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Warmest greetings from a dear Friend,
Evelyn Dear, warmest greetings from a dear friend, “1986”
somewhere 1986, somewhere it had to be
it had to be 1986 (I’m reading Transparent Things, Evelyn Dear
Vladimir Nabokov writes the pitiless erasure of time very well,
Evelyn, have you read him?) Dear 1986 Marina was six and Ume one
I was teaching in my first year, trying to learn to teach
trying to find something to help the kids get thru
(the CIA-special crack wars were cranking up full blast Evelyn Dear,
they’d leave some 10,000 dead in L. A. in two short decades, unremarked by so-called national leaders,
Evelyn Dear) after I left East L.A. for college, firefighting throughout college years in Wyoming and Colorado,
Craig Colorado’s rolling country, canyons and jutting mountains southeast of elk and aspen in Browns Park,
the Green River winding and roaring through the Gates of Lodore in Dinosaur National Monument,
I returned to the hometown and put my shoulder to it in the neighborhood, you know? In the old neighborhood,
maybe somewhere in East L.A. it’s 1986 oh Evelyn Dear, Leah says so, she sends you Warmest greetings, what was she thinking?
me too, in the midst of fucking Reaganite America, Evelyn Dear, he was turning America into the shithouse of dead ends, jails and wars it is these days for most kids,
so we were organizing in East L.A., talking in meetings, arguing in meetings, phonecalling lists of phonecalls, carrying an agenda full of notes, organizing anti-war protests against the wars the U.S. was fomenting and arming in Central America (genocide of Mayans happening
again, as if reiterating the Spanish Conquest with Israeli machineguns and U.S. helicopters) we demonstrated for daycare centers and against war,
we demonstrated for bilingual education and against war—we got a few more daycare centers and lots more wars.
If it was 1986 again should we have done different, Evelyn Dear? Is it still 1986 somewhere, what do you say?
What else could we do and what are you doing now, Evelyn Dear? Monday we fly to NYC, to attend the college graduation of Citlali,
who wasn’t even born in 1986, never knew the weird euphoria and terror of the 1960s, never had a whim or flash of the burnt out whimsy and grim hope of the 1970s,
never saw a generation turning first to drugs and rock and roll then to evangelical Christianity, never saw the rest studying meetings and politics and things, Buddhism and
back to the land (those communes all abandoned now, except?)— Only knows the economic “restructuring” (income redistribution to the rich) of Reagonomics going full steam through the 90s, Evelyn Dear
like America was rebooted without the New Deal, without the War on Poverty, instead we got the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the War on the Poor
Grenada, Nicaragua, Guatemala, Colombia, Honduras, El Salvador, Lebanon, Panama, Bosnia, Serbia, Palestine, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan
can you imagine, Evelyn Dear? I bet you can, I bet you can, if I can imagine your mind Evelyn Dear, it’s like a warm summer night in your mind,
I look up in your mind, Evelyn Dear, you got the Milky Way pouring through the whisper of leaves like Wyoming in the warm wind blowing a summer night
Under the stars twinkling in your infinite thought, I so look up to you, your dear Friend
The purpose of fiction is to propose truths through conjecture.
Fiction does this in two ways:
• It reveals the hidden, often secret interior lives of people—their emotions, their thinking, their spirit.
• It questions and counteracts the on-going narratives (myths, ideologies, habits) that people believe and live, especially as they are unaware of them.
What? I’ve been working late every day getting ready to go to New York
for a week. All the buildings plasticy and transparent like skin
removed with the ocean and sunshine behind it, full of people
though you can’t see them you can feel them like wind in your
hair, like trees full of insects making business happen, increasing
vertical slices of worlds like plants in themselves, keeping green
to themselves in boiled and boiling words which speak to
plants and skies amid the card-thin cities of rotten noise
that help me be what I am, or might be soon, a swiped image
of myself and of you too, in old soft-spoken waves and shorelines
around coves of a few given Thursdays, Wednesdays, like I get
tomorrow, one or another to do (with change for tips)—
A Few Quick Words
At last I understand what blank margins are.
Margins are not incompleteness,
nor the familiar spaces left untouched by the brush
in old Korean paintings.
They arise in valleys where desire for completeness has melted
—there, yes, there—before tomorrow dawns.
Ah, chaste omission of action.
Margins have nothing bourgeois about them.
Nor are margins
cowardly pauses in battle.
they form part of a face
neither friend nor foe
never met as yet.
They’re skirts billowing wide, mile upon mile,
though they may not move very far;
Brother, the mightiest of powers is not America,
it’s the margins in the millennia of human history.
Oh, subtle ache in my heart!
At last, one part of the cosmos is being reborn.
But not the whole.
Wanting the whole would be wicked, my brother.
translated by Brother Anthony of Taize, Young-moo Kim and Gary Gach
East L.A. Balloon Club Membership Application
Name ____________________ Address __________________ $75 processing fee _______
Check All That Apply
◊Burnt sienna ◊Dirt ◊Hope ◊ Jellyfish ◊Monday
◊ Chopsticks user ◊Fly fishing or lures ◊Peanut butter & jelly
◊Wanderer from Gran Bohemia ◊hydrogen peroxide ◊ okay now ◊ wiring
◊ sun worshipper ◊ etsy account ◊ manual typewriter
◊ cumin lamb ◊ physical fit ◊ olive green ◊2009, end of Automotive Era
Fax this to 1-800-DIRIGIBL or give to Sergio at the El Sereno ELADALT ticket counter.
How old were you when you had your first (metaphorical) experience with “balloons”?
What is your favorite color of like “bal1oons”?
What is your favorite movie about “balloons”?
What are the technical differentes between a “blimp,” a “zeppelin” and a “derigible”?
If you were in an emergency in a “balloon” at sea, which would be more practical—salt, a hand-held gas blower, or a flashlight?
What is your “history” of experience with lighter than air flight or travel?
Who do you know with some money?
Have you ever won the lottery?
Are you an uncomplaining sufferer?
Do you have a “balloon” tattoo?
How long can you hold your breath?
Have Wall Street & the banks destroyed your economy so you just want to flee the “earth” or at least the “ground”?
There’s parallelism in a bowl of cherries cold from the fridge though a fridge seems early 20 th century
And what’s parallel within the viscera of the the early 21st
Sometimes or mostly say these re.sonances mean nothing
Which what this tiny ducking keyboard remain me of the the ducking part of the nightmare where you must prepare to repel t he attackers be they whatever some formidable rabid foes and they arm you or, improvising, you arm yourself with the first weapon you find which turns out to be a replica pistol fires smoke rings or harmless plastic disks accompanied by said smoke ring s or futuristic electronic chiming sounds
And this is what we must use to improvise the immediate defense of our existence and all our lives
Yeah how you like these electronic resonances parallel on this screen and yours and on the electron particles of nothingness
1. any ordinary confusions
2. stars, far away tiny
3. certain women, descriptions of attitudes (if shakespeare’s tragedies are the tragedies of overweening masculine ego and ambition, as so many male narratives go that route, the feminine or feminist alternatives offered are what? virginia woolf, grace paley, nadine gordimer, clarice lispector, zora neale hurston, alice walker?)
4. dream scenarios or scenarios like dreams
5. letters from agents and unknown others pretending to be one person
6. american loneliness, parsing the weirdly huge distances between people
7. is everything over before it’s over? (“the last to know”)
8. descriptions of one day (come on, everything leads to now)
9. glib facile pretend-narrative devices, deployed (like francisco hinojosa)
10. masks for people i know (ray foster, etc.)
for Lisa and Andy
* CROW FLAPPED * DOLORES PICKED UP BLUEBERRY SHRUB * UME GOT CHICKS * CROW HOPPED ON OUR ROOF * BABY RACCOONS ON THE TELEPHONE POLE LAST WE SAW OF THEM * POSSUM WAS CRUSHED * JOE PUBLISHED NOVEL * CROWS CAWED * BEN ASKED FOR REC LETTER * WARREN ATE CA CHINESE FOOD * DENNIS COOPER PUBLISHED ONE BOOK OF POEMS AFTER 19 YEARS WEAKLINGS (XL) * HUMMINGBIRD SOARED * ELAINE SAID RELATIONSHIP WAS “IN TRANSITION” * ELI TOLD ME SHE HAS THOMSEN’S DISEASE * WHAT’S-HIS-NAME SAID HE WAS TOO BUSY * MARINA GOT SUMMER FUNDING * KAREN RECOMMENDED ME FOR $50K GRANT * I AWAIT FRENCH EUROS * I SAID, “COME EAT YOUR FOOD BEFORE IT GETS COLD.” * THE LEMON TREE GAVE * THE MONEY TREE GREW * BLUE JAY FLEW INTO THE PERSIMMON * SOPHIE MOVED TO BISHOP * VIRGINIA GOT PREGNANT * MATT HAS TO WORK TODAY * MAGGIE HUGGED * ANDREW MESSAGED * RAVEN LOOKED * NEIL YOUNG ON STEREO * SHIZU PRODUCED PRINT * MARI SOLD ITEMS * SOMEBODY’S FASCINATIONS FOR TRANSLATION STRUCK ME AS EXOTICISM * SOMEBODY’S FASCINATION FOR INTELLECTUAL ACADEMIC MARXISM STRUCK ME AS FETISHISM * SOMEBODY’S FETISHISM STRUCK ME AS ACCOMMODATION * SQUIRREL WAS CRUSHED *
lead natural strictures
1. vote democratic, burble like the ravens, chortle like the crows
2. pay your taxes and your dues, eat sunshine ravenous
3. comb your hair, wear clothing large enough for the body, live jumping
4. organize the workers, organize your face
5. encourage fellow feeling, recognize humanity’s wheelbarrow
6. take leadership, hop pertly about the landscape with wings folded back
7. never say die, bleed like the new girl
8. drink plenty of water, die on time
9. read theory, throw rocks into intersecting dimensions
10. fresh air and exercise, flange the electric guitar of nose and ear cartilage
11. don’t burn plastic, listen to waves squall and spit
12. women equal, attend all the conferences of rumor and haste
13. don’t swear, swearing up and down the high seas
14. fill what’s empty, empty what’s full, torn flap
15. be gentle, spoon the earthquake and tsunami
16. do your homework, squander Squanto
17. be bold, bolt your teeth with blackened modernism
18. dont be a sucker, dont play that cardamom
19. drive safe, not on trees in orange light
photo by Mike Willard