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


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…”


“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…)


too cool to do drugs

cool to do drugs

do drugs




“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.”


“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

“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

Note to Self:

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

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


“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


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


A man exists within all this


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
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
Yucca Estates
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
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



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

completed on August 16th, 2015

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


Published by tomhbrooks3

Hello, and thanks for stopping by. These Street Journals are an autobiography of sorts. They are a collection of writings from my crazy life that stretch over 20 years. There are quotes from genius writers dispersed throughout the stories that are often relevant to that time and place. These stories and entries are at times, profound, vulgar, funny, offensive and touching. One thing is for sure - they are totally random and unpredictable. I do hope you enjoy. I will let the writing, the photos and the art speak for me...


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: