Nobody's creekbed

songs, prayers, poetry, stories, art, photographs, moving pictures, fondnesses, tall-tales and meditations

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The Anterior Insula and Hwy W

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I have been gone so long. For this I am sorry. Let me say as way of excuse that the Hot House has been hotter than usual, the bill collectors especially dogged in their pursuit. I have been blinking, looking into mirrors and receding. A thing far away getting farther and awayer. You, however, are a dandy. So handsome. So gentle. So easy on the soul. So good with the hands. Thank you, Balm, we are not chapped as once we were.

I like to ask myself, What would Thomas Pynchon do? and then I remember that what Pynchon most definitely would NOT be doing is writing something like this, spilling such contorted, pointless wordthings, and he most definitely would not be reading that which I write here. So the question, like many of the questions I ask myself, sends me into a tailspin. What would Thomas Pynchon do? Something much more interesting, something much more complicated. We are lucky to get the adding and subtracting right, Balm, nuts to the calculus. Besides, Thomas Pynchon was born without a face. Did you know that? It is crazy, and only happens something like one every hundred births or so in the civilized world, but yes, he come out of his dear mother's wet, dark geniuschamber face-less, without face, sans face, un-faced; what he had was just a tight skin stretched taut over his skull like a drum. The doctors on hand were shocked, but one had the wherewithal to quickly puncture a tiny breathing hole in the middle of the skin. Amazing! But true. The catch? He was writing epic prose at 3 months of age, and finished his first novella at 8 months, a little thing 1500 pages in length. No kidding. Why even begin to hold myself to his accomplishments? I have had a face since day one. This face has been the death of my writing ability now that I think of it. I am so in the face, as they say, so face-y. I do not know that I have ever composed a single properly grammatical sentence (and this one may be among the worst). Not one, even. I do not know that I have ever composed one truly thoughtful sequence of words between periods.

What do I do instead? Oh, man. You had to ask. Well, okay. It is maddening. Great example: of late, I have spent way too much time in deep consideration of the following phrase:

Momma, don't let your cowboys grow up to be babies.

Just that phrase. Rolling it around. Parsing. Toying with. The many implications of. The points pointed out. The things here. Various heartbreakings. Hidden truths. Weird posturing. Weak internal laughter. Momma, don't let your cowboys grow up to be babies. I am not sure what to make of this idea, or really set of ideas, but making something I am. A thesis, or maybe a paragraph, maybe a song to the repeated chords of G and D on the guitar, or maybe I'll just hop onto my wheel and spin up a large ceramic bowl and then etch a pictograph into its side and toss it into my kiln. Howsoever the doing is done, I promise you lights in the laboratory are on. They have shut off most of my other lights, but in the laboratory I have a generator, and it runs on the grease I pilfer from the House of Pies. I sneak behind the place at night, you see, to the kitchen door, back by the dumpsters. I have a cook on the inside down there at the House of Pies you see, a charming but bloodthirsty kinda fella, his name is... ah, now, wait!! Gawd, you almost had me in the ramble. Down, mouth! Of course I am not going to tell you my cook's name. My grease hook-up. Are you kidding? You must find your own inside guy from whom to buy the cooking grease with which to run your laboratory's generator, EinsteinBalm. Didn't anybody ever teach you that? Didn't anybody ever teach you anything?? Were you raised in a barn???

If in fact you were raised in a barn, I am very very sorry. Some of us were raised in a barn, I know, and here I am mouthing off. Off-mouthing. There is a name for the psychological phenomenon of attacking that which is closest to you. A smarter man would know it, and if I were to enable comments here you could tell me the textbook name, and tell me again how ridiculous all of this is, how unlearned and, worse, how un-funny it all is, how un-everything, I know how you snipers are, and if I were to lay myself open to the assault my reversals would have reversals of reversals, apologizing for the apologies of apologies. I would be taking everything back, always, back-tracking, bumbling, because the mind never quits, Balm, and the idea of a second, questioning voice, much less a chorus of anonymous bastards here is too much to bear. Yet string words together I must. So, yes, shut the mouth. No more barns, no more apologies for degradation of the idea of being born in the barn and not learning certain fundamental life lessons, such as an untoward requesting of illicit connections on the part of your writer, or how to clean up after yourself, if you want to get all properly colloquial. No more barn-bashing, Balm; I love that you were made into a grown person inside the confines of a barn. I love it! Go, Barns!! My yogi teacher advises me time and again to be guarded in my speech, soft in my judgement, and I am trying. I'm'a tryin.

My teacher he also says to be a fruit on the tree of humility. You hear that, Balm? I bet you think that is hilarious. But I think it sounds nice. The creekbed is rather like a swollen fruit on a swollen limb of a swollen humility tree, a leafy tree. The once sweet fruit falls and things begin again. The life cycle. The wheel is invented by a neanderthal. Another ruler falls, has his feet ripped from his legs by an angry mob of farmers, dancers and earthmovers. A kid writes a blog called The Uncle Miltie of Everything. I have seen it all, and can attest. Mountains collapse, mountain cats howl like screaming human beings.

My teacher shudders at the thought of Justin Stone's creekbed.

Cooking grease generators emit an awful smell, I will tell you that much in confidence. And they are loud. But the energy lasts for hours. And the din is like the tumult of initial creation, things jump and leap from it, compose themselves, or so I find. Sweet buttery concoctions that taste of the Lost One Name of God.

Tomorrow: lists, commandments, declarations, amendments to the declarations, a joke or two. Tonight: gentle cradling, lullabyes, cooing.

What else? Certain things are afoot. Others are underfoot. Movies are getting made! Can you believe it? You may see this one, you may not. It might have a "weird" rating, and it might "star" people you would not want to take home.

It was all so empty, so barren around here that I just had to stop in and say some-thing, though the thing-ness of what I said here could be called into vigorous question. I will not be held accountable! That is our battle cry, Balm:
We will not be held accountable!
(Well, wait a second.)
(Until such time and place as we wish to be held to account.)
(Did you know that in Faulkner's hometown they called him Count No Account? Now that I said that, I hope it is true. Luckily we are not Faulkner. We write only of ourselves, and that we do poorly, negligibly.)
(Alright, I have to get out of here.)
(Please, please, please, I beg you: make at least one animal sound today. Think it and feel it. Stretch your neck out and scrunch up your face while you do it, because that is what animals do when they make sounds.)