You are currently browsing the monthly archive for February 2014.
How many sunrises will I see How many bones will I break How many digits will I smash How many aches will I cherish How many homes will I know How many stones in the ocean How many words will I write How many moons will be devoured by ocean water How many suns will be quenched by mountains How many hearts are enough How many times will I feel the gravity of the west tugging at my chest How many sunspots will blossom within my pupils How many headaches will I have How many more worries until I am safe How many more twilights will I breathe through How many more bodies will I know How many skin cells will I prune How many puddles will I pass by How many mountains will I watch grow white How many more mirror snakes will I watch prolong the horizon How many more hours How many more will melt How many more blood cells How many more lifetime How many more blue sighs How many more lists How many more cups of coffee How many more starting points How many more departures How many more lemon skins How many more bone fibers How many more pinnacles How many more pillows How many more doctors How many more tangerines How many more poppies How many more blinks How many more molecules How many more phone calls How many more miles How many more opposites How many more composites How many more heredities How many more 48 hour waking days How many more angles How many more angels.
I am communicating
I am listening with my eye to the eye hole
There’s scratching in the walls of machinery
Checking boxes on a checklist
I have written some names
I have copied and memorized a number
I speak to you thus from a motel
by the airport
thru cardboard tubes taped end upon end
which if they were laid in a straight line
they could reach from the alternative
to whisper on the lunar surface
of dead oceans
the dusty notions, rocky ideals
this conceptual framework is sort of plywood
swinging in null wind
the manila folder flaps open like a screen door
to our files
It is annotated here that you shaded under a cottonwood
one important thing, the way those leaves waved
at the gravel wash
I underline with a motion of my finger
certain numbers I’ve been meaning to discuss with you
encrusted with seagull droppings and a few feathers
some numbers bark like sea lions across the far side of the bay
shall we cross it when we get to that bridge
stop, exit the vehicle to toss the bicycles over the side
watch the tires submerge in white water of forgetting
the black tires of concept
I underline here
at one point various narratives did collapse
they fell to the side under the eucalyptus the dirt embankment
strewn with dry leaves and seeds
all of this was likely visible
like ribs thru a debraided pelt
thru the eye hole, cut as if in anticipation of the eclipse
of the sunburnt flaming past
with the thumb print-sized smudge of the present
the afterthought that would lead to plasma leak
it’s the perfect spell, the perfect killing tool, the killing machine.
one million african americans are in u.s. prisons, 400,000 latinos.
they said the war on drugs was a war on the poor, because the institutions are inhabited by the apartheid imagination.
i place this line against the apartheid imagination.
the apartheid imagination requires no location, no physical body; because it has laws, records, court buildings, cells, conversations and life.
it has radio programs, all-white movies, jailhouse mythologies, 2-D images.
before the latest killings started, it was there, and when the killers are forgotten, the apartheid imagination goes on thinking, dreaming up new killers.
who remembers the ones who killed emmet till, medgar evers and fred hampton?
who remembers the guy who shot renisha mcbride?
who cares about aryan nation jason ‘gunny’ bush who executed jonathan bumstead of the aryan nation also of wenatchee wa for being a ‘race traitor’ and who shot 9 year old brisenia flores in the face in arivaca az?
who remembers the men of the 11th infantry brigade who machine-gunned the women and children in the ditches of my lai? who remembers names of soldiers of the 7th cavalry who received the national medal of honor for slaughtering 300 men, women and children at wounded knee?
who bothers to remember james earl ray?
who remembers the massacre sites of california?
i place this line in front of the images of trayvon martin, of jordan davis.
i place this line at the images of muhammad al-durrah, iman darweesh al hams, wajih ramahi.
i place this line alongside the images of abdulrahman al-awlaki and brisenia flores.
i place this line transparently over the names of jose antonio elena rodriguez, sergio hernandez gueraca, ramses barron torres.
they were shot by the border patrol, walking or running, shot in the back.
they were killed by israeli forces using 3.1 billion dollars in 2013 u.s. military aid.
they were blown apart by a CIA drone firing a $70,000 agm-114 hellfire missile into a cafe.
they were killed by racists operating out of the apartheid imagination.
the apartheid imagination was created by genocide against indians and slavery of africans as a construction designed to kill white conscience and memory.
anyone entering into the apartheid imagination is a white man or an indian or a rebel slave.
it’s an indelible binary machine lynching anyone designed other, providing instant justifications and illusions for the killers.
it uses a hegemony of all-white images to convince white people any interest they may have is worth more than any life identified as other. it’s a strong mechanism for killing people around the world like indonesia, rwanda, palestine or india.
i have stood in the line for black and brown people at traffic court when i was the whitest one there, and the judge, an asian american guy substituting for the regular judge who was on holiday let everyone go without a fine.
i have stood in my mom’s kitchen window on a hill in the city terrace and watched the pillars of smoke rising for days over the city of los angeles.
i have stood at the counter in the laundry of the men’s county jail downtown in the fumes of dry cleaning chemicals handing out and collecting bags of laundry and seen the faces of the men in line (where one guy always comes along trying to look like a stone killer and says, “pass me some fucking money or i will fuck you up,” and maybe he was a stone killer, but i just returned his stare and took the next guy’s bag).
i have waited in the plastic chairs and long lines of the DMV and i have seen who is waiting.
i’ve had lacerations cleaned out, my face x-rayed and patched up in the ER at county general hospital and seen who is waiting.
i have read poems in front of crowds of hundreds in universities from sf state to naropa, from university of minnsota to suny buffalo and i have looked out on those faces and seen who is walking across the campus at hunters college and cal state fullerton, at the state colleges and the private colleges.
i have seen who is in the jail and in the court house line, who is waiting for a job outside home depot and orchard supply.
i’ve driven streets of towns of the hinterland where white teenagers scream something out of their cars and race away.
fuck the apartheid imagination, that’s what i’m saying, death to the apartheid imagination and its english courses and its ideologies taught in the universities and churches, piss on the all white movies pretending to be set in an all-white los angeles, all-white calif., all-white america, piss on the the norton anthology of post modern all white poetry and the norton anthology of all white american hybrid poetry, piss on all the little cliques of literati publishing all-white catalogs (with maybe one or 2 tokens) and touting another white guy as the latest wonderful thing (that thing is old, it’s so old now), arnold schwarzenegger and ronald reagan were your fleeting white icons of pre-eminence, they were happy to see half my family two generations dispossessed and sent to live in horse stalls of santa anita racetrack and colorado river internment camps, happy to go along with lives being destroyed, happy to sign some apology letters decades later, put up a few plaques on historical sites out in the desert.
who remembers individuals operating behind the poison alzheimer’s of the apartheid imagination?
who shall remember the mushroom cloud of the apartheid imagination when the next killers are shooting, murder a child in the headlines, and the people post and repost all the images, talking laws, discussing footnotes and factoids?
the names are in the ground, the apartheid imagination like a shadow above them.
i place this line in front of it saying my whole life has been against it, and the rest of my life will be against it.
i place this line in front of it.
daniel rosenboom deftly carved the turkey.
“I want to take pictures but my phone is broken,” toshi said.
“here, use mine,” tom said.
sabro, marquita and justin looked down into little phone screens and tapped them.
“I didn’t design the office,” marquita said.
“he could ask the tenant in the front to move out and we could use that space but he just let her put her sign on the front so i don’t think he’ll do that,” marquita said.
“i designed that,” justin said.
“what are you going to do for easter break?” sabro asked.
“raspberry and dulce de leche,” aubre said.
“spotify may be good for listeners but it’s bad for musicians,” daniel said.
“last year i got a check for one cent from spotify. one cent!” daniel said.
grandma oversaw the kitchen.
“i have a workshop tomorrow,” grandma said.
“thanks, ma, the turkey came out great!” i said.
“what are you going to do for easter break?” sabro asked.
“i’ve been working with this singer. it’s going to be an acoustic group, it’s going to be pretty strange,” daniel said.
aubre said something about the dead turkey.
“i have a lot of projects i could do,” sabro said.
“it was on the 101, by vermont. the car just came up alongside and hit the side of my car,” toshi said.
“the whole side of your car was smashed? did they stop?” i asked.
“no, she just zoomed away,” toshi said.
dolores and aubre helped in the kitchen.
“what are you reading?” tom asked.
“a naked singularity. i read a big chunk of it; nothing happens for the first 400 pages and then there’s a massacre,” i said.
“it’s from trader joe’s,” grandma said.
“oh, i thought you brought the iced tea,” grandma said.
“i didn’t even have time to get the license plate,” toshi said.
“don’t come close, i am sick,” toshi said.
“we’ll see you at the blue whale!” toshi said.
“we’re playing at the blue whale on the 23rd,” daniel said.
“it’s my favorite place to play,” daniel said.
“they can move upstairs,” sabro said.
“there is no upstairs,” justin said.
“that’s what i mean,” sabro said.
“they complain that our dog barks too much,” sabro said.
“we don’t have a dog,” sabro said.
“i went like that, just to shoo him off, and when he jumped off, there was a big ripping sound and he had torn the canvas, or actually it was painted on vinyl,” marquita said.
“he painted it on vinyl,” marquita said.
“i picked five out of twenty to have restored,” marquita said.
“it’s a two thousand dollar cat,” someone said.
“i had one of those cats. you know, it’s totally worth it,” tom said.
“i haven’t been in the water for nine months,” tom said.
“i probably bit off more than i can chew,” tom said.
“but i’m like you, i don’t know when my next gig is going to come, so i take on all the work i can,” tom said.
he indicated aubre, who grinned.
No, it wasn’t a mushroom cult. It’s that we lived in a dome, a
geodesic dome that we called the mushroom. I arrived after it was
built. It was acoustically perfect, had its own atmosphere.
Occasionally clouds would form in the highest lofts of the dome.
I experienced life in perfect remove. People passed by me, and their
words and movements were sparkling and real. I laughed at the
funniness of all of our hinged movements, elbows and knees, jaws
opening and closing. We all moved like funny animals, like wooden
creatures–animated by energy passing through us. Our feelings,
opining, statements, desires all passed through us and my perceptions
of the others passed through me–they were like abstract creatures to
me. At a certain point, I couldn’t really even understand what they
were saying, and I only recognized the timbre of their sounds, the
colored forms of their bodies and my own inner life worming, inching,
cycling, pulsing, firing and shivering.
I remember Eufencio, green always wore green. Straight up East Los
Angeles character, maybe his parents from the San Gabriel Valley
though? We were the only two from LA I thought, maybe I’m wrong. He
knew Liki Renteria, and we both witnessed strange weather–him a
tornado that almost killed him in 1992 and me a frog-rain in April of
that same year.
Our study center was about 120 miles outside of Rancho El Consuelo,
Sonora. No, there was water, little streams with birds, the bosque was
lavendar at night. We were a little ways away from the water. Stupid
people of the east coast United States, they think that the Sonoran
Desert has no water–or they can’t imagine that the desert could be
blister-hot and have water, both still water and flowing water,
lavender water and brown water. Water that reflected clouds and
reflected only blue sky.
Our routine was the same every day. We woke up at 4:30 in the winter
and 3:30 in the summer. There were teams, water team, building team,
vision team, waste team, of course the lazy-ass art team. We worked in
teams until 5:30, when we heated the water and made mesquite and rice
gruel–saffron yellow stuff. That and coffee, always coffee. Ironwood
fire in the darkness was so orange but disappeared in the light when
the sun and heat rose and gradually all you would see of the fire was
black wood and ash, even though you could hear it crackling! Couldn’t
eat too late or you would lose your appetite in the summer heat.
After breakfast, deep silence and Tensegrity practice in the Dome
until 10:00. At 10:00, we got back into teams and worked on our
projects, with Castaneda making rounds. We never ate lunch, only drank
teas from plants around us all day. “Water, Water, Water, Running and
At the sun’s apex, we would begin sweating ceremonies which lasted
until sundown. One hour after sundown, we would light another fire and
begin making dinner. Usually vegetarian, something boiled or roasted
on a comal. Occasionally, we would have someone on the vision team go
out after dark and come back with a few rodents. Kangaroo rats come
out after dark. You throw a stick at them, heavy stick, kill them,
then put it on a stick, singe off the hair over the fire. Then, you
grind the whole body up into a paste, bones and all, really crush it
down. Add it to the gruel or roast it flat on the comal. Luiseño
style. When I got back to LA, even the radicals looked at me all
disgusted when I told them that. Ignorant people are never very clear
on the fact that we are bodies too, and that seeing a small body
crushed and ground is itself a reminder that we are both crystalline
structures and rotting flesh. The rat’s blue crystalline energy
illuminates my structure before moving on, just as its small
pulverized body passes through me. All these thoughts, my achievements
and creations are made of kangaroo rat, coffee and rice, datura, dried
anchos, grilled nopales, mesquite seeds, fire, ash, water, sunlight.
Which Western Tree is your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz?
TAKE TH QUIZ TO FIND OUT
1. You got empanada roto in one hand, and in the other you got what?
a. You got to reconsider about Mia Farrow versus Woody Allen sex abuse first
b. You got to argue about Eric Garcetti using anti-graffiti crews to wipe Villaraigosa’s smirk off of Los Angeles first
c. You got to go back to the Sonny & Cher Bono Nostalgia Cruise Lines first
d. You got to clean the the windshield so you can drive out to the Desert Drive-in to watch the Philip Seymour Hoffman Marathon Filmfest first
e. You got to pick your scab and eat it weeping because the shadow of the famous man has almost touched yours
2. Driving by Chalio’s turns out there is a line, what’s a mother to do?
a. We feed the kids pure In N Out burgers, it goes in, it goes out
b. We play the wang dang doodle all night long, all night long
c. We go to the Farmer’s Market to purchase Chinese greens that cannot be seen with the naked eye
d. We go to the Farmer’s Market to purchase blood oranges to throw at children
e. They don’t have the best all meat Korean barbecue, but we park at the corner
3. 10,000 forgotten people were murdered in Los Angeles from 1982 to 2001, but that’s nothing compared to Iraq, how about some kale chips?
a. You prefer if they are going to call Echo Park Silverlake the Eastside, that the Kogi Korean Taco truck drives down Wilshire on fire.
b. You prefer if they are going to discuss somebody from SNL you never heard of, of how many black women comedians are there in America, that they do it screaming.
c. You prefer American Apparel billboards constructed like a border fence across the Westside.
d. You prefer Tommy’s at 1 AM, the woman in the passenger seat opens the door puking a bit of wine, so to go get her some napkins from the dispenser you must give a couple dollars to the one-armed woman with the melted face.
e. You prefer not to hear dull and fuzzy words like Chicano because those are old.
4. Which actor’s roles do you most identify with, Heath Ledger or Philip Seymour Hoffman or Amy Winehouse?
a. He was arguably the finest actor of his generation, or any generation, and did you hear when he sang the song that you liked that one time?
b. You heard that doctors had this real expensive one-time operation that could bring someone back and they didn’t even try it with him because they hate Obama.
c. You heard that doctors had this real expensive one-time operation that could bring someone back and they didn’t even try it with him because they like Obama.
d. You heard that he sex-abused children when he was a Catholic priest but Archbishop Maloney retired about it and then he retreated.
e. You heard that it was because he was a Catholic or maybe an Australian or a New Guinea.
4. (or 5)—Then again, isn’t there children, eyes of children, narratives about cats, all of which seem to be objectifications of feelings for vehicles full of plants and plant material?
a. I predick in 2015 the Seattle Seahawks will face off against the Denver Broncos for a most indissoluable receiver.
b. I predick if you go into the nearest storefront psychic to see what you can get for ten dollars, she will tell you to change your own motor oil.
c. I predick one, two, three, when I snap my fingers, nobody will remember the L.A. riots.
d. I predick that for the price of what you spend at the Starbucks, you could get your nails done with variegated tonal shifts highlighting foregrounded polka sparkles like the Universal Pictures logo 1946.
e. I predick that there’s always so many interruptions of what we would really like to do with our life then the sticks bend down, the branches bend low.
TABULATE YOUR ANSWERS
then, accordly, your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is:
a. IF MOST OF YOUR ANSWERS ARE “A” THEN your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is INCENSE CEDAR Lebocredus decurrens
b. IF MOST OF YOUR ANSWERS ARE “B” THEN your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is FREMONt COTTONWOOD Populus Fremontii
c. IF MOST OF YOUR ANSWERS ARE “C” THEN your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is ARROYO WILLOW Salix Lasiolepis
d. IF MOST OF YOUR ANSWERS ARE “d” THEN your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is DOUGLAS FIR Pseudotsuga taxifolia
e. IF MOST OF YOUR ANSWERS ARE “f” THEN your true inner Secret Celestial Soul Fizz is Spanish Broom Spartium Junceum