From me, Tom H. Brooks 3, to you…
The following text is the digitized version of my first little pocket notebook, the first of MANY, that I began carrying around everywhere with me sometime around the turn of the millennium, about 2000. The dates are hazy in the first ones and the organization, haphazard at best, but they consist of pure, free flow writings from a strange man, me. I have another ten or fifteen years worth of writings before these, but they were written in full-sized larger notebooks that are currently in Los Angeles in the possession of our good friend, William Case, and there they shall remain.
I had lived in San Diego in Mission Beach from `89 to about `95. Then I lived in New Jersey in Tom`s River on Barnegat Bay until early `99. I had my first NYC adventures around this time. Sometime around 2000, back in LA, it occurred to me that I had been taking way too many notes on scraps of paper and cocktail napkins and such. My intent was to add them to my bigger notebooks later and I often did, if I didn`t lose them (the scraps) . However, they often lost their original purity from my waiting to add them to the bigger notebooks. I wanted something IN THE MOMENT, as it were. As you probably know, I am a minimalist and an EXTREMELY light traveler. I do not like carrying around bags and backpacks and such. Just me and my skateboard and my camera and my legs, taking buses and trains and sometimes cars. So one day, I began carrying small pocket notebooks, which started out as little cheap mini spirals and evolved into Moleskines and other fancy little books that I could get my hands on. These are an ongoing chronicle of MY strange and fascinating life (of which we all have our own versions.) I just happened to record a lot of mine in these Street Journals.
The notes are often brief and/or hallucinatory. I was often high or buzzed (not always, mind you), but often enough. Sometimes I was even scribbling WHILE rolling along on my skateboard, the ultimate in mobile thought….literally–THOUGHT IN MOTION. The notes are often fragmentary, a necessity when you are on the move for a thirty-five mile skateboard ride. I intend to one day soon take these stories and expand more on the details. There is much more behind every scribble. The Street Journals; these books are hard to classify. They are not journals or diaries in a strict sense; they are random thoughts, philosophical meanderings, strange drawings and pictures that I taped inside (which I will be unable to render for you here). They are anecdotes, truths, lies, exaggerations, obscenities, aphorisms, strange tales, poems, original writings, quotes from books and other writers whom I admire. As a whole, they are really quite fascinating and amusing and I myself enjoy revisiting them here. At times, they may be a little repetitive. After 20 years of furious writing, it is hard to remember what is new and what has already been transcribed. My mind is a tangled web of words and it is often hard to sort them out in an organized fashion. The originals are much better, as something solid and real, a book in your hand, always is. It is hard to feel the power of something that exists digitally in the matrix but it is better than nothing and it is good backup, just in case (god forbid), any of them were ever to get lost. I actually have lost one or two (maybe more) of them, probably while drunk. One of them was surely lost in the Runyon Canyon part of the Hollywood Hills near Errol Flynn`s old estate. Dave Polston and I spent a good two or three hours up there one day drinking beer and smoking herb and searching around for it, but to no avail. Mostly we were just drinking and smoking. Whatever. You get the idea. This is my way of recording my life…erratic, fleeting, eccentric, and perhaps just plain crazy. I have been having a great fucking time. Join me, my friends. We will travel around Los Angeles, Mexico, New York City and back to LA again. We will move to Japan. And all of this, with my words accompanied by quotes from great literature. Read them on your portable electronic devices while you are riding a train, taking a bus, waiting for something; whatever lights your fire. The world is a mystery. Let us see if this digital re-telling helps us shed any light on this strange existence we all lead. Come, won`t you… enter my mind, my cave of illusions, my ocean of discontent. Let us take a ride down the longest road into the sunset of memories….
End of the Century
“Return of the Native”
10/21/99 (I believe this one was written right when I got back from New Jersey after my girlfriend of the time and I had broken up; this was my first journey upon my return to LA) (Anything that is not in quotation marks is original writing by me…)
Up before dawn. Darkness still cloaks the land…slightest hint of light in the east. I slip quietly outside–undercover–to glide silently through vacant streets,
past empty dark windows on bicycle wheels, I fly through the dawn and into the light.
Venice Beach, cobalt blue above, indigo west, oranges pinks purples…LIGHT in the east
My two wheeled zephyr takes me down MY road, thru alleys, across the empty beach, shadows on the mountains of Malibu and Topanga.
Coffee on Washington Blvd…….idyllic Venice Canals….
An egret, patiently waiting for a morsel…staring intently at the water….before him, there was a huge disturbance of fish, some kind of feeding frenzy or mating ritual.
The still waters churned into a froth by their insane frenzy beneath the surface…earthquake animal behavior, some might say.
Rolling past the bird sanctuary and the high rise condos of Marina del Rey
Admiralty Way at morning rush-hour…traffic increases, the first joggers and speed walkers appear.
Alone on the Culver River outlet, sun bursting above El Segundo hills, more egrets, cranes, pelicans, seagulls…
Tour de Idiot bicyclists in their tights as I roll on my beach cruiser…
morning vagabonds drooling, empty eyes staring, drained bottles like bled corpses clenched in their desperate hands, twisted in private nightmares.
Playa del Rey…planes, jets, flying above…away…somewhere…
Seagulls and crows cawing into the uncaring Santa Ana wind as the sun hits the vast desolate beach in patches of light and shadow….tractor workers cleaning the sand…
In the middle of the great Santa Monica Bay there are ships and oil tankers anchored on my right side….smokestacks on my left….
Santa Monica Mountains and Malibu behind me….and Equator dead ahead 4500 miles…
The temptation is to keep riding……SOUTH…
The ocean horizon is laced with a brown ribbon of smog that only an LA native could describe as beautiful….
browns, purples, grays, blues, even some hints of green, give the haze a surreal aspect that can only cause a sense of dreamlike abandon in a lone traveler…
I move swiftly, at a nice pace…into the heat of the day, sure to be a “City of Angels” pressure cooker,
the kind of day when it is better to be alone at the beach than stuck in traffic in the burning city at 2pm
where people on cell phones scream obscenities at each other out their car windows
while careening through uneven streets with death-defying skill and idiocy—
I smoothly float like driftwood through Manhattan Beach, Hermosa, Redondo, as one with my hometown.
Like a spectre in the hot mist, Palos Verdes Peninsula, a monolith of $$$, hovers there, rising above it all.
Breakfast sandwich at Rinaldi`s; 2 24oz Budweisers at Party House and up up up
I ride into the hills of Palos Verdes to Malaga Cove. I walk down to the empty beach, rocks, the tide pools, the lagoon,
all desolate and brown and sun-baked–empty like the landscape of the moon meeting a sea of tranquility…
the water is glassy and still, reflecting a blue sky above.
I meditate alone, a couple of beers, still cold enough, smoking some green herb, alone with my thoughts,
my moment, my euphoria, my sun, my sky, my rock, my ocean, my eternity, out here on the point at the end of the world…
out here the desolation puts us all in our place.
Later, I trudge up the hill, or rather, I shimmy and scramble up the crumbling cliffs like a monkey, a trained chimp, if you will, moreover,
when I got to the top, I immediately jumped on my bike and FLEW down the long hill at 40 mph.
Then I heard midday crickets creaking in the dry, brown grass at 12 noon, another sure sign of so-called “earthquake weather.”
Whatever. I ride on to RAT beach (right after Torrance), lay around basking in the sun and swimming for an hour or so.
Then I continue riding on the wet sand back to Redondo to shower off and then I headed to Miguels for a delicious Mexican lunch
followed by a cold Mexican beer on the Redondo Pier.
I continue north, past the sexy ladies lounging on the beach in Hermosa, through Manhattan, past El Segundo industry,
again, the airplanes…stopped for awhile for another brew and a smoke in 99 Palms. Saw dolphins and sea lions
as the sun falls lower in the sky, I realize this day has been spent outside, from dawn to dusk, or rather, it soon will be.
I find myself still in Playa del Rey at 4pm, no hurry, no worries, the way I try to spend all my days on this earth.
There is nothing anywhere like lying in Playa del Rey at twilight with the planes droning constantly overhead.
The beach is vast and empty and silent.
The only sound besides the jets is the pounding of waves on the oily shoreline and the random screams of birds.
This combination of sight and sound causes a dreamlike condition which can only be lived, not explained.
Personal experience, nothing less; a study, a meditation, a real dose of the true flavor of Southern California–
Los Angeles, the city we live in… a place where dreams are made and shattered like glass,
a reflection of the fragile mirror of reality and fantasy, a duality forever intertwined in an unstable and chaotic bond of contradiction,
opposing forces, complimentary opposites, the endless paradox; money, fame–poverty, desperation, this city on the edge of the western sea,
alone on an abyss, a fault line through the heart of it, making every moment precious and apocalyptic and hopelessly unpredictable.
To stumble forever thru the city of darkness and light, indigo dawn to purple twilight, the crescent moon to the intensity of the sun,
from the depths of the shadows in the alleys, to the pinnacle of the Hollywood sign,
from the Bonaventure Hotel to the Queen Mary, to Malibu, to the Watts Towers,
I chant my praises to this wondrous, insane place at the end of the world.
Los Angeles, a universe unto itself, an independent colony, a disaster and a victory always waiting to happen–
land of uncertainty, land of disenchantment, land of porn, the frontier gone crazy with gated communities and BMWs
and cell phones and America online and business business business and no real people left anywhere or maybe
hopefully somewhere, just a few who aren`t spending their whole lives e-mailing or in a chat room or getting on the satellite uplink or watching TV
or just plain lost souls or maybe we`re all there in our own way–it doesn`t matter anyway because BIG BROTHER is watching you
and everybody…forgive us, we know not what we do.
The world lies in jigsaw puzzle pieces torn asunder by the destruction of the masses, a juggernaut set in motion by IGNORANCE (you ignant, you ignant!)
I float here at twilight, the end, and consider it all…the answer comes, but for a millisecond on a whisper of wind and is gone before I can write it.
A 767 jet roars overhead and with it I send my complex tangle of thoughts, an astral projection to a distant white sand beach
with lush palms and jungle greenery, Fiji perhaps…
my mind finds a temporary Garden of Eden and for awhile I sleep in the jungle of dreams.
I get back to Venice for a fire-red sunset, a burst of brilliance before the day slowly dies into a purple-blue dusk and the cycle continues,
a new beginning as night falls over the land, the nocturnal creatures slither, crawl, stumble from their hiding places and out into the open,
undercover in the shadows, the night conceals many things,
I ride deeper, back to the city and into it…. (you can tell my early resistance to technology; at this time, I had no cell phone, no computer, and no e-mail address. Times sure do change, don`t they?)
believe it or not
there are still some of us
who enjoy the simple things
the pure things
that which is raw living
rather than driving around
in a luxury car
in gridlocked traffic
all day long
with a fucking cell phone
glued to your misshapen ears
spewing nonsense about
so I continue towards my fate
in my own way…
“The superficial inducement, the exotic, the picturesque has an effect only on the foreigner. To portray a city, a native must have other, deeper motives–
motives of one who travels into the past instead of into the distance. A native`s book about his city will always be related to memoirs; the writer has
not spent his childhood there in vain.”
the following is revised and edited by me but it is quoted from the professor of Urban Theory, Mike Davis…
No metropolis has been more loved or more hated. LA is a sunlit mortuary where you can rot without feeling it. LA brings it all together. Los Angeles is a city of contradiction, contrast, paradox…it is both utopia and dystopia, a place where the last Joshua Trees are being plowed under to make room for model communities in the desert, where the rich have hired their own police to fend off street gangs as well armed as Beirut Militias. It`s a city with a shadowy history and an ethereal economy, a place of sublime beauty and horrifying destruction. LA is a metropolis of vast proportions, of extremes, of desperation and greed and of Kafkaesque conspiracies, a city in which we may glimpse our own future, mirrored with terrifying clarity.”
Mike Davis “City of Quartz”
A guy just walked by my Cloverdale apartment singing U2`s “Where the Streets Have No Name” at FULL volume…now that`s an irony considering the writing on the previous pages & the book I`m reading is “City of Quartz.” (from the “Joshua Tree”. Need I say more?)
LA….”Junkyard of Dreams”
“LA is everywhere, a city without boundaries, which eats up the desert, and cuts down the Joshua Trees, and dreams of becoming infinite.”
I suggest that anyone who likes to read, checks out “City of Quartz” and “Ecology of Fear” by Mike Davis
“Setting aside an apocalyptic awakening of the neighboring San Andreas fault, it is all too easy to envision Los Angeles reproducing itself endlessly across the desert with the assistance of pilfered water, cheap immigrant labor, Asian capital and desperate homebuyers willing to trade lifetimes on the freeway in exchange for $500,000 `dream homes` in the middle of Death Valley.” Davis
The biggest problem with aging and the loss of youth, is not that you are getting inevitably older, but rather, that you never know when it will happen, and when the exact moment of crossover from youth to adulthood will come. It sneaks up on you like a thief in the night. It is but a brief flash, forgotten in the chaos and the maelstrom. When it does happen, the next thing you know, you are forty-something with a family and a real job and you look in the mirror and wonder what the hell happened and where everybody went and when the party ended. And why were you sleeping when the party did end? Will it ever begin again or would you rather just take a nap? These questions, and many others, will never be answered by you or me or anyone.
“From Mount Hollywood, Los Angeles looks rather nice, enveloped in a haze of changing colors. Actually, in spite of all the healthful sunshine and ocean breezes, it is a bad place–full of old, dying people, who were born old of tired pioneer parents, victims of America, full of curious wild and poisonous growths, decadent religious cults(SCIENTOLOGY) and fake science, and wildcat enterprises, which, with their aim for quick profit, are doomed to collapse and drag down multitudes of people…a jungle.”
“Here is an artificial city which has been pumped up under forced draught, inflated like a balloon, stuffed with rural humanity like a goose with corn…endeavoring to eat up this too rapid avalanche of anthropoids, the sunshine metropolis heaves and strains, sweats and becomes pop-eyed, like a young boa constrictor trying to swallow a goat.”
“This brutal, golden shore, where the sun finally gives up and sinks into the black, black sea.”
charged with menace
skyscrapers lost in the smog
“…polymorphous landscapes and architecture…”
“LA has been given a comprehensible unity by the freeway grid in a metropolis that speaks the language of movement, not monument.”
So many fucking tickets!! I`m gonna run a tab with the LAPD, bastards.
Send me a damn photo of me running a red light, will ya?! I send you a photo of my fucking money!
(I have to admit, in the photo with me wearing black sunglasses in my Dodge Shadow convertible, I did look pretty shady and guilty.)
“The point of no return, the point in the journey where it`s longer to go back to the beginning than to continue on to the end…”
“Overeducated, underskilled; I`m obsolete. I`m not economically viable.”
“I`m the bad guy?! How did that happen?”
“Falling Down” the movie
“I realize with sometimes chilling luminosity, the underlying relations of repression, surveillance and exclusion that characterize the fragmented, paranoid spatiality towards which Los Angeles seems to aspire.”
Los Angeles defies description…it is too massive, too polymorphous, too varied in its myriad of aspects that words simply cannot do it justice. It is everchanging and endless and it moves too fast to be pinned down, categorized or understood with any degree of accuracy. It is the Garden of Eden gone horribly awry and a world gone mad. It is the devil`s playground. It is a mystery and a paradox. It is where we live….home.
So much wildlife amidst the pollution, human and otherwise…
in the light
of certain South,
I see myself there
gone from this place
gone from anywhere I`ve ever known
to a distant horizon
that cannot yet be named…
I see myself there
divorced from the familiar
the unknown awaiting me
like a virgin bride
greeting me with open arms…
I see myself there
with the twilight upon me
triggering the birth of new worlds
A galaxy of light and shadow;
I continue forward
with grim determination
into the vortex…
A lot of words but not much too say…
I took a trip downtown today. Now, this area of Los Angeles has been trying for years to attract more tourists and to turn the downtown metropolitan area into some kind of “New York” style mecca. And, I might add, it does have a myriad of fascinating landmarks, modern and antique. These are the two simplified halves of downtown LA;
new and old, business and derelict, the wealthy and the scumbags. Somewhere around Pershing Square I`d say, perhaps Olive Street, lies the invisible border between the business towers and old Broadway, which is more like a trip to Revolucion in Tijuana than America. Broadway is riddled with old, classic buildings and Latino music blares out of every open storefront. There is not one record nor bookstore devoted to English. Skid Row is very close so there are many crazies with dead soulless eyes and the stink of cigarettes, alcohol, urine, and death is always nearby in this area. Yet there is also a vibrant street life which lies hidden, yet so obvious if you are paying attention. The streets are humming with energy, albeit predominately Latino energy, it is nonetheless an overwhelming and fascinating experience. I felt comfortable there and I must learn more Spanish. I went to two seedy bars, “The Escape Room” and “The Golden Gopher.” I found a room at the Hotel Bristol if I`m ever desperate. I strolled down Broadway where the LAPD plays cowboy with their big “Hoss” hats, and it really is quite strange seeing them in cowboy hats on horses, like some kind of postmodern, surreal cybercops in a junkyard of antiquity with the pink and orange sky at the end of Flower Street. I tried to go to the top of the Library Tower, but security stopped me so I settled for the Bonaventure. I went to the downtown library. I walked through dead underground shopping malls such as Arco Plaza, dead I say, because people are scared of downtown LA and only people who frequent these malls are businessmen on lunch hour or coffee breaks. In retrospect, I realized that I got more strange looks from the suits and the security guards in the business district than I did from the Mexicans and Central Americans on Broadway. The suits thought I was a crack fiend or a white terrorist looking to plant a bomb or a killer. On Broadway, I was the only long blonde-haired dude on the damn street and no one gave a flying fuck. Just another crazy gringo. I even got a few flirtatious looks from the Guatemalan babes. I`m sure many over there thought I was an undercover cop, or a punk buying drugs or a dumb lost tourist from Luxembourg. So my adventure continued until dark and then I jumped in my Dodge Shadow hooptie and rolled off. While I was driving my worked-over but still fresh sled west towards the Pacific, I realized my place in the world. Between the security cameras and closed doors and the Latino music and cowboy cops in the last frontier, the last great western in the making, I am totally and utterly alone, straddled betwixt opposing worlds. I don`t belong in the world of business and finance in a three-piece-suit any more than I belong on Skid Row with the freaks and junkies. I belong right in the middle, in my own twilight world on the border between sanity and madness, between dreams and reality, the center line, the edge, alone, where I`ve always been. So, appropriately, I continue driving my Shadow into the sunset and downtown LA disappears in the mist behind me, its skyscrapers lost in the clouds…
“In the world of affairs we live in our own age;
In books, we live in all ages.”
If you`re not down with hip-hop culture and you don`t know Spanish,
you`re gonna be displaced and confused in 21st century Los Angeles. (Of course, I wasn`t talking about Bel-Air)
“You`ve survived New York, you made it through Miami, but this is LA, vato, and this
fucking city can kill anybody…!”
I have something
to give the world
even if the world
doesn`t want it,
I have something
even if no one
I quietly offer my gift
to invisible hands
and empty heads
and lonely hearts
and am rewarded
I present my gift
in the shadows,
I give it
to this uncaring universe…
is the knowledge
that when death
I gave all that I could
I cannot devote my life to the petty causes of the human race
because I have already committed myself to the spiritual world
and the mysteries which lie above and beyond our irrelevant
mortal problems. I grasp at that which is intangible.
my private emptiness
the loss of nothing
the inward journey
the chaos of order
the meaninglessness of meaning
the day after the windstorms
not a blemish
as far as the eye can see, yet
tells me nothing
so I speak empty stories
to the sea
and the sand buries me
gives me strength
and I realize that
this polluted empty beach
The last stretch
of Southern California coastline
that doesn`t have condos
The broad expanse
of Santa Monica Bay
north and south
is a panorama
for my tired eyes
All I ask now is
the money freedom time
to wander endlessly
thru the world
free from the shackles
stopping and going
on a whim
with nothing but
a bag of clothes and money…
give me this opportunity
so I can tell
for no good reason
to nobody in particular…
“Lo! Death has reared
himself a throne
In a strange city lying alone
Far down within the dim West…”
Edgar Allan Poe
new plan 11/24/99
movie/music video extra work days
occasional audition days
waiting or bartending 2-3 nights
the moments alone
this futile battle
for something out of nothing
pointless little victories
and seconds of self-satisfaction
It all seems so stupid
I`d rather stand
on an empty pier
in a purple sky
trying to capture the moment
Trying to attain Nirvana
but for a moment
to commune with nature
in one defining moment
of ultimate understanding
and to know without a doubt
that each glowing
ripple on the ocean
is forever mine alone…
a 767 flying overhead suddenly disrupts my reverie…
The day before Thanksgiving 1999, the most beautiful
sunset I`ve seen in recent memory; a moment of bliss.
“It`s true that billboard silhouettes and power
Lines rebuke dusk`s fair and fragile fire
As those who go on living have to prowl
And watch for someone leaving down each aisle.
While this takes place, a tender moon dips toward
The peach and blood horizon, pale, ignored.
I try to memorize impermanence:
The strange, alarming beauty of the sky,
The white moon`s path, the twilight`s deep, blue eye.
I want to stay till everything makes sense.
But oily-footed pigeons flap and chase–
A red Camaro flushes them apart,
Pulling up and waiting for my space;
It glistens, mean and earthly, like a heart.”
Death is always untimely.
PERHAPS THESE ARE NOT POETIC TIMES AT ALL
You`re so cute, baby–I just love the way you shake those martinis…
alone on an empty beach
against indigo sky
wind lazy circles
in the air
like the ocean before him
covers the land in night
“There will be those who say that the end came, I mean THE END, with an avenging God and the whole thing…But I say there was a race of hardy laughers, mystics, crazies,
who knew their real homes, or who had been drawn to this gold coast for years, and they lived through the destroying light, and on, into Light ages.”
So many street people outside every restaurant or liquor store, that it almost becomes like a toll charge for being out in public.
I don`t know why I went there.
It seems to me that there wasn`t any particular reason.
Then again, maybe I went there
because I just wanted to remember
the way things used to be…
“The past paints the present
The present paints the past
“Art to Choke Hearts”
“Have I gone too far to get home?”
NO REST FOR THE WICKED
“…it`s rather a privilege
amid the affluent traffic
to serve this unpopular art which cannot be turned into
background noise for study
or hung as a status trophy by rising executives,
cannot be `done` like Venice
or abridged like Tolstoy, but stubbornly insists upon
being read or ignored…”
“My heart rouses
thinking to bring you news
that concerns you
and concerns many men. Look at
what passes for the news.
You will not find it there but in
It is difficult
to get the news from poems
yet men die miserably every day
of what is found there.”
I heard the clock tower strike two o`clock the other day at Farmer`s Market and it took me back to another time and place.
The grandfather clock in our living room on Paseo de Gracia had the same melody.
but flopping on a mattress
with cheap dreams and a beer…”
…to look up from the asphalt and be blinded by the sun…
“Americans have dissipated their racial energy in an orgy of stone breaking. In their few years they
have broken more stones than did centuries of Egyptians. And they have done their work hysterically,
desperately, almost as if they knew the stones would some day break them.”
I didn`t ask you to suffer so much. That was your own doing.
Strange disturbing winds in the city tonight…it howls through the urban canyons like a screaming banshee causing everyone to behave strangely, irritable, argumentative.
Leaves blow in whirlwinds around my car, shadows waving erratically across this page in the streetlight. The leaves fall on the roof of the car and dance in meaningless
patterns across the cold pavement. Palms blow in the gale as if to let go of their roots and fly off into the sky, the scratchy rattling hiss of leaves and the screeching wind
is everywhere, giving me chills, yet soothing somehow. Its desolation embraces me. My strange midnight vigil at Le Doux and Chalmers in the slums of Beverly Hills on
12-3-99 is rewarded only by the raging wind and the faraway drone of a siren…
FANTASY BEGETS REALITY
“Scattered among those Hollywood masquerades were people of a different type. Their clothing was somber and badly cut, bought from mail order and thrift shops.
While the others moved rapidly, darting into stores and bars, they loitered on corners and stood with their backs to shop windows and stared at everyone who passed.
When their stare was returned, their eyes filled with hatred. At this time, Tod knew very little about them except that they had come to California to die.”
“The Day of the Locust”
“…Mexican ranch houses, Samoan huts, Mediterranean villas, Egyptian and Japanese Temples, Swiss chalets, Tudor cottages, and every possible combination of these
styles lined the slopes of the canyon. On the corner of La Huerta Road was a miniature Rhine castle with tarpaper turrets pierced for archers. Next to it was a highly
colored shack with domes and minarets out of the Arabian Nights. Again, he was charitable. Both houses were comic, but he didn`t laugh. Their desire to startle was
so eager and guileless. It is hard to laugh at the need for beauty and romance, no matter how tasteless, even horrible, the results of that are. But it is easy to sigh.
FEW THINGS ARE SADDER THAN THE TRULY MONSTROUS.”
“The Day of the Locust”
The end of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. The themes of the 20th century have been exploitation, building, destroying, squeezing out every last drop of mystery
from the world, especially America, SQUEEZING like a juiced orange. Put it all on television and video and hidden camera. Give ourselves virtual lives devoid of real feeling
but rather, filled with pulp and simulation. To look at reality mirrored through fantasy and to forget the difference if there ever was any. End of the 20th century, end of an era,
beginning of something we cannot yet define or predict or categorize or put on a website (yet)— so, I stand at the edge of this concrete pier in this plastic world and dream of
even better plastic worlds to come in a virtual universe. The ocean splashes twilit spray all around me and the light dies into an indescribable silence. Only the screeching of
gulls gives life back to my euphoric emptiness. And the wind blows hollow melodies throughout the cavern of my skull. My wandering soul takes flight with the wind and smog mist.
MAYBE YOU SHOULD BE AT THE MALL
The violet ocean ripples and flows towards me endlessly with her rolling swells and the peach-colored horizon unfolds like a heavenly curtain into royal blue overhead. A sinking
sun, an island of fire, a sailboat silhouetted against the face of the sun as a seagull wheels lazily overhead and an airplane takes off low over the beach with a resounding roar.
All of this, simultaneously; it seems to be meant just for me since I am the only one here. I stare at the darkening west, the sunset lingers on the horizon for perhaps just a moment
longer than it should for my personal enjoyment and then falls below the rim as our journey into night continues. Some small sea birds screech and scatter and fly off over the purple rolling waves…
Sundays are curiously still here at the end of the century, as if we are waiting for something to happen. Cirrus clouds overhead, mist, a ring around the sun, leaves clattering
down empty avenues, uncharacteristically devoid of traffic. A peaceful day, indeed, by any account, a city, half-empty of its denizens, or so it seems. It gives a feeling of natural
life to these man-made streets. My Sundays; I see nature breaking through as it always does in the end–taking back that which rightfully belongs to the soil–today, even if just
for a while, I cherish these moments of solitude and I listen to the crows screaming overhead, their velvet black silhouettes framed perfectly against the azure sky.
IS THERE ENOUGH ABOUT SUNSETS IN HERE FOR YA?
OH, DON`T WORRY, THERE`LL BE MORE….
What is the point of art? I ask this to no one in particular. Is it to capture a fleeting moment or to preserve beauty like an insect trapped in amber? Is it for myself or others? What is the reason
for this uncontrollable urge to paint, write, record, or photograph? Is there an answer? Or perhaps only more questions? Is art immortal and sublime or is it as transitory as everything else?
Is it the essence of meaning and life or is it but a reflection of more important realities? What is the point of art? I ask again, and my query is answered only by the silent hiss of the wind.
“He seemed to enjoy suffering. But not all kinds, certainly not sickness. Like many people, he only enjoyed the sort that was self-inflicted.”
“The Day of the Locust”
I need more!
Nothing seems to satisfy..
I don`t want it
I just need it
to feel, to breathe, to know I`m alive…”
“He never had but the one home staring him in the eye.”
William Carlos Williams
“Later I would think of America as one vast city of night, stretching gaudily from Times Square to Hollywood Boulevard–jukebox winking, rock n roll moaning: America at night fusing its dark cities into the
unmistakable shape of loneliness. Remember Pershing Square and its apathetic palm trees. Central Park and the frantic shadows. Horror movie courtyards in the French Quarter. Remember rock n roll
sex music blasting from stereos and jukes, leering obscenely, blinking–manycolored along the streets of America strung like a cheap necklace. One night sex and cigarette smoke and rooms squashed
by loneliness…and I would remember lives lived out darkly in that vast city of night.”
“City of Night”
“We destroy ourselves by expecting more than there is.”
Nobody ruins me—I can do it myself, thank you very much…
create from within
and the real world
takes on a twisted
surreal, chaotic meaning…
I do hope that you, the reader, have enjoyed this bizarre miniaturized volume. I am aware that it is chock full of disturbing ramblings, multi-colored sunsets, apocalyptic quotes,
and repetitive visions. For this, I am not sorry. It only goes to show you that the only purpose of writing is to air out the soul and leave a record of something for somebody.
Perhaps, it is for you.
EVE OF THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON 2000
(for further information, brochures, or complaints,
HAPPY NEW YEAR MOFOS!!!