Friday, May 29, 2009


A million notes in order to remember the day to day. The moments, that yes, make up the moments. And to someway or other organize, memorize, to understand the hows, whys, the meanings. 'Cos right now I'm floundering. I'm not on solid ground and I'm all but falling apart. Huge weights of 'known' pressures barrelling down on me. The unknown spooky as fuck on one hand and the knowable on the other. I am alone. I am the one and only achiever and planner for my destiny. I must focus all thought on getting it right. How do I expand my thoughts to books? To stories. And how do I de-woodify my writing? I want it to be wooden and I can't. I don't want it to be wooden and it's mahogany rush. Discipline is the message whispered on the wind to me. But whose? Mine? I have next to none. Except in pursuing my false pleasures. So long ago the feeling and meaning of the actions were forgotten. Mere mechanics... tick tick tick. And I have to find a way to look people in the eyes? Let them know I’m ok? I’m on the run. I always have been. I said somewhere that I am never truly comfortable. That I have only been comfortable a couple of times in the last years. And that was in a canoe, floating on a lake fishing, drinking beer. My straw hat shading my head as my feet got hot in the sun. Thinking of nothing. Mostly because I was so many miles away from any sort of civilization or place to do anything other than what I was doing. Fishing. I pulled some nice bass out of that lake, too. As a matter of fact I pulled the champeen bass out of that lake and was told so by the other two guides who had been fishing it all summer. Man, that was a beautiful day. Drifting around the lake, trying out hunches, coming up with nothing. Smoking my pipe. (I still think I’m too young for a pipe!) Then I was heading back to the cabin, the sun low but not quite setting behind me. I paddled hard, got some good speed then put my paddle in the canoe. It was coming around a point that had a rock shore that dropped and a big old log stump. I picked up my rod as I glided through the water and let fly my lure. BOFF! As my lure hit the water’s surface the bass hit my lure. As if they were both jumping, one from the sky and one from the bottom of the lake, to meet one another. Like long lost cousins running up a train platform to meet and hug and kiss one another. I fought him. And he fought me. In the end I won. I pulled him into my canoe after what seemed an eternity of him waltzing on the lake’s dance-floor surface. The sun slanting in a way that made the water’s reflection fire. The bass just kept dancing on his tail. Beautiful. I wrapped him in newspaper and took him back over to where the group was having their campfire cook out and showed him to the people. They were all foreigners; from a long way off. Come to see Canada’s great outdoors. I’d delivered. I was glad that supper was over because then I didn’t feel obligated to kill this watery prince. I slowly lowered him into the water, he floated dazed, shook himself once, twice and he was gone. I cut the blade of my paddle into the water and made for the cabin at the other end of the lake. Absorbed in the outward graces of the day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

ant WAR

The Ant War
Henry D. Thoreau
(an excerpt from “Walden”)

“I was witness to events of a less peaceful character. One day when I went out to my wood-pile, or rather my pile of stumps, I observed two large ants, the red one, the other much larger, nearly half an inch long, and black, fiercely contending with one another. Having once got hold they never let go, but struggled and wrestled and rolled on the chips incessantly. Looking farther, I was surprised to find that the chips were covered with such combatants, that it was not a duellum, but a bellum, a war between two races of ants, the red always pitted against the black, and frequently two reds ones to one black. The legions of these Myrmidons covered all the hills and vales in my wood-yard, and the ground was already strewn with the dead and dying, both red and black. It was the only battle which I have ever witnessed, the only battle-field I ever trod while the battle was raging; internecine war; the red republicans on the one hand, and the black imperialists on the other. On every side they were engaged in deadly combat, yet without any noise that I could hear, and human soldiers never fought so resolutely. I watched a couple that were fast locked in each other’s embraces, in a little sunny valley amid the chips, now at noon-day prepared to fight till the sun went down, or life went out. The smaller red champion had fastened himself like a vice to his adversary’s front, and through all the tumblings on that field never for an instant ceased to gnaw at one of his feelers near the root, having already caused the other to go by the board; while the stronger black one dashed him from side to side, and, as I saw on looking nearer, had already divested him of several of his members. They fought with more pertinacity than bull-dogs. Neither manifested the least disposition to retreat. It was evident that their battle-cry was Conquer or die. In the mean while there came along a single red ant on the hill-side of this valley, evidently full of excitement, who either had despatched his foe, or had not yet taken part in the battle; probably the latter, for he had lost none of his limbs; whose mother had charged him to return with his shield or upon it. Or perchance he was some Achilles, who had nourished his wrath apart, and had now come to avenge or rescue his Patroclus. He saw this unequal combat from afar, - for the blacks were nearly twice the size of the red, - he drew near with rapid pace till he stood on his guard within half an inch of the combatants; then, watching his opportunity, he sprang upon the black warrior, and commenced his operations near the root of his right fore-leg, leaving the foe to select among his own members; and so there were three united for life, as if a new kind of attraction had been invented which put all other locks and cements to shame. I should not have wondered by this time to find that they had their respective musical bands stationed on some eminent chip, and playing their national airs the while, to excite the slow and cheer the dying combatants. I was myself excited somewhat even as if they had been men. The more you think of it, the less the difference. And certainly there is not a fight recorded in Concord history, at least, if in the history of America, that will bear a moment’s comparison with this, whether for the numbers engaged in it, or for the patriotism and heroism displayed. For numbers and for carnage it was an Austerlitz or Dresden. Concord Fight! Two killed on the patriot’s side, and Luther Blanchard wounded! Why here every ant was a Buttrick, - “Fire! for God’s sake fire!” – and thousands shared the fate of Davis and Hosmer. There was not one hireling there. I have no doubt that it was a principle they fought for, as much as our ancestors, and not to avoid a three-penny tax on their tea; and the results of this battle will be as important and memorable to those of whom it concerns as those of the battle of Bunker Hill, at least.
I took up the chip on which the three I have particularly described were struggling, carried it into my house, and placed it under a tumbler on my window-sill, in order to see the issue. Holding a microscope to the first mentioned red ant, I saw that, though he was assiduously gnawing at the near fore-leg of his enemy, having severed his remaining feeler, his own breast was all torn away, exposing what vitals he had there to the jaws of the black warrior, whose breast-plate was apparently too thick for him to pierce; and the dark carbuncles of the sufferer’s eyes shone with ferocity such as war only could excite. They struggled half an hour longer under the tumbler, and when I looked again the black soldier had severed the heads of his foes from their bodies, and the still living heads were hanging on either side of him like ghastly trophies at his saddle-bow, still apparently as firmly fastened as ever, and he was endeavouring with feeble struggles, being without feelers and with only the remnant of a leg, and I know not how many other wounds, to divest himself of them; which at length, after half an hour more, he accomplished. I raised the glass, and he went off over the window-sill in that crippled state. Whether he finally survived that combat, and spent the remainder of his days in some Hotel des Invalides, I do not know; but I thought that his industry would not be worth much thereafter. I never learned which party was victorious, nor the cause of the war; but I felt for the rest of that day as if I had had my feelings excited and harrowed by witnessing the struggle, the ferocity and carnage, of a human battle before my door.
Kirby and Spence tell us that the battles of ants have long been celebrated and the date of them recorded, though they say that Huber is the only modern author who appears to have witnessed them. “AEneas Sylvius,” say they, “after giving a very circumstantial account of one contested with great obstinacy by a great and small species on the trunk of a pear tree.” adds that “’This action was fought in the pontificate of Eugenius the Fourth, in the presence of Nicholas Pistoriensis, an eminent lawyer, who related the whole history of the battle with the greatest fidelity.’ A similar engagement between great and small ants is recorded by Olaus Magnus, in which the small ones, being victorious, are said to have buried the bodies of their own soldiers, but left those of their giant enemies a prey to birds. This event happened previous to the expulsion of the tyrant Christiern the Second from Sweden.” The battle which I witnessed took place in the Presidency of Polk, five years before the passage of Webster’s Fugitive-Slave Bill.”

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

rambles are ok... today.

if it was a sunrise sort of idea, if it was first light, from the darkest hour, if it was Venus rising to be faded by the light, if it was all dew soaked well then I’d realize that perhaps all was well, that the plumbing was working, that the drain drained, that the things in this world that mattered were all in some kind of proper order. O how the list could go on: people walking on green lights, the wheat becoming golden, the surf breaking perfectly, the holiness of being screaming thru it all, in such perfected harmonies that nothing not even the broken teeth, the rusted machines, the faked abortions, the human offal, the discarded, could change the pitch, the tone, the perfect buzzing harmony, and out of all this, the only thing beyond a gnawing mosquito sound is the blue blue sky, full w/ one, & the odd human bug travelling to space, also exalted by a few other human bugs. O, O, O, & in it all there are the moments when there is an extra-conscious, a boost of energy, a shift in the being, that comes from being, destitute, pampered, no matter, ignored or white knuckled eyes wide peeking into to it all, a whole, a complete landscape of being presents itself, from Adam to Atom, and some that look never return, some remain transfixed in a Totality, completing it somehow, others take to complete, and others are humbled, and sometimes, again & again thru Time you find the corner of the veneer peeled back, and peeking is the only path, the only choice, and whether it is strong periods of being or times of weakness, no matter as it is a pre-determined action, the only parallel I can draw is the excitement & trepidation’s after dropping acid, the first 15 minutes, 30 minutes, 45 minutes, before the take off, before the world opens and the trip really begins, that wondering of ‘Wow…did I really do it this time?, am I coming back?, will I remember any of what I knew before?’. There is a beautiful old woodcut that is on the cover of a book, I believe it is called ‘The Discovers’, where a man is half in the world and half in the other ‘unseen’ world, the fascination that it exists, that we peek into it, that in our spines the human being, the human race is, at least, in understanding of this pt., a pt. that has no language to explain it, truly we are the race of Babel.

… and really what thoughts? What differences? I sit in the near summertime streets & I dream, I read, I listen to the cars & the murmurs of the passerby’s, I am throbbing w/ the rhythm of an ancient type, deep down blood flow, deep down lost connection, but what matter? really the sun is hot, the air humid and full of sounds that help transport me to other places & times.