“For the most sensitive among us, sometimes the noise can just be too much.” – Jim Carrey – upon hearing of the death of Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

The cross city bus clamors out a murderous seasick solo backed by an orchestral scrum of whizzing internal combustion engines in uproarious brawl spewing invisible air and ear pollution death while begging for second gear; both instruments of audio-olfactory destruction, an offense to the ear and nose from landlocked personal space-ships bumper to bumper on the narrow streets of San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood; all, along with the antique streetcars sing out a cacophony of noise so disturbing I had to hold the phone, physically 1,500 miles away from the action, six inches from my ear.

Our story’s hero Jeff is laboring, careening up and down intensely inclined ski sloop streets chasing said bus while he screams into his cell phone at me “Man, the first thing you’d notice if you came back is the noise”. I tell him he’s preaching to the choir. The air in my environs of northern Wisconsin is so calm I can hear the sound of autumn leaves rustling along the well-kept lawns and iridescent blue birds singing their daily arias.

Writers flood into big cities, whether they know it or not, to be uncomfortable; since like the late, great Charles Bukowski opined “no one comfortable ever wrote anything worth a damn”. The city is life on steroids; it’s intensity keeping us all tense. The boulevard is a raging river of humanity and sometimes inhumanity. There is rarely a shortage of stimuli upon which to opine. Here the writers cup runneth over.

Our hero confides he’s been reaching back into his past to make that connection that sooner or later, sooner I think for some of us given recent societal developments, we all eventually make; that DNA linked memory to our roots. Jeff is currently covered by a warm blanket; surrounded by like-minded west coast social justice warriors – yet when looking back over his shoulder in contemplation of revisiting comrades from his mid-western past; he is floored, repulsed and catatonic over the addiction he sees in his childhood pals adherence to the new ersatz fascism; the redneck noise that is Trumpism.

In the same way it’s nearly impossible to escape the noise coming at us all like a Chinese parade, from eight different directions all at once; it’s the same for our natural inclination to decipher the content and arrange it in some assemblage of bite-size order. Is it as it seems? Is the new avalanche of information overwhelming our capacity to upload, sort-out and categorize it’s meaning and importance so we might get a handle on our collective future?

It can’t only be me and our hero who, overwhelmed by the noise, wish solace in heeding the wise voices from our past. Timothy Leary’s advise was “tune-in, turn-on and drop out.” Or the angelic voices of groovy guru of the day who suggest wandering in an open field for mindfulness training. Or the Birkenstocks environmentalist who insist we head back to nature and hug a tree; or the mental spiritualist that whisper meditation is the key. Maybe the best of them are the Tantra yogi’s who claim sexual pleasure is the way in and out; that the answer is a bit more of the old in and out. Being a hedonist myself I tend to flow in this direction.

Yet, with escape valves in place in case of overload and prayers to the universe for guidance, I can’t help myself wanting to sort through the noise and discover, like a pathfinder, which direction to point; for myself and others. The Stoics posited that the philosopher left the cave, examined the outside world and returned to tell the others of the joys and dangers outside the cave.

Now they’re be a noble and heroic cause; to be a fearless scout in the face of unknown dangers; to be a trailblazer for the greater good in a quest to report, interpret and transmit the findings. The conundrum seems to be we can’t translate through the noise to know what’s coming if we disengage from it.

In the end I’m left perplexed. Shall we try to make a path through the noise though we fear not knowing the answers and fear worse not even understanding the questions? Are we all just like our hero; wishing to be heroes; but succumbing to the dictates of surviving the day and reach for the safety and sanity of just catching that bus? #rednecknoise #Stoics #Trumpism #CharlesBukowski

Pivot Point

“Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall!”
John Dickinson; Founding Father

My girlfriends tears have turned to angry resolve. She yearns to tear apart the edifice of the fascist brute terrorizing her dreams and render his ascendency asunder. My best friend here, undoubtedly a Trump voter, seems a bit giddy. I want to tell him, like Trump. “I hear things”. Also like Trump, I don’t know if its true and since the outcome is settled I care less but I hear Trump won Wisconsin by 27,000 votes yet 300,000 voters were denied a ballot because they did not have a photo I.D. Therein, I suppose, lay the rigging.

Later today Trump will receive his first true comprehensive security briefing, wherein he is made aware of all our most highly guarded secrets. It is a rife of information Barack Obama was heard to have said when he received it, “I wanted to jump out of a window”. Perhaps this will level out our puffed-up braggart President elect.

I’ve found myself saying over the past several days when questioned about this rare phenomenon; “Well, he can’t be as bad as I think he is”. And though my stomach still churns every time I consider this sub-genius as our leader my nature steers me back to considering and acting out what will be my part in an outcome that represents the greater good.

Perhaps once we sweep away the lengthy litany of verbal transgressions from our normative societal behavior that the Trump himself has spewed and judge what comes next on what comes next from our confused and under qualified leader; those actions will lead us towards our next move. Meanwhile we have to hope that this man, positioned uniquely in history to do enormous good; does just that.

We are it seems clear stuck with him for now. And while I’m fully aware of all the apocalyptic predictions and fears and in my deepest heart of hearts share many of them, my higher self tells me no one man, even the first true populist ever elected, can throw a monkey wrench onto the gears of our lives and stop our forward progress; let alone render us crippled. And if I’m wrong and any one man can ruin our 240 year old experiment in self-government, the greatest idea in history; then I suppose we deserve it. #presidentelecttrump

Indian Summer

“The Indian Summer of life should be a little sunny and a little sad, like the season; infinite in wealth and depth of tone, but never hustled”. – Henry Adams

Returning to my comfort station, reclining as calm and safe as a man watching a snow storm from his fireplace, resplendent in my throne as form-fitting as a dentist’s chair; the Technicolor movie that never ends burns outside my writers window; bringing me once again to a level of consciousness and sense of detail rarely met. The weather seer on the magic box tells me this very day brings forth the peak of Fall’s funeral colors.

Autumn leaves empty of promise as a woman past the magic of birth cascade choreographed in a wonderland as quiet as asylum walls, yet hot as the boiler room of the damned; death colored egg yolk yellow and shot through with veins as red as Gods blood rainbow arcs as colorful as a shower of dying clowns.

They flutter, cut loose and fly in somnambulist vertigo exhaustion; oscillating on the almighty hawks reaper winds; looking like pixie magic carpets; organic meteor showers in this curious early evening; creating a musical serenade of tiny organic castanets inside north-lands mystical Peter Pan Neverland forest; then land in quiet triumph. Wood smoke clings to a darkened moonless sky like a quivering mist shaking in its tilt above and across a glass smooth lake.

Another more common death notice arrived across the wire today; my Muse, most dear to me, robed in colors soft pink and regal purple, is feeling the loss of one most dear to her. Though channeling the bereavement, nonplussed, she is comforted in the knowledge that every description of the end was never other than glorious. I will save a leaf or two in memory of this years last interment procession and place in them the memory of their best days, as I hope the amulet I sent her will assuage the injury and immortalize the sad event; elevating both their status to symbolic yet sacred sarcophagus.

The moment speaks an echoing acoustic truth; as above so below. The last chapter of Fall’s story mimics our own, or so we hope; that like natures end-of-days cycle we too, in our last evolution, will rush forth most musical and magnificently colored in our ending hours. Snakes shed their skin and stay; trees release their leaves yet still breathe and we jettison our flesh and blood while our soul essence linger. This Indian summer is the perfect time for the rewards of that esoteric existential wondering.

In this cycle of life, death and rebirth the deeds we leave behind are the steps of the dance we taught our brothers and sisters; they stay as rhythms they will never lose. We celebrate souls that pass to the other side in the same way we celebrate Indian summer;  just another life form bound by the rules of nature.

I’ll Never Forget What’s Her Name

“If you’re traveling to the North Country Fair; where the winds hit heavy on the borderline; remember me to one who lives there; for she once was; a true love of mine.”Girl from the North CountryBob Dylan

She’d come by the Commune’ selling Kush she hawked for her dealer on the side.  Smoking hot, tiny and tight and Midwestern lovely with an air that spoke she came from good stock; a daddy’s little rich girl getting her kicks playing bad on the dirty side of the field; had that wild but pure charisma thing going in spades; a real heart breaker.

I never spoke to her much; Maverick did the deals with her and she’d hang for a while afterwards and toke up a bowl with us. She always gave me the eye and like most of them saw the power and indifference and probably relished the challenge; wanted it to be sure; maybe she thought it would rub off on her or maybe she just wanted to get inside of it. I was used to the whimsical possessive vibe; a common occurrence for innocent flower children in that era.

One night she came by to see me and in no time flat off we sped in her rocket ride straight to her parents’ house. The electricity had long built up between us so it wasn’t more than ten minutes after she led me to her bedroom that we crashed into each other.

“You’re such a stud. Most guys I know are wimps. You’ve got charisma and I like your muscles and you’re smart but mostly I like that you’re cocky and you have a cock a girl wants to marry”, she said as we tangled the bed-clothes. I didn’t know if that last gush was a compliment or not but I didn’t ask since when she said it she had her hand down my pants and my little head in a passionate death grip.

She was a talker and after the deed was done held forth some more. “That thing you did to my toes last night made me come a little”, she said. I like that you waited cause’ when you finally (she drew out this word) touched me I came”, she said. She wouldn’t stop romancing me and I didn’t want her to though she was reciting this rock hardening stuff like learned rote from a script; but then she was an aspiring actress and it sounded rehearsed. I joined in and as she melted into me with every compliment I laid them on like hot southern gravy on mashed potatoes. Hours passed and I kept hearing that commercial that plays over and over every time I turn on my TV. “For an erection that lasts more than four hours seek medical help”.


She was my toy and I couldn’t stop playing with her;  an Olympian in the sack and our acrobatics would have gotten a ten from the judges. I now understand why some are driven to video tape their sex-escapades though I keep ours locked in my brain vault. Her body was at once like Masonite yet soft and yielding with those ski sloop breast and high shelf bottom. She had skin like alabaster and long strawberry colored hair; a classic Irish Colleen.

She was young, way too young for me, maybe fifteen years my junior; so much so that when she said “fuck me daddy” I finally managed to form a declarative sentence.  Well, I started to but now she sounded sincere and so good that I just kept mute. My endorphins were firing overtime and I could taste the adrenaline in my mouth even past her tongue which tasted like cherries. She smelled like rain and must have paid a fortune for that underwear which she had stripped down to in the most erotic way. It was an epic communion; but to be fair her bed was firm and lent itself to achieving maximum purchase.

I could hear bird’s chirping and kids playing outside. It must be Sunday morning I thought; we’d been up all night. I could hear her padding around on the hard wood floor fussing to find her sexy little waitress uniform. She ran a bath and lead me to the fragrant steamy bubble bath. She bathed me with a sea sponge and made sure the experience would be memorable; I was catatonic. She pried me out of the tub and dried me off with a huge Turkish bath towel, wrapped me in it and told me to lie down on the cushy couch while she made a breakfast of Belgium waffles with honey and blueberries and the best coffee I ever tasted.

I passed out on the couch and she went to work waiting tables. When she got back I had just gotten up and dressed. She packed a bag and we jumped into her Volkswagen and headed for the Wisconsin border where I had a buddy with a farm-house out in the boonies; wood stove, no heat; outhouse; real rustic. She’d scored some Mexican brown from the bus boys at the restaurant and we pulled over to inhale some. It was my first time and it was trans-formative. I was flying high with angels, truly in heaven. I was so in love lust I had to pull over to the shoulder every ten miles or so just so we could make out which elicited frantic honks from jealous truckers.

Once we got to the farmhouse and got settled we all dropped some acid; then did some more brown. The third day in it hit me like being kicked in the belly by a mule. I staggered outside and dropped face first into the snow writhing in pain. When it passed I went back inside and they all, looking at me in shock, said I had turned pure white. That was some weekend.

We drove back to the commune’ and she left then came back the next day wanting more but I was busy. Just then two euro-trash yuppies pulled up in a convertible sports car and in she hopped and away they went never to be seen again. I think her name was Barbara or Sandra; something with an “a” in it.

After the way she’d slow danced with my soul I’d planned to give her six months. Had she stayed with me she’d have been two years just catching her breath. But by the time she came back, lost and lonely, I was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean; on my way to Africa; half way around the world.

Man she sure could cook.