation of words. You didn't make this language of conquerors, English. With its bits, avocado, tableau, tyranny, chokolatl, crusted on your lips. I am looking at your mouth to see what you will say.

We have a situation here. Someone runs off. Empty hallways, later on, empty hallways. I stepped between the guys who were fighting, somebody pulled one of them off the other. I pushed another one up against the wall. His face was blanched, his stare hollowed out with adrenaline, he was breathing hard. I don’t know what was happening behind me. I turned and they were gone. He had his hand to his face, blood streaming from his nose. Blood drips on the floor. “Come on, let’s go downstairs,” I said. I took him by the arm, and he followed meekly, holding his nose. “Jesus, you’re getting blood all over,” somebody else said, leading another teen by the arm. We put them both in the elevator. “Are you okay?” the other guy asked his charge. His eyes were glassy, blood on his mouth, but he asserted, “Okay.” When we got out of the elevator, someone said, “Wow, you were so cool about this whole thing. You went right in there like you deal with this kind of thing every day.” I didn’t say how hard my heart was beating, how I flinched and tensed up immediately, and hesitated till I saw an opening. Only then I stepped in.

I never thought I'd live to see some of these changes. That gives me some effulgent purplish feelings and tumescent impulses. Like Quitobaquito desert spring water welling up from the Organ Pipe Natl Monument landscape alongside the AZ/Mexico border, three strands of barbed wire north of Mexico highway out of Sonoita. Three stars fell over the horizon, and they slaughtered all those Indians all over California. Who knows, who remembers, but that we might do something now. Who expected to be alive?

All this bullshit creeps up on us. Our children look on us with suspicion, noting our discolorations, our aura of rainbowish encrudences, our fuming at the air. Silence compiles it; there's no hiding behind wordless boxes while it falls out of the air like petroleum bullshit. Walking around shopping in Lower Manhattan in the used-to-be Village, in the used-to-be Soho, in the used-to-be, does not scrape off the accumulate muck. We're moving slower, we're getting wearier of the spike of sky. Time will come. Time will come! It has. They talk about this, they talk about that, but where was the money spent?

I sent you a message, a card. Did you get it? Circumference of darkness with a line of lights, almost a ring. Vitality of night so much the larger for it. Center edge of aluminum and error. Wan steel of our habit. I had to say something urgent. It was about the moment and the opportunity. I had to presume on the basis of our shared correspondence even if it was perhaps too much in the past for you, or seemingly so. Someone said you were dealing with your drug problem; and you yourself told me more than once you could barely take care of yourself, no way you’d ever be able to deal with “someone else’s problems.” But I was reminded of our visions before that, you know we appeared there, you and I. Now we’re here. My messages were about that. I’ll try to get in touch with you again, in some other way.