“THERE IS NO TRAP SO DEADLY AS THE TRAP YOU SET FOR YOURSELF.”

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The above quote is from Raymond Chandler.

And now I`m saying this…

I SUPPOSE WE ALL HAVE OUR OWN FORMS OF MADNESS, BUT I LIKE MY MADNESS BETTER THAN YOURS…

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RIDICULOUS LIFE AND OTHER POEMS…

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By Tom H. Brooks 3

 

WELCOME TO STREET JOURNAL 75…PLEASE DRIVE THRU»>

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SEEK AND YE SHALL FIND……………………..…………………………………..

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“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

William Blake

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Another SUPER-ULTRAMINIMALISM EDITION!!!

(like a long email filled with hard-won wisdom…)

be careful not to drop your phone in the toilet

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I`LL HAVE YOU KNOW, MY LIFE IS MUCH MORE THAN I CHOOSE TO REVEAL…

(but I think that goes without saying for most of us…)

I would say I`ve already given you enough anyway…

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There`s something here for everyone.

(not really…)

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THE RED NOTEBOOK

(waiting for spring issue)

2-5-13

Tokyo, Japan

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“I’m looking for the face I had before the world was made.”

Yeats ”The Winding Stair”

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“I know that I am accused of arrogance and perhaps of misanthropy, and perhaps even of madness. These accusations (which I shall punish in due time) are ludicrous.”

Jorge Luis Borges

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“The sounds of the plaza fall behind, and I enter the Library. Almost physically, I can feel the gravitation of the books, the serene atmosphere of orderliness, time magically mounted and preserved. To left and right, absorbed in their waking dream, rows of readers’ momentary profiles in the light of the scholarly lamps.”

Borges

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February 8, 2014…A record 45-year snowfall in Tokyo, Japan. It hasn`t snowed like this since before I was born. Unfuckingbelievable! OF COURSE it had to happen within the first year of my moving here. I would expect nothing less…

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“IN MEMORIAM, J.F.K.

 

This bullet is an old one.

In 1897, it was fired at the president of Uruguay by a young man from Montevideo, Avelino Arredondo, who had spent long weeks

without seeing anyone so that the world might know that he acted alone. Thirty years earlier, Lincoln had been murdered by that same ball, by the criminal or magical hand of an actor transformed by the words of Shakespeare into Marcus Brutus, Caesar’s murderer. In the mid- seventeenth century, vengeance had employed it for the assassination of Sweden’s Gustavus Adolphus, in the midst of the public hecatomb of a battle.

In earlier times, the bullet had been other things, because Pythagorean metempsychosis is not reserved for humankind alone. It was the silken cord given to viziers in the East, the rifles and bayonets that cut down the defenders of the Alamo, the triangular blade that slit a queen’s throat, the wood of the Cross and the dark nails that pierced the flesh of the Redeemer, the poison kept by the Carthaginian chief in an iron ring on his finger, the serene goblet that Socrates drank down one evening.

In the dawn of time it was the stone that Cain hurled at Abel, and in the future it shall be many things that we cannot even imagine today, but that will be able to put an end to men and their wondrous, fragile life.”

Borges

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“God grant that the essential monotony of this miscellany (which time has compiled, not I, and into which have been bundled long-ago pieces that I’ve not had the courage to revise, for I wrote them out of a different concept of literature) be less obvious than the geographical and historical diversity of its subjects. Of all the books I have sent to press, none, I think, is as personal as this motley, disorganized anthology, precisely because it abounds in reflections and interpolations. Few things have happened to me, though many things I have read. Or rather, few things have happened to me more worthy of remembering than the philosophy of Schopenhauer or England’s verbal music.

A man sets out to draw the world. As the

years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that that patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.”

J.L.B. Buenos Aires, October 31,1960

Borges (This man was an absolute GENIUS…)

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“‘The truth is, I never got to know him well. He wouldn’t let you. He was a very private person, and sometimes it seemed to me that he was no longer interested in the world. He lived within himself, for his books and inside them – a comfortable prison of his own design.’

‘You say this as if you envied him.’
‘There are worse prisons than words.’”

 

“Making money isn`t hard in itself. What`s hard is to earn it doing something worth devoting your life to.”

 

Carlos Ruiz Zafon

The Shadow of the Wind

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I have decided I want this written on my gravestone:

 

Tom Brooks

He never got Facebook or Twitter…

* * *

hashtag that bitches!

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My life is now an open book for

all the world to see…

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2-22-14

I was sitting in the morning sunlight, having my coffee and a cigarette, and a fly landed on my shoe. Now this may seem insignificant, but…BUT, I, being the weather expert that I am, see the bigger picture. After a long, brutal winter, this means that spring is coming, that it is just around the corner. It brought a flood of joy to my heavy heart. I`ve never been so happy to see a fly in my life. My day is made…

Later, while eating lunch at El Torito, I sit there smiling while stuffing my face with enchiladas. Mexican mariachi music ALWAYS makes me SO happy.

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“Writing was never work for me. It had been the same for as long as I could remember: turn on the radio to a classical music station, light a cigarette or a cigar, open the bottle. The typer did the rest. All I had to do was be there. The whole process allowed me to continue when life itself offered very little, when life itself was a horror show. There was always the typer to soothe me, to talk to me, to entertain me, to save my ass. Basically that’s why I wrote: to save my ass, to save my ass from the madhouse, from the streets, from myself.”

From Hollywood by Bukowski

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“Existence was not only absurd, it was plain hard work. Think of how many times you put on your underwear in a lifetime. It was appalling, it was disgusting, it was stupid.”

“I was feeling unfulfilled and, frankly, rather crappy about everything. I wasn’t going anywhere and neither was the rest of the world. We were all just hanging around waiting to die and meanwhile doing little things to fill the space. Some of us weren’t even doing little things.”

both the previous quotes from his last novel, Pulp…

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“That’s the problem with drinking, I thought, as I poured myself a drink. If something bad happens you drink in an attempt to

forget; if something good happens you drink in order to celebrate; and if nothing happens you drink to make something happen.”

 

“You talk about drinking a lot in your books. Do you think drinking has helped your writing?” “No. I’m just an alcoholic who became a writer so that I would be able to stay in bed until noon.”

 

from Women…

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“Forgive me…you have my soul and I have your money…”

 

From a live poetry reading…

“There were dozens of ways a man could go mad…”

“I went outside and walked towards the overhead lighting factory, just the sun feeling good, but you had to take what you could get.”

Charles Bukowski

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“…youngbloods can’t spell,

but they can rock you at Playstation-

You wanna learn how to rhyme,

you better learn how to add,

It’s Mathematics…”

Mos Def

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PUT ON YOUR CLOWN SUIT AND DANCE

LITTLE MONKEY…

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Alright….just ONE more from Bukowski in this Street Journal….I can`t help myself; some of them are just so damned good…

“Roll the Dice

 

“if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
otherwise, don’t even start.

if you’re going to try, go all the
way.
this could mean losing girlfriends,
wives, relatives, jobs and
maybe your mind.

go all the way.
it could mean not eating for 3 or 4 days.
it could mean freezing on a
park bench.
it could mean jail,
it could mean derision,
mockery,
isolation.
isolation is the gift,
all the others are a test of your
endurance, of
how much you really want to
do it.
and you’ll do it
despite rejection and the worst odds
and it will be better than
anything else
you can imagine.

if you’re going to try,
go all the way.
there is no other feeling like
that.
you will be alone with the gods
and the nights will flame with
fire.

do it, do it, do it.
do it.

all the way
all the way.

you will ride life straight to
perfect laughter, it`s
the only good fight
there is.”

Charles Bukowski

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IT`S A BEAUTIFUL THING…

 

It`s a beautiful thing

sitting alone at night

by a river flowing

through the heart of the city

 

It`s a beautiful thing

to walk through the night park

and see the silver moonlight

wash down through the trees

 

On summer nights, the warmth

floats through the darkness

in a soft profound glow

to touch your soul with quiet inspiration

 

It`s a beautiful thing

the way the music of nocturnal insects

drones through the empty streets

on the edge of town

 

It`s nice to look across the river

at the neon towers of the city

rising into the black night and all

the people walking around over there

 

It`s a beautiful thing

to sit on a bench beneath a street lamp

and listen to the song of the night

while writing these words for you…

 

Tom Henry Brooks 3

Tokyo, Japan

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It`s awfully hard to follow the great Bukowski, so cut me some slack….!!!!

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THE STREET LIGHT

 

Beneath the street light

in the windy darkness

a white plastic bag

tumbles down the street

going….somewhere

 

the people walk by

faces lit in the soft glow

 

a woman strolls by

dressed to kill

no doubt going home

from some pointless encounter

 

a man in a suit

expressionless face

another day at the office

another day killed by routine

 

a mother and child,

toddler stumbles and falls

into the bushes and

mother is busy texting

on her cell phone and sees nothing

The child does not yet understand

that this will be the first of many falls

in this life

 

a taxi drives by

with the driver picking his nose

in the dark anonymity

of his vehicle while looking for a fare

 

A group of drunks stumbles by,

laughter in the darkness as one

of them carries another along

by the arm and screams in his ear

 

Beneath the street light

the night quietly fades into silence

and the people become

unusual specimens in the black of night

 

A lone old man probably

having a bout with insomnia

hobbles down the road

with no destination in mind

but eventual sleep

 

Suddenly, there is nothing.

The road is quiet and dormant,

lying idle in its own isolation;

no cars, no people…..nothing…

except for one….

 

Beneath the street light

a man stands with a Kentucky bourbon

and a cigarette

wondering why we are here

and knowing for sure that

he`ll never find the answer…

 

THB3

Tokyo, Japan

2014

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“Language…

gives us the world

and takes it away from us.

In the same breath.”

Paul Auster

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“For what is it to die but to stand naked in the wind and melt into the sun?

And what is it to cease breathing, but to free the breath from its restless tides?

And when the earth shall claim your limbs, then you shall truly dance…”

Kahlil Gibran

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I’m teaching these little Japanese kids how to quote Fast and Furious – “I live my life a quarter-mile at a time.” HA!

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I’m such a creature of habit that the nice guy at my regular Sukiya restaurant brought me my standard order of negitamagyu-don (rice beef bowl with egg and green onions) without my even ordering!

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WHEN YOU`RE STRIVING FOR MORE, YOU`RE BOUND TO RUN INTO WALLS…

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It recently occurred to me…

PERHAPS I`VE

SAID TOO MUCH…

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“The most important element in all forms of communication is understanding the language of what ISN`T being said.”

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The moon is covered by floating clouds…

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RIDICULOUS LIFE

 

To be born into a world

where money is God

and war is a spectator sport

 

Where we waste our precious time

watching other people`s fabricated lives

on smooth shiny screens

 

Where people feel the need

to send out a tweet

every time they take a shit

 

To live in a world

in which working ourselves to death

for greasy pieces of paper is the norm

 

Where true artists

die unknown deaths, piecemeal

and dreams die even harder

 

To exist in this life

like an automaton

drained of all spirit

 

To blunder forward mechanically

seeking nothing more

than a night in front of the television

 

To live in this world

for some of us, anyway,

seems beyond ridiculous

 

In spite of all this

I bought the ticket

and I`m taking the ride…

 

Are you?

 

 

THB3

Tokyo, Japan

3/23/14

9:45pm

 

 

NEW DOORWAYS…

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By Tom H. Brooks 3

I would like you to meet STREET JOURNAL 74…

Yes, it`s true……..

The thrill-ride STILL continues………………………………………………………………
Friday, December 13th, 2013
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Tokyo Winter
2013-2014
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12/14/13
Chiharu and I had an adventure day today.
We went to the spectacular Hama-Rikyu Gardens in Chuo-ku and the old fish market at Tsukijishijo.
Both places are old and have a lot of history and the gardens were SUBLIME.
After the quiet beauty of the gardens and the absolute CHAOS of the busiest fish market I`ve ever seen, we were both in need of some more peace time.  We went to another lovely park,
Kiba-koen, and then we went to the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art.  There were two special exhibitions aside from their excellent permanent collection.  We saw a showing of pieces from artists around the world called Bunny Smash, of all things.  Then we saw an amazing exhibit from a Japanese artist named Tokujin Yoshioka called Crystallize.  It was pretty damn unusual and consisted of all white and silver and clear arrangements with space and light.  He was using clear plastic straws, metals and clear plastic objects.  It gave an impression of snow and/or alien landscapes bathed in an unearthly glow.  Hard to describe and gorgeous to look at, I give this guy 120% for originality.  Fortunately, I took photos (of course!)
Favorite Artworks and Pieces from the day:
Water Block
and
Rainbow Church   by Tokujin Yoshioka  from the Crystallize exhibit.
…and from the Bunny Smash exhibit, namely from Labyrinth Garden Gently Inverted Worlds:
Lost Garden  (2009)   by Leandro Erlich
and
No Numbers  (2013)   by Richard Wilson
Instant World  (1987)
Coin Locker Hotel  (1984)
Howling at the Pig  (1980)
This is Affluence   (1975)     all by Tsunehisa Kimura
Stardust of One Hundred Million Light-years    by Yayoi Kusama
Girl With Hair Ribbon    by Roy Liechtenstein
Overcast 1     by Robert Rauschenberg
Circular Train A (Telescope Train)     (1968)   by Hiroshi Nakamura
{ Most of this stuff, you can find on Google images if you are curious.  The ones I managed to get sneaky photos of, you will find on my Flickr account at Nomad108; again, just Google Nomad108}
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I hate winter more than ANY living human being on this earth.  This is not a question of maybe – it`s a FACT.  I used to complain about Los Angeles winters, which are nothing.  I can`t wait for spring…
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“Day after day

alone on a hill

the man with the foolish grin
is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
they can see that he’s just a fool
and he never gives an answer
But the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
and the eyes in his head
see the world spinning round…
Well on the way
head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices
talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
or the sound he appears to make
and he never seems to know just what –
But the fool on the hill
sees the sun going down
and the eyes in his head
see the world spinning round… “
Lennon/McCartney
The Beatles
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“And the Days Are Not Full Enough
 
And the days are not full enough
and the nights are not full enough
And life slips by like a field mouse
not shaking the grass…”
Ezra Pound
Cantos
 
Bukowski never seemed to like this guy that much and after skimming through hundreds of pages of his poetry, now I think I know why.  It seems to be a lot of gibberish with just a few gem lines thrown in.  Now, I don`t want to shit on a dead man`s grave or wipe my ass with his immortality, but I just couldn`t seem to get much from it.  I had to REALLY search just to find this, and even this isn`t THAT great.  I mean, if you just ramble on and on and then call something poetry, is it really saying anything?  If you yell, `Movie!` in a crowded firehouse, is it wrong?  Does the Pope shit in the woods?  What comes first, the chicken or the egg?  Why do they call it a HAMburger when it`s made of beef?  And is it still a hamburger if it doesn`t have a bun or is it just ground-up meat on a plate?  Where was I going with this?  And if I give it a clever title, is it poetry?  NO.  And now, perhaps, you see my point and we understand each other… (or not…)
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BUT…Ezra was right….the days are not full enough, nor the nights.  For more on this topic refer to MY `poem`, Never Satisfied…
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A Poem That Explains Everything   by THB3
IT ALL MEANS NOTHING…
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“How many will come after me
singing as well as I sing, none better;
Telling the heart of their truth
as I have taught them to tell it;
Fruit of my seed,
O my unnameable children.
Know then that I loved you from afore-time,
Clear speakers, naked in the sun, untrammeled…”
Ezra Pound
(alright, alright, he`s got a few good ones…)
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12/25/13
Now, everybody knows that I DON’T GIVE A SHIT about the holidays, but I just have to say this anyway.  Ahhh, Xmas in Japan; the most magical time of year.  Soulless AND joyless, indeed.  I commuted to work on the packed cattle train just like any other day.  I spent the morning with a bunch of screaming little brats running around in circles while I managed to just barely hang onto my sanity, what’s left of it anyway.  I rode another nightmare train home with 10 million people and I had no energy left to do anything but stare at the walls.  And if I hear any more Christmas music I’m going to kill somebody.
Yes, a Japanese Festivus; about as interesting as a plastic Christmas tree in a bare, white room with cracked walls and sputtering electricity; about as sterile as an assembly line of robots – MAKING more robots; about as beautiful as a steaming dogturd in a filthy winter gutter; about as ridiculous as Santa firing all his elves and outsourcing – to China.  Joy to the world, motherfuckers…worst – Christmas – EVER!
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“Being a genius is SO goddamned EXHAUSTING…”
Xavier Yeats Zenith
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“…and the words of the prophets
are written on the subway walls…”
Paul Simon
The Sound of Silence
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“There is an important difference between the words “loser” and “outlaw.” One is passive and the other is active, and the main reasons the Angels are such good copy is that they are acting out the day-dreams of millions of losers who don’t wear any defiant insignia and who don’t know how to be outlaws. The streets of every city are thronged with men who would pay all the money they could get their hands on to be transformed — even for a day — into hairy, hard-fisted brutes who walk over cops, extort free drinks from terrified bartenders and thunder out of town on big motorcycles after raping the banker’s daughter.Even people who think the Angels should all be put to sleep find it easy to identify with them. They command a fascination, however reluctant, that borders on psychic masturbation.

The Angels don’t like being called losers, but they have learned to live with it. “Yeah, I guess I am,” said one. “But you’re looking at one loser who’s going to make a hell of a scene on the way out.

Hunter S. Thompson
“Hell’s Angels (A Strange and Terrible Saga)”
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Never make the mistake of thinking you’re so smart that you have nothing left to learn…
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“Those who do not learn from the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the same mistakes again and again.”

(… which means pretty much everybody nowadays…)
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“Please, Sister Morphine,
Turn my nightmare into dreams…”
The Rolling Stones
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“I offer her that kernel of myself that I have saved, somehow— the central heart that deals not in words, traffics not with dreams, and is untouched by time, by joy, by adversities.”
Jorge Luis Borges
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“I would venture to say that the baroque is the final stage in all art, when art flaunts and squanders its resources. The baroque is intellectual, and Bernard Shaw has said that all intellectual labor is inherently humorous.”
Borges
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My life has become so goddamned exciting that all I can think about is getting through the day at fucking work so I can get home and watch “Justified.”  That’s right, a TV show is the highlight of my day.  Ain’t life grand?!?
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Since I’ve been in Japan, I’ve written and said a lot of things that may have seemed insensitive, perhaps even rude or vulgar.  I have judged people without hesitation and I have made many racial generalizations.  I would just like to say that I am NOT sorry for any of this because up until now, I have been right about everything.  I’m just waiting for the day when some interesting, artistic person comes along and shocks me with their originality and their soul.  When and if that moment ever comes I will finally be proved wrong, at least partially wrong.  At this moment, however, my descriptions of the soulless Japanese robot are entirely 100% accurate.  Please, I invite you – ANYONE in Japan…prove me wrong.  I’m dying over here.  Being an expatriate is overrated.  At least I have plenty of time to get my creative groove on.  When I’m not doing that, I just wander aimlessly around the city and drink beer or I watch television until my eyes bleed.  Konnichiwa, BITCHES!!!!!
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Toei Death Line, Friday night: Some pathetic suicidal fuckface had to go and take a header onto the tracks in front of the train…AGAIN!  What a loser!  I don’t even feel bad for saying this, it pisses me off so much.  What a selfish, weeping, asshole BITCH to go and off yourself on a busy Friday night at rush hour.  Most of the rest of us HAVE lives, at least some kind of lives.  We have beers to drink, women to bang, TVs to watch, dinners to get home to.  You self-absorbed loser.  How could you?!?  Couldn’t you have at least killed yourself on a Tuesday afternoon at 2 PM when there’s REALLY nobody who gives a fuck?!?  See you in hell where I look forward to punching you in the face and breaking your fingers off like spindly wooden chopsticks….
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1-27-14. Tsurumi,  Kanagawa Prefecture,
Kawasaki City:
Walking through what seems to be an abandoned Edo Period village.  I boldly entered an old house where I found the door unlocked .  Amazing.  Like a goddamned time warp.  Trespassing is absolutely essential to my photographic art.
It is my signature, my stamp,  MY identity…
(see above photo…)
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“It is a laborious madness and an impoverishing one, the madness of composing vast books—setting out in five hundred pages an idea that can be perfectly related orally in five minutes. The better way to go about it is to pretend that those books already exist, and offer a summary.”
Borges
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“Historical truth, for Menard, is not “what happened”; it is what we believe happened.
There is no intellectual exercise that is not ultimately pointless. A philosophical doctrine is, at first, a plausible description of the universe; the years go by, and it is a mere chapter—if not a paragraph or proper noun—in the history of philosophy. In literature, that “falling by the wayside,” that loss of “relevance,” is even better known. “
Borges
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“Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
Who will guard the guards?”
Juvenal
“Satires”
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“I`m not sure you understand my position…”
“But I do, counselor.  Actions create consequences which produce new worlds and they are all different.  Where the bodies are buried in the desert – that is a certain world.  Where the bodies are simply left to be found – that is another.  And all these worlds, heretofore unknown to us – they must have always been there, have they not?
I would urge you to see the truth of the situation you are in.  That is my advice.  It is not for me to tell you what you should have done or not done.  The world in which you seek to undo the mistakes that you make is different from the world where the mistakes were made.  You are now at the crossing, and you want to choose, but there is no choosing.  There is only accepting.  The choosing was done a long time ago.  I don`t mean to offend you, but reflective men often find themselves at a place far removed from the realities of life.  In any case, we should all prepare a place where we can accommodate all the tragedies that sooner or later will come to our lives, but this is an economy few people get to practice.
You continue to deny the reality of the world you are in.
Yes, you are at a crossing, but it should be with the understanding that life is NOT going to take you back.  You are the world you have created, and when you cease to exist, the world that you have created will also cease to exist.  But for those with the understanding that they are living in the last days of the world, death acquires a different meaning.  The extinction of all reality is a concept no resignation can encompass.  And then…all the grand designs and all the grand plans will be finally exposed and revealed for what they are…”
Cormac McCarthy
Script for the film The Counselor
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“The Circular Ruins

And if he left off dreaming about you … ?Through the Looking-Glass, VI

No one saw him slip from the boat in the unanimous night, no one saw the bamboo canoe as it sank into the sacred mud, and yet within days there was no one who did not know that the taciturn man had come there from the South, and that his homeland was one of those infinite villages that lie up-river, on the violent flank of the mountain, where the language of the Zend is uncontaminated by Greek and where leprosy is uncommon. But in fact the gray man had kissed the mud, scrambled up the steep bank (without pushing back, probably without even feeling, the sharp-leaved bulrushes that slashed his flesh), and dragged himself, faint and bloody, to the circular enclosure, crowned by the stone figure of a horse or tiger, which had once been the color of fire but was now the color of ashes. That ring was a temple devoured by an ancient holocaust;

now, the malarial jungle had profaned it and its god went unhonored by mankind. The foreigner lay down at the foot of the pedestal.

He was awakened by the sun high in the sky. He examined his wounds and saw, without astonishment, that they had healed; he closed his pale eyes and slept, not out of any weakness of the flesh but out of willed determination. He knew that this temple was the place that his unconquerable plan called for; he knew that the unrelenting trees had not succeeded in strangling the ruins of another promising temple downriver—like this one, a temple to dead, incinerated gods; he knew that his immediate obligation was to sleep. Aboutmidnight he was awakened by the inconsolable cry of a bird. Prints of unshod feet, a few figs, and a jug of water told him that the men of the region had respectfully spied upon his sleep and that they sought his favor, or feared his magic. He felt the coldness of fear, and he sought out a tomblike niche in the crumbling wall, where he covered himself with unknown leaves.

The goal that led him on was not impossible,

though it was clearly supernatural: He wanted to dream a man. He wanted to dream him completely, in painstaking detail, and impose him upon reality. This magical objective had come to fill his entire soul; if someone had asked him his own name, or inquired into any feature of his life till then, he would not have been able to answer. The uninhabited and crumbling temple suited him, for it was a minimum of visible world; so did the proximity of the woodcutters, for they saw to his frugal needs. The rice and fruit of their tribute were nourishment enough for his body, which was consecrated to the sole task of sleeping and dreaming.

At first, his dreams were chaotic; a little later, they became dialectical. The foreigner dreamed that he was in the center of a circular amphitheater, which was somehow the ruined temple; clouds of taciturn students completely filled the terraces of seats. The faces of those farthest away hung at many centuries’ distance and at a cosmic height, yet they were absolutely clear. The man lectured on anatomy,

cosmography, magic; the faces listened earnestly, intently, and attempted to respond with understanding—as though they sensed the importance of that education that would redeem one of them from his state of hollow appearance and insert him into the real world. The man, both in sleep and when awake, pondered his phantasms’ answers; he did not allow himself to be taken in by impostors, and he sensed in certain perplexities a growing intelligence. He was seeking a soul worthy of taking its place in the universe.

On the ninth or tenth night, he realized (with some bitterness) that nothing could be expected from those students who passively accepted his teachings, but only from those who might occasionally, in a reasonable way, venture an objection. The first—the accepting—though worthy of affection and a degree of sympathy, would never emerge as individuals; the latter— those who sometimes questioned—had a bit more préexistence. One afternoon (afternoons now paid their tribute to sleep as well; now the man was awake no more than two or three

hours around daybreak) he dismissed the vast illusory classroom once and for all and retained but a single pupil—a taciturn, sallow-skinned young man, at times intractable, with sharp features that echoed those of the man that dreamed him. The pupil was not disconcerted for long by the elimination of his classmates; after only a few of the private classes, his progress amazed his teacher. Yet disaster would not be forestalled. One day the man emerged from sleep as though from a viscous desert, looked up at the hollow light of the evening (which for a moment he confused with the light of dawn), and realized that he had not dreamed. All that night and the next day, the unbearable lucidity of insomnia harried him, like a hawk. He went off to explore the jungle, hoping to tire himself; among the hemlocks he managed no more than a few intervals of feeble sleep, fleetingly veined with the most rudimentary of visions—useless to him. He reconvened his class, but no sooner had he spoken a few brief words of exhortation than the faces blurred, twisted, and faded away.

In his almost perpetual state of wakefulness, tears of anger burned the man’s old eyes.

He understood that the task of molding the incoherent and dizzying stuff that dreams are made of is the most difficult work a man can undertake, even if he fathom all the enigmas of the higher and lower spheres— much more difficult than weaving a rope of sand or minting coins of the faceless wind. He understood that initial failure was inevitable. He swore to put behind him the vast hallucination that at first had drawn him off the track, and he sought another way to approach his task. Before he began, he devoted a month to recovering the strength his delirium had squandered. He abandoned all premeditation of dreaming, and almost instantly managed to sleep for a fair portion of the day. The few times he did dream during this period, he did not focus on his dreams; he would wait to take up his task again until the disk of the moon was whole. Then, that evening, he purified himself in the waters of the river, bowed down to the planetary gods, uttered those syllables of a powerful name that

it is lawful to pronounce, and laid himself down to sleep. Almost immediately he dreamed a beating heart.

He dreamed the heart warm, active, secret— about the size of a closed fist, a garnet-colored thing inside the dimness of a human body that was still faceless and sexless; he dreamed it, with painstaking love, for fourteen brilliant nights. Each night he perceived it with greater clarity, greater certainty. He did not touch it; he only witnessed it, observed it, corrected it, perhaps, with his eyes. He perceived it, he lived it, from many angles, many distances. On the fourteenth night, he stroked the pulmonary artery with his forefinger, and then the entire heart, inside and out. And his inspection made him proud. He deliberately did not sleep the next night; then he took up the heart again, invoked the name of a planet, and set about dreaming another of the major organs. Before the year was out he had reached the skeleton, the eyelids.

The countless hairs of the body were perhaps the most difficult task. The man had dreamed a

fully fleshed man—a stripling—but this youth did not stand up or speak, nor could it open its eyes. Night after night, the man dreamed the youth asleep.

In the cosmogonies of the Gnostics, the demiurges knead up a red Adam who cannot manage to stand; as rude and inept and elementary as that Adam of dust was the Adam of dream wrought from the sorcerer’s nights. One afternoon, the man almost destroyed his creation, but he could not bring himself to do it. (He’d have been better off if he had.) After making vows to all the deities of the earth and the river, he threw himself at the feet of the idol that was perhaps a tiger or perhaps a colt, and he begged for its untried aid. That evening, at sunset, the statue filled his dreams. In the dream it was alive, and trembling—yet it was not the dread-inspiring hybrid form of horse and tiger it had been. It was, instead, those two vehement creatures plus bull, and rose, and tempest, too—and all that, simultaneously. The manifold god revealed to the man that its earthly name was Fire, and that in that circular

temple (and others like it) men had made sacrifices and worshiped it, and that it would magically bring to life the phantasm the man had dreamed—so fully bring him to life that every creature, save Fire itself and the man who dreamed him, would take him for a man of flesh and blood. Fire ordered the dreamer to send the youth, once instructed in the rites, to that other ruined temple whose pyramids still stood downriver, so that a voice might glorify the god in that deserted place. In the dreaming man’s dream, the dreamed man awoke.

The sorcerer carried out Fire’s instructions. He consecrated a period of time (which in the end encompassed two full years) to revealing to the youth the arcana of the universe and the secrets of the cult of Fire. Deep inside, it grieved the man to separate himself from his creation. Under the pretext of pedagogical necessity, he drew out the hours of sleep more every day. He also redid the right shoulder (which was perhaps defective). From time to time, he was disturbed by a sense that all this had happened before——-His days were, in general, happy;

when he closed his eyes, he would thinkNow I will be with my son. Or, less frequently, The son I have engendered is waiting for me, and he will not exist if I do not go to him.

Gradually, the man accustomed the youth to reality. Once he ordered him to set a flag on a distant mountaintop. The next day, the flag crackled on the summit. He attempted other, similar experiments—each more daring than the last. He saw with some bitterness that his son was ready— perhaps even impatient—to be born. That night he kissed him for the first time, then sent him off, through many leagues of impenetrable jungle, many leagues of swamp, to that other temple whose ruins bleached in the sun downstream. But first (so that the son would never know that he was a phantasm, so that he would believe himself to be a man like other men) the man infused in him a total lack of memory of his years of education.

The man’s victory, and his peace, were dulled by the wearisome sameness of his days. In the twilight hours of dusk and dawn, he would prostrate himself before the stone figure,

imagining perhaps that his unreal son performed identical rituals in other circular ruins, downstream. At night he did not dream, or dreamed the dreams that all men dream. His perceptions of the universe’s sounds and shapes were somewhat pale: the absent son was nourished by those diminutions of his soul. His life’s goal had been accomplished; the man lived on now in a sort of ecstasy. After a period of time (which some tellers of the story choose to compute in years, others in decades), two rowers woke the man at midnight. He could not see their faces, but they told him of a magical man in a temple in the North, a man who could walk on fire and not be burned.

The sorcerer suddenly remembered the god’s words. He remembered that of all the creatures on the earth, Fire was the only one who knew that his son was a phantasm. That recollection, comforting at first, soon came to torment him. He feared that his son would meditate upon his unnatural privilege and somehow discover that he was a mere simulacrum. To be not a man, but the projection of another man’s dream—

what incomparable humiliation, what vertigo! Every parent feels concern for the children he has procreated (or allowed to be procreated) in happiness or in mere confusion; it was only natural that the sorcerer should fear for the future of the son he had conceived organ by organ, feature by feature, through a thousand and one secret nights.

The end of his meditations came suddenly, but it had been foretold by certain signs: first (after a long drought), a distant cloud, as light as a bird, upon a mountaintop; then, toward the South, the sky the pinkish color of a leopard’s gums; then the clouds of smoke that rusted the iron of the nights; then, at last, the panicked flight of the animals—for that which had occurred hundreds of years ago was being repeated now. The ruins of the sanctuary of the god of Fire were destroyed by fire. In the birdless dawn, the sorcerer watched the concentric holocaust close in upon the walls. For a moment he thought of taking refuge in the water, but then he realized that death would be a crown upon his age and absolve him from his

labors. He walked into the tatters of flame, but they did not bite his flesh—they caressed him, bathed him without heat and without combustion. With relief, with humiliation, with terror, he realized that he, too, was but appearance, that another man was dreaming him.”

Jorge Luis Borges

_____________________

“I, myself, alone, have more memories than all mankind since the world began,” he said to me. And also: “My dreams are like other people’s waking hours.” And again, toward dawn: “My memory, sir, is like a garbage heap.”

Borges

_____________________

THE PASSENGER

I am the anonymous mask

that rides the train of the damned.
My eyes are black holes
of empty nothingness
and I do not REALLY see
anything that lies before me.
I live a life of servitude
that serves no purpose
but to make others richer.
Free thinking is unknown to me
and beyond my comprehension.
My head is as empty as an
ancient dried-up riverbed
in the Sahara Desert.
I am Sisyphus endlessly pushing
a giant boulder up a mountain.
I am a grain of sand
on an endless shore
on a sea of blood.
There is no moon.
There are no stars.
The sun is blotted out
by black clouds of despair.
I have given up all hope
for anything better.
A pig that is destined to become bacon
serves more purpose than I.
Many others without hopes or dreams,
without willpower,
surround me with their uselessness.
We shoot through the tunnels
of the vast metropolis
and get off at our assigned prisons.
We emerge from steaming holes in the ground
like a plague of rats from hell.
We perform our assigned tasks
and then go home to watch
other drones live their lives in television fantasies.
The show goes on.
The nightmare continues.
Will I ever wake up?
Will any of these robots beside me
awaken from their sluggish torpor?
Unlikely.
Quite unlikely, indeed…
We continue our journey to nowhere
in perfect ignorance.
I am the passenger
on the train of the damned…
THB3
9:55am on the Toei Shinjuku Death Line
Monday 2-3-14
Tokyo, Japan
Not very poetic, but VERY true and honest…
I wrote this while observing all the robots on the way to work on a packed Tokyo train.
Faces glum and expressionless, just staring hopelessly into space or reading Manga
comic books, texting, or playing video games on cell phones.  Just plain sad, a true
picture of quiet despair.  I wonder how my face looked…?  At least I know I was thinking…
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2-3-14
Superbowl MONDAY in Japan….AGAIN!
And nobody cares.
To hell with it….
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“As the end approaches, there are no longer any images from memory— there are only words. It is not strange that time may have confused those that once portrayed me with those that were symbols of the fate of the person that accompanied me for so many centuries. I have been Homer; soon, like Ulysses, I shall be Nobody; soon, I shall be all men—I shall be dead.”
Borges
The Immortals
____________________
And so…we come to the end of yet another Street Journal.  Once again, it has been filled with my words and the words of others, words inspired by the mystery of life – words from the heart.   It has been another fascinating experiment in a new form of writing, what I like to call…
FRAGMENTATIONISM.  I do this because I must.
The Tokyo winter is winding down.  The days are windy and crisp.  The nights are long and cold.  An orange crescent moon sets in the west as I send you this dispatch from the Far East.  Spring is near and life goes on…for all of us…
So it goes…
_____
THERE WILL BE MORE STREET JOURNALS….stay tuned…
_____
THB3
2-5-14
Tokyo, Japan

FROM THE FURTHEST EDGES OF THE UNIVERSE TO YOU…

Standard

By Tom H. Brooks 3

And this is STREET JOURNAL 73

The above is my digital artwork named

The Mechanics of Abstraction

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super-ultraminimalism
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This might be able to hold your attention for 20 minutes or so….
If not, call my secretary – we`ll do lunch…
or….you can send me a `tweet` or a `twit` or whatever the fuck those things are called later…
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MAVERICK
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“Flow, my tears, fall from your springs…
Exiled forever, let me mourn;
Where night`s blackbird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
Down vain lights, shine you no more…
No nights are dark enough for those
That in despair their lost fortunes deplore.
Light doth but shame disclose.
Never may my woes be relieved,
Since pity is fled;
And tears and sighs and groans my weary days
Of all joys have deprived.
From the highest spire of contentment
My fortune is thrown;
And fear and grief and pain for my desserts
Are my hopes, since hope is gone.
Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to condemn light
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world`s despite.”
John Dowland (1596)  Musical Lyrics or Poetry (both, really…)
Lachrimae Pavan or Seaven Teares
(See my latest YouTube video, THE SEEKER, to hear this amazing music…)
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The Raw Shark Texts by Steven Hall…..the first book I ever felt like taking the time and effort to type the whole damn thing so I could keep it forever on my Google Drive.  I don`t know why, but I had this overpowering urge to type all 400 pages of it and I had a very strong feeling that doing this would open some new doorways for me into a world of my own writing, my own novels.  So I plod onward a page at a time, typing out this conceptual masterpiece, word by word, toward an unknown result……..come what may……
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R.I.P. Lou Reed…Sunday, 10-27-13……Now, you`re taking a Walk on the Other Side…c u there…
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“It`s very difficult to logically explain the illogical.”
“`It`s a distance that can`t be measured.`
`Like the distance from one person`s heart to another`s.`”
“Once you pass a certain age, life becomes nothing more than a process of continual loss.  Things that are important to your life begin to slip out of your grasp,  one after another,  like a comb losing teeth.  And the only things that come to take their place are worthless imitations.  Your physical strength, your hopes, your dreams, your ideals, your convictions, all meaning, or, then again, the people you love: one by one, they fade away.
Some announce their departure before they leave, while others disappear all of a sudden without warning one day.  And once you lose them you can never get them back.  Your search for replacements never goes well.  It’s all very painful – as painful as actually being cut with a knife.”
Haruki Murakami
“1Q84”
Reading this thoroughly unusual book for me at this VERY strange time in my life is simply perfect.  It creates an atmosphere of hallucinatory otherworldliness.  At times, I feel as if I am the only person in the world amongst the birds and the wind in the trees.  I sit here by the river now.  An autumn wind rattles the tree branches and a crow squawks his enigmatic call.  I am one with it.
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“…the place where he is meant to be lost…”
Murakami
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“No one knows for certain what it means to die until they actually do it”
“Time Now For Ghosts”
Murakami

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10/31/13  4:30pm  Tokyo, Japan,  Halloween
“Winding Lives
Fate and Straying”
I just saw this perfect example of Japanese bad English on a girl`s shirt as she walked by.  I stand here in Shinjuku after another seemingly fruitless job interview.  Somehow though, the shirt seemed perfectly appropriate to the moment.
  I am about to board a Chuo Line train to Koenji, one of the main locations in Haruki Murakami`s masterful book, 1Q84.  I don`t know why, but I am irresistibly drawn to this place he speaks of with such familiarity.  It`s a cool autumn evening.  Come what may…
*   *   *
Koenji turned out to be a nice, quiet neighborhood, in turn both hip and funky in some parts and somewhat mystical in others.  I met a nice artist girl named Asuka Ishii by visiting her gallery.  Koenji was totally worth the trip and I will definitely visit again.  Now, to Shinjuku for Halloween party time viewing…
*   *   *
Halloween in Japan is absolutely NOT as drunken-crazy as in America – BUT – it still defies description.  I`ll leave it at that and just let you wonder.  You have to see it for yourself…
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Tsukijishijo station off the Oedo line for a taste of OLD Tokyo…
Fish market & old buildings…
Hama Rikyu Gardens
Also, hit up the beach in Odaiba and the incredible haunted island with the gun battlements from 1853…
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Dias de los Muertos…….(My slideshow is on YouTube at tomhbrooks3)
My incredibly ridiculous bike ride of epic proportions from 11/1/13.  I went southwest along route 357 until I reached Odaiba and then I cut up to an amazing park, went over Rainbow Bridge, went north through Chuo-ku and passed throughout the old buildings of the fish market and continued curving to the east again until I hit route 50 and made my way home.  It was one of the best rides I`ve had yet in Tokyo.  This city is endless and I will never tire of exploring it…..
In retrospect, I don`t think this ride was any longer than any of my epic Los Angeles or New York City rides, probably shorter, in fact, BUT…..this city is so incredibly DENSE.  It seems as if I`ve passed through at least 111 different worlds today.  That is definitely what distinguishes the Tokyo city adventure from the American city adventure.  Actually, it could be comparable to my trips from Staten Island to Coney Island through Brooklyn – different neighborhoods every few blocks.  LA trips along the ocean are more or less the same general scenery, but THIS was a whole new ballgame, and I won the game, baby, let me tell ya…..
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Check out the art work of Yayoi Kusama
and the architectural masterpieces of Ando Tadao
(Google images and Wikipedia will give an overview…)
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Go to Nikko in Tochigi Prefecture
and also travel to Kagawa and Tokushima in Shikoku Prefecture…
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I was watching a promo video on YouTube for Lucha VaVoom in downtown Los Angeles at the Mayan Theatre.  It`s like Mexican wrestling and burlesque dancers and drinking tequila….
absolutely ridiculous and, at the same time, spectacular.  I always wanted to go see that show and I never got a chance.  You snooze, you lose…..that cliche holds true…
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The best Mexican food website EVER….
just looking at it makes me hungry…
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Visit the Tokyo Museum of Contemporary Art in KIBA…
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“The good aren`t always right; and the bad don`t always have it wrong…”
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SHOW ME A SANE MAN AND I WILL CURE HIM FOR YOU.
This has been today`s psychology lesson, brought to you by the great
CARL JUNG
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This has best represented our existence since the beginning of time and philosophical thought:
                                    ?
Exactly.
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11/12/13  I`m working in Bunkyo Ward, Tokyo (Hakusan Station near Korakuen and Tokyo Dome)
{this is just so I remember these crazy names and this excellent date}
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“Pretend to be completely in control and people will assume you are.”
Nolan Bushnell
Founder of Atari
and mentor to Steve Jobs
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“Stay Hungry.  Stay Foolish.”
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Reading the biography of Steve Jobs on my iPhone seems to me a strange and beautiful irony.
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“TAXI SMASH FACE”
Tim Hudock
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Music: There are songs that stay with you throughout your entire life…
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Well, I`ve started my new job at the company called *** and it makes the last one look like being on acid on the 666th level of the ABYSS.  This new one is a thousand times better.  But fuck the babbling work talk.  Tonight, I want to write about a 9-year-old boy named Aoi.  Today was very likely the last time I will ever see him.  You see, I`m just TRAINING at this particular school – just passing through in other words.  Next week, I`ll be somewhere else, only to be moved still again to another location somewhere in the vast Tokyo metropolis.  In any case, this kid was a first-class little character that touched my heart in some strange way.  Perhaps he was a young kindred spirit; we had a kind of instant connection that just doesn`t happen very often in life….with ANYONE.  It was the first and last night to meet young Aoi.  This is a name that can be for Japanese boys or girls; more commonly in the latter.  It can mean `BLUE`, but I didn`t see how it was written in Kanji (not that I`d be able to read it.)  He was a good-looking, smart young fellow – smart as a whip, really.  He was strange and eccentric, but not in a lunatic kind of way – just odd, different.  He had intelligent eyes and a curious mind.  He`s participating in a spelling bee this Sunday and if he wins, he gets 10,000 yen towards a trip to Hawaii.  His mom, his dad, his grandma, his mom`s sister – all of them – are doctors.  He comes from a real medical family tree.  An admirable profession, to be sure, but I think, perhaps, not exactly HIS goal or disposition.  He seemed to me a little bit of a dreamer, creative, artistic and quirky.  Right when we started talking, we clicked like we`d known each other for years.  It was like talking to a miniature adult.  He was enthusiastic and humorous and talked in a somewhat manic, but intelligent manner (does this sound at all familiar?)  He lived in America for a long long time (most of his first 9 years), so his English was flawless and without accent.  In fact, he seemed more American than Japanese.  His dad was like a big shot surgeon somewhere in Pittsburgh.  We immediately starting talking without pause about Pittsburgh and a myriad of other places he`s been in the USA…San Antonio, Los Angeles and New York City, to mention a few big ones.  I asked him if he missed America or if he was happier in Japan.  Without missing a beat, he said, “I miss America.”  He said people in Tokyo were boring and Americans were more interesting and fun and different.  I mentioned Tokyo robots and he said, “Yes, robots!  Exactly!”  He likes making things, arts and crafts, reading, growing things in gardens and cooking.  He also had an amazing knowledge about animals.  This kid had `ARTIST` written all over him.  However, I KNOW that coming from a rich and prominent family of Japanese doctors, the chances are about 92% that he will be railroaded into being a doctor whether he wants it or not.  I told him that maybe he could be a veterinarian specializing in animal surgery and maybe his parents would accept that AND he could be an animal doctor that is an excellent master chef.  I told him to never lose his dream and to be true to himself.  There is so much more I talked to this amazing kid about that listing it all would probably bore you.  Let it suffice to say that I taught him more AND learned more from him than most people probably communicate to each other in 2 weeks.  Before he left, he gave me a little lizard-like dinosaur paper origami cutout that he made for me.  He just wordlessly handed it to me in a friendly and casual manner and then said goodbye.  Why do I take all this space to write about one kid?  He touched my heart somehow in a melancholy way.  Maybe I saw in him something of myself and we all know how crazy my life has been.  He was really a one-of-a-kind character and I wish him all the best.  He`s only at the school one night a week, so it`s entirely likely that I won`t see him again, but I WILL remember him.  I can`t really explain why.  When I was walking home through the dark, cold night streets on the edge of town, I found myself thinking of that kid and hoping for him to have a good life.  And I`m keeping that paper animal cutout.  I hope he finds his dream.  I hope I find mine too.  It`s never too late to keep trying…
“A mind forever voyaging through strange seas of thought, alone…”
                                                                          William Wordsworth
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“THE SPIRIT NOW WILLS HIS OWN WILL, AND HE WHO HAS
BEEN LOST TO THE WORLD NOW CONQUERS THE WORLD.”
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE
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“God is in the details.”
A maxim embraced by the Bauhaus aesthetic (Walter Gropius and Mies van der Rohe, especially)
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“It is better to be good than to be original.”
Mies van der Rohe
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KAROUSHI… death by overwork (the Japanese salaryman)
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If you feel that you may be lacking the imagination to believe in `impossible` things, read this quote….
“Why, sometimes I`ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”
Lewis Carroll
Through the Looking Glass
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SEA OF THE DEAD    by THB3
A multitude of nameless silences
The errant cries of small birds
The squawk of a raven…
Angular shadows stretch across
the soil into geometric patterns of death
A forest of gray stones
in marble and granite
Monuments for those lost to this world
I hear your muted voices
speaking to me through
the open window of timelessness
The wind rattles and hisses
through the cool green shade
of the ancient bamboo grove –
– it has stood here wordlessly
for countless and untold years
while the vast city grew up around it
Time has forgotten this place
but some of us are still listening
to your cryptic whispers in this sea of the dead
Although you had no choice,
I pay my quiet respects to these brave souls
who have crossed over to the other world
With no regard for past, present or future,
your silence says so much –
much more than mere words ever could
As your ashes disperse into the soil of this earth,
you become one with the dust from whence we came
Speak to me;
I am listening…
THB3
(Written at a graveyard/shrine in Chitose Karasuyama in western Tokyo on 11/22/13
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It seems that I have a fascination with death and the world (worlds?) beyond….
I have always loved hanging around graveyards, the quietest parks in town.  I think, perhaps, I identify more with the dead than with the living…
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Friday night, 11/22/13
Although I`m enjoying myself as I always do when I`m alone, I truly feel as if I don`t really belong anywhere, no matter where I go or what I do in Tokyo.  It is an ocean of anonymity…
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I only know my way around this crazy city of Tokyo on foot, skateboard or bike (and even all that is sketchy and random).  When I`m underground in a train station, however (and I HATE to admit it), I`m just fucking LOST…
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I`m sure everyone has heard of golf-pro shops.  Well, get this; I just saw an “S&M-pro shop”….
SPEC-FUCKING-TACULAR……
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“The truth is what those in power wish it to be.”
“The exile does not choose his Babylon.”
`Dr. Narcisse`
Boardwalk Empire
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“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”
Lee Clow & Steve Jobs
Apple “Think Different” Campaign
1997
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This fucking train line (Toei Shinjuku Line) I’ve been taking to work every goddamned day has like one of the highest suicide rates in the world.  It travels through a huge swath of western Tokyo where there are no safety rails whatsoever & these little bastards are throwing themselves onto the tracks like lemmings.  Henceforth, I shall call this line the ‘Toei Suicidal Death Line.’
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One thing I`ve learned in life; somebody, somewhere, is ALWAYS complaining about something
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11/30/13
RIP Paul Walker; After 5 or 6 Fast and Furious movies, you were killed with cruel irony in a fiery car crash.  At least we know that you weren`t driving.  Good luck in that eternal street race on the other side….
“I live my life a quarter-mile at a time…”
“What`d you put in that sandwich?”
____
“So which car do you want?”
“ALL OF THEM.”
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“Nature loves simplicity and unity.”
Johannes Kepler
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The Pedestrian
 
A man walks endlessly through the vast sprawling city.  He is continuously alone and anonymous.  He moves along aimlessly, wandering its boulevards, thoroughfares, side streets, empty lots, parks, structures and back alleys.  He meanders both above and underground.  He is constantly amazed and wide-eyed at everything that catches his eye from the most obvious to the most inconspicuous details.  He soaks it all up like a sponge.  He takes in every little observation with a shutter click of his mind`s eye.  Nothing escapes his notice.  He strolls from the fringes to the center and back again.  He goes from the furthest edges of industrial wastelands and forgotten ruins to the very heart of the city, the beating throbbing heart of its economy, the engine that drives it ever-forward.  He has no destination in mind.  The journey itself IS the destination.  His only goal is to SEE, to learn, to explore.  In this roundabout and haphazard way, he comes to know the heart of it, its soul, so to speak.  He becomes one with the city.  It is like taking a walk inside himself, through the labyrinth of his own complex mindscape.  There are no accurate maps for this uncharted terrain.  Where his mind and the landscape come together is the nexus, if you will.  There is no name for this location and if you are lucky enough to find it, it is the place where one finds epiphanies…revelations.
There is no end to this, nor would he want there to be.  There is an old saying; “The longest journey begins with but a single step.”  He has taken that first step and many, many more since.  And, his journey has just begun.  Where it leads….?  Well, only time will tell….
THB3
Wednesday 12/4/13  1:00pm
Kyodo, Western Tokyo
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Where I am right now – this is MY WORLD – other people just happen to live in it…
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An old Shinto shrine, in the middle of what has become the city streets; they just built around it.  A strange sight, indeed…
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12/10/13
I had an excellent conversation this morning by the train station at Sakurajosui.  I talked to an old Japanese man who called himself Henry, of all names.  He was a first-class character, indeed….
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“The more the universe seems comprehensible, the more it also seems pointless.”
Steven Weinberg
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12/11/13
You know, it turns out ravens like BBQ Cheetos.  I fed a whole flock of `em during lunch at the lake in Sakurajosui today…
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“If I mean to save my life, then I have to come within an inch of destroying it.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions
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I NEVER INTENDED FOR THINGS TO TURN OUT THIS WAY.
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“…one of those rare people in whom mind ultimately wins out over matter.  Age doesn`t diminish these people.  It makes them old, but it doesn`t alter who they are, and the longer they go on living, the more fully and implacably they incarnate themselves.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions
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“And it seems no less evident that the various sensations or ideas imprinted on the sense, however blended or combined together, cannot exist otherwise than in a mind perceiving them.  Secondly, it will be objected that there is a great difference betwixt real fire and the idea of fire,  between dreaming or imagining oneself burnt, and actually being so.”
George Berkeley
The Principles of Human Knowledge
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“I am a ridiculous man.
 God has played many jokes on me.”
Paul Auster
The Book of Illusions

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THB3

 

SUPER-ULTRA MINIMALISM (IT`S THE NEW THING, DON`T YA KNOW?)

Standard

By Tom H. Brooks 3

Say hello to STREET JOURNAL 72…

The above is one of my digital artworks named

Mondrian`s White Blood Cells

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f r a g m e n t a t i o n i s m
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…because no one has time for anything but Twitter anymore…
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Faceless in a Facebook world…
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Here`s a link to my profile…
000GFY000CU>HELL.COM
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Welcome back……!  May I help you?
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Started on 10/1/13  in Tokyo, Japan…
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Not that this is of any concern to anyone but myself, however, I write it in my book just for me.  After all, it directly concerns ME.  Now coming from Los Angeles, a world city with ALL types of food from anywhere on the planet, it can be quite hard to find certain things you want to eat in Japan, even in Tokyo.  Some things are next to impossible to find here at all.  You tend to get tired of rice and fucking noodles all the time, especially after three years.  Well today, (10-1-13)
I ate an absolutely spectacular falafel sandwich in Azabu, made by a Japanese woman, if you can believe it.  Apparently, she lived in Israel for awhile and she has got it down perfect.  Fresh and delicious it was, with all the makings of a good falafel sandwich; fresh pita bread, hummus, tahini sauce, black olives, onions, spicy sauce (I forget the name) and warm, just-made falafels.  The place is called Falafel King and it`s the best I`ve eaten since that place at Farmer`s Market in LA. It really brought joy to my heart, I tell you.  It`s the LITTLE THINGS, people, it`s the little things.
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There are times in life when you get so used to being miserable and stressed out that it just seems to be the normal state of things…
….And then, it doesn`t even bother you anymore, so you just drink beer and laugh your ass off.
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“I tell you, we are here on this earth to fart around, so don`t let anybody try to tell you different.”
Kurt Vonnegut
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Whether or not you`re a religious type, the Bible is FULL of great quotes, like this one, for example…
“WHEN HE HATH TRIED ME,
I SHALL COME FORTH AS GOLD.”
The Book of Job
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“To give an idea of the maturity of my illustrations for this book, here is my picture of an asshole:
     
I think I am trying to clear my head of all the junk in there – the assholes, the flags, the underpants.  I`m throwing out characters from my other books, too.  I`m not going to put on any more puppet shows.  I think I am trying to make my head as empty as it was when I was born onto this damaged planet fifty years ago.  I suspect that this is something most people should do.  The things other people have put into my head, at any rate, do not fit together nicely, are often useless and ugly, are out of proportion with one another, are out of proportion with life as it really is outside my head.  I have no culture, no humane harmony in my brains.  I can`t live without a culture anymore.  So this book is a sidewalk strewn with junk, trash which I throw over my shoulders as I travel back in time…”
Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions
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****** International “School”
“ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO`S NEST”
THAT`S what it`s like working at this fucking place, but much, MUCH worse….
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“What the hell am I?
Thousand eyes, a fly
Lucky then I`d be
In one day deceased
Sickman, sickman, sickman…..
I can feel the wheel, but I can`t steer
When my thoughts become my biggest fear
Ah, what`s the difference, I`ll die
In this sick world of mine…”
Alice in Chains
“Sickman”  (An old classic…)
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“What a deplorable existence I lead in this absurd climate and under what frightful conditions!  How boring!  How stupid life is!  What am I doing here?”
Arthur Rimbaud
Aden, 1884
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“When a man has learned – and not on paper – how to remain alone with his suffering, how to overcome his longing to flee, the illusion that others may share, then he has little left to learn.”
Albert Camus
Notebooks, 1942-1951
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…as I told you, writing is very cathartic for me.  It`s how I voice my frustrations and spit out the poison.  BUT….I`m still laughing, believe it.  I will always win.  We just can`t let the scumbags bring us down.
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“…the famous artist with his meaningless pictures had entered into a conspiracy with millionaires to make poor people feel stupid.”
“He won all those medals in the Second World War for killing Japanese, who were yellow robots.
They were fueled by rice.”
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(Apparently, I`m not the only one who`s thought of this “yellow robot” concept…)
“Honest to God, the way things are going, all I can think of is that I`m a character in a book by somebody who wants to write about somebody who suffers all the time.”
“This was the reason Americans shot and killed each other so often: It was a convenient literary device for ending short stories and books.  Why were so many Americans treated by their government as though their lives were as disposable as paper facial tissues?  Because that was the way authors customarily treated bit-part players in their made-up tales.
And so on.
Once I understood what was making America such a dangerous, unhappy nation of people who had nothing to do with real life, I resolved to shun storytelling.  I would write about life.  Every person would be exactly as important as any other.  All facts would be given equal weightiness.
Nothing would be left out.  Let others bring order to chaos.  I would bring chaos to order, instead, which I think I have done.”
 
“OUR AWARENESS IS ALL THAT IS ALIVE AND MAYBE SACRED IN ANY OF US.  EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT US IS JUST DEAD MACHINERY.”
Kurt Vonnegut
Breakfast of Champions
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Now, it`s a fact that money doesn`t buy happiness……BUT…it might buy a LITTLE bit…
For example, I could have a nice office and a comfortable chair to sit on while I write and work on my endless photographic projects.  Instead, I sit on the floor Buddha style on a tatami mat in a broom closet-sized apartment.  After working for hours sometimes, I am crippled – legs twisted up like pretzels and with my back feeling like a lump of dead meat with a butcher hacking into it with a sharp cleaver.  I could get that beautiful art studio loft with the high ceiling I`ve always wanted, so I could work on those HUGE paintings I`ve always wanted to do instead of tiny digital sketches – you know – what I REALLY want to do.  I could………………….
no; I`ll refrain from taking this any further.  I could probably go on for hours about all the stuff I COULD do if I had a lot of money.  Maybe it DOES buy happiness; or maybe we mistake convenience for happiness.  I still get almost everything I want to do finished one way or another, even if I`m in excruciating pain afterwards…..whatever………there`s always whiskey….
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“We want world peace!”
“Yeah, and I want a golden unicorn that shits money – it`s NEVER gonna happen….”
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Creation Monster
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10/9/13
Went to Arashio Sumo Beya in Chuo-ku near Hamacho Park.  It may not have been the main place in Ryogoku, but nonetheless, it was fascinating.  I managed to get a couple of videos, so I can always remember this clash of the titans (fatties in dirty diapers…)
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10/9/13 9pm
Goodbye ****** International “School”…..
and go fuck yourselves…
I have never in my life been happier to be unemployed.  It’s like a GIANT weight has been lifted off my shoulders and my soul feels lighter than a feather on a typhoon wind.
That dump was a poisoned swamp of despair, a quagmire of hopelessness, but NO MORE!  I would rather allow arcane symbols to be carved into my flesh with a rusty butter
knife than spend another day in that waking
nightmare.  I have been liberated!  THIS is cause for CELEBRATION.  My heart is filled
with joy…
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Ahhhh, yes….& one more thing; I won’t have to waste any more of my precious time giving that punk boss any more humiliating verbal beat downs.
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10/12/13, Saturday….
Chiharu and I for an “I`m unemployed” celebration in Shibuya and Harajuku.  We had dinner at Fonda de la Madrugada.  The spectacular Mexican mariachi band did an excellent rendition of Santana`s “Oye Como Va.”  A great day all around……
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10/14/13
That’s the greatest thing about Tokyo; there are a million strange places to go and hang out.  I can just play “dumb gaijin” & go wherever I feel like, and if I’m not supposed to be there, someone will tell me in Japanese and I can pretend not to understand or I can leave if it no longer interests me.  Any way you look at it, I win…
I’m speaking of strange industrial districts,  anywhere beyond gates with signs that I cannot read, gardens inside apartment building complexes, and numerous other places.  It just never ends.
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“People`s memories might be the fuel they burn to stay alive…”
Haruki Murakami
After Dark
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Okay, I was THIS CLOSE to getting a teaching job here in Tokyo at an ALL-GIRLS SCHOOL, aged 15 to 18 years.  Well, THAT would have been a recipe for disaster!  I would have been like a fox in a henhouse, being around all those sexy little vixens in their short plaid miniskirts and thigh-high stockings….torture, indeed…..
It would have been a sure formula for me to end up divorced, in jail, or BOTH…..
I guess it`s a good thing that I didn`t get it….
(…but I kind of wish that I had….)
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Steven Hall, the author of the spectacularly inventive novel, The Raw Shark Texts, has publicly stated that the title is a play on words for Rohrschach Test,the inkblot psychological test that can be different to everyone.  And that is exactly what he says he set out to do with this book; to write a book that would mean something different to everyone, a crossover between many genres meant to mutate into some kind of hybrid book that knows no category or classification.  If you have read it, or you intend to, you will see that he has done quite a good job at achieving this objective, and any way you look at this novel, if nothing else, it is VERY original, borrowing ideas from MANY sources, but somehow coming out totally unique in its own right….
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When you try to manipulate a society by denying them marijuana, in turn, you create a society of rampant alcoholism…I only know what I see.  And if you’re wondering, I’m both an alcoholic AND a pothead and I don’t deny it, so piss off…
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“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”
Wayne Gretzky  (as quoted by Steve Jobs of Apple Computer fame…)
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I crawl to where the beer is going to be, not where I broke the last bottles…
Tom Brooks
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“The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world
 are the ones who do…”
Steve Jobs
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“The role of the story was, in the broadest terms, to transpose a single problem into another form.  Depending on the nature and the direction of the problem, a solution could be suggested in the narrative.  He would return to the real world with that suggestion in hand.  It was like a piece of paper bearing the indecipherable text of a magic spell.  At times it lacked coherence and served no immediate practical purpose.  But itwould contain a possibility.  Someday he might be able to decipher the spell.  That possibility would gently warm his heart from within.
Haruki Murakami
1Q84
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Everyone is Gone Now…
 
Everyone is gone now
and I am left alone with my thoughts,
which are myriad.
It is as if the world I`d once known
is collapsing inward upon itself-
a universe imploding,
quarks rushing together into nothingness…
EXCEPT…
for one tiny light in the midst
of an endless void,
the tiny pinprick of light
that is called self…
That lives on in its own unmoored
nomadic existence
like a comet drifting along the
edges of a galaxy,
but never coming back to the sun.
The past is like a collection
of ghosts in a black and white
slideshow, playing on ancient projector
inside my skull,
sound fading away,
like a distant radio playing an old song…
Everyone is gone now, yes,
or perhaps it`s me who is gone…
No matter; this is the way things are.
The world moves on without you,
things change, you are left behind,
and then twilight falls forever
You can`t go back.
All of us know this
and perhaps some even fear it.
But it must be accepted for
it is just the way things work.
It is an irrevocable fact of life in this world
and in this universe.
We are,
each and every one,
a quiet whisper,
a flickering candle,
a breath of soft wind,
a grain of sand on a cosmic beach…
and then……
we are gone…
Tom Brooks
Tokyo, Japan
October 22, 2013
5:24pm
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How can I be in a city of millions and write THAT?!?
Dreams are a strange thing…
Good Night….
10/22/13
THB3