Monday, April 24, 2017

April 25

The days go by, and so much is so banal: getting things done, watching something stupid on TV. But then there are those moments, where your daughters tell you that you are the best dad ever, or you’re holding them, or making them laugh and it is anything but banal. I’m thinking this morning about something Sofia asked, “How did God form?” Something she said she’d been thinking about for a long time and had a feeling she would be thinking about for a long time to come. I posted this on FB and a rastafarian friend responded that God was energy that had always been here and always would. That makes intuitive sense, but also just makes the head spin faster. How could something just always be? It makes being alive so poignant somehow, the more you think about it. And I’m thinking about it extra hard because I’m listening to an esoteric book, “You Are The Universe,” which talks about many things, including different theories for how the universe formed, and especially how many perfectly precise “accidents” had to occur for us to be here, to form anything at all, to form DNA for instance, and how odd it is that we can reason all of this out. It just leaves you with a sense of awe. Hard to get any housework done when you stop and try to take in eternity. You feel so impossibly small and impossibly large at the same time. Like at some level the universe points to you as a culmination. And sometimes I feel like that, like I’m grooving with everything. But also I’m an idiot who can barely function in life, not to mention infinitesimally small in comparison to this city, let alone the planet and the billions of stars beyond us.

***

One member of my family was complaining about another member of my family, and I’m listening, and I’m wondering if all of this complaining is necessary. Suddenly I remember a line from a Trevor Hall song I heard recently, “Don't you carry stones in your bowl of light.” I like that idea, that any resentment or upset you carry is like carrying stones. But immediately after I had that thought a line from the song I was listening to, the Byrds’ “Turn! Turn! Turn!”, jumped out at me... “[there is] a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.”

Amazing timing. I’m a writer, so always fitting words together, stitching them into meaning, and it’s hard to ignore the precision of the timing of these words in a moment like this. I’m having a thought that is a judgment, “this person is complaining and these complaints are like carrying stones.” And the radio immediately answers me with, “there’s a time to cast away stones, a time to gather stones together.” I’d never even considered these lyrics before. What the hell does casting away stones and gathering them together even mean? But now here they were, a clear and direct response to my thoughts: don’t judge the complainer. Maybe it’s time to gather these stones together? Maybe it’s time to do something about the problem?

It’s a good example of how quick witted and full of wisdom the universe can be if you are listening.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

TO BE SAVED FOR (FROM) THERAPY

panic attack?

not sure what this is?

not sure about anything.

my heart is beating fast. i'm afraid.

can't tell if this physical or spiritual.

the two conflate. can't tell if I'm afraid because of my heart. or that I can't feel my face or that I feel as if I"m dying, or if I feel as if I"m dying because I'm afraid. Afraid of losing of my family. 

Afraid of being irrelevent. Afraid of the anger of Genevieve. Afraid of disappointing her.  Afraid of being pathetic. Afraid of not mattering. 

Am I dying because I'm afraid or afraid because I'm dying.

Unbearably painful words from the woman I love. I honestly am not sure I could survive without her. People always think that and they're fine. But my body is rebelling. My face is numb. My shoulders. My heart is beating too fast. 

It ry to slow down my breath. No good. better. a little better. 

i open the computer and a cat sound is let out, from a cartoon the girls were watching, and I'm freaking out again. I'm not sound. I'm not solid. I'm not together. My wife is killing me, although it is not her, it is me, because I'm the master of my feelings. 

I need to write her a long letter telling her where I'm coming from. 

We are in dire straights. 

Like Mark Knopfler. 

Not funny.

I feel slightly better. 

I need to get stronger.

I need a job.

I need to feel self-esteem. 

I need to be loved.

My daughters love me. 

My wife hates me.

She opposite of loves me.

And I'm so sad for her. I love her so much that I'm sad for her for not being able to love me. 

I disgust her. And the part of me that she makes feel disgusting hates her for making me feeling that way. I'm responsible for how I feel, but how do I not crack under the gaze of her disgust. How do I just sit there and take it? 

My body is asking for something, but I don't know what I can do for it. Besides meditate. Besides somehow finding a real job, one that can support a family. 

I can't be the stay at home dad. the stay at home mom. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

The private things are public

These private things are public. And vice versa.

The way Emily took absolute care

for nobody.

Follow the rhythm, the little chot to triot,
the snow dope,
fallen branches inside startled asks, ask.

Awkward foundations.

Hat eaten in flower stem phlegm,
my forte.

Catch up in the not gang,
sun of a gland,
a forgotten land inside supper,
toddler anchor father feeling,
something arcane usurping the brain.

it's too easy to complain.

The answer comes with the refrain
the way we take it all in,
the way Saul took his salt.
Don't believe the witch of Endor,
Lay it down on the floor, Saul,
bring it up through the rear.

It's Saul, good.

Funnel several onions through opinions
about such and such
rich cousin in Chesapeak Bay,
a verbal abuse in non complete,
every issue, the late Ramiro Musato,
a track called Embara,
coming to the Oriental Theater November 8,
the radio took over.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

paley media center

Today I went with the fam to MOMA. While Genevieve checked out the fantastic Picabia exhibit (which I'd already seen) I took the girls down to MOMA's children's art center. But it was closed for some reason. What to do? I did a quick search and found out the Paley Media Center was just around the corner. I hadn't heard of it before, but glad we found it. You can go for free, for an hour and half, and watch anything in their library, which basically comprises the entire history of TV. Sofia watched The Powerpuff Girls, Lucia watched Strawberry Shortcake and I watched, first, Andy Kaufman on David Letterman, then the first Steve Martin HBO special (still funny,) then Martha Graham's Appalachian Spring from 1957 on PBS (She was 64 by then and could still move in such surprising ways, and with so much grace) and ended my session by watching a CBS News special from 1967 called "Inside Pop" in which Leonard Bernstein explains the new music to the older generation:

"As with so many of these pop songs, the implication is, and strongly, that this is not at all the way things ought to be. Just as the Beatles' song, "Paperback Writer," implies in its satirical way all the corruption of our lives. Their anti-hero, the paperback writer has written a book he's trying to sell and he sings, "It's a thousand pages, give or take a few. I'll be writing more in a week or two. I could make it longer if you like the style. I can change it 'round, and I want to be a paperback writer." In other words, prostitution. I'll do anything to sell that book. The implication is clear. In fact the message in most of these songs IS delivered by implication. This is one of our teenagers' strongest weapons. It amounts almost to a private language. But this use of implication produces another effect as well, something bordering on poetry. Many of the lyrics, in their oblique allusions and way out metaphors are beginning to sound like real poetry. And protected by this armor of poetry our young lyricists can say just about anything they care to. And they DO care. They care about civil rights, about sexual freedom, about peace. They talk about alienation, mysticism and drugs. The lyrics of Bob Dylan alone would make a bombshell of a book of social criticism. You know those ominous lines of his, "Something is happening and you don't know what it is, do you, Mr. Jones?" You know who Mr. Jones is, don't you? Us. And the lyrics of "Along Comes Mary" I have been informed by its author, 22 year old Tanden Almer, is not about a girl named Mary at all, but about Mary Jane, which is a literal translation of Marijuana. And a staggering piece of verse it is. But mostly they talk about love, as all songwriters have since time began. Only this time it's either a cool kind of love, or a frankly sexual love, or, and this is most important, universal love, a mystic oriental concept that is presumably available through meditation or withdrawl from the establishment or most readily, through drugs. Now what does all this mean? I think it's all part of a historic revolution, one that has been going on for 50 years, only now these young people have gotten control of a mass medium, the phonograph record, and the music on the records with its noise and its cool messages may make us uneasy, but we must take it seriously, as both a sympton and a generator of this revolution. We must listen to it, and to its makers, this new breed of young people with long hair and fanciful clothing. Perhaps by learning something about them, we can learn something about our own future."

Touching. And funny.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

garbanzo beans (of matthew's proper cake)

garbanzo bean (of matthew's proper cake) a la bean spasms 

Pointing Out The Moon
1.

Today Alex Cory visiting, we read Elizabeth Bishop's "Moth-man" on the 7, noting wherein she points out the differences between the real and fake moon. Then went to MOMA and watched the first 15 minutes of Enter The Dragon, in red stained glass font, Bruce Lee says the finger pointing at the moon is not the moon. Going upstairs and catching as much as we can of Picabia's catch as catch can moon. And then wandering over to Chelsea to watch Moonlight at the Angelika theater, so sweet. All so so sweet.

note perfet timing for Enter The Dragon. 4pm. "Accidentally" walked in the wrong door and it was the film department of MOMA and it was just starting. And it was perfect, sooo gooood. That's the kind of thing that happens if the cake is proper.


2.  Kith & Kin reading. Was deeply into the now of the music as we played for an audience of 21 at the SculptureCenter, with Bob Rosenthal reading his wonderful Ode to Agism. Then afterward one of the readers, Annabel Lee tells Tyler and I that she published Ted Berrigan's Train Ride, which is an important book for both of us. And Ted's son Edmund was sitting right next to us. Tyler even wrote a paper on the book in college.