Tag Archives: words


[dispatch] 20170525.1434: sapiens email hierarchy

May 25, 2017 at 02:34PM
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[dream journal] 0517-0518: The Endless Sky Store

On a quest to find a guitar pedal I’d read about called the “Endless Sky.” It creates large ambient washes and textures from playing only one note on the guitar. Features a cowboy boot on the hand-painted graphic with lazy clouds around the six dials and three foot switches. One knob is labeled “reality fade,” the rest I don’t recall. Driving a desolate dusty oceanfront road, and come upon the pedal’s graphic on a supertall sign for a roadside-burger-shack-sized store on the ocean side of the road. Pull in.

Parking lot is dirt. Ocean breaks and foams over huge boulders behind the store (the vibe is El Rey de Pescado in Naiguata, Venezuela). Several sprays from crashing waves threaten to envelop the store, but the age of the small building conveys that it’s held the sea back for a long time, and a quiet serenity about the place gathers as I approach.

As I’m walking up to the store I feel like my thighs are really rubbing together. Looking down, I discover that my thighs have not ballooned, but rather, my pants have turned into Renaissance royalty red-velvet gold-seamed pantaloons.

Tattered screen door. Inside the store, there’s just a counter with four Endless Sky pedals sitting next to an analog cash register.

“One,” I say.

“You don’t want to try it first?” the proprietor asks me, without looking up from a yellowed newspaper.

“No need,” I say. “I know it’s perfect.” I look at the pedal and notice the brand.

“Thought this was a secret Strymon,” I say.

“Nope,” he says, still fixed on his paper, “it’s a Nemo. This is the only pedal they make.”

“Well well,” I say, “even better.”

{WAKE}


[dispatch] 20170506.1359: wine worm

May 06, 2017 at 01:59PM
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[dream journal] 0504-0505: underwater undercover

Walking underwater at a brisk clip at the bottom of a large body of water. Water is crystal clear blue like liquid sky, the sand is white and firm, and I glide forward with little effort. I breathe normal in the water – no oxygen tank, scuba gear or wetsuit necessary. There’s no doubt I’m in water, though, because exhaling or talking creates bubbles that float to the surface.

I am walking with a stocky and very tall partner, Gene, played by the late actor Ken Howard. We are underneath a superhighway. Huge light-gray concrete supports rise from the sand bed to the surface off into the distance of the body of water, which appears to be around 75 feet deep. The structure emits audible rumbles from the traffic moving on it and I feel the resultant sound waves shake the sand underfoot in regular, low-frequency sine-wave undulations.

The light refraction from the surface into the water is bending the light so much that we can see profiles of the cars and trucks driving on the highway. A large 16-wheel semi passes over. Gene leans down and taps me on the shoulder.

“That’s the one,” he says. “That’s him.”

I take a notebook out of a shoulder bag and write a couple notes. The book has a police shield on it. I realize I am a detective or some sort of undercover officer.

“How did undercover turn into underwater, Gene?” I ask.

“Stop asking stupid questions,” Gene gruffs. “Go see where we are.”

I float to the water’s surface and poke my head out. The superhighway rises another 75 feet over the water and ribbons off towards a city skyline about 10 miles away. I dive back under and head towards the bottom.

“We’re in Chicago, Gene!” I exclaim. “That is so strange. I thought we were in Pontchartrain.”

“Ah, Christ,” Gene says. “At least there’s Lenny’s bar.”

We arrive at a transportation depot, buzzing with people arriving underwater from all directions, and take an escalator up from the sand bed into a sprawling complex. At the top of the escalator, Gene motions to the right and we walk around a wall into a cavernous but skinny, empty, oak wood-paneled room reminiscent of The Campbell Apartment in Grand Central Station. I unzip my trench-coat, which is dripping puddles and leaving a trail of water behind me. My clothes underneath, however, are warm and dry.

“Thank God you’re wearing a tie,” Gene says, breathing a sigh of relief. “It’s that skinny stupid black shit you insist on, but it’ll do.”

We sit down at a table by the bar and the bartender, impeccable in a crisp white shirt, bow tie and black vest, looks up at us from polishing a highball glass, and smiles.

{WAKE}


supermarket matrix glitch

On 03 May 2017, at around 17:45, on 6th Avenue and President Street, a man and a woman passed me by, empty-handed, as I walked home after shopping. I had been in the market for approximately 12 minutes, and was about 3 blocks (so 2 minutes) south of the market when these two walked by me the other way.

I was heading south on the west side of 6th Avenue. The man was going north on my side of the avenue. At the moment he passed by, behind him in my visual frame, the woman crossed the avenue, and then turned left on the east side of 6th, also to head north.

Thing is – they both were just in the market with me. And here they were, headed back, opposite me, with no groceries, towards the market.

I recognized the man, because after getting caught behind the market’s front door while grabbing a bouquet of flowers, I held the door open for him to enter the store. He was skyscraper tall, perhaps 6’5″, and rail thin, so we’ll call him “Stick.” Approximately 3 minutes later, I was leaving the produce area by the store’s entrance, and saw the woman enter the store. She was memorable as she was African-American with long beautiful platinum blonde braids. The braids flowed down below her waist. We’ll call her “Tress.” They were separate shoppers, for sure not together.

9 minutes later, I swear Tress and Stick were still in the store when I arrived at the check-out, and neither alit at any adjacent cashiers while my cashier (we’ll call her “Samantha”) scanned and weighed my stuff. Tress, last I saw, was reading milk labels in the dairy section in the very back corner of the store, at most 5 minutes before Samantha rung me up. I last recall Stick massaging a melon in Produce with an almost empty basket.

This means Stick and Tress, between my last spotting them and my arriving at check-out, would each have had to check-out, go home, put away their respective groceries, come back outside, and walk back towards the market at the same time.

A sense of cool unease washed over me on 6th Avenue as they passed by, a feeling reminiscent of the last clove cigarette I smoked in the early ’00s.


[dispatch] 20170502.1148: constraints

May 02, 2017 at 11:48AM
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[dispatch] 20170430.1738 microbiota

April 30, 2017 at 05:38PM
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[dream journal] 04.29-04.30: Aerial Silk Scaffold Deconstruction

Spent entire dream watching two nameless men dismantle six stories of scaffolding across an eighty-foot-wide apartment building. They worked for the most part in silence, communicating with hand gestures punctuated by the occasional “¡Mira!” “¡Cuidado!” or “¡Yo!”

The scaffolding was made of equal parts silk and metal. The men used the silk to climb up and down, raveling and unraveling themselves in an aerial silk performance to move in all directions. At times they also used ladders integrated into the metal piping.

Alternating working above each other, they released large pieces of scaffolding with the flick of one hand, then in the same motion, guided the debris’ trajectories downward. The awaiting partner below caught the falling pieces one-handed and stacked them on the sidewalk.

I was watching through an open window from inside the scaffolded building, feeling the air rushes created by the men’s silk dancing and the falling metal pieces whizzing by. The silk’s movement ruffled and flapped like sails coming-about in stiff winds. The synchronized work moved hypnotic and left me mesmerized, thrilled, frightened and satisfied – akin to watching a snowboarding half-pipe or big-wave surfing competition.

“They’re dancers,” I thought out loud, to no one.

{WAKE}


Dream Journal 04.26-04.27: “Full Archer Jacket”

Dream Journal 04.26-04.27
“Full Archer Jacket”

I paratroop onto a Chatsworth, CA, warehouse rooftop w/ another soldier. We recon with a tiny drone to find rebel militant locations in the building. They have dug an ICBM silo under the warehouse. We are here to shut it down.

We spelunk into the building through a busted skylight, pass all sorts of people, none of whom concern themselves with us. Find the rebel headquarters on the 1st floor. They think I’m one of them, bringing them my partner as a prisoner. Treat me like a hero, giving me a foot-long croissant and a huge gun with a Victrola Victor Talking Machine phonograph speaker-horn for a barrel.

“It shoots death frequencies,” the rebel leader tells me in Spanish. “Don’t fire it at the sky or use it at a zoo.”

The militants, who look like they’ve stepped out of the Archer Vice San Marcos jungle, keep giving me equipment (walkie-talkies, a Nespresso, etc). Over and over I escape out a basement door via a secret elevator with an apartment front door as its door. The rebels mistake me for one of them every time, and never figure me out. My partner never escapes.

The final time I escape across the street, the sun has just set, and the rebel commander appears on the warehouse roof. He shoots the Victrola phonograph horn gun into the sky as my commander yells “Goddamn!” in Gunnery Sergeant Hartman fashion.

A few seconds later a small yacht floats down from the sky, nose first. It appears about to crash into the grassy area of a public pool complex next door, but then does a loop-de-loop and drifts slowly, though clearly out of control, over the pool filled w/ raucous kids, between diving boards, into large hedge, hurting no one.

The rebel leader points the Victrola horn gun right at us across the street and yells something we can’t understand. A rush of wind picks up intensity and blows seagulls backwards by us, struggling to fly.

“Hold on, boys,” my commander says.

{WAKE}


Dream Journal 04.25-04.26

I’m the star of a reality show called “Surfin’ The Pole” where I tour the North Atlantic on a surfboard. One episode had me find a hidden river that led away from the ocean and took me through quaint Finnish towns.

The river was the de facto Main Street through all the towns, and I waved at people and stopped for food along the way, all the while never leaving my surfboard. The water was crystal blue, not all that cold, and looked like amusement park waterslide water.

{WAKE}


Dream Journal 04.24-04.25

Suburban Supermarket
(à la Harris Teeter or Piggly Wiggly)

I’m talking to my mother in the beer section, sitting on the floor with my back against a fridge door, looking up at her. Cases of beer piled high in the aisle lend us some privacy. I’m beyond agitated.

“All the meat used to convict these people had the same date,” I tremble and point off to my right. “They used the same packages! Not a single one of these people is guilty, Mom!”

In the distance, a “slow parade of the guilty” – six people shackled together, heads bowed – moves by a large deli case by the cashiers. Shoppers heckle, hiss and toss old cold cuts at them while onlookers laugh.

I flash back to a man (Samuel Jackson – type) in a hidden bunker letting me in on the secret, showing me clues on the cold cut packaging that unravel the mystery.

My mother says, “Get a grip on yourself, Dave.”

I point around. “But this is all a lie! Everything here.”

“Go buy some dinner,” my mom says. “Ease your mind off all this.”

I wander to the deli and prepared food section towards the front of the store. I feel exposed. In one case are two huge halves of red cabbage. They are so large that nothing else fits in the case. The next case has globular gray slabs labeled “World’s Best Chicken Parm!”

Seemingly friendly butcher says “Hey there! Hungry?”

{WAKE}


[dispatch] 20170424.1449 sidewalk terror

April 24, 2017 at 02:49PM
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[dispatch] 20170422.2330 celery salt

April 22, 2017 at 11:30PM
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[dispatch] 20170422.1138

April 22, 2017 at 11:38AM
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Write On The Exhale

medium.com mirror

analog truth, typos make

Communication is a form of respiration.

“You want to know what I think…?” is the same as asking, “You want to know how I breathe…?”

Resonant, meaningful discourse flows as a meditation, where we think on inhale and communicate on exhale. Thinking, writing, and speaking — these mirror different stages of breathing, and together form a respiratory cycle.

We draw our breath to prepare, to gird, and in doing so, leave ourselves vulnerable to enter the unknown. Will we take in enough air? Will we make the train? Is there anybody out there?

Conspicuous breathing in — the audible struggle for air — gasping — happens under threat of drowning, choking, or asphyxiation. Apprehension and uncertainty underwrite every inhale.

Confidence and awareness, by contrast, infuse every exhale. Breathing out means we have another breath to take, or that we will rest in peace and/or resignation, knowing the one just released will be our last. Everything renews every time our respiration cycle refreshes. You change the world every time you exhale.

Writing and speaking are subsets of exhaling.

Speaking comprises shorter inhales and exhales — faster thinking, quicker tongue. Writing involves longer breaths and slower output, more thinking, more holding your tongue.

Holding your tongue is not the same as holding your breath.

“Held my tongue,” lasted at minimum a full cycle and a half of respiration, in which you thought twice, and didn’t speak. You inhaled, then exhaled, then inhaled again. Then spoke.

Holding the breath is a frozen inhale. Frozen thinking.

It’s easy to tell if someone’s holding their breath while speaking. At some point, they have to stop to exhale, or talk through their exhale. Either way creates unnatural pauses and rhythms, most likely in places the speaker never intended. Losing the rhythm of breathing is the precursor, not the symptom, of losing a train of thought, of stage fright and stress.

Writing allows the same effect. So much commentary now is written on the inhale, or while writers hold their breath, where hitting the send button becomes the de-facto exhale. These dispatches (and, often, the subsequent exchanges around them) become games of “Watch me while I make myself turn blue.”

The “media” in social media is short for mediation, not engagement. Mediation confers a sporting event, or a judicial proceeding, that defines winners and losers. “First post, best post” almost never holds true, but “first post, most read post” is almost always the case.

There’s no judgment here. The problem is upstream color: Interactive platforms, for all their ingenuity and democratized broadcast participation, are designed around thinking out loud, not reflective writing — safe harbor for polemics, but rough places for slow exhales.

Perhaps that’s what makes Medium feel like a respite. You can breathe here. Or, at least, as a writer, exhale.

moon shot 092715c

Exercise time:

Inhale and make yourself angry.

Most likely your teeth are gritted, your eyes opened wider and your whole body tensed.

Now try to get angry during a soft, long exhale.

Much more difficult, yes? Your mouth is open or closed, but either way, it’s soft. Maybe your eyes somewhat narrowed, but you’re not making a fist, and you’re more in a state of awareness and reflection, than anger.

All this to say, the next time you write, experiment by writing every sentence on an exhale. It will make all the difference.

——————————————————-

This song, Infinite Destination, off my 2010 record Hola, Sayulita!, flowed from brain to paper to guitar in under two hours — far and away the fastest a track ever materialized for me. The process and result are close as I’ve ever come to capturing a pure exhale in my music, so enjoy its springboard as you move on from here.

Desert sunrise six twenty one
Rising just like fate
Baby you know this is never the end
If you trust the world

All I can do is smile
As you soften your eyes
And draw curves with your questions
‘Til there’s nothing left to say but someday

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Any life you can have
Dancing forever free from time

The future has its enemies, too
They don’t like people like me; they don’t like people like you
In other words, you got a beautiful attitude

I never take it for granted
How your eyes reverse time
Soft as day breaks and fades the night away

Infinite destination
You’re every dream I ever had
We’re just pilgrims dancing unstuck in time
Infinite destination
Every life you ever had
Dancing forever free from time

Infinite destination
(You’re) every dream I ever have
Just a pilgrim dancing unstuck in time


[dispatch] 20170419.1503 banana lessons

April 19, 2017 at 03:03PM
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[dispatch] 20170417.0937 the faster you scroll

April 17, 2017 at 09:37AM
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[dispatch] 20170415.2043 underground alert

April 15, 2017 at 08:43PM
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[dispatch] 20170413.1410 writing / exhaling

April 13, 2017 at 02:10PM
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[dispatch] 20170412.1452 never change, nyc

April 12, 2017 at 02:52PM
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