THE FRIENDLY NIHILIST: STREET JOURNAL 91 by Tom Henry Brooks 3

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It’s quite often that I’m racked with that special kind of FUCK THE WORLD feeling, but I’ll still take you out to lunch for a nice, friendly conversation…

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“MOSAIC

a series of notes, prose-poems,

stories, bits of play & dialog

Aphorisms, epigrams, essays

Poems? Sure”

“I think the interview is the new art form. I think the self-interview is the essence of creativity.  Asking yourself questions and trying to find answers. The writer is just answering a series of unuttered questions.”

“If my poetry aims to achieve anything, it’s to deliver people from the limited ways in which they see and feel.”

Jim Morrison

“WILDERNESS”

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“ The universe is a cruel, uncaring void. The key to being happy isn’t a search for meaning. It’s just to keep yourself busy with unimportant nonsense, and eventually, you’ll be dead.”

“What’s great about Los Angeles is nobody cares where you’re from or who you are. It’s a superficial town where you can worry about stupid shit like keeping your pool clean and what kind of artisanal nuts to put on your fucking salad.”

BOJACK HORSEMAN

______

“Actually, there ARE two kinds of people in this world: those who believe there are two kinds of people in this world and those who are smart enough to know better.”

Tom Robbins

“Still Life With Woodpecker”

_________

My new social & antisocial media accounts & emails will be under the name HAMBONE FAKENAMINGTON

….also, sometimes it’s just plain fun to see the expression on someone’s face when you call them HAMBONE for no good reason…

________

“What matters is the idea,

not the camera.”

Man Ray

________

“Take the red pill & you stay in Wonderland, and I show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.”

“The Matrix”

___________

___________

SoCal Soul 1/23 to 1/30, 2018

(Homecoming)

If somebody is telling you a long and rambling story and you want to get them to put a cork in it, try this out and see if it works for you too…

Interrupt them rudely and say,

“ I’m sorry but does this story involve crack? Because if it doesn’t begin AND end with crack, i’m not interested. I mean this story’s going nowhere, man…”

It really works, my friends.  All the people concerned usually get a good laugh out of it. And it’s truly amusing to see how easily some people are offended…

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The green chronic herb is legal now in California! Always remember…KUSHASHIMA.

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Dave and I talked about the acquisition of riches, and how you need to focus and be singleminded in purpose,

and Polston says,

“Ehhh, I quit halfway through Monopoly…”

That just about sums it up…

________

“ We live in an era when rich people are skinny and poor people are fat.”

Joe Rogan

________

Tom “ you know when you start getting older and feeling all those pains you just got to fight through it and take the pain.”

Dave “ that’s all we can do Chuck Wagon.”

________

“You know how people say ‘you’re all right in my book.’ Well, I actually have a book and everyone I meet goes in it…”

Quentin Tarantino

“Death Proof”

__________

Venice Beach – saw Pink, Anthony Kiedis and a woodpecker getting chased by a falcon….

________

Venice Beach at sunset saw a fucking drone…

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It’s my next to last sunset on Venice Beach and I notice that Venice Beach has both the very best and the very worst the world has to offer …. so many people getting along ,dancing , laughing  …AND so many scumbags spun out  of their heads on drugs …it’s truly mind-boggling…

Aside from this paradox it truly is an amazing place at sunset and I suspect it will be for many years to come…. i’m going to miss it…

Sunday and Monday , the last two days of my homecoming to Los Angeles… it is fire season! offshore Santa Ana winds…. it is hot!

Skateboards only….A Sign you’ll see only in California…

I let this random woman in the back gate here at the Oakwood. I was hanging around there only because I was doing laundry. Then she stands there staring at me with this nervous confused look on her face. I thought I had a crazy one on my hands and I couldn’t figure out what to do and then it occurred to me… I said, “ you’re meeting somebody aren’t you ? you think I’m somebody else…”

She thought I was messing with her or I didn’t want to date her but I told her she had the wrong guy. That’s what happens when you go on Internet dates and you don’t even have any idea what the person looks like. I finally shook her off when the other guy came outside… almost a full moon, I see…

The biggest thing I notice when I come back to California after a long absence is the way everybody of all races and religions and colors comes together at the beach chasing that golden dream, the one of family and friends and sunshine and palm trees and screaming blue sky and wide open vast ocean. Don’t get me wrong because in Japan they chase the dream too but Californians are just so damn good at it…

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As I sit here in the wind up bird alley having a beer and a smoke before my last LA sunset, for now anyway, I am reminded of the amazing diversity of bird life in the LA basin…magic…

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My whole week in California I did not have one single fall on my skateboard. This board and I have been a long way together from long journeys in Tokyo to riding around Venice & Santa Monica relentlessly all week… I say this as I am cleaning the wheels and packing the skateboard back into my suitcase for my trip home tomorrow…

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Last few hours… last few moments of deep memories and nostalgia. As the sun falls below the horizon & the sky turns a deep violet and indigo blue, I sit here filled with love and happiness, truly overwhelmed by my beautiful hometown which I’ve missed much more than I realized, until tonight…

Goodbye Los Angeles… I hope next time I see you I can still skateboard…

THB3

1/29/18

Oakwood, Marina del Rey/Venice, Los Angeles, California

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February 11, 2018

Oyazawa Village, Koumi,

Nagano Prefecture

10:44 A.M.

Today is the day my Japanese father, Kaoru Nagashima, is finally laid in his final resting place. His ashes & bone fragments are interred beneath a gorgeous ebony-black marble gravestone with silver-inlaid Kanji and cherry blossoms.  We stand, Chiharu & I and the family, on a sunny hilltop at 3300 feet (1033 meters).

There is snow in some of the fields and a bamboo grove rustling nearby in a gentle morning breeze.  A Buddhist monk in his saffron robes chants softly with his prayer beads & sticks and bells. The air smells of mountain fresh air & incense. It feels close to some kind of heaven. Snow slides off nearby roofs in clumps in the morning sunlight. The soft wind hisses through the bamboo, birds chirping, the chanting, the dry croak of a crow, white puffy clouds pass across an endless blue sky, silence of nature, silence of the heart…

I am apart from the others, lost in my own thoughts. I can’t help thinking that in a hundred years, every single one of us at this funeral  ceremony, including the monk, will be long gone. And a hundred years after that, everyone that remembered or knew us will be gone as well. It will almost be as if we’d never existed at all…but we DID exist. We were here, and we lived the best that we could…

Goodbye & farewell, Kaoru-San; I will remember you as long as I am able…

THB3

2/11/18

___________

2-14-18

In the face of the massive nuclear threat posed by North Korea and the United States and their maniacal and stupid presidents, the Doomsday Clock just ticked closer to midnight. We are nearer to self-annihilation than ever before. The question is, why do we even have a Doomsday Clock? Why does it even exist at all? Are we truly so sure and confident in our own mutually assured destruction? The answer is…yes, we are. It just goes to show you how stupid we are as humans, capable of so much more, yet the powers that be still plot and plan war and death to us all. It makes no sense, yet, it is what it is. It’s out of our hands now; we watch and we wait and we wonder when the bright flash of light will blind and extinguish all that we are & have been, and will leave behind nothing but smoking ruins and death and endless sorrow and a nuclear wind blowing across a desolate landscape of despair. I really hope I’m wrong, I really hope we find a way to work through this, but my hopeful optimism sinks lower day by day and I lose all faith in the intelligence of humans…Happy Valentine’s Day, motherfuckers…love & peace to one and all….ya goddamned idiots…

THB3

Footnote:

2 months later…

Well, we’re still here. Maybe I was wrong about all that. Maybe I was in a black mood that day. Maybe it was all media hype and disinformation. Or maybe a cruise missile is on a trajectory for Tokyo as I write this. It’s such a ridiculous world, I just don’t know anymore. Whatever, at least I’m enjoying the ride…

_________

“The distinction between past, present and future is only a stubbornly persistent illusion.”

Albert Einstein

________

“…the mantra,

I AM LOVING AWARENESS…

make friends with change…”

Ram Dass

“Going Home”

________

“We take pictures to stop time, to commit moments to eternity…”

Kodachrome (movie)

__________

There’s a Zen koan where a teacher holds a stick. He says to his student, “If you tell me this stick is real, I will beat you with it. If you tell me it is not real, I will beat you with it. If you say nothing, I will beat you with it.”

And so, the student reaches out, grabs the stick, and breaks it.

If a situation is untenable, you break that fucking stick.

________

“Be present. Make love. Make tea. Avoid small talk. Embrace conversation. Buy a plant, water it. Make your bed. Make someone else’s bed. Have a smart mouth, and quick wit. Run. Make art. Create. Swim in the ocean. Swim in the rain. Take chances. Ask questions. Make mistakes. Learn. Know your worth. Love fiercely. Forgive quickly. Let go of what doesn’t make you happy. Grow.”

Paulo Coelho

________

“He not busy being born

is busy dying…”

Bob Dylan

_________

“There has to be some pleasure in this job, and that’s it. To go around in disguise. To act a character. To pass oneself off as what one is not. To pretend. The sly and cunning masquerade.”

Philip Roth

________

6/9/18

The one month anniversary of my fucking 49th Birthday. A blistering hot summer day, screaming blue sky and a chance of afternoon thundershowers. Still a maniac after all these years- on one of my epic Tokyo bike rides. Apparently, I’m in Arakawa Ward,  and it’s all new turf to me, but in reality, I don’t even care where I am right now…

________

“Let me tell you something-happiness is bullshit. No art worth a damn was ever created out of happiness, I can tell you that much.

Ambition, narcissism, sex, rage…those are the engines that drive every great artist, every great man…a hole that can’t be filled.”

Kodachrome (movie)

__________

“Context is everything. Dress me up and see. I’m a carnival barker, an auctioneer, a downtown performance artist, a speaker in tongues, a senator drunk on filibuster.  My mouth won’t quit, though mostly I whisper or subvocalize like I’m reading aloud, my Adam’s apple bobbing, jaw muscle beating like a miniature heart under my cheek, the noise suppressed, the words escaping silently, mere ghosts of themselves, husks empty of breath and tone.  In this diminished form the words rush out of the cornucopia of my brain to course over the surface of the world, tickling reality like fingers on piano keys. Caressing, nudging.  They’re an invisible army on a peacekeeping mission, a peaceable horde. They mean no harm. They placate, interpret, massage. Everywhere they’re smoothing down imperfections, putting hairs in place, putting ducks in a row, replacing divots. Counting and polishing the silver. Patting old ladies gently on the behind, eliciting a giggle. Only-here’s the rub-when they find too much perfection, when the surface is already buffed smooth, the ducks already orderly, the old ladies complacent, then my little army rebels, breaks into the stores. Reality needs a prick here and there, the carpet needs a flaw. My words begin plucking at threads nervously, seeking purchase, a weak point, a vulnerable ear.  That’s

when it comes, the urge to shout in the church, the nursery, the crowded movie house. It’s an itch at first. Inconsequential. But that itch is soon a torrent behind a straining dam. Noah’s flood. That itch is my whole life. Here it comes now. Cover your ears. Build an ark. I’ve got Tourette’s.

‘Eat me!’ I scream.”

Jonathan Lethem

___________

“To be alive at all is to have scars.”

John Steinbeck

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JUST SOUTH OF 50 AND WAY SOUTH OF HEAVEN

fuck

Where oh where does the time go?

Sometimes my life feels like

an express bullet train

headed for a single destination only-

meaningless oblivion

This is not a poem

this is a series of complaints

when we were young

in Southern California

it was sunshine and surf

and a screaming blue sky above

It was the definition of hedonism

living for the sole pleasure

of enjoyment and good times

But those days of wine and roses

are long gone now

This is not a poem

this is a lament

To age

to grow older

to have responsibilities

to understand your place

in the world

to feel the pressure

weighing down on you

like a thousand tons of bricks

This is the cold hard reality

of our daily lives

This is not a poem

this a tidal wave of memories

In my twenties

I continued to shirk my duties

to live free and reckless and wild

Even into my thirties

I just didn’t care

It all seemed so stupid

so pointless

so futile to fight

the madness of this ridiculous world

Like a fox in a henhouse

I took what I wanted with

no apologies

This is not a poem

this is a sad song

In my late forties now

How did I get here?

How did I survive the chaos?

I can scarcely answer that question

even when talking to myself

I’ve been many men over the years

I’ve lived a myriad of different lives

yet in all of them I feel I’ve been

an outsider

a rebel

a renegade

an outlaw

a maniac

a whirlwind

a man apart

For this I am glad

smug and self-satisfied

I’ve lived by my own rules

my own ever-changing principles

This is not a poem

it is a waking dream

Over the years

good times ebbed and flowed

women came and went

My heart has been filled

with boundless joy

inexhaustible enthusiasm

and an infinite sadness

The world continually

beats me down

but somehow I get right back up

and keep moving

This is not a poem

it is the wind in the trees

It really sucks getting older

watching yourself

sagging

wrinkles appearing

more gray hairs

fighting fat and laziness

To wake up feeling like

a walking corpse

bones and muscles aching

mind still in a dreamworld

To feel yourself falling apart

piece by piece

bit by bit

disintegrating into the dust

from whence we came

This is not a poem

it’s an elegy

a requiem

Despite all these things

conspiring to bring me down

I trudge through the whirlwind

with a grim smile etched

on my leathery old face

I’m an old warhorse

and I will not fall without a fight

I go through my days

in the best spirits I can

trying to find the humor

in everything

I squeeze the oranges into juice

the lemons into lemonade

I stomp upon the grapes

and make wine

I continue to LIVE the best I can

It’s a long hard road I walk

but I continue onward & upward

looking for satisfaction

for love

for happiness

for redemption

for meaning

that’s right

goddamnit

I keep going forward

almost 50

surely more than a midpoint in life

I keep walking into the sun

almost 50, it’s true

but still

way south of heaven

THB3

Tom Henry Brooks 3

Tokyo, Japan

June 21st, 2018

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LA VIDA ES SUEÑO: STREET JOURNAL 90 by THB3

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“Nothing is so difficult as not deceiving oneself.”

Ludwig Wittgenstein

_______

“In my own country I am in a far-off land.”

“I die of thirst beside the fountain.”

Francois Villon

_______

“I hope the exit is joyful

And I hope never to return-”

Frida Kahlo

_______

“Sell crazy someplace else-

we’re all stocked up here…”

“As Good As It Gets”

_______

“People need trouble-a little frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it. Artists do; I don’t mean you need to live in a rat hole or gutter, but you have to learn fortitude, endurance. Only vegetables are happy.”

William Faulkner

________

Autumn Day

by Rainer Maria Rilke

“Lord: it is time.

The summer was immense.

Lay your shadow on the sundials,

and in the fields let the wind loose.

Bid the last fruits to be full;

give them two more southerly days,

urge them on to fulfillment

and drive the last sweetness

into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house

will build none.

Whoever is alone

will stay alone,

will wake, read, write long letters

and wander the alleys up and down restlessly, when the leaves are blowing…”

Rilke (1902)

________

“Hitherto shalt thou come, but no further…”

Job 38:11

_________

“I wanted to give up the idea I had any control. Shake things up. TO BE SAVED BY CHAOS. To see if I could cope, I wanted to force myself to grow again. To explode my comfort zone.”

Chuck Palahniuk

“Invisible Monsters”

_________

“As a young man, he’d been an idealist in a corrupt world. It was no surprise that he’d turned out equally as corrupt, just a new and different form of corrupt. That might be the best any generation could achieve: to pioneer its own brand of corruption.”

Chuck Palahniuk

“Torcher”

________

“Never forget that the human race with technology is just like an alcoholic with a barrel of wine.”

Theodore Kaczynski

(“The Unabomber”)

{I can’t say I approved of his methods, but he was way ahead of his time…}

_________

… was not chance that brought us together again. I am sure of that. These things are predestined. I have a theory that each life is like a pack of cards, and those we meet and sometimes love are shuffled with us. We find ourselves in the same suit, held by the hand of fate. The game is played, we are discarded, and pass on ⊛

Daphne du Maurier

_________

“All men are doomed to spend most of their existence among the dead.”

Chuck Palahniuk

________

“The point is not to take the world’s opinion as a guiding star but to go one’s own way in life and work, unerringly, neither depressed by failure nor seduced by applause. I am banging my head against the walls, but the walls are giving way.”

Gustav Mahler

_______

“I’m disgusted with my life and myself, but I’m not unhappy about that.”

“Hank Moody”

“Californication”

_______

“During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”

George Orwell

________

“Few things are sadder than the truly monstrous.”

Nathanael West

“The Day of the Locust”

_________

“In a moment of infinite sadness

he peeled away the light

exposing the underbelly

of a fallen star

perplexed by the nature of his find

he turned back to realize

that only the self

remained ”

John Naccarato

@democracyofobjects (Instagram)

from DAY FOR NIGHT

a fiction based AR project

_________

“I construct my memories with my present. I am lost, abandoned in the present. I try in vain to rejoin the past. I cannot escape.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

A Being That Causes Itself

_________

“Meaning is not in things but in between them.”

Norman O. Brown

________

Revelations & epiphanies always hit you at the unlikeliest of moments & for the most obscure of reasons. There is no accounting for it; that’s just the way it is.

_________

“The truth was, we were wandering now through a world that would never be a part of any correspondent’s beat. It was full of news, but all of it was oblique, mysterious, important only if you listened and watched and felt its weight. On the ferry back from Eua, I had ridden on the roof with three boys who said they planned to see every kung fu and cowboy and cop movie playing at the three cinemas in Nuku’alofa until their money ran out. One boy, thin and laughing and fourteen, told me that he had quit school because he was ‘lazy.’ He had a Japanese comic book that got passed around the ferry roof. The book was a bizarre mash-up: cutesy children’s cartoons, hairy-armed war stories, nurse-and-doctor soap opera, graphic pornography. A ferry crewman frowned when he got to the porn, tore each page out, crumpled it, and threw it in the sea. The boys laughed. Finally, with a great bark of disgust, the sailor threw the whole book in the water and the boys laughed harder. I watched the tattered pages float away in a glassy lagoon. I closed my eyes. I felt the weight of unmapped worlds, unborn language. This was what I was chasing: not the exotic, but a broad-beamed understanding of what is what.

The sadness of the obscure graveyard, of unforgotten elders buried under the sand, made my chest tight. It seemed to mock this whole vague enterprise. Still, something beckoned.”

William Finnegan

“Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life”

_________

“The Second Coming ”

BY WILLIAM BUTLER YEATS

“Turning and turning in the widening gyre

The falcon cannot hear the falconer;

Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;

Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,

The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere

The ceremony of innocence is drowned;

The best lack all conviction, while the worst

Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;

Surely the Second Coming is at hand.

The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out

When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi

Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert

A shape with lion body and the head of a man,

A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,

Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it

Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.

The darkness drops again; but now I know

That twenty centuries of stony sleep

Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,

And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,

Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born? ”

___________

Imagine a man, if you will. He is unknown to you and shall remain nameless. He walks through a seemingly endless night. Through this kingdom of darkness he wanders, no destination, just following his footsteps wherever they may lead. He encounters many strange characters, various denizens of the dimly lit streets, but they are just faces passing through the night like candle flames floating on the air, insubstantial, fleeting. Considering the bigger picture, in the end, they mean nothing to him. It is the in-between spaces that capture his imagination; it is those mysterious back streets and alleys that grab a hold of his soul and do not let go. It is in these places that he becomes one with the night, where he feels the most free. He continues on alone, deeper into those darknesses…

THB3

_________

Life is a gift, but we squander it, day by day. We are all guilty. We work ourselves to death and we spend our days submerged in ordinary routines. We are desensitized to violence and death. Everything is online. Nothing shocks us anymore, nothing surprises us. There are few mysteries left in the world. The only thing to be curious about is how much more of this shit we can take before we die of boredom, depression or insanity. Does this seem negative to you? Damn right it is. It is the cold hard reality that we live every day of our lives in the 21st-century. Welcome to the future. Ain’t life grand?

THB3

December 1, 2017

Tokyo, Japan

_______

“For a minute there I lost myself…”

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THIS STUPID WORLD: STREET JOURNAL 89 by THB3

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Everything is just getting so goddamn pathetic that I can’t even watch the news anymore…

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“…o man’s great ugliness everywhere like that fresh dog turd that the morning shoe did not see  again, o the mighty police, o the mighty dictators, o the mighty damn fools everywhere, o the lonely lonely octopus, o the clock-tick seeping each neat one of us balanced and unbalanced and holy and constipated, o the bums lying in alleys of misery in a golden world, o the children to become ugly, o the ugly to become uglier, o the sadness and sabres and the closing of the walls- no Santa Claus, no pussy, no Magic Wand, no Cinderella, no Great Minds ever; kukoo- just shit and the whipping of dogs and children, just shit and the wiping away of shit, just doctors without patients, just clouds without rain, just days without days, o god o mighty that you put this upon us…

When we break into your mighty palace and timecard angels, I want to hear Your voice just saying once

MERCY

MERCY

MERCY

FOR YOURSELF and for us and for what we will do to You. I turned off Irola until I hit Normandie, that’s what I did, and then came in and sat and listened to the telephone ring.”

Charles Bukowski

_______

Fan-FUCKING-tactic!….now they’ve got “laptop bombs.” What the hell will they come up with next, “smartphone bombs?!” Or maybe “toilet seat bombs?!” We won’t be able to go anywhere, won’t be able to communicate from the air, and we won’t even be able to take a shit at the airport in peace without worrying about getting our asses blown off…

_____

“Generals gathered in their masses,

Just like witches at black masses.

Evil minds that plot destruction,

Sorcerers of death’s construction.

In the fields the bodies burning,

As the war machine keeps turning.

Death and hatred to mankind,

Poisoning their brainwashed minds.

Politicians hide themselves away,

They only started the war.

Why should they go out to fight,

They leave that role to the poor.”

Black Sabbath

_______

“I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea.

To care only for well-being seems to me positively ill-bred. Whether it’s good or bad, it is sometimes very pleasant, too, to smash things.”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

_______

“AGAINST THE RUIN OF THE WORLD, THERE IS ONLY ONE DEFENSE: THE CREATIVE ACT.”

Kenneth Rexroth

_______

“The creation of art is a solitary pursuit.”

Yayoi Kusama

_______

“Everyone’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s really an easy way: Stop participating in it.”

“Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

Noam Chomsky

________

“A great deal of intelligence can be invested in ignorance when the need for illusion is deep.”

“You never have to change anything you got up in the middle of the night to write.”

Saul Bellow

________

“I can’t understand why people are frightened of new ideas. I’m frightened of the old ones.”

“I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry as I need it.”

“The world is teeming: anything can happen.”

John Cage

________

“If you do not hope, you will never stumble upon the unhoped for, which is sealed off and impenetrable.”

Heraclitus

_______

JUNKYARD OF THE SOUL

by THB3

Way out there

on the edge of town

where some of us dwell

in trash and squalor

there lies a melancholy silence

 

Where tires burn

and metal is crushed

and toxic smoke floats

in billowing clouds

inspiration rises from the ashes

 

Rusted old cars that will carry no passengers

bikes never to be ridden again

refrigerators that will hold no more food

burned-out appliances to be used nevermore

within all these things there lie dark secrets of a meaningless eternity

 

The old metal shack

the junkyard dog

the coyotes at the fringes

the crows

the endless expanse

 

To dwell in this place

is to lead an inward life

of reflection and relentless imagination

to escape everyday in inventive new ways

to free yourself from the shackles of the ordinary

 

The white hot eye of the sun

the old newspapers and trash

blowing aimlessly across this hopeless desolation

even emptiness serves a purpose

in nothing, one can find the essence of existence…

 

 

Tom Henry Brooks 3

Tokyo, Japan

April 19th, 2017

________

“The gods looked down from their mountain and shrugged.”

Paul Auster

“4 3 2 1”

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DARK DAYS ARE UPON US…STREET JOURNAL 88 BY THB3

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Really, what’s the point in anything when we just insist upon continually chipping away at the foundation…?

____

“Well, I want to get the fuck off this planet, but they made me take a number.”

“We quit social media and we`d like to get as far from the internet as possible…”

South Park
(after the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States)

____

FUCK ART,
LET`S DANCE
____

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.”

Plato
____

“In order for there to be a mirror of the world, it is necessary for the world to have a form.”

Umberto Eco
The Name of the Rose
_____

“Some books are dangerous, not to be opened with impunity…”

Arturo Perez-Reverte
The Club Dumas
_____

“Hold fast to dreams

For if dreams die

Life is a broken-winged bird
That cannot fly.

Hold fast to dreams

For when dreams go

Life is a barren field

Frozen with snow.”

Langston Hughes
_____
“From this distant vantage point, the Earth might not seem of any particular interest. But for us, it’s different. Consider again that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us.

On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives.

The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every ‘superstar,’ every ‘supreme leader,’ every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there – on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner.

How frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light.

Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.

In our obscurity – in all this vastness – there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.

The Earth is the only world known, so far, to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate.

Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world.

To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”

🌎

Carl Sagan

Why does it seem that no one

listens to words as wise as these?

______

THE HORIZON IS TANTALIZING IN BOTH ITS UNCERTAINTY AND ITS POTENTIAL …
______

Where do you run when the
earth becomes your enemy?
______

When all logical solutions fail, try an illogical one…

______

It’s Saturday, April 1, 2017. After the rains had stopped, I found myself standing on the Sumida-Gawa River Terrace looking out at the gray, leaden water, turbulent waves splashing off the levee. Light clouds passed across the sky and white seagulls wheeled all around me. The city of Tokyo surrounded me with its endless madness. For a moment I watched the boats passing by and the towers that surrounded me and the world seemed peaceful and good for a moment. It is moments like this that make life worth living … it’s the little things, you see, those precious occasions when it all seems to come together, to have some semblance of meaning, however elusive that may be…
________

THB3

Tokyo, Japan
4/1/17

STREET JOURNAL 87: esoterica

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BY TOM HENRY BROOKS 3

 

we live inside the mystery without ever really KNOWING anything…

?   ?   ?
____

“For what struck him was the terrible restlessness of the city, its desire to overthrow itself, to smash itself to bits and burst into new forms.  The city was a fever-patient in a hospital, thrashing in its sleep, erupting in modern dreams.”

Steven Millhauser
Martin Dressler
_____

“In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer.”

Albert Camus
_____

“Night flight to San Francisco; chase the moon across America. God, it’s been years since I was on a plane. When we hit 35,000 feet we’ll have reached the tropopause, the great belt of calm air, as close as I’ll ever get to the ozone. I dreamed we were there. The plane leapt the tropopause, the safe air, and attained the outer rim, the ozone, which was ragged and torn, patches of it threadbare as old cheesecloth, and that was frightening. But I saw something that only I could see because of my astonishing ability to see such things: Souls were rising, from the earth far below, souls of the dead, of people who had perished, from famine, from war, from the plague, and they floated up, like skydivers in reverse, limbs all akimbo, wheeling and spinning. And the souls of these departed joined hands, clasped ankles, and formed a web, a great net of souls, and the souls were three-atom oxygen molecules of the stuff of ozone, and the outer rim absorbed them and was repaired. Nothing’s lost forever. In this world, there’s a kind of painful progress. Longing for what we’ve left behind, and dreaming ahead. At least I think that’s so.”

Tony Kushner
Angels in America
____

“There is a place in the heart that will never be filled; a space.  And even during the best moments, and the greatest times, we will know it.”

Charles Bukowski
____

“The melancholy river bears us on.  When the moon comes through the trailing willow boughs, I see your face, I hear your voice and the bird singing as we pass the osier bed.  What are you whispering?  Sorrow, sorrow.  Joy, joy.  Woven together, like reeds in moonlight.”

Virginia Woolf
The String Quartet
____
____

“I can`t remember the man I wanted to be…

Once the soul was perfect, and had wings, and could soar into Heaven…

Find a way from darkness to light……remember.”

Terrence Malick
Knight of Cups
(mixed in with quotes from John Bunyan`s A Pilgrim`s Progress)

____
____

“And do this, knowing the hour,
That now it is high time for us to arise from sleep…”

Romans 13:11
____

“Everyone, deep in their hearts, is waiting for the end of the world to come.”

Haruki Murakami
1Q84
____

That`s the great thing about getting older and settling down a bit…
you finally have time to catch up on all those movies, tv shows and books
that you missed while you were drunk and young and wild…
____

the truth can
be adjusted…
_____

“Out of focus
Yes the picture changing
Every moment
And your destination
You don’t know it…”

Bryan Ferry
Roxy Music
Avalon
_____

IN VINO VERITAS

In wine, truth…
_____

“To live is to suffer; to survive is to
find some meaning in the suffering.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
_____
_____

“Architecture affects everybody, from the hospital where you were born, to the schools and grocery stores, markets, libraries and theaters…
every part of a person`s life is based upon an architect`s presence.”

Julius Shulman

“Architects live and die by the images that are taken of their work, as these images alone are what most people see.  For every person who visits a private house, there may be ten thousand who only view it as a photo.”

Eric Bricker
Visual Acoustics: The Modernism of Julius Shulman
_____
_____

“No thought is born in me that does not bear the image of death.”

Michelangelo Buonarroti
_____

“There`s something terrible about reality, but I don`t know what it is.”

Michelangelo Antonioni

I first learned both these quotes from my friend, @democracyofobjects on Instagram
_____
_____

“All those years, living the life of somebody I didn`t even know…”

“You think when you reach a certain age, things will start making sense.  Then you find out you`re just as lost as you were before.  I suppose that`s what damnation is…the pieces of your life never to come together – just splashed out there…”

“No one cares about reality anymore.”

Terrence Malick
Knight of Cups (a masterpiece of a film)

____

Saturday 4-23-16
The National Art Center in Tokyo…
SENSORY OVERLOAD!
👀💥
______

“WE HAVE A ENGRISH MENU”
______

“but what is memory if not the language of feeling, a dictionary of faces and days and smells which repeat themselves like the verbs and adjectives in a speech, sneaking in behind the thing itself, into the pure present, making us sad or teaching us vicariously…”

Julio Cortazar
“HOPSCOTCH”

___________

Everything is so fucking ridiculous…
_____

When the end of my life is at hand, if there is one thing I will be able to say, it’s that I never failed myself on adventures, not once. When I go on a journey, I go all out…
______

“How happy is the blameless vestal’s lot,
The world forgetting by the world forgot,
Eternal sunshine of the spotless mind,
Each prayer accepted and each wish resigned…”

Alexander Pope
______

“It would be absurd if we did not understand both angels and devils,
since we invented them.”

John Steinbeck
East of Eden
______

“Watch me
I will go to my own Sun
And if I am burned by its fire,
I will fly on scorched wings…”

Segovia Amil
______

“The experience of enlightenment can be brought about through many different methods.  Every religion has its proprietary way, but it can be achieved without priests and gurus simply by communing with Nature at a deep and abiding level.
To cultivate this awareness of connectedness, reflect on how all entities in the Universe are temporary.  They arise from the primordial source, exist for a time, and then dissolve back into the source.”
______

“Coming on to the light of day we got
Many moons that are deep at play so I
Keep an eye on the shadow smile
To see what it has to say
You and I both know
Everything must go away
What do you say

You don`t know my mind
You don`t know my kind
Dark Necessities are part of my design and
Tell the world that I`m
Falling from the sky
Dark Necessities are part of my design…”

Anthony Kiedis
(Red Hot Chili Peppers)
______

“prayer” by Jamie Lee

“when
you’re down
and beat
hear this

when you have nothing left
but the mad will
to breathe
hear this

when you have gone mad
when you are crazy with loss
when the walls
talk and ask
when the streets
rumble and cry
when your name
is dust
and the money’s somewhere else
and the tap’s dripping
when the cats are wailing in the night
when your eyes won’t see
hear this
hear me

i have been there
i have seen
terror
madness
evil
and i have walked through it
and i am still walking
there is
goodness
there is
light
there
is beauty
and still
so much
more
to come

god bless this land
that we have named it earth
and all who are in it
all sweet
all good
all fine…”

the last part, I say…it`s a nice dream, anyway…

______

YOU WON’T FIND THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED BY GOOGLING IT…
______

“His own life seemed so solitary, a fragile column supporting nothing, amidst the wreckage of the years…”

Carson McCullers
_______

“I sit and stare at a fixed point in space. This space is abstract, made up of millions of possibilities; of atoms, of light, and numbers.  The longer I stare, the more fixated I become…inevitably, the point becomes as real as the rest of me, part of my reality, my identity, my truth and my lie.  I can no longer turn back…or look away…”

John Naccarato
Quantum Dystopias no. 1
My friend @democracyofobjects on Instagram
______

“Are you afraid of the future?”

Werner Herzog “No, but I would be cautious of blindly stepping forward…”

From an interview from VICE for his new documentary film

Lo and Behold:  Reveries of the Connected World

______

“If I had the power to prevent my own birth, I should never have consented to accept existence under such ridiculous circumstances…”

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

The Idiot

_______________________________

“I’ll Try Anything Once”

Ten decisions shape your life,
You’ll be aware of 5 about,
7 ways to go through school,
Either you’re noticed or left out,
7 ways to get ahead,
7 reasons to drop out,
When I said ‘I can see me in your eyes’,
You said ‘I can see you in my bed’,
That’s not just friendship that’s romance too,
You like music we can dance to,

Sit me down,
Shut me up,
I’ll calm down,
And I’ll get along with you,

There is a time when we all fail,
Some people take it pretty well,
Some take it all out on themselves,
Some they just take it out on friends,
Oh everybody plays the game,
And if you don’t you’re called insane,

Don’t don’t don’t don’t it’s not safe no more,
I’ve got to see you one more time,
Soon you were born,
In 1984,

Sit me down,
Shut me up,
I’ll calm down,
And I’ll get along with you,

Everybody was well dressed,
And everybody was a mess,
6 things without fail you must do,
So that your woman loves just you,
Oh all the girls played mental games,
And all the guys were dressed the same,

Why not try it all,
If you only remember it once,
Oooh ooooooh,

Sit me down,
Shut me up,
I’ll calm down,
And I’ll get along with you

Julian Casablancas

The Strokes

_____________________________

YOU JUST CAN’T BE SURE…

You just can’t be sure that tomorrow will ever come
There are no assurances that the sun will shine,
that the rain will stop falling,
that the storm will abate
You can’t really believe in endless love,
in true freedom,
in peace and satisfaction
Perhaps they are all illusions that we create
to keep ourselves sane in a world of madness
There are no guarantees that humanity
will continue its fragile existence
It cannot be confirmed that the earth will not
spin into the sun or be split asunder by a giant asteroid
You just can’t be sure the oceans
will not rise up and drown us all
Maybe we deserve it for
our relentless stupidity
Really, we have so much and yet
there is so much of it that is wasted
You just can’t be sure if you’ll be
happy or sad, angry or glad
No one can say if you will
wake up in the morning tomorrow
For now, the rivers continue to flow and the sky
is still different shades of blue and orange and red and purple
We drift through our days in a cloud of ignorant confusion,
a certain inexplicable complacency that can’t quite be defined,
but it’s there nonetheless
You just can’t be sure if you’ll ever truly understand anything
about this life or this world we live in
I dream all these things as I walk down a rare lonely path
on the edge of the vast city called Tokyo
There is one thing we can be sure of though;
The questions will remain and it is a long difficult road ahead…

THB3
Tokyo, Japan
9/17/16
__________________________________

SLOW CREEPING DEATH

He awakens to the sound of an alarm
He pulls the blanket over his head
and grumbles irritably
Finally, he arises & stumbles
about his morning business
Later, he stands outside
having coffee and a cigarette
staring at a blank space in the air
as if there is nothing before him
Eventually, he makes his way to the train
and piles on with hundreds of other people,
all of whom look miserable
Everyone is looking at their phones
as if nothing else is real for them anymore
He arrives at work without enthusiasm
He drifts through the day, numb, distant…
dead
It’s like a bad dream that doesn’t end
He wants to wake up but he can’t
This goes on and on
for what seems like an eternity
When it’s over
he rushes to the train station
much faster then when he went to work
All he looks forward to
is some quiet time to himself
A beer, a book, a movie,
anything but this grim, ordinary reality
As it grows late,
his eyes flutter and sleep calls to him
As the lights go out,
he lies there in the darkness
feeling a sense of deep sadness,
despair even…
Is this what it’s all about?
he wonders
There is no answer
He knows that tomorrow
the deadly routine will continue
The only escape is death
and he already feels dead
This is what happens
when you realize that
you’re not really free…

THB3
Tokyo, Japan
Tuesday, October 11, 2016

________________________________

The moment to start living a better life is now…
_________________________

TOM HENRY BROOKS 3

Tokyo, Japan
10/11/16

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STREET JOURNAL 86: VISUALIZE THIS by Tom Henry Brooks 3

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The Corridor

I will paint you a picture with words.
I want you to take a good look and then think deeply about it…
____

“The vanity of existence is revealed in the whole form existence assumes: in the infiniteness of time and space contrasted with the finiteness of the individual in both; in the fleeting present as the sole form in which actuality exists; in the contingency and relativity of all things; in continual becoming without being; in continual desire without satisfaction; in the continual frustration of striving of which life consists. Time and that perishability of all things existing in time that time itself brings about is simply the form under which the will to live, which as thing in itself is imperishable, reveals to itself the vanity of its striving. Time is that by virtue of which everything becomes nothingness in our hands and loses all real value.”

Arthur Schopenhauer
____

The night is always darkest just before the dawn – that’s what they say. I really hope this proves to be true…
____

“The future isn’t just something that happens; it’s a brutal force, with a great sense of humor, that will steamroll you if you’re not watching…”

Cameron Crowe
(spoken by Bill Murray in the movie, “ALOHA”)
____

9/5/15
A very dramatic Saturday for personal
reasons I shall not discuss here…

“All things pass.  None of us can manage to hold on
to anything.  In that way, we live our lives.”

Haruki Murakami
Hear The Wind Sing
____

“How can those who live in the light of day
possibly comprehend the depths of night?”

Friedrich Nietzsche
____

My Mom just reminded me of a funny story that I`d long forgotten…

When I was 6 or 7 years old, I had taken all the mandatory school tests and it so happened that I was in the top 1% nationwide as far as scores go.  Who knew?  Anyway, there was some official special program for smart kids, an advanced program that accelerated kids towards a bright future and a good college education.  Well anyway, it so happens that I went to meet with this official guy and we talked for about 10 minutes.  When we came out, the man talked to my mom and he said this,
“Well, Tom and I had a nice talk and he asked me some questions about the program.  It turns out that he`s really not interested in participating because it would interrupt his recess and free time.”
HA!  Once a hedonist, always a hedonist!
____

MOMAT
Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo (also known as The National Museum of Modern Art)

On Kawara (Japanese Conceptual Artist)
From his Today Series Diary and 100 Years Calendar

34 typewritten sheets, neatly bound in plastic sheets in a nice leather notebook
strange news stories from around the world in 1967
a new entry each day

Example:
*****a ferryboat of hippies in Upper New York Bay….*****

FASCINATING STUFF, believe it!
____

THEATER OF THE ABSURD

a title of one of my upcoming images….
____

“I am interested in ideas, not merely in visual products.”

“Everything important that I have done can be put into a little suitcase.”

“The individual – man as a man, man as a brain, if you like – interests
me more than what he makes because I`ve noticed that most artists
only repeat themselves.”

Marcel Duchamp
____

“To know what life is worth you have to risk it once in a while.”

Jean-Paul Sartre
“Dirty Hands”
A play in seven acts
____

“Other people are other people, I act according to my own principles, and I have completely abandoned difficult rules. Everything is arbitrary and free.”

Tsuguharu Fujita
Japanese Artist
Paris, March 1927
____

“In any case, one`s notion of spirit is that of something separate and unworldly, that yet can miraculously intervene in material affairs, and even animate and direct them in some mysterious way.  It`s hugely ironic and hugely significant that the one thing on the planet most closely resembling the foremost conception of the divine is money.  It is an invisible, immortal force that surrounds and steers all things, omnipotent and even limitless, an invisible hand, that it is said, makes the world go round.   Yet money today is an abstraction, at most symbols on a piece of paper, but usually mere bits in a computer.  It exists in a realm far removed from materiality, and in that realm, it is exempt from nature`s most important laws.  For it does not decay and return to the soil as all other things do, but it is rather preserved changeless in its vaults and computer files, ever-growing thanks to interest.  It bears the properties of eternal preservation and everlastingness, both of which are profoundly unnatural.  Looking down from the Olympian heights, the financiers call themselves `Masters of the Universe,` channeling the power of the God they serve to bring fortune or ruin upon the masses, to literally move mountains, raze forests, change the course of rivers, cause the rise and fall of nations.  Like the clergy of a dying religion, they exhort their followers to greater sacrifice, while blaming their misfortunes either on sin (greedy bankers & irresponsible consumers), or on the mysterious whims of God (the financial markets).  What we call `recession`, earlier cultures might have called `God abandoning the world.` Money is disappearing and with it, another property of spirit, the animating force of the human realm.  At this writing, all over the world machines stand idle.  Factories have ground to a halt, construction equipment sits derelict in the yard, parks and libraries are closing, and millions go homeless and hungry, while housing units stand vacant and food rots in the warehouses.  Yet all the human and all the material inputs to build the houses, distribute the food, and run the factories still exist.  It is rather something immaterial, that animating spirit which has fled…money.
We do not realize that our concept of the divine has attracted to it a god that fits that concept and given it sovereignty over the earth. By divorcing soul from flesh, spirit from matter, and god from nature, we have installed a ruling power that is soulless, alienating, ungodly and unnatural.  So when I speak of money being sacred, I am not invoking a supernatural agency to infuse sacredness to the inert, mundane objects of nature; I am rather reaching back to an earlier time before the divorce of matter and spirit. The financial crisis we are facing today arises from the fact that there is almost no social, cultural, natural and spiritual capital left to convert into money.  Centuries of near continuous money creation have left us so destitute that we have nothing left to sell.”

(Except our souls, perhaps, which we likely already sold off long ago…)

Charles Eisenstein
Sacred Economics
____

“There is no must in art because art is free.”

“Color is a means of exerting direct influence on the soul.”

Wassily Kandinsky
____

“Everything flows.  Everything is in constant flux and movement, nothing is abiding.  We can never step twice into the same river.  When I step into the river for the second time, neither I nor the river are the same.”

Heraclitus
(521 BCE)
____

AEON FLUX
____

Chiharu’s father, Kaoru, is dying. He has been sick with cancer & all the other horrible crap that goes along with it for a long time now. The whole family took him to his quiet country hometown of Motegi in Tochigi Prefecture. A few minutes ago, I held his hand and said see you later in a positive manner. He gripped me with all the energy he could muster, and instead, said goodbye for what could very likely be the last time I ever see him in this world. I could barely hold back the tears, but I knew I had to be strong. He is a good man who spent his life working hard in the Japanese way & taking care of his wonderful family. I think he is happy we all gathered here this weekend. I will really miss him when he is gone. Death is hard to deal with, plain & simple. I’m waiting here alone now for the first of many local trains back to Tokyo.  It is a tiny forgotten station in the middle of nowhere. It is right out of an early Haruki Murakami novel, nothing but the birds & a gentle breeze in the trees. I hear the wind sing. Goodbye Kaoru. The wind-up bird is calling…

October 18, 2015
THB3
____

“What a lot of things I don’t need!”

Socrates
____

“I’m not going to work until the day I die, that’s not why I started this. I mean, I’m not driven. I was driven—but I’m not, I don’t have to be out there any more… I had the most chilling thought that maybe people in their twenties and thirties don’t actually want to be moved anymore. They may want just to see more bombs, more explosions, because that is what they have grown up with. And I’ll never do that type of movie.”

Jack Nicholson
(what he said to the British Newspaper, THE SUN, recently…)
____

“The feeling of having an unalterable ego is a false perception. The perception of the ego is in reality a long chain of simple impressions that you have never experienced simultaneously. It is nothing but a bundle or collection of different perceptions, which succeed one another with an inconceivable rapidity, and are in a perpetual state of flux and movement.”

David Hume
____

“Decay is inherent in all compound things. Work out your own salvation with diligence.”

Buddha
____

“Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.”

“Generally speaking, the errors in religion are dangerous; those in philosophy only ridiculous.”

“He is happy whom circumstances suit his temper; but he Is more excellent who suits his temper to any circumstance.”

David Hume

____

“Give me a firm point on which to stand and I will move the earth.”

Archimedes
____

I often watch all the worker bees hurrying to get to work on time and I think to myself, in my entire life I have NEVER ran to work, only FROM work>>>>>
____

“If a gun appears in a story, sooner or later, it has to be fired.”

Anton Chekov

____
____

“Late Fragment

And did you get what
you wanted from this life, even so?
I did.
And what did you want?
To call myself beloved, to feel myself
beloved on the earth.”

“I’ve crossed some kind of invisible line. I feel as if I’ve come to a place I never thought I’d have to come to. And I don’t know how I got here. It’s a strange place. It’s a place where a little harmless dreaming and then some sleepy, early-morning talk has led me into considerations of death and annihilation.”

“It ought to make us feel ashamed when we talk like we know what we’re talking about when we talk about love.”

“Dreams, you know, are what you wake up from.”

“That’s all we have, finally, the words, and they had better be the right ones.”

Raymond Carver

____
____

…always searching for a white crow…
____

“Be careful when you cast out your demons that you don`t throw away the best of yourself.”

Friedrich Nietzsche
Thus Spoke Zarathustra

____

💠
____

“We are in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars…”

Oscar Wilde
_____

THB3

Tokyo, Japan

November 7, 2015

STREET JOURNAL 85: TIME KNOWS NO MERCY by THB3

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by Tom Henry Brooks 3

____

Out here, on the edge of everything, the view is spectacular…
___

“…man first of all exists, encounters himself, surges up in the world – and defines himself afterwards.”

“If you’re lonely when you’re alone, you’re in bad company.”

Jean-Paul Sartre
___

“I was within and without, simultaneously enchanted
and repelled by the inexhaustible variety of life.”

F. Scott Fitzgerald
___

DEUS EX MACHINA – `GOD FROM THE MACHINE`
___

Everything I’ve ever written that was somewhat existential in its nature, perhaps negative, or just plain depressing, well…it’s all true…
___

Someday I’ll be dead. I will cease to exist. And all that will remain will be the ART I’ve left behind…
___

“Curious is a good thing to be…that seems to pay some, uh, unexpected dividends…”

Iggy Pop

(talking to Anthony Bourdain on
the beach in Miami in 2015)
___

“Against stupidity, the gods themselves contend in vain.”

Friedrich Von Schiller
____

“Wise men talk because they have something to say; fools, because they have to say something…”

Plato
____

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.”

Ernest Hemingway

“Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself.”

(thanks to the lovely and talented @ana.aquilare on Instagram for sharing these beautiful words and reminding me and everyone about the brutal truth…)
____

4 STAGES FOR THE WILD AT HEART

too cool to do drugs

cool to do drugs

do drugs

drugs

____

DEBT = SLAVERY
____

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous than standing armies…
If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of currency,
the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people
of their property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their
fathers conquered.”

Thomas Jefferson

(If this quote doesn`t say it all, then I just don`t know what does…)
____

“An extraterrestrial visitor examining the differences among human societies would find those differences trivial compared to the similarities.
Our lives, our past and our future are tied to the sun, the moon and the stars…We humans have seen the atoms which constitute all of nature and the forces that sculpted this work…and we, who embody the local eyes and ears and thoughts and feelings of the cosmos, have begun to wonder about our origins…star stuff contemplating the stars, organized collections of ten billion billion billion atoms, contemplating the evolution of nature, tracing that long path by which it arrived at consciousness here on the planet earth…Our loyalties are to the the species and to the planet.  Our obligation to survive and flourish is owed not just to ourselves, but also to that cosmos, ancient and vast.
We are one species.  We are star stuff harvesting star light.”

Carl Sagan
____

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”

Krishnamurti
____

“In a decaying society, art, if it is truthful,
must also reflect decay.
And unless it wants to break faith with
its social function,
art must show the world as changeable,
and help to change it.”

Ernst Fischer
____

“It was written I should be loyal to the nightmare of my choice.”

“We live as we dream – alone…”

Joseph Conrad
“Heart of Darkness”
_____

“I have never let my schooling interfere with my EDUCATION…”

Mark Twain
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“Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought.”

“To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is
to go on creating oneself endlessly…”

Henri Bergson
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Note to Self:

Try not to be such a sarcastic asshole.
In other words, try to be NICE…
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August 12th, 2015

The so-called “lifeguards” tell you to get out of the water at dusk, the best time for a swim.
They are such little tiny people, young boys really.  I was surfing big thumping waves when they were just a gleam in some sake-drunk Japanese dude`s bloodshot eye.  Nonetheless, they say to get out.  They just want to go home.  So I pretend to get out.  They leave.  I go back in the water.  It`s that simple.  I never was much of a rule-follower.  The dome of sky above is glowing in shades of indigo and purple.  Planes crawl across the vast spaces to the south, heading towards Haneda Airport.  Birds wheel above.  The vast city of Tokyo hums with distant life all around me, but here, only here, I am alone, if only for a few moments.  All is well with the world.  To swim in Tokyo Bay in the violet dusk is NOT an experience to be forgotten….EVER….
____

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”

Oscar Wilde

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“The free soul is rare, but you know it when you see it –
basically because you feel good, very good, when you
are near or with them.”

Charles Bukowski
August 16th (Happy Birthday, Hank)
Gone but never forgotten

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____
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TREE OF LIFE     by Tom Henry Brooks 3

Pictures of a life lived fully
flash in temporal-shifting
non-linear sequences

In the space of memory
everything seems a
beautiful snapshot

A long lost moment
hanging there
in the mists of time

*   *   *

A  46-year-old man
stands by a mountaintop shrine in Japan
Nothing but the music of the wind

A toddler lies on the grass beneath a blue sky
He is surrounded by trees
A new sound he is
aware of….the birds…

A young teenager floats in the ocean on a surfboard
Just seagulls and the crimson sunset horizon
A dark wave approaches, he paddles into it

Shadows of leaves wavering on the backyard wall
The bright sunlight is in the boy`s eyes, he smiles
seeing the beautiful young mother dancing in the sprinklers

A young man stands in the crowded nightclub
Music thumping and drunken faces dancing maniacally
He wonders what the hell he is doing here

Father is angry
Mother sits under the backyard trees in a purple dusk
with tears in her eyes as a gentle breeze blows
The boy looks out the window and sees this
He feels a deep sadness
This is his first taste of love crumbling into dust

Blue sky

Black Night

Neon madness

Quiet insanity

An explosion of color

The girl lies on the bed sprawled out naked
Her black hair fans across the pillow like a bird`s wings
He watches her sleeping peacefully
The venetian blinds cast angular shadows across the wall
He can hear the cars hiss by outside
and an occasional siren
The crickets complete the symphony

He sits on Venice Beach at 1AM
drinking a small bottle of Jack Daniels
He knows he will sleep on the beach like a bum tonight
He knows she is gone forever
The relentless black waves wash upon the shore
The moon is a silver crescent in the endless night
This is his fifth taste of love crumbling into dust

He knows for certain this is not the last time

A bike

A rice field

A volcanic mountain

A blue sky

Cicadas

A man exists within all this

Silence

The boy wakes up in the night
He realizes he was dreaming
A hand had come out of the wall
and tried to pull him into a fathomless darkness
Even at this young age he realizes
he always has been and always will be
within this darkness

He is older now and, as always, he is alone
He is drifting in a sea of memories
“The pure present is an ungraspable
advance of the past devouring the future.
In truth all sensation is already memory.”
The great philosopher Henri Bergson wrote this
He loves these words
They are so very true
He sits there trying to put the pieces of the puzzle together
Even this is already a memory

No answers
Only more questions
Regrets
No regrets
It`s all part of the bigger picture
A picture that we can never grasp as a whole
but only in small enigmatic pieces
that leave one holding only grains of dust and ash
that blow away in the winds of time

He sits with his sister in the backyard under a tree
The endless blue sky of a summer day
They sit on a blanket eating sandwiches that mother has made
They drink lemonade
The world turns and things keep happening
But for them, there is only this backyard and this summer day

Deep Mexico
Under a jungle canopy in Colima
sitting by a shanty hut made of tin sheeting and wood and palm leaves
The insects drone on and on in the trees
The heat is oppressive but somehow soothing
He sits with his friend eating cold tamales and drinking beer
They smoke joints and talk and laugh
Later they will surf or go fishing
They will wander the sleepy beachside Mexican town
They will go to the plaza and play soccer with the kids
and eat tacos in the cool blue summer dusk
It doesn`t matter
Anything is possible
They are happy because they are young and free

But it won`t last

This also, is already a memory

Nothing lasts forever

It is 2:30AM
He lurches out of the Irish bar after a good amount of whiskey
He wanders the streets of the Lower East Side
for an unknown amount of time
He finds this chair sitting on an empty street corner
waiting just for him
He sits down and lights a cigarette
He stares as at the dark fire escapes and the facades
of the old tenements and the unpeopled streets
He can hear the rats rustling in the trash
He hears a distant siren
He tries to clear his mind of all thought but
he finds this to be impossible

Back in Mexico
He walks south along an endless empty beach
It feels like the very furthest reaches of the world
Not a soul in sight as far as he can see
Only the green line of coconut palms lining the shore
The sun sinks lower on the western horizon
leaving a glowing stripe of sparkling silver and gold across the ocean
He sees bees, hundreds of them, on the sand of the beach
They look like they are struggling, trying to find peace
He thinks they come to the shore to die
but there is no way to be sure of this

He rides along the bike path of Santa Monica Bay
It is the 4th of July
He ditched all of his friends today for a solo adventure
He is well known for doing this
It is almost expected
He rides through Hermosa Beach
There are beautiful girls everywhere
There are parties and loud music and beer and bands
He sees it all but he is not a part of any of it
He is just a phantom passing through, unseen
Somehow this feels very liberating

He first meets her at a German bar on Rivington Street on the LES
Mutual friends made the introduction
She is an adorable Japanese girl with sparkling bright eyes full of life
Her English is limited but passable
They are lost in the conversation
Time passes and a deep connection is made
He thinks, perhaps, it was meant to be this way from the beginning
but there is no way to be sure of any of this

The rooftop
Hollywood
Yucca Estates
2:30AM
The hum of the city surrounds him
and the night envelops him in its violet glow
There are no stars over Los Angeles
maybe one or two or five
No matter
The stars are the lights of the city
sparkling in the night all around him
The sirens
the breaking glass
the gunshots
an occasional dog barking or the yowl of mating cats
voices
screams
the hiss of the cars on the 101
It is all glorious
He raises his glass in a toast
and drinks to the majesty of the vast American night

He is in the car with his beautiful Japanese girl
They are married now
She is his wife and he is glad
He never thought he would settle down
but then it finally happened without warning
a happy twist of fate
They are driving across America
somewhere in Louisiana
They move through the swamps in the humid air
windows open to the world
Her little feet are up on the dashboard
Big sunglasses are upon her smooth beautiful face
She is wearing a smile
He looks over at her and she looks back
He smiles too and tells her he loves her
Beethoven`s Archduke Trio is playing on the car speakers
He thinks this may be the most beautiful music he`s ever heard
They move onward into an uncertain future

The young boy walks with his mother
He is maybe 3-years-old
It is a crisp early autumn day
but the leaves are already bursting with color
The clouds move swiftly across the sky
They talk and laugh
The world opens up before them
and they are happy
Life is beautiful

Life is cruel

Life is a mystery

Life is a riddle

A puzzle-box with endless compartments

It is impossible to fathom the complexity of this existence

The man sits alone in a forest grove over the sea
in Enoshima, Japan
The cicadas are buzzing madly
The wind blows through the trees
The birds are singing
The occasional squawk of a raven
He is worried about his girl
She has multiple sclerosis
They have lived with the ugly possibilities of this
for 8 years now, but he never gets used to it
He suspects she feels the same
She is in the hospital now in Nagano Prefecture
Every year it seems she spends a little
more time in the damn hospital
He is trying to enjoy himself but finds it quite impossible
His heart is filled with an immeasurable sorrow
The helplessness
The despair
The fact that he can do nothing about it
It is almost more than he can bear
He thinks of his love for her
He finds that it is stronger than ever before
But this does not solve the problem
Nothing can solve this problem

Cursing the universe does nothing to fix the situation

Accepting it does not make it feel any better

Fighting it is futile

There are no solutions

We continue to exist in this conundrum

The young man skateboards insane distances
He is riding now across Brooklyn, New York
towards Coney Island on his Sector 9 board
Why does he take these long rides?
It is almost as if he is chasing after something
that he can never catch
something that is always just out of reach
Nonetheless, he rides and he rides
out of breath, sweating, stopping now and then
for a beer or a smoke, marveling in the
cruel beauty of it all, everything that surrounds him
Despite the madness of this world
his enthusiasm and fascination
has always been unwavering
He suspects it will always be this way
but there is no way to be sure of this

There are so many more stories

What`s the point?

We could go on like this forever

Nothing would be solved

Nothing would be understood

Seek and seek but the mystery still remains

He sits with his wife on a fish hook peninsula of land
surrounded by towering green mountains and the endless sea
Summertime in Shizuoka Prefecture
The day is alive with color and sound
Her MS is in remission right now
and they make a point of enjoying every minute together
It seems as if they are the only two people on earth
standing at the end of the world together
Nothing but the sea rolling on the desolate shore
and the birds singing and the vast sky above
Speaking in Japanese, she says she wants to be with him forever
It is a difficult language, but at least he understands important things like this
He says it back to her in Japanese too
He wants it to be true so much
Her eyes are filled with love
The hours pass
The sun lowers in the sky
Night falls across the land

Tomorrow is a new day

Tomorrow never comes

Tomorrow

Tomorrow…

There is no way to be sure about any of this…

THB3
completed on August 16th, 2015

================= E N D of SJ85================

THB3