STREET JOURNAL 61

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By Tom H. Brooks 3

A BRAND NEW WORLD……………..BUT REALLY NO BETTER OR WORSE FROM THE ONE I WAS ALREADY IN……………………….….

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seriously?
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MUSIC FROM A DISTANT ROOM
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CEREBRAL SNAPSHOTS
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This book was started in Miyota, Japan on 8/7/10
and
finished on the Venice Pier in California on 1/23/11  FIRE SUNSET/PURPLE SEA (my soon-to-be annual vacation to America)
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see attachments…autumn colors in Miyota, Japan and sunset in Venice, CA….
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“Walk with me
whispering
like a tree in a soft wind
walk with me
talking
like a river flowing
your face
a nebula
between my hands…”
Octavio Paz
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and this AGAIN for you here….because IT FITS….
“Our place in the universe, the universe itself, it all changes faster and faster by the second.  Every one of us standing on this
planet, we`re all moving forwards and we`re never ever coming back.  The truth is, stillness is an idea, a dream.  It`s the thought
of friendly welcoming lights still shining in all the places we`ve been forced to abandon.”
Steven Hall
“The Raw Shark Texts”
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…and the Japan Haiku series continues…….
misty morning lake
smooth surface like a mirror
my soul fills with joy
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silver sky of dawn
the birds chirping in green trees
new day has begun
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frogs croak in night fields
lightning flashes thunder cracks
rain falls through my dreams
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cicadas buzzing
dragonfly`s gossamer wings
spider`s silky thread
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“The best way to prepare for travel is to throw
some bread and wine in a sack and jump over
the backyard fence…”
John Muir
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“Give not that which is holy unto dogs,
neither cast ye pearls before swine,
lest they trample them underfoot
and turn again and rend you.”
Jesus of Nazareth
Matthew 7:6  (the BEST thing Jesus ever said…)
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Every single thing I do
is a story waiting to be told…
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I have no faith in any gods except the ones
that dwell inside of me…
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“I walked around as you do,
investigating the endless star,
and in my net during the night,
I woke up naked,
the only thing caught,
a fish
trapped inside the wind…”
Pablo Neruda
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“I am alone at the furthest periphery of existence.
Here the world expires and is still.”
Haruki Murakami
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“I know the pieces fit `cause I watched them fall away…”
TOOL
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“Beyond a certain point, there is no return.  This point must be reached.”
Franz Kafka                            (everyone has to cross that Rubicon…)
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“Things fall apart;
the center cannot hold.
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world.
The blood-dimmed tide flows
and everywhere,
the ceremony of innocence is drowned.
The best lack all conviction
while the worst are full of passionate intensity.
The darkness drops again but now I know
that 20 centuries of stony sleep
were vexed to nightmare
by a rocking cradle.
What rough beast,
its hour come `round at last,
slouches toward Bethlehem to be born?”
William Butler Yeats
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“And if our hands should meet again in a dream,
we shall build another tower in the sky.”
Kahlil Gibran
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“There is more to life than just surviving it.  Inside each turbulence, there is a calm–
a sliver of light buried in the darkness.”
Norman Ollestad
“Crazy For the Storm”
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eve`s golden twilight
leaves clatter down winding roads
lost in the moment
a dark wind blowing
alone in a room of thought
my mind wanders free
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Well, I never thought I would hear myself say this…..
but, now that I`m in Japan, THANK GOD FOR THE INTERNET!
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Now that I am not able to smoke herb, I DREAM again, or at least I REMEMBER my dreams…
I look forward to my dreams now, like NIGHT MOVIES….
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“…I`m going back to New York City,
I do believe I`ve had enough…….”
Bob Dylan
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“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
Albert Einstein
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Obama and his stupid mosque RIGHT BY Ground Zero…shit….
I`m sorry, but FUCK THAT!!
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“If you don`t like America, then you can GIT OUT!!”
“South Park”
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Full Metal Racket    “PATRON”  2009  ( a video art piece at the Whitney Museum in NYC by Marianne Vitale )
You can now Google this crazy video and it will come up on YouTube….just type in   patron 2009 marianne vitale…..
…and I say it again….crazy, but somehow…fascinating, hypnotizing….
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NO TIME LIKE THE PRESENT
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“Well, I ain`t saying I`m innocent,
in fact, the reverse,
but it you`re headed to the grave
you don`t blame the hearse…
YOU CAN`T TAKE THE EFFECT,
AND MAKE IT THE CAUSE…”
Jack White
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“My gears they grind,
more each day,
and I feel like
they`re gonna grind away…”
“I must admit
I can`t explain
any of these thoughts
racing through my brain,
it`s true…”
The Black Keys
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“My Shit Stinks Better Than Yours”
Charles Bukowski
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My favorite inexpensive restaurant so far in Japan is a chain of restaurants
called Sukiya.  They have beef bowls that they call gyu-don…
I eat negitama-don….which is rice (of course!), thinly sliced beef, green onions, and an egg…..DELICIOUS (but not as good as Mexican food…)
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Amazing thunder and lightning on Tuesday, 8/17/10….like a typhoon….crazy wind and all…..
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8/17/10
I was forced to go for a check-up at an ear, nose and throat doctor named Dr. Komatsu.  Classic weird doctor,
chattering incomprehensibly in Japanese with a weird voice.  The only problem, he stuck a tube the size of a
number 2 pencil up my nose until I was choking.  I feel violated, but somehow, I`m still laughing….
pills, pills, pills……and youth slips further away……
I hope my theory about doctors helping you DIE is wrong…
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8/18/10
A beautiful waterfall in Karuizawa called Shiraito no Taki (which means white web waterfall, I think).  Then we
went for Mexican Food which made the waterfall pale in comparison….
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“Being happy was like being home…”
Paul Theroux
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acid dream flashback from yesteryear….
ahhh, grasshopper…
when full moon rise
run through rice field
and take the pebble from my hand…
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Laments of an Icarus
 
Lovers of prostitutes
are happy, fresh and satisfied.
As for me, my arms are broken
for having embraced the clouds.
It is thanks to the endless stars
that flame in the depths of the sky
that my burned-out eyes see
only the suns of memory.
I tried in vain to find
the middle and the end of space;
I know not under what fiery eye
I felt my wings break…
Burned by the love of beauty,
I will not have the sublime honor
of giving my name to the abyss
that will serve as my tomb.”
Charles Baudelaire
from “The Flowers of Evil”
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“Hello….I`m waiting here for you…
EVERLONG….
And I wonder,
when I sing along with you,
if anything could ever feel this real forever,
if anything could ever be this good again,
the only thing I`ll ever ask of you,
you gotta promise not to stop when I say when…”
Dave Grohl
Foo Fighters
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“NOT ENOUGH!
I NEED MORE!
NOTHING SEEMS TO SATISFY!
I DON`T WANT!
I JUST NEED IT!
TO BREATHE, TO FEEL, TO KNOW I`M ALIVE!”
TOOL
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The Ultimate Minimalist  (an old, classic story paraphrased and rewritten by Ronnie McCawley)
 
There was a Greek man by the name of Diogenes.  He owned nothing but the rags he wore and
he would sleep in a water barrel on the streets.  Why work?  Why have a lucrative career when
it all leads to wealth that fades and pleasures that are fleeting?  Why not live life in the moment
and enjoy it to its fullest?
One day, after being impressed with the man`s story, Alexander the Great sought him out for his
wisdom.  When he found him lying in the streets, Alexander said, `Ask for any one thing in the
world and I will give it to you.`  Diogenes replied, `I ask that you stand aside.  You are standing
in my sunlight.`  Alexander walked away a wiser man.  Alexander had everything whereas Diogenes
had nothing, yet who was the happier man?”
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Well, we know who the LAZIER man was anyway….
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Intersectionism…..Cubist inspired
Sensationism…..quasi-Futurist inspired
Deconstructionism…..
***********
MY OWN LITERARY MOVEMENT:
FRAGMENTATIONISM
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“BEFORE THE LAW stands a doorkeeper.  To this doorkeeper comes a man who asks for admittance.
The doorkeeper says not at the moment, but perhaps later.  The man decides to sit down beside the
door and wait until he is granted permission to enter.  And there he sits for days and years.  Endlessly
waiting, he tries many different ways to gain entry, including trickery, bribery and begging.  None of
these things work.  He grows very old.  Now he has not long to live.  He realizes that there is one
nagging question that he has not asked the doorkeeper.  The doorkeeper bends low to hear the old
man and says, `What now?  You are insatiable.`
`Everyone strives to reach the Law,` says the man, `So how does it happen after all these many years
that no one but myself has ever begged for admittance?`
The doorkeeper roars in the old man`s failing ears, `No one else could ever be admitted here, since this
gate was made only for you.  I am now going to shut it.` “
Franz Kafka
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“It was very early in the morning, the streets were clean and deserted.  As I compared the tower clock
with my watch I realized it was much later than I thought and that I had to hurry.  The shock of this
discovery made me uncertain of the way, as I was not yet familiar with this town.  I ran to a nearby
policeman and breathlessly asked him the way.  He smiled and said, `You`re asking ME the way?!?`
`Yes,` I said, `since I can`t find it myself.`
`GIVE IT UP! GIVE IT UP!` said he, and turned away with a sudden jerk, like someone who wants to
be alone with his laughter.”
Franz Kafka
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“In these random impressions, and with no desire to be other than random, I indifferently narrate my
factless autobiography, my lifeless history.  These are my confessions, and if in them I say nothing,
it is because I have nothing to say.”
Fernando Pessoa
“The Book of Disquiet”
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“Walking on these streets as night falls, there is no difference between me and these streets, save
they being streets and I a soul, which perhaps is irrelevant when we consider the essence of things.
There is an equal, abstract destiny for men and things; both have an equally indifferent designation
in the algebra of the world`s mystery.”
Pessoa
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“You can only see the true beauty of the mountain when it is far away.”
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deepest dark forest
limitless green depths within
hidden mysteries
lost in a white mist
wandering through opaque haze
mountain is alive
dark paths to nowhere
temples to forgotten gods
graves of the long dead
morning is silent
save birds twittering in trees
and I walk alone
all is fresh and new
days await discovery
enigmas revealed
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“In my heart there is a peaceful anguish, and my calm is made of resignation.  All of this passes, and none
of it means anything to me.  It`s all foreign to my fate, and even to fate as a whole.  It`s just unconsciousness,
curses of protest when chance hurls stones, echoes of unknown voices–a collective mishmash of life.  Sadly
I write in my quiet room, alone as I have always been, alone as I will always be.  And I wonder if my apparently
negligible voice might not embody the essence of thousands of voices, the longing for self-expression of thousands
of lives, the patience of millions of souls resigned like my own to their daily lot, their useless dreams, and their
hopless hopes.  In these moments, my heart beats faster because I am conscious of it.  I live more because I live
on high.  I feel a religious force within me, a species of prayer, a kind of public outcry.  I take a drowsy look at
myself.  I glance up from this half-written page of life, and at the cheap cigarette I`m about to extinguish in the
ashtray beyond the flickering candle…
And again at this table in my absurd room, I, pathetic and anonymous, write words as if they were the soul`s
salvation, and I gild myself with the impossible sunset of high and vast mountains in the distance, with the statue
I received in exchange for life`s pleasures, and with my ring of renunciation on my evangelical finger, the stagnant
jewel of my ecstatic disdain.”
Fernando Pessoa
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“…with twisting phrases that have a poisonous spirituality…”
Pessoa
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8/23/10
Like a fat, overfed spider,
I constantly spin my silky
thread into intricate designs.
At night, dreaming,
ideas, impressions, and thoughts
come to me like flitting
insects attracted to a
bright light in the darkness
and are caught in my web
where I dine on them
and eat voraciously…
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8/23/10
Took a bike ride more than halfway up the volcano, Mount Asama; by far,
the most inspired and amazing day I`ve had in a long time.  My head is
spinning like a top with all these thoughts whirling around within…FULL MOON night….
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“Whether or not they exist, we`re slaves to the gods…”
“Whenever I`ve tried to free myself and my life from a set of circumstances that continually oppress it, I`ve
been instantly surrounded by other circumstances of the same order, as if the inscrutable web of creation
were irrevocably at odds with me.  I yank from my neck a hand that was choking me, and I see that my own
hand is tied to a noose that fell around my neck when I freed it from the stranger`s hand.  When I gingerly
remove the noose, it`s with my own hands that I nearly strangle myself.”
Pessoa
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Ever since I ran face-first into that GIANT spider`s web, I can`t seem to stop coming up with spider metaphors…
(or finding others of that kind in books…)
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“A book should be an ice axe to break the frozen sea within us.”
Franz Kafka
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blood orange sunrise
ball of fire lights the land
crows squawk in the dawn
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The Spider
hangs
on a vast web of roads
some in light
some in darkness
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8/24/10
Went EVEN FARTHER up Asama.  I ignored the signs that I KNOW said `NO TRESPASSING` in this
crazy language.  I heard some very strange birds and saw a GIANT pheasant-like thing that scared
the shit out of me when it suddenly flapped out of the brush and surprised me.  I was on the lookout
for bears too.  Reminded me of the forest in Murakami`s Kafka on the Shore…
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“…and I went deeper into the HEART OF THE FOREST…”
Murakami
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spooky
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I left a beautiful blue stone from Arizona on my forbidden road as a gift to the mountain…
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white river flowing
through the heart of the forest
silent soul whispers
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“Perhaps DREAMS are yet another dimension in which we live,
or perhaps they`re a bridge between two dimensions.”
Pessoa
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8/25/10    dynamic lightning and rain!!
Now I know the meaning of `ROLLING THUNDER`
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I love the way these little Japanese mountain tree frogs hang on the screens at night…
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8/26/10
Met a nice man who spoke some English named Hizato and his dog, Ginka…
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I don`t think the bears want to see us anymore than we want to see them.  Actually,
I am kind of curious to see a bear…..ahh, maybe I should rethink that one…
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The full moon was glowing behind the lightning-flash clouds, when it came out for
a moment, glowing hello, before it disappeared again into the mist…
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I`ve got your entire intelligence on the outside rim of my bunghole, scumbag…
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Reductio ad absurdum (Latin)– Reduction to the absurd….a form of argument in which a proposition
is disproven by following implications logically to an absurd consequence…
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“Reductio ad absurdum is my favorite drink…”
Pessoa
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Somehow, I got a slight cut on my eyeball and then I got an infection of the cornea
from the damn swimming pool up the street, so I had to go to one, Dr. Nakazawa…
at least he didn`t stick a big tube up my nose!
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8/29/10
Oyashirazu Beach in Niigata Prefecture on the Sea of Japan, where the mountains meet the sea…
The water was beautiful and warm….
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8/30/10
Kumoba-Ike Pond in Karuizawa is gorgeous and spectacular for photos…
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HA!!  I just pissed a hiragana symbol in the dirt….Like always….BEER; in one end and out the other…
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8/31/10
Went to a crappy little movie theater in Saku City for an excellent movie…..
“Inception” with Leo DeCaprio…..(The movie was great but this theater was SHIT;  I`m used to the Chinese Theater in Hollywood, so you know the story…)
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What is with the popularity of pachinko in Japan?  I just don`t get it…
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Life is a dream.  (INCEPTION)  in a dream, the top keeps spinning…
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On the radio, I heard the FIRST good song since I got here; Old Blue Eyes, Sinatra singing
“New York, New York” in the parking lot at SEIYU supermarket….(is this a sign of some sort?)
“If I can make it there, I`ll make it anywhere…”
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wind blows through her hair
quiet glow twilight landscape
endless potential
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“Amerika-jin desu ka?”
Hai (yes, I said)
“Ahhh, Dirty Harry….”
________
“Are you Brad Pitt?”
Me ….HA!  Not even close.  And he`s got A LOT more money than me…
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Despite the beauty here, these first months are VERY difficult for me….
Chiharu and I are having a lot of BAD arguments and I`m having a
rough time adjusting to living here.  It just feels like a vacation to me,
not a place I want to stay….
9/3/10   The saddest night of my life  (so far)
9/4/10    …followed by the saddest DAY of my life…I just saw a JET-BLACK butterfly….PERFECT….
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MANIFESTO
Everyone takes pictures.  Not everyone takes good pictures.  Not everyone makes ART.
Photographs of people and famous places are the norm–even average, one might say.
I, on the other hand, am far from normal.  I am dedicated to capturing the unusual, that
which is off the beaten path, so to speak.  I prefer photographs of the abandoned, the
forgotten, the ruins at the edge of time and space.  My photos evoke haunting images
of how the world could look in some grim future after the Fall.  Empty, devoid of life,
forbidding, cold–lost in the mists of time, still, motionless, seemingly useless.  And yet
there is a haunting beauty in this desolation; it is a monument to unknown purposes.
One is left feeling admiration for the aesthetic value, and at the same time, one is left
feeling disturbed, perhaps, a hollow void within….
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9/7/10  9:15am  (rode my skateboard in Japan for the first time today; you should SEE the looks on these Japanese faces! )
I just had the smallest can of beer I`ve EVER had in my life…a ridiculous, cute little
Asahi can of 135 milliliters (4.5 ounces?)  HA!  Dave and Ronnie and I would have
to buy 200 of these to get a buzz!
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It`s amazing how when you have `nothing important to do,` in other words–nothing but time–you invent
all kinds of little projects to occupy yourself (at least I do) and suddenly, you feel so very, very busy….
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fu ku   yu
ふ く ゆ
DO THE MATH, SCUMBAG….
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“I spit .45 caliber grammar…”
RZA  Wu-Tang Clan
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“blue, blue windows behind the stars,
yellow moon on the rise,
big birds flying across the sky,
throwing shadows on our eyes…
leaving us helpless, helpless, helpless…”
Neil Young
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9/10/10
Sezon Museum of Fine Art in Karuizawa  (museum is bijutsukan in Japanese)
So many fucking rules!!  No camera?!?  No pens!!  Now I`m writing in my book
in pencil, for Chrissakes!  This little Jap guard is just following me around.  He`s
really getting on my nerves.  What, does he think I`m an art thief? Or maybe he
thinks I have ANOTHER pen and I`m gonna write on a painting.  Or maybe he`s
a RACIST!!
Aside from this little scumbag, this museum is amazing; beautiful gardens outside,
masterworks of art from all around the world, not just Japan….excellent…..
*     *     *
Anselm Kiefer  “Die Frauen der Revolution”  —rusty, gray abandoned beds in some
kind of burned-out forgotten dormitory with nameplates & a big, grim black and white
photo on the wall with dead flowers hanging down….haunting…..a walk-in assemblage…
Jackson Pollock
Paul Klee
Yves Klein
Kandinsky
Sam Francis
Man Ray
Marcel Duchamp
Many amazing Japanese artists
Jean-Paul Riopelle (same style as my paintings…)
Mark Rothko
Jasper Johns
Andy Warhol
Frank Stella
Keiji Usami
Roy Liechtenstein
Julien Schanbel
Joan Miro
Cy Twombly
Man Ray  “Cadeau”  (1921)  says 5/9 on it and it is an old, black clothing iron with spikes on it…
Tadanori Yuko  (1991) a beautiful painting called “The Breaking of the Seventh Seal, The Birth of the Artist”
Natsuyuki Nakanishi    Two lovely paintings named “#2”  and “Hopscotch at the Top of the Hill”
Kenjiro Okazaki    “Color Blossoms”
….and my personal favorite; I`ve never seen anything like it…..
Jean Tinguely  (Swiss)  “Pandemonium #1”  which was a GIANT array of drums and chimes that goes
off every hour upon the hour automatically for 10 minutes.  It was made of pots, pans, lights, junk, dolls,
pulleys, wires, gongs, skulls, motorcycles wheels, wooden wheels, wheels of all types, string, boxes, feathers….
I can barely even DESCRIBE it.  You really have to SEE it to believe it.  The CRAZIEST thing I`ve ever seen….
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MY SCULPTURE IDEAS:
A TV Watching People
A giant TV with eyes on a sofa in a strange living room facing tiny people on a TV stand…
*    *    *
Ideas Come in the Night
a sleeping figure with question mark ? ? eyelids……mechanical….closet door burst open with a giant !
and the figure in bed bolts upright, eyes open….
__________
“Our passions are not the unions of blind matter.”
Octavio Paz
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No; I don`t drink TOO MUCH.
The problem is that YOU don`t drink ENOUGH.
________
I don`t have a drinking problem.
YOU have a NOT-DRINKING problem.
________
9/13/10
After an already amazing day, I was having an evening stroll through the rice fields.  I stopped, sat down,
cracked a beer and had a cigarette in the warm summer night.  And then I witnessed a surreal scene, surely
like a dream.  I saw a nearby house with the curtain to the sliding patio door open upon the fields.  In the
window, there was a graceful and willowy Japanese girl doing some kind of sexy hula-looking dance.  She
was wearing a turquoise -blue top and a flowing white skirt and she was backlit by a golden-orange color.
I could hear no music nor could I see any other people but it was otherworldly in its sensual momentum.
I was hypnotized, in the moment, as it were.  It went on for at least 10 minutes as I watched her silhouette
sway and glow in the dim light at the edge of the night fields with a silver crescent moon to my left and the
persistent sound of the nocturnal insects reverberating in my ears.  Strange….foreign to my eyes, unique;
I will never forget it…
________
Okay, Sumo Wrestling is a fucking TRIP; nothing at all like the absurd spectacle and drama of our American
WWF.  It`s just two REALLY FAT guys, slapping their immense bellies, wearing diapers, and throwing salt
around until they meet like two whales breaching for a mid-air collision and manhandling each other around
the ring until one of them is thrown from the circle…CRAZY shit…..
________
I`ll always LOVE smoking herb, but I have to say, since I`ve arrived in Japan, my dreams have been MUCH
more vivid and I actually REMEMBER them when I wake up.  It`s been so long since I remembered my dreams…
________
I am so used to getting the wrong change when I buy something now that it is laughable.  I can`t explain it to them
because my Japanese is not good enough, but if something is, let`s say, 146¥ and I give them 201¥, then I should
get 55¥ in change.  But SO often they are wrong and I can`t explain my dilemma. Usually, it`s only a matter of cents,
but it`s still ridiculous.  I THOUGHT ASIANS WERE GOOD AT MATH!
________
I actually got a suit for work here, just in case it is necessary; a “Junko Shimada, British Look” model….HA!
________
“While strolling through a lovely garden,
as day was drawing to a close,
my eyes beheld a tragic story,
I saw a teardrop on a rose…”
Hank Williams
________
These Japanese folks are really, REALLY into their spas.  They can be lovely places, but hanging around
with a bunch of OLD Japanese men butt naked with all our swinging dicks was never my idea of relaxation…
________
“DO WHAT THOU WILT IS THE WHOLE OF THE LAW.”
Aleister Crowley
________
“But, as with every kiss, it was not without a certain element of danger.”
Haruki Murakami
“Norwegian Wood”
________
“I was still going, like the man who steps out for a paper and never comes back.  I was that man.
I had vanished.  And there was no reason to go back now.  No one missed me.  Half my life had
been eclipsed.”
Paul Theroux
“The Happy Isles of Oceania”
________
SYNTHESIS
________
Ok, so now I`m working at a hotel restaurant in Japan….never saw THAT one coming!
________
Early in the morning, I turned on the microphone in the empty restaurant and sang one-man-karaoke
before anyone arrived–Elvis, Sinatra, Martin, Hank Williams, Neil Diamond;  “Welby, Dr. Marcus Welby…
please come to the ER immediately…”
________
“Once you`ve given up the ghost, everything else follows with dead certainty, even in the midst of chaos.”
“I saw more clearly than they ever did, yet remained powerless to alter my situation.”
Henry Miller
________
Things are crazy and rotten all over, and I can tell you for a fact that the grass is the same color of green
on the other side of the fence.  Security is an illusion.  Keep living the dream, because that`s all it is……
________
up before the birds
mysterious dawn darkness
pink and blue sunrise
________
In Japan, you will see Leonardo DeCaprio photos at Eneos gas stations and pictures of Tommy Lee Jones plastered with Boss Coffee….
________
I said goodbye to my secret forest trails for now….winter is coming….
________
Writing Japanese is as complex as fucking calculus equations….I can barely write my own goddamned name!
________
Every time I say wo, they say, `wa?`
Every time I say ni, they say, `no!`
________
Something I`ve never seen–neatly stacked rows of dried-out rice, brown in the twilight, stretching across the fields.
On the uneven horizon, the mountains are topped by a GIANT puffy white cloud and a full moon above illuminates
all as it rises.  The cloud is intermittently torn to shreds of glowing lace by jagged shards of lightning.  It is surreal
and beautiful…
________
In Japan, here in Miyota, our next door neighbors are totally unfriendly scumbags who are more fun than a barrel of monkeys…
believe me…not EVERYONE in Japan is polite as you might think….there`s plenty of assholes everywhere….
________
I`d like to say I`ve just FINALLY seen it ALL, but I`m absolutely sure that I would be wrong again.  I just saw a Japanese
TV show with a German dude throwing TOILET PLUNGERS like throwing knives and sticking them to Japanese dudes
backs.  The little Japanese guys were shirtless and wearing helmets and goggles.  Fucking ridiculous.  I felt like I was
having an acid flashback.  If this crap is what passes for TV here, then Jap TV is even stupider than ours.  REALLY STUPID.
________
LIKE A CAGED ANIMAL
________
Chiharu is my little rice ball….her new nickname is ONIGIRI…..
________
“But she got it wrong.  What I imagine is perhaps very important.  For the entire world.”
Murakami
________
Comedy TV Show I want to make…..Saku City Blue
 
No guns on this police show
White, Mickey Mouse gloves
No beatings with night sticks, just a polite, `would you please stop that?`  (even when the guy is stabbing someone…..HA!)
________
REALLY, you have to SEE it to BELIEVE it….
________
did you ever really THINK about the words to this old rhyming children`s song?
“row, row, row your boat
gently down the stream,
merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily,
LIFE IS BUT A DREAM.”
________
No matter how much I study or learn this ridiculous Japanese language, I will ALWAYS
DREAM in ENGLISH.
EVERYTHING in this language sounds the same.  For example;
oNAka ippai–this means I`M FULL after eating
oKAne ippai–this means I HAVE A LOT of MONEY
SEE?!  One fucking syllable change, and the whole meaning changes!  WTF?!?
________
Fucking MS!!  Fucking hospital!  I am so mad at the world right now, I barely have any words for it.  Chiharu is in the
goddamned hospital AGAIN.  She seems to be getting so much weaker the last year or two, her condition deteriorating.
It is so disheartening to watch.  I hate the hospital fluorescent lights sucking the juice out of my eyeballs, the smell of
sickness and death, people hobbling and limping around–fuck this.  I, for one, would rather go out under an open blue
sky, even a face plant in the bushes.  I would rather go out and dig my own grave in a field.  Anything but this…
________
The only small laugh I could have possibly had today was when I saw a white guy at the hospital and he said hello
and then he quipped, “I wish we could have met at 7-11 instead of HERE.”  So true.
________
His name was Michael Eckstein and it turned out that he offered me a job as an English teacher, just like that.
A job by default at a hospital.  How about that as an example of the weird fucking ways that life works itself out?
________
“Happiness is the best medicine.”  Hard to live by that at a HOSPITAL.
________
Irony is everywhere.
________
Mad at the world
________
I was walking and I saw my shadow cut in two across the stacks of rice in the fields.
That`s how I feel—CUT IN TWO….
________
When I was a child, I would say, `That`s not fair.`  My parents would say, `Life`s not fair.`  SO TRUE.
________
“The pure present is an ungraspable advance of the past devouring the future.  In truth, all sensation
is already memory.”
Henri Bergson
“Matter and Memory”
_______
“At the same time that `I` am the content of a relation, `I` am also that which does the relating.”
Hegel
_______
“We`re talking about a revelation here.  A revelation leaps over the borders of the everyday.  A life
without revelation is no life at all.  What you need to do is move from reason that observes to reason
that acts.”
Haruki Murakami
_______
First song I heard when going to work was “Another One Bites the Dust.”  I told you–irony is EVERYWHERE…
_______
Driving through rice fields listening to Michael Jackson`s “Billie Jean.”  WEIRD.  Incongruous.
Then “Superfly” by Curtis Mayfield.
_______
pompous blowhard
_______
where did THAT come from?!?
_______
This is fucking hysterically ridiculous!  I am working tonight as the maitre`d at a Japanese hotel/restaurant
called Asamagaoka.  I am forced to figure out names in Katakana characters and I have to try to decipher
the coded language in which these people speak to me with….HA!
_______
The lack of communication here in this restaurant is appalling…literally, BEYOND WORDS…and NOT just
because of my beginner Japanese.  My all-too-many years in the restaurant business has left me as a skilled
efficiency machine and it`s just my luck to end up in a Jap restaurant that is riddled with incompetence.
Later, I said, `Fuck this, I should have finished college,` to the white older dude dishwasher (there are no Mexicans here),
and he (Rob) said, `I could`ve been a contender.` (Quoting On the Waterfront)
THIS IS A FUCKING NIGHTMARE
_______
Sunday Japanese wedding party….B O R I N G…
The most ridiculous and awkward day of my life.
_______
Hotel Asamagaoka (a little scotch in my coffee never hurt)
_______
This is truly becoming an exercise in tolerance.  I don`t know how much more I can take.
_______
“2 tons of fun make Mamma Jamma,
big-ass bitch from Alabama.”
Too Short
(don`t know why this is in my head right now; I think I am coming unhinged…)
2 tons of NONE…..these people at this wedding are such a bunch of BORING STIFFS…
They should just go dig a grave for themselves and LIE IN IT WAITING TO DIE.
_______
The proof is in the pudding.
_______
“Sitting on the Dock of the Bay,
watching the tide roll away,
sitting on the dock of the bay
wasting time…
sitting in the morning sun,
I`ll be sitting when the evening comes…”
etc…..
Otis Redding
_______
I really want to skateboard across Brooklyn to Coney Island again before I get too old, shrivel up, and DIE…
_______
(I`ve met a lot of Jesus-freaks since I moved here; essentially, almost every white person I meet here is a bible-thumper, so therefore, I don`t hang out with `em….)
Organized religion is the face that we paint on the faceless and unknown spectre of Death that stands, ever-present, behind us in the shadows.
The religious types are trying to give meaning to the chaos in this indifferent universe.  Good luck with that.
_______
Where do deleted e-mails go?  Perhaps some digital dead-letter office somewhere in the Matrix….I wonder….?
_______
“What`s with all these `ethnic movies` starring white people?  You know what I`m talking about…for example,
`The Mexican` starring Brad Pitt, uuhhh, `The Last Samurai,` starring Tom Cruise.  HA!  Oh, there`s more.
I got a movie idea for ya, I got the script right here–I`m gonna call it, `The Last Nigga on Earth,` starring….Tom Hanks.”
Paul Mooney
_______
Why does everyone but me eat so fucking FAST?!?  They just choke their food down
like a seagull swallowing trash or a pelican eating a fish. I like to enjoy and actually CHEW my food….
_______
You should see these little bastards with their chopsticks, shoveling rice into their mouths like there`s no tomorrow….
_______
It`s hard to take good photos when I`m with other people or someone else is driving.  It seems to me that the Japanese always
take pictures at the same designated tourist spots, throwing up a peace sign with an awkward fake-smile on their funny faces.
Everytime, I saw the shot I wanted, we were whizzing by in the car.  It`s like I always say; I am an outsider….I HAVE to get off
the beaten path.
_______
Again, I have to say, everyone is REALLY in to the damn spas or hot springs here (they call it an `onsen`).  It`s just a glorified
bathtub that costs ¥¥ and you have to walk around naked with a bunch of stinky old farmers….NOT my idea of relaxation….
Now, on the other hand, if it was men AND women ALL TOGETHER, well, THEN I might be interested because some of these country
girls are HOT….
_______
Who cares about any of this flapdoodle anyway?
_______
Jesus FUCKING Christ!  I have NEVER been to the supermarket so much in my whole goddamned life!
EVERY FUCKING DAY!  Because everything is SO tiny for tiny little people.  They don`t even sell gallons
of milk.  The biggest milk I`ve seen in this entire country was a quart.  A QUART…can you believe it?
There is no escape from shopping here, but they don`t seem to mind because they LOVE shopping….
_______
I just don`t know if the whole `FAMILY` structure thing works for a weirdo like me…
_______
“She closes her eyes, giving herself over to memories.  There was no more pain there, for someone had siphoned it off forever.  The
circle was once again complete.  She opens the door of a faraway room and finds two beautiful chords, in the shape of lizards, asleep
on the wall.  She gently touches them and can feel their peaceful sleep.  A soft wind is blowing, rustling the old curtain from time to
time.  A significant rustling, like some parable.  She`s wearing a long, blue dress.  A dress she wore somewhere a long time ago.  Its
hem swishes as she walks.  The shore is visible beyond the window.  And you can hear the sound of waves, and someone`s voice.
There`s a hint of the sea in the breeze. Small white clouds are etched against the azure sky.  And it`s summer.  Always, it`s summer.”
Haruki Murakami
“Kafka on the Shore”
_______
“I want you to remember me.  If you remember me, then I don`t care if everybody else forgets.”
Murakami
_______
Oh yeah, this all just goes to prove what they always say…..DREAMS DO COME TRUE….
_______
They keep telling me to speak, `Japanese only.`  I laugh and say in English, `Then it`s gonna be a REALLY short conversation….`
_______
I`m sick of these people laughing at me like I`M an idiot.  I`ve got your brains on the outside rim of my bunghole.  I`d like to
see you learn FLUENT English in 2 MONTHS.  I`d like to see you THINK about anything besides what`s on TV tonight, the
rice harvest and when you should buy a new pair of slippers or what comic book to read!  S T U P I D.
_______
“Why do geniuses always have crazy hair?”
I don`t know, but at least I`ve got that much going for me…
_______
As always, irony is truly all around me….I was talking to myself, grumbling about stupid Japan, etc…..
when I got in the car and heard that old funk song, “Living in America.”  I couldn`t help but laugh….
_______
“Death exists, not as the opposite but as a PART OF LIFE.”
Murakami
_______
I`m afraid my brain is running out of room for memorizing all these nonsensical Japanese words…
_______
I CAN SAY ANYTHING I WANT AND NOBODY UNDERSTANDS ME HERE…
_______
Sorry I`m late….I was caught between the moon and New York City…
_______
Getting myself into ridiculous situations is my M.O…….
_______
I`m gonna be like a bear here, and hibernate through the winter…
_______
“What was written will come to pass.”
_______
“Dance….as long as the music plays…”
Murakami
_______
I got that job as an English teacher….so therefore, I am fucking FINISHED with that goddamned hotel/restaurant!  My new boss is named Akira Matsuo.
Incidentally, he had no choice but to hire me, because that Eckstein guy that I mentioned previously just took off for America and sent me into the office
with no notice whatsoever.  So this Matsuo was in a tight spot and PRESTO….I am an English Teacher in the town of Ueda.  HA!
_______
When walking around looking at these soulless automatons in their blue suits, well,
now I know what STYX was talking about when they wrote that song, “Mr. Roboto”
_______
10/29/10
Just met a bunch of tall, black college basketball players from Phoenix, Arizona in Ueda.  They`re doing some kind of a demo game.  Who saw that coming?!?
(And whatever midget Japanese team plays them is gonna lose…and they`re gonna lose BAD…..)
_______
EYE OF THE STORM
_______
“Come and see;
Behold a pale horse…and he that sat upon him was Death,
and Hell followed with him…”
Revelation 6  (The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse)
_______
Because I still can`t READ Japanese, all around me in Ueda, there are bars and restaurants and meeting places of all sorts–
unfathomable mysteries that I can only begin to imagine but cannot possibly decipher…
_______
11/6/10
41 years old and STILL skateboarding.  Say what you want; I`d rather be a child at heart who can still skate
than a tired old man who`s fat and lazy and dying inside…
_______
Oh yeah….I LOVE being sandwiched between two fucking idiots when I`m driving; a slow driver in front and
a goddamned tailgater behind me….I wish I had a fucking rocket launcher.  (stupid two-lane roads in these country towns!)
NO ESCAPE!
_______
 I just made ¥44,000!  It sounds like a lot of money, but it`s really only like $420.  Whatever…better than nothing, I say…
_______
I cannot stop the creative artistic process.  And I never will.
_______
Why the hell do they put TWO buttons on a suit if you`re only supposed to button the TOP one?  It doesn`t make any sense, man….
_______
Sword of Damocles
The value of the sword is not that it could fall, but rather, that it HANGS….
_______
My train to Ueda is a far cry from the NYC subways that I used to take…very scenic and quiet….relaxing, even….
_______
Hundreds of starlings in flight over Ueda plaza, like bats in the neon lights….
_______
My patience is wearing thin….
_______
HAULING A BUCKET OF WATER TO A PLACE
THAT`S ON THE VERGE OF FLOODING…
_______
“Did you ever see anyone shot by a gun without bleeding?”
_______
“So that`s how we live our lives.  No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that`s stolen
from us–that`s snatched right out of our hands–even if we are left completely changed people with only the outer layer
of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence.  We draw ever nearer to our allotted span of
time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind.  Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday.  Leaving
behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.”
Haruki Murakami
“Sputnik Sweetheart”
_______
“There are times when the only choices you have left are the bad ones.”
“Fringe”
_______
The Bridge to Nowhere
 
Sitting alone on a quiet bridge
surrounded by trees
casting long shadows
The wind howls its silent music
as the sun bathes the land
in a quiet glow
Dead leaves float down
in meaningless spirals
and clatter across the pavement,
pavement covered in footprints
that end in confusion
The road ends here, yes?
Nothing but wilderness
on the other side of this bridge
nothing, I say, but
a bridge to nowhere
A thought takes me and I rise
slowly walking to the edge
I see a dark rift in the earth
and a ladder appears before me
descending into its depths
A haunting canyon veiled in
autumn trees and the sound of water
calls to me…
An unhealthy curiosity,
some might say, takes over and,
against my better judgement,
I clamber down the ladder
Silence is all around
A stairway covered in
forest undergrowth reveals itself
And so, I begin to walk
Almost immediately, I lose my footing
and slide down, down, down….
rapidly into its cold & heartless embrace
I come to my senses by
a cool white river
flowing undisturbed through this world
and into the next
There are no birds here
There is nothing,
nothing at all but peace…
Eventually, against my will,
I force myself to struggle
back up the long hill into
the world I came from
And it all leads me back
to the bridge to nowhere
although, it seems,
this bridge does
go somewhere after all…..
11/18/10  Miyota, Japan
________
I just walked my “Moonlight Mile”…..
________
Great conversations with ME, MYSELF and I…..
________
Don`t work hard
WORK SMART
________
“PHYSICS IS A BITCH”
________
The ONLY thing that`s `for sure` in this crazy world is that NOTHING is `for sure.`
________
11/30/10
An absolutely beautiful day…another day worth living for….
________
X2+Y2=Z2      Pythagoras (square)
X3+Y3=Z3      Pierre de Fermat (cube)
________
WAR
 
The machinery of death
like a bloodthirsty beast,
it mercilessly tramples the land,
it keeps us in its laser sights.
Death and destruction
covers the world in a black cloud.
The bombs drop
the missiles seek their targets
the bullets fly with deadly trajectory
the suicide bombers scream
their fanatical chants of execution.
Dismembered bodies torn asunder
charred corpses
eyeless skulls in a death`s head grin
rivers of blood.
The hopelessly sad death of innocents–
`collateral damage`…..why?
But none of us are really innocents, eh?
We have all let it come to this.
To kill a puppy
to stomp on a flower
to crush a butterfly…
for what?
Oil, money, power, religion…
What purpose does it serve?
Nothing…nothing at all…
just death…
to extinguish happiness and
dreams of a peaceful world.
This is the war machine
into which we were born
with nothing but battles to fight
and mountains to climb.
The world boils over in a
cauldron of despair.
A peaceful white dove lands on the
skeletal branches of a bare, white tree.
A cold wind howls ominously across the land.
A long, dark winter is coming.
Hear the thunderous drums of war.
The dove ascends into a limitless blue sky.
Soon, I fear even this
harmless creature
will be blasted into a
cloud of white feathers
by the meaningless spectre of war…
12/2/10   Miyota, Japan
________
Don`t be afraid to cross the line.
Only those who are willing to risk
going too far are ever able to find out
just how far they really can go…
________
A Map: The Geometry of the Abstract        { O=object        S=see        R=revelation     ( O3+S3=R}
circles and rectangles
triangles and squares
spheres and cubes
all the shapes under the sun
full of color and life…
a gliding raven
describes lazy spirals
against an azure sky
angular shadows of trees
cast countless triangles
across the landscape
an object is
equivalent to
your actually seeing it
the beauty of silence
only reveals itself if you
hear it…meaning nothing
a dilapidated house
brown and crumbling
in a forgotten field
the wind hisses in
invisible rivers
down dead streets
a red balloon
floats aimlessly
across the eye of the sun
ripples rolling smoothly
across the surface
of a mirror lake
the silence within
the silence encloses
one in an invisible cube
dead leaves
clatter and click
in mysterious whirlwinds
I myself
enclosed in a sphere of isolation
see these things and wonder…
12/4/10   Miyota, Japan
________
THE THOUGHT FACTORY  (I am the only employee)
________
What I love to create most in a poem is atmosphere.  I want you to feel as though you are THERE.
________
I was remembering how I`ve lost a few of my Street Journals over the years, most recently, the one
in the Hollywood Hills.  I wonder if someone ever found it and if so, what did they make of it…..?…….?
________
“There is an equal, abstract destiny for men and things; both have an equally indifferent
designation in the algebra of the world`s mystery.”
Fernando Pessoa
________
“…standing in the shower, thinking…”
Jane`s Addiction
________
The Digital Graveyard
 
This
is where old poems
go to die–
where forgotten stories
are laid to rest,
in a glowing pile of
statistics
programs
numbers
computer simulations
equations–
a fading screen of
overlooked data
and
useless information–
an electric web of
internet bones
crystallizing in the labyrinth
of the Matrix
~    ~    ~
1              0              5               ~|
   I          O                 S          +
  l              o            s               T
   L         0                5                     t
         L         o         5       +
              L O S T
           LOST
in the digital graveyard
where words disappear forever into
a little box called | DELETE |
`click`…….good night, never to be seen again….
_______
“When you`re surrounded by endless possibilities,
one of the hardest things you can do is pass them up…”
Fyodor Dostoyevsky
_______
Todd Schultz mentioned Samuel Taylor Coleridge`s Kubla Khan in conjunction with reading my Look Into the Sun;  Thank you!  A lofty comparison, indeed….
Writers sometimes need a little encouragement to continue on with our creations in this lonely occupation….
_______
“In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure dome decree;
Where Alph, the sacred river ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea…”
Samuel Taylor Coleridge
________
“A notable achievement in the field of anonymity.”
“Sometimes we don`t need words, rather, it`s words that need us.  If we were no longer here, words would lose their whole function.  They would
end up as words that are never spoken, and words that are never spoken are no longer words.”
“As long as I stared at the clock, at least the world remained in motion.  And as long as I knew the world was still in motion, I knew I existed.
Not a very consequential existence, but an existence nonetheless.  It struck me as wanting that someone should confirm his own existence
only by the hands of an electric wall clock.”
Murakami
________
A story I want to write….the name will be Halfway Home
More titles….
Riot City
Fireflies
Shades of Gray
Electric Shadows
Subterranean
Underground River
Labyrinth
Minotaur
_________
 
When you`re dead and gone, things that you created (art, photos, writings…) take on a life of their own…
_________
“I`m disgusted with my life—and myself—-but I`m not unhappy about that…”
Hank Moody “Californication”
_________
Funny alias names:
Dr. Jack Dingler
Dick Vaganus
_________
“Satisfaction is the death of desire.”
_________
“Who wants to see me tuck and do the pee pee dance?
(butt naked, `Richard` sings…) Eat my peach, baby, blow on my dice…
and don`t forget to treat me nice…”
“Californication”  (Season 3 episode….HYSTERICAL)
_________
Stray Dog
_________
1/20/11   My First Visit back to LA since moving to Japan….SO GOOD TO BE HERE….
Chevy Impala rental
“Did you bring me anything?”
Only the scintillating pleasure of my enlightened presence…
“The City stretches out
in its alleys,
goes to sleep in its empty lots
the City has become
lost in its outskirts…”
Octavio Paz
“Better to be stoned in the plaza
than to turn the mill that
squeezes out the juice of life,
that turns eternity into empty hours,
minutes into prisons, and time into
copper coins and abstract shit.”
Octavio Paz
Mexican Food….my spicy mistress…..
(about people that are STILL trying to be actors after countless failures…)
You`ve been sucking at the dry teat of Hollywood for years!
1/20/11  Beverly Laurel Hotel on Beverly Blvd…..fell asleep with a beer in my hand….nothing new there.  NOW THAT`S DEDICATION.
Not-one-fall-on-my-skateboard-drunken-weekend.
Zombie Spaceship Wasteland
1/21/11  Days Inn Hollywood
Did you know a cigarette burns at 700 degrees celsius?…. so you will REALLY FEEL IT when I put it out on your neck…
1/21/11 Twilight in Runyon Canyon….Dave and I smoking Platinum NorCal Kush and then going for Mex Food at Dos Burritos…
Mex Food….BEST ON EARTH
“The money and the tight pussy came too late.”
Bukowski
Standing outside Victoria`s Secret with plastic bags and duct tape……HA!!
I was remembering how many Singapore Tiger Beers I drank on the plane over here……A LOT
“I drink to lower my standards.”
You gotta know when to leave the party…….NOT YET
When I check into a hotel room, I always check the flush on the crapper.  I wanna make sure I`m getting my money`s worth…
The best thing that has happened to Japan since I got there is NOTHING.
Yeah, FACEBOOK me later…
Saw the old Eyewitness News in LA for the first time in a long time.  It`s still all bad news….
Saw “Sin City” in the hotel room while drifting off…
Hot days, cool and crisp nights….
“Well, if whiskey`s the devil
then the devil`s my friend…”
Ronnie McCawley
1/22/11  Mission Bay Inn room 114 in San Diego…
“I used to have a six-pack but now I have a gallon.”
Kojak referring to his beer belly…
I hate getting ready….I like to BE READY
1/23/11  Santa Ana Winds   Venice Inn and Suites room 108
My last LA sunset for this all-too-short trip…SPECTACULAR…fiery orange and red and pink and yellow sky, purple sea…..
RITUALISTIC
skating the night boardwalk in Venice; it wouldn`t have been the same if a few scumbags hadn`t said, `do you have an extra cigarette?`  They didn’t let me down…
I smoked a bowl at the end of the night and somehow managed to lock myself out on the balcony at Venice Inn.  I had
to scramble down like an uncoordinated orangutan.  Lucky for me, I was on the first floor and I didn`t break my leg….
LA….it feels like I was there for ONE LONG DAY…..(at least I was lucky enough to have 3 seats to myself on the Singapore Air flight home…)
EXHAUSTION
________
“AH, BUT IT IS A PLEASURE SECOND TO NONE,
SEEING ONE`S PAINSTAKINGLY CONSTRUCTED
PROGRAM MOVE ALONG EXACTLY ACCORDING
TO PLAN………”
Haruki Murakami
“A Wild Sheep Chase”

 

THB3

 

 

4 thoughts on “STREET JOURNAL 61

    • Thank you very much for the nice compliment. That means a lot to me and I appreciate it. To answer your question, I do not use Twitter or Facebook. However, I can tell you that I will continue to publish my writings every day or two until I am caught up to the present day and then entries will be more sporadic. Do you mind my asking where in the world you are located? I checked your Tumblr site and I could not quite figure out the language. Feel free to comment and/or read my crazy stories anytime and thanks again. Have a good one……Tom

    • Thank you very much for the nice compliment…sincerely. I appreciate you taking the time to comment and to READ such a long post. Many of my Street Journals are like 8000 words or more and your average blog article is more like 200 words. I am really glad that you liked it. The fact that things we write can inspire or mean something to others always brings joy to my heart. I hope to hear from you again one day.

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