Sunday, August 17, 2008


Haiku is a perfect form.  Rarely have I seen poems with more power to describe the undescribable, the unparaphrasable.  Poets like the master Basho and later Issa, narrate humanity's relationship to mysterious and beautiful nature.  With a samurai-sword-like economy of language, haiku poets lift the curtain on the mundane, revealing the divinity inherent in the reality of existence.

The current master of the form is my friend Lisa.  She nursed me through a nightmarish, Orwellian layover in the Denver International Airport with haiku.  The following is a selection:

Listen you cheap slut
I want my peanuts quickly
Pretzels mean nothing

Stop screaming at me
I hope your bags get stolen
Your kid is ugly

Her husband Miah, while not as prolific, certainly adds to the discourse:

Security guard
mystery sore on his lips
digging through panties

Stay tuned for preliminary reflections on Las Cruces, the desert, random killing, the uniformity of the academy, back hair, and poison.  And check out my new pictures on  I'm very handsome.

Monday, August 11, 2008

In which I move to New Mexico and get drunk...

I live with New Mexicans.  There is a rich cultural history here, stretching back four hundred years.  My roommate has distant relation with the founders of the state (?) and a penchant f0r Ten High bourbon (!).  I have learned the following phrases in "garbage" New Mexico Spanish:  (which I will transliterate to my drunken best)  al petcho to the chest, what New Mexicans say when chugging beer, or at least describing the direction to which they chug it; hue (whey) I don't know how to spell it, but it translates as "bitch" or "fucker" and is friendly unless the accusator is angry;  chingator means the penis, but the accent is on the "a" making it sound like alligator, and I understand that the phrase is best emphasized with a forearm unfolding on a beer pong table.  
I'm having fun with New Mexicans.  They like to shoot things in the desert.  I have plans to go to Juarez, the second largest city in Mexico.  I have drunk 14 budlights.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I leave without leaving and have not yet arrived...

In five days I'll be on my way to California and then again Las Cruces, New Mexico.  I'm sad.  (Great blog...)
The good news is that we are all atman, that the static of life is the same as the static of death--the blind eternity of pre-birth in reverse.  I leave nothing, because leaving implies a separation that isn't teleologically possible considering the arrival we all face.
  I keep thinking of Italo Calvino's story in Cosmicomics that describes a love triangle during the Big Bang when the universe is condensed to a single point (I may be wrong about the details here...if you care read the whole book, it's fucking worth it).  Regardless of the impossibility of love or triangles or self or other or anything, the impossible ego feels the impossible tug. Regardless that we fall to the same end (or rise fly sing cry), our pettiness is kind of the point.
Pettiness being the point, it's no longer petty.  It's always the small things that break my heart: the broken chair on Brownie's porch, Bill's nerd lamp and the cushion stuffed under his cushion, the cardboard box keeping Brisby from going downstairs, the peculiarly Woodstocky stickiness of the floor in the bar, Doughnut's resume, the ten million corners and spots and inconsistencies of this beautiful and maculate life.  Everything else is always already forever.  

You all know how I feel about you.  You know the word I use to describe this feeling.  You know that this word is simple, ancient, and perfect.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

In which I resolve to stop doing stupid things, without resolve

One year and two months ago, I tore the ACL in the right knee (I use the spanish body part construction--the knee is no more mine than the tree or the idea...I don't really know what that means, but I like the idea that ownership is impossible and unnecessary...or that even though we may have the illusion that we can freely will the bodies around, they are controlled by the greater and invisible forces of history in the broadest most evolutionary sense...).  Three days ago, I was at my friends' camp on beautiful Chazy Lake.  We've been having a summer of intense rain and thunder storms punctuating a culturally standard summer of warm breezes, sunshine, and impossibly crisp and puffy clouds, and three days ago was no different.  I drank beer.  I rode a standup jet ski, my first jet ski experience of any kind.  I rode on an inflatable chair (tube?) pulled behind a motorboat.
The last got me in trouble.  Of course, with cute girls in the boat and a confusing compulsion to do things I know are bad for me, I challenged the captain to throw me from the tube.  He couldn't.  Those who know me will remark on my almost divine strength, balance, and grace.  On my last run, I hubristically released my hands, plugged my nose, and waited to be thrown to the emerald surface at 25 miles an hour.  When I hit the water, I twisted the left knee.
I should say that this day was also the last of my health coverage.
I can't say that I've torn anything, or that this latest injury will ever require surgery, as the symptoms are much less intense than the verified and surgered tear.
I will say that I've learned that should I want to continue having adventures on one level, I need to give up adventures of another.  
I don't know what my resolution to end my stupidity will look like.  No more drunken tree climbing?  No more running down mountains?  Now that I think of it, my problem may just be motors...and (for Kurd) gas...
So...hoping and praying that I have not hurt the left knee seriously, I will try to try to remember that my future movement may depend on my current caution.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Pride, Vanity, and the Virtues of the Techno-Whore

I'm typing this post on a brand new MacBook that I got with a free IPod Touch.  I am excited.  I don't really know why.

I suppose it could have something to do with the joy I feel when I trick my credit card companies into thinking that I'm going to pay them back.  With my money.  I know that it isn't realistic to survive on student loans and adjunct lecturer wages, but look at me.  Fuck 'em.  

Yes, look at me.  I have a camera pointed at me right now, attached to the screen of my new computer.  I'm writing about myself.  I'm uploading Red Radio Stranger.  I'm looking at my pictures.

But here I am, expressing myself, however limited the audience.  See The Residents' Theory of Obscurity.  It's good.  I guess.  Fuck 'em.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

In which I again publish part of an email to my father regarding self-definition as a writer and fall into an obnoxious, modernist maelstrom

Self-definition: I'll quote Red Radio Stranger, 'impossible and unnecessary," I think. Isn't defintion a fundamentally social (by which I mean mutually informed by speaker and listener) process? In fact, the attempt at self-definition strikes me as a kind of utterance that suggests a meaning that may undermine the attempt at self definition. In other words, if a sci-fi guy protests too much, that means he's definitely a sci-fi guy. If I keep saying I'm working class or an intellectual or whatever, aren't I engaged in character development of a linguistic idea? I'm just brainstorming, here, but I put meaning and therefore definition in a shadowy place filled with static and electricity that bounces between throat and ear....

And Red Radio Stranger has posted two teaser demos on their Myspace page....

Monday, May 19, 2008

A mysterious message

I'm grading papers. They're good, most of them. I just finished reading an A paper deconstructing an ad for the Navy, branding itself with Navy Seals. On the works cited page, handwritten, perhaps for me or perhaps not were the following notations for three Bible verses.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, 9 not a result of works, so that no one may boast.

Romans 8:39 Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

1 Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

Am I being subliminally converted? My student must have known that I would look them up, right? Are these notes to himself? Is this some "goof" on me that I don't realize, some practical joke that only these post-post's understand? Is it a reference to Tila Tequila?

I like the first two a lot, and the idea that no matter where you are or what you do you are fundamentally inseparable from the divine. Or something.