Tuesday, September 28, 2004


yes, i was really in bed still when it happened. that's another story, though. it was a rather lengthy quake. i didn't duck and cover. i just laid in bed and listened to the glass fixtures tinkle and the bed squeak. i only got up when i heard lola crying in the hall. she is not a fan of earth shaking. oh no. the aftershocks were quite large, too. i generally don't think too much about quakes because i don't live in a city. there isn't much that could fall and injure me here. well, i used to think that...until last december's quake killed two women just north of where i live. thankfully, i haven't heard anything about any injuries this time around. hmm. i really do like feeling the earth pick up and tremble under my feet. but this morning's quake is as large as i like them to get. no larger.

tornadoes still scare the bejesus out of me. fortunately, tornadoes are scarce in my particular region. phew.

in other news...

my car has decided not to shift into reverse (willful). at all. i'll be forced to circle the globe for a loaf of bread. that will be mighty pricey. prohibitive even.

Sunday, September 26, 2004


i walked outside the hardware store and looked into the sky. a flag was there, floating, perfectly smooth. it was very high. i pointed. someone else looked, too. the flag appeared to be being flown like a kite. but that, of course, was impossible. too high up. then another flag appeared. then another. then a formation of flags. more and more formations at different levels of sky. some were flags of nations, real flags. some were flags that don't exist outside of my mind. i began to feel frightened when the flags overhead formed corporate constellations. a yellow ford symbol floated over. an advertisement for a household product. some flashy american flags woven into an otherwise innocuous rainbow affair. the sky began to fill with flags until all i wanted to do was go back inside and not remember the sky anymore.

i think that may have been a nightmare.

Friday, September 24, 2004

change up...

rules are to be broken/defy category/switch up styles like lee 'scratch' perry...

listening to herbaliser-- good girl gone bad. i'm a good girl, i am, oh so solid...but when she was bad she was oh so horrid.

i like.

tonight it was one rouge vif d'etemps pumpkin, one stargazer lily, two stems tuberose. the pumpkin really is vivid...and red. the lily, fragrant. lillies rock. and the tuberose resemble vulcanized teats. rubbery, blushed. udders from some unknown crypto-cow.

looking through the old boxes tonight. found a pair of beautiful black kid-skin gloves. 1940? dunno. but from some other era. to my surprise the ring box actually contained a wedding band. i'm not sure whose tether was secured in the spring-steel case. i suppose it doesn't matter. it isn't mine. i laid it back where it belonged.

now to put me where i belong. to bed, to bed.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

where is fancy bread?

in the heart. or in the head.


oh, it's bred. it's bred. but i like bread better. bread and butter.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004


$1.75 got me an aluminum newspaper rack for the back of my essex bicycle. woo-hoo! i say, woo-hoo!

Sunday, September 19, 2004

let's talk about the weather...

the weather has really turned. sweatered up and shivery this evening. the room just the other side of the kitchen is filled with plants. have to keep them from the cold, you know. kaffir lime. madagascar palm. crassula (jade plant). coffee shrub. lemon verbena. rubber plant. two avocado trees. begonia. chocolate soldier. geranium (pelargonium). staghorn fern. moth orchid. more will be installed tomorrow. it's a jungle in there. let the wild rumpus start!

till max said, "BE STILL!" and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into their yellow eyes without blinking once and they were frightened and called him the most wild thing of all.... i do love that bit.

vassilis vassilikos. the short story the plant (from, the plant the well the angel). i love that, too. somehow similar. more wild things.


was going to say something about how two parties, the idea of two parties, annoys me. how polar. pull-horse with badged eyes. tug-tug-tug o' war. but i'm too sleepy. i'm going to curl up and listen to the wind blow. try to sleep.

adios. to bed without supper.

Friday, September 17, 2004

the usual...

tuberose! i know, the excitement is contagious. tuberose!

some yard-long bean. some wee pumpkins.

a walk with the hounds and the sister. the sycamore odor thick along encina ave.

dem bones...

horse. wild hog. bobcat. housecat. gopher. songbird. current skulls in my collection. the horse skull is one of my favorites. the songbird is one of the other favorites. ends of a spectrum. the horse skull was a gift from the auntie. it was one of her horses. she ranches still. i'm not sure which horse is resting its head on the piano. the songbird skull is about the circumference of my thumbnail. wee. it came from an owl ball i found under a date palm. owls vomit the bones and fur of their prey. i also claimed the gopher skull from such a vomit ball. i'm quite a ghoul. what's even more ghoulish: the bobcat head came from roadkill. yes. i boiled all of the indecent and gory bits from the head and then bleached it. eeeew. and the housecat head was my old pal jack the marmalade guy. he disappeared for weeks. quite unlike him. then i found his remains, perfect skeleton, under the grapevines (grapevine...that's funny). alas, poor jack.... anyhow, i like skulls. cat skulls are wonderful. the ratios. the eye sockets are incredibly large in relation to the rest. everything is dwarfed by those spaces. it's remarkable. hog skulls are scary. blunt. hogs have very strong necks and shoulders. they are hard to stop. hard to maneuver. if a hog wants to go somewhere, good luck stopping them. oh, but they hate having their snouts tampered with. the very tender ends. anyway, the skull, the head, seems representative of the whole. the horse skull is all about length, reaching, digesting. it's like an envelope knife. the bird skull is thin, near transparent, sharp, large-eyed. it's like a bird skull. it's like a bird skull. and when i can think of something else it's like....


a bell is a cup until it is struck. hmm. i don't know. or it's just a bell at rest...a quiet bell. a cup? the space is the useful bit? i don't know. i don't know. a little from column a and a little from column b. sometimes i strike it. sometimes i leave it on the tray. sometimes i fill it and drink. instances. that pretty dangly in the middle is called a clapper, yeah? sometimes i want the applause. sometimes a quiet toast by my lonesome. cheers. cheers. and cheers.

Thursday, September 16, 2004


dreamt i was washing my hands. when i was unsuccessful, and quite frustrated, i woke up. my hands were clasped above me, wringing together, knitted. actually, the pinkies cuffed together. i wear a plain silver ring on each pinkie finger. one ring was a gift from my brother's friend when he came back from mali. that was nearly fifteen years ago. it's my favorite ring. but it wasn't made for fingers. it was made for toes. it's hammered silver, adjustable, a bit of overlap for sizing. this extra bit key-ringed onto the band on my left-hand pinkie. i was manacled. it was aggravating. in my pre-alarm torpor, i couldn't quite figure out what was real. was i dreaming my pinkies were tied together? was i really washing my hands? and then when everything sorted itself: how do i get untangled? answer: use the teeth. ah, teeth! nature's toolbox.

in the manner of...

will-dog. he used his ridiculous butter-teeth to pry open several peanuts that had fallen out of the peanut cupboard. yes. peanut cupboard. don't you have one, too? anyway, i know it's wrong to sit back and chuckle at the poor guy as he tries his damnedest to get at the nut. but dang it's funny. i felt bad and cracked the first one when i saw that he was struggling. but then i just watched. it's mean. i know.

the weather's a-changin'. woo-hoo! i like autumn. to celebrate i went for a walk in the chilly air and ate a pear.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

impulse control...

somebody needs to stage an intervention for me. i can't get a handle on my plant buying/loving/stealing impulses. today i went in search of a pot for the kaffir lime tree. i'll have to bring it indoors soon and the thought of arranging it in the sunny room in its black plastic nursery pot just does not thrill. i had seen a pot that i liked quite well. i went to buy that pot. when i saw it again i decided it was not as wonderful as i first believed. so i drove to another nursery. did i find a pot there? no. did i buy a lemon verbena, moroccan mint, basil and a staghorn fern? sadly, yes. in my defense, the lemon verbena was very root-bound and needed rescuing. i will not try and make excuses for the other purchases. i have an especial weakness for staghorn fern. and i like eating moroccan mint and basil (not at once...i mean, not simultaneously). charged with one simple task and what do i do but buy more plants. consequently: more black plastic nursery pots. what i need to do is go to the salvage yard and find any unwanted pleasingly rusted metal thingamajigs in which to plant things. i have a number of those already. i could end up with a matched set. hurray! and i won't risk running into any more growing things there...unless you count the proprietor's nose hairs...eeeeeeeeeh.

the aloe arborescens pups still need pots, too. splayed out on the portuguese chair. aerial roots in the, well, in the air.

memories of a dog...

left class. determined to steal pups from the hedge of tree aloe. but there people stood in the ale-yellow glow. swerved. had a sip at the water fountain in the dark. patches of bird shit stark white on the hardware. and then back again. the coast was clear. the new red mary janes bright into the duff and st. johnswort. one hand rummages under the hedge for aerial root. the other tucked between my knees. i lean. reel in two pups. turn to see the boy staring at me-- dashes away. i pull keys from my coat pocket and head for the wheels. then hope there's enough gas to make it to the filler. the lights play tricks on me. are those cars head on? yes. head on! and then they align and i breath again.

donned the old lady sweater. giant pockets. changed shoes a la mr. rogers. opted for cons. thin soled. harnessed the hounds. on the other side of town, near the pear tree, i make the hand off. put the tethers in the sister's hand and she continues slowly away. i pad down the culvert and up into pear limbs. the amber streetlamp makes everything ripe. ripeness is all. so the hand goes to the knees and the other hand into the leaves. four pears: two grounded, two plucked. the granny pockets bulge. the shadow looks like a hoop skirt. or maybe that's just my ass. but i take the tethers hold again. redistribute the load. take this one...and that one, if you would. the sister bulges, too. talk of bulldozers and the waste associated. whole trees upended when they've served their purpose. clumps of banana and rangy gum trees. past their prime. and why? back at the house lo-dog gives me kisses. will-dog dances the apache. sister unburdened. i, unburdened.

read some and browsed some on daido moriyama. the fly in the photo, the raindrops, lovely. the fly in the room, the one butting heads with me, unlovely. why? why, the fly in that photo is lovely. why, the fly on my head is unlovely.

i go now.

Sunday, September 12, 2004


hmm. must go to sleep very soon. i'll return tomorrow.

the brother...

he's a perennial enigma. if you breathe near his cereal bowl you'll put him off his breakfast. ever since we were little. his hand hovers above his dish. and yet. today he a)purchased dubious meat snacks and b)threw said meat snacks directly on the counter. i clean that countertop innumerable times in the course of a day. there's some serious filth there. money passes there. money is filthy. i say, "you put that directly on the counter." "yeah?" "okay..." "what?" "i'll never get you." "what?" "it's filthy!" shoulders shrug.

in other news...

the sister cut my hair for me. my neck doesn't know what to do. the weight is gone. hair is heavy stuff.

Saturday, September 11, 2004


the air is perfect tonight. perfect.

Thursday, September 09, 2004

street fair...

tonight we rode the bus for free. over the mountain and down to the bustling street market. tuberose had. also, pepinos. those are relatives of the eggplant and the tomato. nightshade family. they are somewhat egg-shaped. the skin is smooth and white but when they are good and ripe the skin turns golden. they have aubergine stripes. oh, and they smell wonderful. like a cherry tomato and a melon. that's what they taste like, too. melon, cherry tomato, maybe a little like mango. i brought home three of them. they aren't quite ready yet. i'll leave them on the tabletop to ripen.

plucked a begonia leaf from the potted one in the coffee shop. the underside the color of brick. topside blue-green with metallic specks. keep our fingers crossed it roots in the glass of water.

the entire house smells like tuberose from just three stems.

lila downs sings a song about the deceased and marigolds.

i'm shutting down this box now. g'night.

shout! shout! let it all out...

today, a woman came and shouted at me. she was not angry at me. she was angry at my superior, but decided to tell me about it. oh, maybe she was a little angry at me, too. merely because i was there. convenience. the funny thing is, i had no idea who she was or what she was yelling about until she spun on her ridiciulously clad heel and left. an introduction would have been super. "hi, i'm so-and-so johannson..." "hello, i'm bill blah-didi-blah..." and so forth.

it has been intolerably hot here. maybe the heat is getting to people. maybe it's the alignment of the stars. maybe lack of fiber. dehydration. car alarms. flies. maybe bread that molds before the date (that gets me). maybe what's making us itchy under the collars is the thought of some young'uns dying over in that other hot place (that one also gets me). warts. acid reflux disease. finger sandwiches. sap on the windscreen. indiscriminate highbeams. plastic bags. static electricity. aging. jingle bells. overactive bladder. cracks in the pavement. torn awnings. table tennis. snot. cold feet. waste paper baskets. basset hounds. stoplights. red hair. elaborate handshakes. neck cracking. bologna. squeeze from the bottoms. atomic ----. lint. dry mouth. over-under-through-the-loop. fuck(ing). trout. paranoia. the sky falling. w. tuition. penicillin. television. instant replay. lottery. never looking up. looking up.

so many things piss people off. and there is no map. and a compass wouldn't help at all. jaaaa-haaaaaa. etc.

i'm not going to proofread. those mistakes are half my charm.

Monday, September 06, 2004

aaaaaaahhhhhhhhh! the horror...

we went shopping today. it was most unpleasant due to the soaring temperatures and half-top bedecked crowds. hmm.

in one store, there was aisle after aisle of halloween merchandise. it had me confused for a moment. i thought i had blanked out and came to in october. no such luck. among the racks of halloween candy, we noticed the "halloween pie pan." i'm using quotes because "halloween pie pan" are the words of the manufacturer/advertisers. there was nothing visibly halloweenish about the pan. no ghosts. no ghoulies. no dracula. nothing. n'er a bat or amorphous beastie. so we began considering (which is nearly always dangerous) what it was that we were missing. in short: to what did the pie pan owe this colorful name?

was it the complimentary sache of cinnamon? nein!

could it be that the pan vanishes when filled with pie? unlikely.

does it change color? and if so, how does this qualify as halloweeny?

"ah," sister suggested, "i bet it screams when you put it in the oven." yes. we have a winner. and although i say that rather arbitrarily, as we neither bought the pan or tried to bake in it, i like to believe that this is the very reason.

the horror...or possibly...the morror...mah-mah-mah!

what's become of me?

i bought the arthur rankin jr. animated version of the hobbit. call the doctor. i've got a case of t.v.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

idiot box...

my friend gave me a television today. i haven't owned a t.v. in a long time. years. i have a number of movies on vhs and dvd even though i don't own a vcr, dvd player, or television. i like movies. when i want to watch them i generally just impose on someone else. make them watch a movie with me. then, i leave. but no more! i have a television. i don't think this will be terrible. i don't have cable, so i only receive one channel. i won't become a total vidiot. at least, i hope not. hmm. mixed feelings.

my friend's mother used to sell real estate. when she was looking through her clients' homes, she would first ask, "where's your shrine?" they almost always knew she was refering to the entertainment center. veeery interesting, that.

Saturday, September 04, 2004


banana/mandarin smoothie for the heat. the sleepy jackson because because because.

and i'll now take a break from the musical proselytizing. promise.

Friday, September 03, 2004

birds again...

"i made my bed in the house of night,
and thought no bird could sing without light.
but a star shakes gut, and the moon, a gong,
though the throat of the bird is hushed in song."
--c. rakosi

"an ideal/like a canary/singing in the dark/for appleseed and barley." --c. rakosi

"he sows a bird in her knickers..." --björk

"mash the cobalt/and the carnelian/of that bird..." --lorine niedecker

"a slit of light/at no bird dawn---/untaught/i thought..." --lorine niedecker

"i rose from marsh mud,/algae, equisetum, willows,/sweet green, noisy/birds and frogs..." --lorine niedecker

"they were like birds beating their wings against her window and calling to her every morning, 'nous t'aimons, marie.'" --dostoevsky

"thou wast not born for death, immortal bird!/no hungry generations tread thee down;/the voice i hear this passing night was heard/in ancient days by emperor and clown..." --keats

"is there any one among you,/ o spectators, who would lead/with the birds a life of pleasure,/let him come to us with speed/all that here the laws condemn,/ with the birds is right and proper,/you may do it all with them..." --aristophanes

"...'tis a bird you are always repeating;/a rumour's a bird, and a sneeze is a bird, and so is a word or a meeting,/ a servant's a bird, and an ass is a bird..." --aristophanes

"then shall i turn my face, and hear one bird/sing terribly afar in the lost lands." -- (e.e. as sung by)björk

"you are worth hundreds of sparrows..." --sparklehorse

Thursday, September 02, 2004

handing it over...

incidentally, i'm enjoying björk's latest, too. when she sings in icelandic, when she yammers in her björkish, it gives me gooseflesh.


when in doubt giiiiive...


listening to m.ward now.

thai food makes me happy. especially, when i'm very, very hungry. i had thai food for dinner. threaded the crowds and bought four stems of tuberose. i'm so fond of tuberose. i could say some fawning and obscene things about those. i could. nothing should be that beautiful. or smell so nice.

so we've got quite a trinity. tuberose, thai victuals, m.ward. i've had a lovely thursday evening.

hell yes. m. ward makes me want to go driving a long drive to nowhere. go buy an m.ward album. i'm not joking. do it now!

and stop to smell the tuberoses...tuberose....

also, pick up a lila downs album. i saw her sing in mission san luis obispo de telosa several years ago. the harp. the unearthly wail that lady lays down. aye! give her a listen. please.

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

and one more thing...

today a man came in and gave me money. i'm a clerk. it's nothing shady. nothing unladylike so don't get your knickers in a twist. he gave me damp money. and that, if you like, can twist your knickers. it sorta twisted mine. and he had nails like that guy in the bible that wandered around and grew hairy and beasty. nebuchud... nebechnezzzzzer. hell if i know. i tried to cheat and use this handy dictionary right over there. it didn't have ol' neb in there. oh, you try and spell with some ciders under your belt. bah! anyway, he gave me wet money. and he never speaks. he only grunts. no kidding. grunts. and he breaths through his mouth and his tongue spills out a little. and he glares. and i always wonder why the money is wet. and someone else that gave me wet money said, "sorry. it's wet. i've been sweating." and i thought, i really did, i thought, i prefered mystery. and how.

p.s. kids
ixnay on the ickinglay of the andshay after touching the oneymay. rule number one. wash the paws.