Monthly Archives: May 2013

on my 25th birthday, i stood alone at the Ocean Beach shore and read aloud this poem, “To the One of Fictive Music,” by Wallace Stevens. then i looked up, photographed the sun.

Sister and mother and diviner love,
And of the sisterhood of the living dead
Most near, most clear, and of the clearest bloom,
And of the fragrant mothers the most dear
And queen, and of diviner love the day
And flame and summer and sweet fire, no thread
Of cloudy silver sprinkles in your gown
Its venom of renown, and on your head
No crown is simpler than the simple hair.

Now, of the music summoned by the birth
That separates us from the wind and sea,
Yet leaves us in them, until earth becomes,
By being so much of the things we are,
Gross effigy and simulacrum, none
Gives motion to perfection more serene
Than yours, out of our own imperfections wrought,
Most rare, or ever of more kindred air
In the laborious weaving that you wear.

For so retentive of themselves are men
That music is intensest which proclaims
The near, the clear, and vaunts the clearest bloom,
And of all the vigils musing the obscure,
That apprehends the most which sees and names,
As in your name, an image that is sure,
Among the arrant spices of the sun,
O bough and bush and scented vine, in whom
We give ourselves our likest issuance.

Yet not too like, yet not so like to be
Too near, too clear, saving a little to endow
Our feigning with the strange unlike, whence springs
The difference that heavenly pity brings.
For this, musician, in your girdle fixed
Bear other perfumes. On your pale head wear
A band entwining, set with fatal stones.
Unreal, give back to us what once you gave:
The imagination that we spurned and crave.

looking up, west Continue reading

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visions at Fillmore

the old grey wizard, wispy braid swinging, stroking the long, tall, parallel golden bars marking the entrance to the music venue. unwavering in his focus, he dabs in polish and wipes with care.

the small blonde boy in school uniform hugging his small white dog while ducking behind garbage bins and bus stops, hiding from nobody knows whom.

the curly-haired rainbow hippie in light beige moccasins weaving an early dream for some faraway man perhaps even she has never seen. Continue reading

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chasing a sugar high

sometimes, during my daily naps w mama, i would sneak to the kitchen, open the sugar bowl, and stuff a spoonful in my mouth.

tumblr_mn7vybS5Si1sr9b8mo1_1280

my childhood memory illustrated by Postcards From My Childhood. Continue reading

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Random Access Memories (LP vs CD)

RAM LP

LP above.

CD below.

RAM CD Continue reading

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tote

but how is an idea conceived? here’s one example.

for many months, for over a year, i biked to work every single day.

a few months ago, i moved further out, so i resigned myself to taking muni. this wasn’t so bad. after all, i could read and read and read and read to my heart’s content, and i did.

then last thursday, the official 2013 bike to work day in SF, i took the opportunity to bust out my bike. it wasn’t actually that bad. slight downhill on the way over and more than a slight uphill on the way back, the total riding time came out to a little over an hour. it was a beautiful day.

after that, i decided that it wouldn’t be so bad to bike to work once a week. without picking any day in particular, i actually followed through this past monday morning. i’d heard from someone else that it’d be the warmest day of the week which, even though i don’t put much faith in the bay area’s meteorologists, gave me a place to start my new weekly tradition.

yesterday morning, due to the unprecedented release of a new Daft Punk studio album in my conscious, adult life, i reserved my muni commute for Random Access Memories. later, my coworker gave me a ride home. these two instances combined meant reading was put off for another day, but no matter. today, over the course of there and back again, i flew through all five acts of Oscar Wilde’s blank verse drama called The Duchess of Padua.

The days are over when God walked with men,
But Love, which is His image, holds His place.
When a man loves a woman, then he knows
God’s secret, and the secret of the world. (III)

it was astounding.

the hundreds of words of the day sank under my skin while i danced around my house to the Postal Service, did the dishes, and practiced some bass. eventually the bass made me feel hungry, so i decided to make the most decadent breakfast ever: fried way too much bacon for one person, threw sliced mushrooms in the leftover grease (then removed them), and toasted bread w white cheddar cheese while frying a couple eggs in the grease. finally, lay down some spinach on the open-face bread’s melted cheese, bacon on the spinach, mushrooms on the bacon, and eggs on the mushrooms. divine.

a little too divine perhaps. after all, i’m getting to be 25. should a man be eating so much bacon and cheese and grease that his cheeks are full while he’s sticking further strips and bits inside? maybe. but maybe i should be trying to counterbalance it a little bit too. why not a bike ride tomorrow?

indeed, it would solve one other problem… my reading too fast. sometimes when you read six plays in a row, they sort of run together instead of really seeping in. i tried to counterbalance this by trading off genres with other genres (drama >> philosophy >> fiction >> etc) but that honestly wasn’t that effective. they’re all just words and words are weary.

so, the idea: bike in between every finished work. Continue reading

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initial data from Random Access Memories

hype.
ragtime disco.
F-Zero X.
Sufjan Stevens.
Zapp & Roger.
Chromeo.
Kermit.
live drumming. nothing is better than live drumming.
live bass. nothing is better than live drumming backed by live bass.
choirs.
dad rock.
that “pew” sound we all know from “Ring My Bell.”
Michael Jackson is dead.
Donna Summer is dead.
Moroder is alive.
Nile’s alive.
house.
so slow but just fast enough.
handclaps.
syncopated syllables from Panda Bear.
Final Fantasy.
NASA.
Aphex Twin.
Fleetwood Mac.
Sade.
Aerodynamic.
Teachers.
Human After All.
how else do you present the ridiculous? as if it were perfectly ordinary?
patience.
magic.
a song about sex.
a song about dance.
songs about life.
a Rhodes.
i want to believe.
arpeggios, strings, four and the floor, don’t ask for more.
cheese.
thesis, antithesis, synthesis. Continue reading

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my favorites from The Superior Person’s Second Book of Weird & Wondrous Words, by Peter Bowler, with my own sample sentences provided

TO DO

remontado
retrobulbar
rhadamanthine
rhathymia
Risorgimento
rutilant
sackbuts
scopophobia
scordatura
sialogogue
sitophobia
snood
sophomania
staurophobia
supernaculum
supernal
taphephobia
teleophobia
tenebrific
tonitruous
ubiety
undergrope
unthirlable
varietist
vecordious
verbicide
verisimilitude
whangdoodle
witzelsucht
xanthopsia
xenodocheionology
zeitgeist
zooerastia Continue reading

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who can judge me?

in which the Hero doesn’t give a shit. Continue reading

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Show Me (the Hindu Art of) Love

photo(1)typically, thanks to the fact that i never board the metro near downtown, i get a seat. and, more often than note, i get a seat by a window, because nobody else wants to be locked in. i, with my 45m commute to and from work, do not give a fuck. so i usually crawl into my window seat, maybe prop my legs up, and bury myself in whatever book i want, even if that book be an illustrated copy of the Ananga-Ranga, an Indian sex manual written in the 15th or 16th century to save “foolish and unintelligent” from their “animal point of view” of women.

it’s interesting stuff, even for an unmarried 21st century man like myself, but not necessarily what you want to be caught reading in an aisle seat surrounded by restless commuters in the middle of rush hour. oh well…

It is true that no joy in the world of mortals can compare with that derived from the knowledge of the Creator. Second, however, and subordinate only to this, are the satisfaction and pleasure arising from the possession of a beautiful woman. (xv)

do i buy it? i’m fascinated by religion and often even consider myself a pretty spiritual person, but i’m not sure i’m quite yet on the level of putting something like “knowledge” above “pleasure.” why can’t we have it all and just admit that “knowledge of the Creator” is the same thing as “possession of a beautiful woman”? in all seriousness, i’ve found myself suggesting this very notion especially when discussing music. for sex is a kind of rhythm, despite Chris arguing it not being a very good song, and therefore maybe it’s the rhythm of the Creator. oh dang. also, yes, we’re all uncomfortable with the word “possession” when applied to “woman,” no matter how “beautiful.” moving along.

And thus all you who read this book shall know how delicious an instrument is woman, when artfully played upon; how capable she is of producing the most exquisite harmony; of executing the most complicated variations and of giving the divinest pleasures. (xvi)

photo(4)

delicious indeed. no matter how true this selection might be, one can’t help but imagine it coming from the twisted mouth of a sleazy old monster hiding in some horrible saloon caught halfway between Middle Earth and the Tenderloin.

i thought it’d be helpful to see the illustrations i saw while reading this text. also, picture the guy sitting next to me on the metro thinking to myself, “oh jesus i’m sitting next to a fucking creep.”

Before proceeding to the various acts of congress, the symptoms of the orgasm in women must be laid down. As soon as she commences to enjoy pleasure, the eyes are half closed and watery; the body waxes cold; the breath after being hard and jerky, is expired in sobs or sighs; the lower limbs are limply stretched out after a period of rigidity; a rising and outflow of love and affection appear, with kisses and sportive gestures; and, finally, she seems as if about to swoon. At such time, a distaste for further embraces and blandishments becomes manifest: then the wise know that, the paroxysm having taken place, the woman has enjoyed plenary satisfaction; consequently, they refrain from further congress. (19)

the first thing that comes to mind for me while reading this is… how scientific! it all sounds about right, but i can’t in good faith verify any of it. if i compare this to what i see in porn, i’d be a laughing stock for believing porn to any degree. and if i go off of personal experience, well, let’s just say i’m not exactly in a studious mood while engaging with a women undergoing “paroxysm.”

photo(6)The following are the signs by which the wise know that woman is amorous:–She rubs and repeatedly smoothes her hair (so that it may look well). She scratches her head (that notice may be drawn to it). She strokes her own cheeks (so as to entice her husband). She draws her dress over her bosom, apparently to readjust it, but leaves her breasts partly exposed. She bites her lower lip, chewing it, as it were. At times she looks ashamed without a cause (the result of her own warm fancies), and she sits quietly in the corner (engrossed by concupiscence). She embraces her female friends, laughing loudly and speaking sweet words, with jokes and jests, to which she desires a return in kind. She kisses and hugs young children, especially boys. She smiles with one cheek, loiters in her gait, and unnecessarily stretches herself under some pretence or other. At times she looks at her shoulders and under her arms. She stammers, and does not speak clearly and distinctly. She sighs and sobs without reason, and she yawns whenever she wants tobacco, food, or sleep. She even throws herself in her husband’s way and will not readily get out of his path. (29)

if you think that sounded straightforward, then prepare yourself:

The following are the eight signs of indifference to be noted in womankind:–When worldly passion begins to subside, the wife does not look straight between her husband’s eyes. If anything be asked of her, she shows unwillingness to reply. If the man draw near her, and looks happy, she feels pained. If he departs from her she shows symptoms of satisfaction. When seated upon the bedstead, she avoids amatory blandishments and lies down quietly to sleep. When kissed or toyed with she jerks away her face or her form. She cherishes malicious feelings towards her husband’s friends; and finally, she has no respect nor reverence for his family. When these signs are seen, let it be known that the wife is already weaned from conjugal desires. (29)

photo(5)“i swear to god she was making no clear signs whatsoever. all she ever did was JERK HER FACE AWAY anytime i tried to toy with her… how the hell was i supposed to know she didn’t want sex?” part of me wants to give the author a break because this was written in the 15th century, but then other times he proves that he’s actually somewhat ahead of his time:

And, moreover, let it be noted that the desires of the woman being colder, and slower to rouse than those of the man, she is not easily satisfied by a single act of congress; her lower powers of excitement demand prolonged embraces, and if these be denied her, she feels aggrieved. At the second act, however, her passions being thoroughly aroused, she finds the orgasm more violent, and then she is thoroughly contented. This state of things is clean reversed in the case of the man, who approaches the first act burning with love-heat, which cools during the second, and which leaves him languid and disinclined for a third. But the wise do not argue therefrom, that the desires of the woman, as long as she is young and strong, are not the full as real and urgent as those of the man. The custom of society and the shame of the sex may compel her to conceal them and even to boast that they do not exist; yet the man who has studied the Art of Love is never deceived by this cunning. (32)

basically, only an idiot believes a woman who plays along with society, pretending to be less interested sex than men. even the first part feels pretty spot on. guys just want to put it in, jackhammer, come across the world, and sleep. women need time to get worked up. and how do you take your time? well there are SEVEN different places you can kiss her!

And understand at once that there are seven places highly proper for osculation, in fact, where all the world kisses. These are–First, the lower lip. Second, both the eyes. Third, both the cheeks. Fourth, the head. Fifth, the mouth. Sixth, both breasts; and seventh, the shoulders. (100)

photo(3)and those are only the “highly proper” places ;)

really, i could be copying so many more massive chunks of the text to this blog, so i’d better stop there. but before i go, let me leave you with the footnote on the term “Purushayitabandha,” which “is the reverse of what men usually practice. In this case, the man lies upon his back, draws his wife upon him and enjoys her.” (125) the footnote reads:

This position is held in great horror by Muslims who commonly say, “Cursed be he who makes himself earth and woman heaven!”

so she can be on her back, on her side, standing up, sitting on you (if you’re sitting), and on her belly (or all fours), but Allah forbid! she catch you on your back? please, you should try being earth every once in awhile. it’s quite humbling. Continue reading

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blind

in total, i drank one beer and a few sips of rye this weekend. what an interesting, beautiful weekend.

sunday was the cherry. my love left in the early afternoon after we feasted on bacon, cheesy broccoli eggs, and chili, all thanks to my lovely roommate Xanthe. goodbyes are easier when you’re on a mission for big sound. traffic was just fine, letting me zoom the pantyflasher east across the bay and back in time with plenty of time for sunset. why danville? because:

mesa and fender

in order of appearance in my life: one black Fender jazz. one Mesa M6. and, today acquired, one Mesa 1×15. that’s my new setup, and it should last me for a long while. for a little house in Ingleside, 320 watts running through a single 15″ speaker should suffice. christ, i don’t even know how to play the bass. at least it looks pretty!

now, fat on my own homemade Circassian Chicken, let me attempt a snippet of saturday.

wandering, wandering, wandering…
stark bluff rising like desert architecture…
gentle crashing blue-green-gold Pacific…
ourselves some little California seclusion…
blue blanket out of the bag, green grapes rolling, dark hair
blowing, pink frills lazily flowing, red pepper
goat cheese cracking a kaleidoscope of flavor
and tone and warmth the solar radiation, sometimes
grey floating wisps of dust and fog, ingredients to a perfect state,
the state that is our little California seclusion, my death.
a bit later, after escaping the scythe-wielding timekeeper
the sea, she killed me again.

if you are a good boy in heaven, and you die,
you enter an even greater paradise.

i’ll admit i’m not presenting the entire picture. Continue reading

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