Monthly Archives: October 2010

Steppenwolf and Neal Cassady speak

extract from the middle of the preface to Herman Hesse’s Steppenwolf:

“I have already given some account of the Steppenwolf’s outward appearance. He gave at the very first glance the impression of a significant, an uncommon, an unusually gifted man. His face was intellectual, and the abnormally delicate and mobile play of his features reflected a soul of extremely emotional and unusually delicate sensibility. When one spoke to him and he, as was not always the case, dropped conventionalities and said personal and individual things that came out of his own alien world, then a man like myself came under his spell on the spot. He had thought more than other men, and in matters of the intellect he had that calm objectivity, that certainty of thought and knowledge, such as only really intellectual men have, who have no axe to grind, who never wish to shine, or to tell others down, or to appear always in the right.

“I remember an instance of this in the last days he was here, if I can call a mere fleeting glance he gave me an example of what I mean. It was when a celebrated historian, philosopher, and critic, a man of European fame, had announced a lecture in the school auditorium. I had succeeded in persuading the Steppenwolf to attend it, though at first he had little desire to do so. We went together and sat next to each other in the lecture hall. When the lecturer ascended the platform and began his address, many of his hearers, who had expected a sort of prophet, were disappointed by his rather dapper appearance and conceited air. And when he proceeded, by way of introduction, to say a few flattering things to the audience, thanking them for their attendance in such numbers, the Steppenwolf threw me a quick look, a look which criticized both the words and the speaker of them–an unforgettable and frightful look which spoke volumes! It was a look that did not simply criticize the lecturer, annihilating the famous man with its delicate but crushing irony. That was the least of it. It was more sad than ironical; it was indeed utterly and hopelessly sad; it conveyed a quiet despair, born partly of conviction, partly of a mode of thought which had become habitual of him. This despair of his not only unmasked the conceited lecturer and dismissed with its irony the matter at hand, the expectant attitude of the public, the somewhat presumptuous title under which the lecture was announced–no, the Steppenwolf’s look pierced our whole epoch, its whole overwrought activity, the whole surge and strife, the whole vanity, the whole superficial play of a shallow, opinionated intellectuality. And alas! the look went still deeper, went far below the faults, defects and hopelessness of our time, our intellect, our culture alone. It went right to the heart of all humanity, it bespoke eloquently in a single second the whole despair of a thinker, of one who knew the full worth and meaning of a man’s life. It said: ‘See what monkeys we are! Look, such is man!’ and at once all renown, all intelligence, all the attainments of the spirit, all progress towards the sublime, the great and the enduring in man fell away and became a monkey’s trick!” (Hesse 9-10)

extract from the end of a January 1948 letter, Neal Cassady to Jack Kerouac:

“To expect words to give one insight into life is like expecting a hog to know astronomy. Look now, how I’ve stopped and wasted time and paper to say such apparent trash; we all know this–fuckit!

“This isn’t ten pages, and it hasn’t got a mad stamp, and I’ve explained nothing you did not know, and said nothing that I meant to say, but–by God–I tried my damndest, I said my say and I know you know. That’s enough for me and all that I can expect.” Continue reading

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Happy Birthday!

i’ve been having some weird dreams, and remembering them. i guess it comes with the whole <8 hours/night thing because i’m a M-F hardworking man now. not a motherfucking hardworking man, just a monday-friday hardworking man.

for example, last night i had a dream that was way too easy to peel from my brain and transpose to some real-life events from the past week. actually, exactly a week ago tonight. girls, hair, etc. i liked the dream i had night before last because it was much more abstract and out in left field. i don’t remember the details or much of the surrounding storyline (and i know something elaborate was going on), but what i remember was a close friend’s girlfriend serving baklava at lunchtime costco, except it was kind of like a professional wrestling arena at the same time.

(i’m stoned and listening to Modeselektor. i’ve never heard this guy before. it’s okay.)

want to see things i wrote as notes in my phone? here’s one:


weekly girl
Greek music ruins

the first word was the first line ever written in this note. it was the saddened beginnings of a grocery list, sad not because of the shortness of the list, but rather because of the quality. it’s ok, i settled for just peanut butter and banana. the second line is blank. the third line refers to the fact that for each of the past five weekends, a different (and individually fantastic) female friend has found her way to San Francisco Bay. in the beginning of the month, aerienne drove up for Hardly Strictly Bluegrass (stones/blues/fog/shoes). the next weekend, Shannon flew from the east to see her sister married (sits/doodles/Thai/noodles). next, Allison also drove up for a music festival, this one with real tickets and on a fake island, (treasure/music/ecstasy/do it). last weekend, Rachel flew up with work as an excuse and play as fuel (Monopoly/playoffs/aches/eggs). and finally, halloween weekend, Anna Maria flew up to scare the city shitless (hugs/baseball/beer/birdtales). so so awesome. i don’t know what i’m going to do with this november thing, but i can’t wait to fly to New Yorsey (that’s gotta be sacrilege) to see moon madness in the shape of the sea.

the fourth line represents a stoned idea i formed last night when i was not stoned at all. i was taking a piss and, ok slight divergence here. is the bathroom not such a spiritual place? people love singing in the shower or while shaving in front of the mirror. the mirrors! the water! flowing water everywhere! it’s not even normal to go in there with someone else (unless maybe you’re a girl and you’re at a dirty club or some shit). you go in alone. it’s a tiled sanctuary of sitting and robotic muscle movements and cleansing, a place where you are forced into thinking all alone in your own dome. with running water and mirrors. ok enough of that, so i was taking a piss thinking about some future (age-darkened) world where the contemporary “ruins” are remnants of recorded rock & roll from the 20th and 21st centuries. imagine something like the Winged Victory of Samothrace, except it’s Prince’s Purple Rain without the title track. or maybe the Venus de Milo as 69 Love Songs missing the first and last discs. or all the different versions of Athena/Minerva (bless Her, eternal light), something like all those wildly different Miles Davis records (where’s that owl, that trumpet? bright eyes, bright eyes!). and Quicksilver Messenger Service’s 25-minute psychedelic version of “Who Do You Love,” originally by Bo Diddley the Man? lost to time.

oh, but that’ll never happen. we have the Internet and the Internet is Immortal. perhaps needless to say, the note is back to its original one-line form: “honey.”

did you ever realize that chicken kind of sounds like “chick” “hen”? or was it the other way around? which came first?

do you realize that the sentence “Nine Inch Nails scored the Facebook movie” would have sounded a little silly five years ago, would have been nonsense ten years ago, and could have been grounds for submission to a mental institution two decades ago? Nine Inch Nails scored the Facebook movie. Daft Punk scored the Tron movie. that one might have passed as poetry in 1982. Daft Punk scored the Tron movie.

do you pray? neither do i, but maybe we should sometimes. i mean, music is kind of like prayer. in fact, a month ago i attended a feverish worship of the cosmos led by the great guru Patti Smith and she taught me and my congregation a new prayer. well, an old prayer, one written by Francis of Assisi, the one who somehow persuaded animals to chill with him all the time. here’s his prayer:

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sadness, joy.

O Divine Master,
grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand;
to be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.


beautiful. here’s something i wrote on my phone:

leaky rainbow clinging desperate to my back pocket, multicolored water faucet dripping dripping dripping, and i think of nothing but the silly things i posit.

verbs whir with a beer
above my ceiling eyed by girl

add “the best” to the list
of words hat describe this it:
everything all god universe

tugging at the ends of your dress,
you’re making me jealous.

boats going by left and right,
painting just for me,
clouds keep coming, painting
just for me

bench fly high, transparent
radiation stuck in my head, go
away spacemen, this is my trip,
painting just for me

remember your first time
remember your third time
remember your eleventh time
remember be here now
remember birth is a death

the waves just roll
the robots just dance
the bamboo surrenders
the sand sucks you in
the dry lakebed cracks at dawn
the parties are always spontaneous
the ice can feel like a fury
steam in a hole can be a comfort
walk from trees to sea, believe
slow down, slow down
everyone is painting just for me

ask me about and i’ll tell you. i want to tell you about it.

f. Continue reading

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correspondance (n.)

communication by exchange of rhythmic foot and/or body movements. Continue reading

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All Delighted People

Spacemen 3
Sufjan Continue reading

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Can’t Help Falling in Love

sometimes i think i fall in love too easily. sometimes i think it’s silly when the military gets real mad at one of its own for killing. sometimes i think i’m a legless rock incapable of escaping the clutches of … Continue reading

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this is a post about APPEARANCES.

sometimes, when i’m wearing tight brown polyester Levi’s and i glance at myself in the mirror, long dark to light brown locks floating daintily across my shoulders and down my slightly hairy chest, i can’t help but thinking, wow, i am a sex god.

other times, when i’m wearing tight brown polyester Levi’s and i glance at myself in the mirror, long dark to light brown hair hanging stubbornly around my beard like a terrorist to his ideals, i can’t help but thinking, wow, i’m a dirty aging hippie living in my parents’ basement.

most of the time, though, i look away from the mirror and focus on the terrifying beauty that surrounds me on this bountiful planet. today, i’m going to focus on beauty of the famous, female, and probably photoshopped variety:

Zooey Deschanel, She

Victoria Legrand, Beach throat

Marissa Mayer, Miss Google

Katy Perry, Elmo enthusiast

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selections from the Space Child’s Mother Goose

brilliant verses by Frederick Winsor (without the brilliant illustrations by Marian Perry) from The Space Child’s Mother Goose. Continue reading

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favorites from the Devil’s Dictionary

DICTIONARY, n. A malevolent literary device for cramping the growth of a language and making it hard and inelastic. This dictionary, however, is a most useful work.

RONALD, adj. The qualia suiting deeply aesthetic personal resonance; attitude that serves as an immediate cofactor in progression toward existential bliss, a result of ballerhood.

“I was being all RONALD last night and then BAM, it hit me, I …AM the ape man.” Continue reading

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