Tag Archives: christmas

selections from In the Sierra: Mountain Writings by Kenneth Rexroth

The question is not
Does being have meaning,
But does meaning have being. Continue reading

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~ 0 ~
SFO in the early morning
triple couple brunch date
SFO in the afternoon
yellow fever film
SFO late at night
Japanese, Mexican, American, or Chinese?

~ 1 ~
Hank Williams on the
turbulent red-eye
flashlights in the early morning
United Club at IAD
hella babies on the
flight to Jamaica
the first Jamaican woman to speak to/about me:
“it’s not fair. he’s not even using it,”
referencing my hair
all customs agents are the same stern
accosted by taxi drivers
one is hella chill so we go w him ($15)
he walks slow as hell
“we grow up w weed”
tried to sell me some but his guy is out
Caribic House
gentleman clerk
third floor balcony view of the sea
buy weed from souvenir shop ($20 for crap)
Pork Pit
buy weed from random vagrant (J$200 for crap)

~ 2 ~
breakfast at the Mocha Cafe
Knutsford Express to Negril
buy Blue Cheese from taxi driver ($5 for quality)
Yoga Centre
stroll and smoke along the beach
the German dude
yoga in the evening
shower and drinks
Alfred’s Ocean Palace
couple drinks and cricket at the Sunrise

~ 3 ~
smoothies and breakfast at the YC
chillin on the beach
spring rolls and papaya salad
Natalie naps / Americanah
drinks at One Love bar
curried conch w rice & peas at sweet spot

~ 4 ~
goodbye YC & Negril
KE to Kingston
wild winding ride east
the big city
the Spanish Court,
free rum punch on arrival
walking in the rain to
Devon House
coffee for her, coffee i-scream for me
walking in the lightening rain
Natalie goes chic in the city
divine Indian at Nirvanna

~ 5 ~
free breakfast: eggs, platanos, festival, bacon, fruit, coffee, water
taxi drive with a former yam farmer to
the National Gallery of Jamaica
walk through saturday downtown market
taxi to the grocery
Tashanna the angel
Natalie runs on the treadmill, i walk to KE
sunset swimming in the freezing infinity pool
hot bath w love
shower the hair
dress and small dinner
last home drink
up up up the hill to
dub club
smoky dub music in the clouds
saw fireworks
and popcorn
and dancing
circles, circling back to a
champagne glass next to the drivers seat
flask of herb wine next to mine
slowly, slithering back to New Kingston
in the nighttime of a new day

~ 6 ~
free breakfast: kitchen sink omelet, fruit, coffee, water, festival, platanos, and a complimentary mimosa
walking to the banks, several failed withdrawals
packing up
waiting for Robert
red shirt, tan truck, big smile
cash out
ride up
the treehouse
the tour
the pool and trail
dinner at 6?
acki and shellfish, peas and rice, greens not calaloo
reading and drinking
scrabble in bed under the net
never ending music for a wake, then an end

~ 7 ~
wake up puffy eyed a little before 9
shirtless on the balcony
big rainbow across the sky
Chef says breakfast is on the way
coffee, scrambled eggs w veggies, fried plantains, breadfruit (looked like dry pineapple slices), slices of mango, a peeled orange, everything fresh, juicy, lovely
more coffee, Bobby and Chef smoking
driving to Holywell
the waterfall hike
smoke at the falls
kiss on the hills
walk to David’s coffee plantation
the Chinese crew, little kids giggling and playing games, the two big dogs loafing and eyeing everyone, the coffee man deeply darkened by the sun yet profoundly lightened by endless cups of coffee
walking back home
Natalie’s forgotten R1: the run
gap cafe too fancy
walk thru the military yard
flask of clear rum, water, cheese puffs, and chocolates at the bubbles stop
walk home
cold shower (Ginger on drums)
wifi, soup, and dinner (more Fela)
seafish, fried carrots and greens, potato, yams, plantains
greasy spliff
drinks and reading

~ 8 ~
up a little earlier, round 830
coffee and breakfast on the taller balcony
acki and fish, breadfruit, fried plantains, papaya, orange
reading reading reading
the ride to Craighton
the $25 tour w Jerome
280,000 coffee plants—arabica not robusta—the latter 52% of the world coffee, the former 48%—though like the #1 most traded good (oil), the #2 (coffee) is often adulterated as there’s no standard nor authority—and Blue Mountain arabica is something special, with 70% of its sales going to wealthy Japanese—Jamaicans themselves drink instant coffee—unless they’re like Robert—usually Arabica ripens in 5-7 months, in Blue Mountains it takes 9-11—juicier, sweeter—Twyman and other north side farmers get less sun so their harvest is shorter
three cups of coffee after the lesson
walk to red light
bananas and coconut snack from the roadside rasta
walk from red light
Natalie loses her shades
hitching a ride w the 33 year old who spent 20 years living in Kingston before moving to London, comes back to visit family every xmas, warned us of the dangers of hitch hiking
eits cafe
walking up and a ride w David, bobby’s coz
walking to prince valley
glasses for a drink and phone
meeting, laughing, smoking w omero from Oakland and Tazia from near Kingston
drinks and dinner: beans, greens, and pumpkin rice, perfection
beer and adieu
reading, reading, hearts, reading

~ 9 ~
up a little earlier, around 815
Ovid on the balcony
coffee and breakfast in the usual spot
acki and fish, plantains, coco bread
packing up and paying
dj dale down the mountain
bob Marley museum
best dinner (fried chicken, beef stew, pork stew, or curried goat?) plus rum
two wedding episodes of friends

~ 10 ~
coffee, toast, and fruit on the balcony
Mahogany Beach
food and drink on James (same menu)
crazy dance boat party TV
Turtle Beach
souvenir shopping i
drinks on James
moms restaurant (fish stew)

~ 11 ~
coffee, toast, and fruit on the balcony
souvenir shopping ii
passage to passage to India (naan, South Indian chicken, chicken tikka masala)
chilling at KE
KE to Mo Bay
El Greco, cocktail on arrival
cocktails and joint on the balcony (Half Pint)
bellboy escort to room, J$400
atm, the old walk
1/2 lb ribs at pork pit
the walk back
another round

~ 12 ~
up around 8
finished Herzog
breakfast: one American, one Jamaican (mine is fried fish, greens, small banana, yucca, dumpling, and Nat’s French toast)
old white retired everywhere
blacks go J, whites go A
down to the street, rum up
packing, Brilliant Corners, checking out
smoke on the cliff side
delayed flight
walk down to the park shade
bk fries
taxi to airport
lines, lines, food court, hearts
exit row flight
chaos at CLT Continue reading

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IMG_6207 copy IMG_6231 copy IMG_6355 copy IMG_6508 copy IMG_6571 copy Continue reading

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the high ceilings


under the red tinsel arches
under the Christmas tree
under the dark black boxes
in digital Yule log light

waiting for the new year to appear
at its appointed hour,
minute, second, moment, flicker
flame flash of time

the recipe:

one man pitch black and baritone
one woman legless and beautiful
one woman hostess so wonderful
one man rainbow-bordered bountiful
one woman, the lady chanterelle
one man as you hear him
and all the rest
shaken well

though the year dies
there is no understanding like death


when the lady chanterelle awoke, she found herself alone on the couch in the middle of a party. she, a beautiful little light brown butterflower, immediately summoned her lover and demanded a birthday poem.

instead of fulfilling her request, he asked, “what’s your favorite part of this room?”

the lady narrowed and then widened her bright eyes as she gazed around, meandering through media, tinsel, melancholy people. the lover was sure she would land on some solstice decoration, but instead, she said, “the high ceilings.” Continue reading

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my favorite albums from 2012

all the important decades are here except the 90s. Continue reading

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the five forward faces in my white crate

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Silver & Gold

like the very celebration of the solstice itself, everybody seems to think a different thing about holiday music.

growing up, i distinctly remember sitting in the living room with my father (the mood in this scene demands i call him that) with all the lights off save for the twinkling twinkling of the christmas tree. there we sat and stared at the dazzling reflections on the white ceiling, an array of red and white and green and blue and gold bending wildly through the evergreen needles of the conifer’s branches. it looked and smelled beautiful.

and it sounded beautiful too:

i was either never told the name “Nat King Cole” or i never remembered because it wasn’t until the fourth month of this year that i could say with total certainty that he was the one that had helped enchant my mind in those early winter years. in case you didn’t know, “O Tannenbaum” is German for “O Fir Tree.” i didn’t know. but it doesn’t matter. the great song streaming effortlessly, angelically from my dad’s reel-to-reel and to our ears magically seems to have managed to match the music of the universe, being and meaning and living with the fire of a thousand billion suns.

that’s only greater than the number of stars in our own solar system. may you have a super solstice. Continue reading

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portrait of the pirate

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In Ghosts [archive]

there is way too much on my mind right now.

right now, i am listening to RADIOHEAD’s ‘IN RAINBOWS,’ a fantastic rock ‘n’ roll record about the universe. there might only be one thing that i enjoy doing more than listening to the record and it’s staring at the album art. IN/ RAINBOWS IN RAIN/BOWS IN RAINBOW/S IN RAINBOWS/ IN RAIN_BOWS RA D IOHEA _D _RAD IO HEA D yellow blue orange green yellow-orange red sky blue orange cosmic supernova enveloped my ice rink blue star child. they really got the aesthetic right.

before i continue, let me just say that we should make 6am the new midnight. that way, when you wanted to talk about your crazy night out partying, you wouldn’t have to waste your breath saying, “yeah, so last night slash this morning was fucking crazy.”

anyway, last night/this morning, tori and i spent the night at the ft. funston beach. all my life, all my conscious life, i’ve wanted to spend a night at the beach. and just sleep there. sure, it’s a bit cold, but what more can a human ask for, what more besides the sound of perfect rolling waves dashing against your dreams? nothing. i woke up with the dawn, stood up, wrapping my blankets around myself and stared at the sea for maybe an hour or more, while tori slept. the ocean is a beautiful thing. it reminds me so much of the universe.

tori and i had a long drunken discussion about the universe. it was kind of like the argument i have with a certain environmentalist who has an easy time seeing the world in terms of the man/nature dichotomy. look at that powerplant blocking my view of the lake. look at those hideous skyscrapers, like a tumor on the foggy bay. look at those scraps of metal, orbiting this life rock we call home. no, no, i cannot pry myself from the belief that man is as much a part of nature as i am, as you are, as the bees are, as the trees are, as the walri, fungi, cacti, music, blossoms, words, and rolling waves. nothing is unnatural.

is music alive? this past weekend has been utterly musical and magnificent. friday, adam tori and i headed over to outside lands, ticketless and determined to see some good performances. after circling the golden gate park concert’s perimeter once, we started making a second round, returning to a little hill that we sighted on the first trip. some people were walking down already. i sat on that hill for awhile, realizing that it led to the backs of a bunch of vendors. eventually, i just said fuck it. walked down the hill straight to the fence, thought once thought twice looked around thought trice thought quice looked around said fuck it and jumped. my heart was beating like a motherfucker, but i was in and safe. eventually tori and adam made it over too. we were elated.

so we let some reggae quell our adrenaline rushes, feasted, and caught half of beck’s set, before making our way to the massive monolith of fans that was the site of radiohead’s performance. minus some highly disruptive, certainly memorable sound glitches in the early part of their set, they put on an amazing show, as usual. starting with 15 Step, ending with Everything in Its Right Place (classic.), making sure to play You and Whose Army?, blowing my mind with a dramatically intense performance of Exit Music (For a Film), radiohead made it good. the fog might’ve helped them.

on saturday, jumping the fence worked equally simply as on friday. after catching the end of an excellent bluegrass performance by Abigail Washburn & the Sparrow Quartet feat. Bela Fleck, dan adam and i made our way to the front of the stage to make sure we could see the lines on Devendra Banhart’s face. before he played, he and the band came out to throw everyone ice creams! dan adam and i each caught one, got a ice cream sandwich myself. after i finished eating, the band came on stage and the show pleased me greatly. if you throw your fans ice cream before you play, if you cover a classic summer song during the summer at a summer festival, if you happen to end your set with a song completely stuck in the mind of one of your fans, then you have successfully put on a very pleasing show.

i thought my excitement had been exhausted after devendra, because even though adam was excited for the next act, M. Ward, i really hadn’t listened. boy was i mistaken. from the first second to the last my ears surrendered themselves to that man’s guitar. i love concerts.

after that show, adam dan and i headed over to amoeba records. i traded in a ton of horrible CDs and a couple good ones for two records: ‘Ambient 1: Music for Airports’ by Brian Eno and ‘Marquee Moon’ by Television, two outstanding releases. if you haven’t listened to either, you absolutely must. the first will make you more relaxed than you have ever been in your entire life. the second will also make you relaxed, but you might want a beer to relax with that one. on top of those, adam bought me nin’s ghosts on vinyl as a late birthday / early christmas present. super super super happy happy happy yes yes yes.

oh dear goodness: meryl and i are seeing nine inch nails live in less than two weeks.

7 7 7 7 7 7 7 Continue reading

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