Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Pepper Festival







a Ferris wheel and fireworks,
frogs in full voice, too --
Pepper Festival







shrine







after the crowds
a shrine for Tori Hunter --
Autumn dusk



























































































Tuesday, August 15, 2017

La Meta; Padre Island




Here's a link for some music once popular in my day. Maybe more than a little cheeky, its a bit cynical, a style cheerfully defiant of authority. Indeed, this was the pilot for the popular "Austin City Limits" television program. It showcased both kinds of music - Country and Western - outlier stuff, at once both critical of society as well as self searching, an inventory with themes not uncommon for the times, seemingly inaccessible to the status quo.

I saw this band that same year, '74, it was, and an aura of rebellion was in the air. Vietnam was winding down just as the sound and fury of numerous protests remained fresh in our minds. My lottery number was 11, high on the list to be drafted into military service. President Nixon was under attack from the Press, most of the fuss due, however, to a marginal, Deep Throat character recorded in the paper of record, the Washington Post, dissertations long on innuendo yet lacking in substance. A precursor of things to come? Or a return to the Hey day of Yellow Journalism? Hard to say. It didn't matter. The people ate it up either way. A decade of tension had taken its toll, after the Kennedy assassination, and the FBI stirring the pot constantly with its targeted attacks on various counter-culture movements that reportedly threatened the status quo. One step further and the Status Quo were now considered effete, with outdated ideas and repressive tendencies. The country stood on the cusp of a cultural sea change, or so we believed, the antagonists stark and broadly drawn, caricatures that satisfied a desire to shake up a burgeoning elite.

Besides the Nelson Family band, Jerry Jeff Walker and Waylon Jennings were on the bill; a real Gonzo extravaganza. If Walker was the kindly eccentric brother-in-law then Waylon was the wayfaring wanderer. I remember the venue. It was, yes, ... the Dallas Armory, a holdover from the Cold War let out for a number of functions, privy to as many 3000 fans of a brief, iconoclastic movement from a place that, well, you can't get to from here no more.

The guy I was riding with had got me there in grand fashion. Being it was legal to drive in Texas with an open bottle in those days, and after a few long necks in quick succession, he had gotten himself progressively drunker. When he finally told that Dallas cop outside the entrance, "My Daddy's a rich man!" that was all she wrote. I'd just met him a few hours before. I was only passing through, you see.

I did get in eventually - for free - I don't recall much of the show itself though. A cute lil' gal from Texas Music Magazine had put me on the Guest List. She'd picked me up hitch hiking down I35 somewhere outside of Waxahatchie. She bore features like fine china, her hair, fair as golden silk. Only seventeen years old at the time, this put me at a bit of unease, but she was kind for an ex-pat Boston-ite. I was on my way to the Gulf of Mexico. It was cold up North. Besides, I'd never seen the ocean before.



I'd been to the Press Party beforehand, too, a mild affair in comparison, at a downtown hotel whose name I don't recall. Despite the charge of outlaw rebelliousness pushed by their Publicists and critics, this group consisted merely of some pickers, studio musicians, Walker himself and a reformed rounder or two, maybe - they seemed tame enough. The action came from the kitchen table where a crew sat exchanging lyrics and formulating songs. A little cuttin' went on two, a personable enough brinkmanship, restrained, like a poker game, a wry smile now and then the only tell. Mostly, just musicians talking shop and resting up. Everybody seemed to know each other anyway, like a far flung family come home again for a holiday gathering.

Nelson had a room to himself where he remained ensconced with members of his band. I don't think he ever came out. I don't remember seeing him. Everybody there wanted a piece of him, that's for sure. The rock star status was attributable, I guess, to the tons of airplay Nelson and company were receiving at the time. His story songs of Red Headed Strangers, life on the road, its phases, changes and its ironies, were a hit up North as well as from coast to coast.

I first heard his tunes on the local FM rock station, a departure even from the innovative playlists that FM radio and marketing allowed in its early popularity. Little did I know that Nelson had followed a separate genre distinct from this market to get here, one traditional, Americana in essence, and likewise, one enthusiastically regimented. He'd made the rounds and climbed the fences once already, in an era of Country Super Stars, rising through the its ranks all the way to Nashville and back again, but never achieving household name status. Nashville brokered no half-stars, nor offered any any quarter. A little too eccentric for its overseers, he was known, mostly, for selling his songs. Patsy Cline and Faron Young were clients of his, among others.

I watched a record company A&R exec in a knock off Nudie Suit with a trophy blonde on his arm sidle up to his door, lingering behind some cowhide clad character with just as leathery a gaze - without fanfare, they let that longhair in and, just as summarily, slammed the door in that dandy's face. The blonde girl reacted with surprising aplomb - perhaps she was amused? The sweet smell of Mexican commercial grade pot permeating the air came not from the hideout, but from the party suite's bathroom. Scofflaws were in abundance apparently.

I began to imagine what I'd have said if they'd opened the door and invited me in. I did appear pretty haggard for my age ... "C'mon in, kid. What happened to you? You look hungry. Want a Vegie burger, son?"

At the time I was sporting a patch over one eye, the same clothes on for however many days and I probably stank to high Heaven. I may have been mistaken for an outlaw myself. Call it life on the road.

Further North, and a day or two before, I'd been in a fight with some guy built like a Dallas Cowboy linesman. Football is popular in those parts, after all. I was cut up some but all in a piece - we'd rolled through some barbed wire - the guy, some kinda nut job, he'd gave up and drove off in his Cutlass Supreme in a hurry. I dusted myself off, checked for damage and humped it to a Stuckeys on down the highway. It was there I got cleaned up, got to a doctor, got stitches, an itty bitty town in Oklahoma where I spent my night between clean sheets. I even received a kind word or two. Not too surprising - I was always polite. Some duds from the Goodwill were like new. Well worn workingman's kit, an elbow or knee expertly patched here and there - yet I had walked out without paying. Polite, and a resourceful lad, lately from The City of Thieves and the last port North on the Mississippi.

I'd started my journey with 37 cents in my pocket. I was dressed for the outdoors. I'd been waiting for a bus one wintry day when, suddenly, I fell into some sort of repose - it might have been snow glare set it off, or the times, Seasonal Affective Disorder perhaps, restless legs, Hell, I don't know - for whatever reason, I had become acutely aware of my surroundings. I stood quiet for a moment, stock still, to carefully take it all in, the snow, the traffic, the endless gray and sub-freezing temperatures - until I finally moved, spurred on by cold air biting the insides of my nostrils. The entire incident may have lasted only seconds. I turned on my heel, 180 degrees, walked across a busy street and resolutely stuck my thumb out.

Thereafter, bad luck and the Tulsa Greyhound Station behind me, I was able to travel without further incident, through backwaters and small towns, each beckoning to tell its story and be rediscovered. I, too, had a good story to pass the time, embellishing it for each listener, over all those two-lane blacktops and county roads. It got me some mileage. People opened up a little to me, too, seemingly unafraid to bare some personality for a change. I still like to think that in that part of the country they were just friendly.

That old cowboy who owned some Standard Oil Stations in the big D set me on my course. Drunk on Four Roses before 8 in the morning, he drove his pickup truck around town, somewhat erratically, a mumbling drawl in a lingo I barely understood on the CB radio, some old Wildcat who'd put his money, but not all of his time, to good use.

The Sheriff at that truck stop on the Jacksboro Highway had not been so kind, urging me not so kindly to move on. Didn't like my Yankee ass conversing with the help. Or, I could have looked like an accident about to happen. They spoke no English anyway, or feigned not to. One fella my age kept rolling his eyes as if to say, "knock it, off, man!"

I'd returned my incarcerated driver's Vista Cruiser station wagon to his shack the night before and left the key's with a neighbor. I don't know how I found the place or the way back, either. Though ever since I began my trek I would observe my location acutely. Like somebody saying good bye instead of somebody making a good first impression.

That Dallas cop? He'd offered me to volunteer for a night in jail, too. I'd declined. I'd actually stepped back smartly, two whole paces, snapped to attention, clicked my heels and barked, "No, Sir!" I had total clarity. My destination was certain.

In Beeville, on a very warm day, in fact, I helped a Mexican Coca-Cola Deliveryman stack a hundred cases at the High School Football stadium. In exchange, he'd gave me a soda and a sandwich. He seemed bemused, yet thoughtful, careful with his language, taking advantage of a white kid like he was, as affably naive as I was, and, after a cursory glance, how little the High School Athletic Director paid me no never mind. Such was his focus -He had a game that night.

I thought 100 cases to be a lot of soda pop. I'd been a carry out at a grocery store, seen my share of soda pop, and was no slouch at manual labor. Come to think of it, that driver never paid me the fifty cents he promised, neither. I wonder if he was a Teamster?

Farther along the way, I met an Austin Co-ed who offered me her place to spend the night. I was bushed. I hadn't slept for awhile, preferring to just keep moving.

I can remember the two of us couldn't stop smiling at one another for some reason. She lived near the campus of San Marcos, actually, in a quiet rambler on a dusty street. After she'd dropped me off there, and gone to her classes, with ery little luck I tried to relax, lying on her bed with my dirty boots still on, and all. Rays of sunlight through a french window shifted slowly, dappling the room's muted plaster. I'd almost dozed off when the quiet in the house was punctuated, frequently, by some raucous bird call I'd never ever heard before in my life.

I rose nervously, sometime before she returned. I felt uneasy, like I was violating some rule or value - I washed up a little, wrote her a note of thanks on the back of a greeting card and kept on my way. I can't make out her face anymore, not precisely. I refrain from my imagination, knowing it to be a fool's errand. I do remember we were smiling.

In Corpus Christi, finally, I arrived, though it was well after dark. For lack of anything better to do, I rode with a semi-homeless guy to his brother's place to eat. This guy was a little older than my age. He stayed around town, a local fella, on different people's couches or sometimes in his car, aimlessly drifting, job to job and place to place. He had a few hitchhiking stories of his own to tell, and his 60's Chevy ran well enough to drive himself around when he had money for gas. I pitched in 50 cents myself, in a gesture of good will. It was only fitting.

He'd adjusted his schedule just for me, and, in my honor. Maybe it was for reaching my goal. The plans were simple, for a free dinner - and to smoke a joke afterward - as I'd recently heard the phrase coined, by an Okie Highway Patrolman, no less. The whole family did, in fact. Mom, Dad, 2.4 children, 13 years old on down, all smoked Marijuana together, as a family unit, just like sharing dessert after Supper. As though nothing unusual at all was going on. Did'ja ever pass a joint to a seven year old that could inhale shotguns like Cheech Marin? Good one, Dad ... Until then, I thought my life growing up had been odd. More odd for the encounter, anyways ...

The Gulf? Oh, well, the smell of the water ... the warmth in it, its salinity, the lay of the light in December ... hard to describe, the distances benign. Fresh caught Shrimp on a hot wooden boat deck comes to mind, some of the catch still alive and kicking in an attempt to escape the scorching heat.

I am of the wrong Latitude. A certain listlessness would have overtaken me if I were to linger much longer on that scene.


laid bare by the moon's tide
the sands of Padre Island -
how so many creatures
emerge from its waves



;;;;




Saturday, August 12, 2017

Who will out last them all?



I sure do like these kids: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZpNwp1sfJy4

Monday, August 7, 2017

rooms













autumn approaches,
looking in the rooms
of all my days




Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Funtime with the Monopoly



User William has entered room
analyst Jaspreet has entered room

Jaspreet
3:39PM

Hello William_, Thank you for contacting Comcast Live Chat Support. My name is Jaspreet. Please give me one moment to review your information.

Jaspreet
3:39PM

I am here to assist you, This is to apprise that please do not click the back button of browser as it will close the current chat session.

William
3:39PM

My Issue: 1

Jaspreet
3:40PM

William, can you please elaborate your concern so that I can help you properly.

William
3:43PM

Two people have attempted to initiate the service following on incorrect start-up procedure without my permission; I would like to start over, using proper procedure - must I "erase" the existing account to achieve this? Also, I'm being overcharged from the initial estimate I received, this, without prior notice. Thank you, Jaspreet, I will wait ,,,

Jaspreet
3:45PM

As I understand your concern correctly, you want to set up your account again, am I correct?

William
3:47PM

Essentially, yes. Otherwise, internet is not available through the normal account's process, but rather through the use of Xfinity hotspots. No one in your company has detected this error ! lol ...

Jaspreet
3:49PM

So you are getting issue with your internet services?

William
3:50PM

Yes. Sounds to me like a job for a Technical service person - would you agree, sir? thanks ...

William
3:51PM

Or merely a question, of course. Rather interesting a conundrum ...

Jaspreet
3:51PM

Yes William we are from the technical department and I will help you with your issue.

William
3:52PM

Excellent, sir! I'm so glad I found you!

Jaspreet
3:53PM

Thank You so much for your kind words.

Jaspreet
3:53PM

Let me help you with your internet issue.

William
3:53PM

After questioning these good-hearted (yet impatient ) people I deduced they skipped right to a password avoiding acct #'s or ssid, etc

William
3:54PM

The first i told "don't do it" five times - then I turned my back ...

William
3:56PM

A visit from a service person to exchange a "tainted" ,odem - then he ran out the door. He was 2 hours late, poor kid, probably hungry for his dinner!

William
3:56PM

modem

Jaspreet
3:56PM

Just to confirm, you are getting issue with your Internet services?

William
3:57PM

yes sir

Jaspreet
3:57PM

I will go ahead and perform the troubleshooting

William
3:57PM

thank you

Jaspreet
3:57PM

I am now going on to perform a diagnostic test on your services & equipment with the MAC address you have provided on your account. This health check verifies the current status of your equipment and your services. It should only take 2-3 minutes for the results.IS it okay with you?

William
3:58PM

of course - MAC doesn't mean Apple i hope I have PC

William
3:59PM

Pardon my poor joke ...

Jaspreet
3:59PM

No issue William.

Jaspreet
3:59PM

Meanwhile May I know How are you connected to your internet, Is it wired or wireless and is the issue with all the devices or some specific devices?

William
4:00PM

wireless; only two coaxial connections in house; all devices, limited to lap tops or a desk top;

Jaspreet
4:00PM

Thank you for the detail.

Jaspreet
4:01PM

I have run the test on your internet service. We need to refresh your Comcast Internet connection from the server, with this, your modem needs to be reset. this will disconnect you from this chat for seconds but you will get back to me after this; just do not close the chat page. Is it okay for me to reset your modem now?

William
4:01PM

3 in total

William
4:01PM

continue please I will keep "hands off" !

Jaspreet
4:02PM

Okay William.

Jaspreet
4:02PM

I appreciate your cooperation.

Jaspreet
4:04PM

I am now resetting your modem from my end. Please stay connected.

Jaspreet
4:07PM

I have successfully reset your modem and the device is online at my end, Please try and surf some websites

William
4:08PM

allow me to switch provider systems; I'm currently on a hot spot - shall I proceed? I expect some sign-in issues might arise ...

Jaspreet
4:10PM

You will now enjoy your services.

William
4:10PM

I'm using an Xfinity wifi hotspot that exists. No problems there,

Jaspreet
4:10PM

Perfect.

William
4:10PM

I haven't moved yet - don't go away - wait wait wait wait - I

William
4:11PM

i'm not on the service

Jaspreet
4:11PM

Sure William.

William
4:12PM

aaaannnddd there it is - I have no "security key" to offer it

William
4:13PM

I am not connected to Home xxxxx

Jaspreet
4:14PM

Okay William, If you did not change the security key any time.

William
4:14PM

the hotspot I mention is not of this client but from another whose permanence is uncertain

Jaspreet
4:14PM

Then you can check it from your modem's backside.

William
4:14PM

one moment please ....

Jaspreet
4:14PM

Please check the security key from your modem's backside after that please enter it.

Jaspreet
4:14PM

Sure

William
4:16PM

would that be S/N 285111310 or similar format?

Jaspreet
4:17PM

There is one ssid and network name exits, please check it.

William
4:17PM

two ssid's

William
4:18PM

beginning with "HOME"

William
4:18PM

I assume these are your "security keys"?

Jaspreet
4:19PM

Yes please select 2.4GHz network name.

Jaspreet
4:19PM

As your modem is dual band so there are two network name and two security keys.

William
4:19PM

the same as is listed in providers on my lap top

William
4:20PM

I will employ the first. one moment please ...

Jaspreet
4:20PM

Sure

William
4:22PM

No, wait ... that's not right - I'm just repeating the name in the provider list. Do you mean the password?

Jaspreet
4:22PM

yes correct.

William
4:22PM

I think we all need a lesson in correct grammar ...

Jaspreet
4:22PM

Security key is your wifi password

William
4:22PM

well ... now we're getting somewhere ...

user William_ has left room
user William has entered room

William
4:25PM

no connection

Jaspreet
4:26PM

Have you got your security key/ wifi password?

William
4:27PM

eight6858xxxxxx

William
4:28PM

probably changed on reset

Jaspreet
4:29PM

Please search for your network name and after that please enter the security key there.

Jaspreet
4:30PM

Then you will be able to connect your devices with that network name

William
4:31PM

HOME-29-xxx / eight6858xxxxxx I'll try it again

Jaspreet
4:36PM

Yes correct one please try to connect.

user William_ has left room
user William has entered room

user William_ has left room
user William has entered room

Jaspreet
4:42PM

I hope we didn't lose each other. Are we still connected?

user William_ has left room
user William has entered room

Jaspreet
4:43PM

William is your issue resolved?

William
4:45PM

well - run through the wringer again ... i should just cancel, tell them pick up their equipment and I don't pay a dime. No, I never verified an account - i couldn't - they sent a text to my phone with a link - I don't have internet on the phone - the only thing is ... in this region Xfinity is a monopoly!!!!!!!!

Jaspreet
4:45PM

I apologize for the inconvenience that caused to you.

William
4:45PM

I'll look up Century Link again while I await an answer ...

William
4:46PM

three weeks Jaspreet - from the ridiculous to the sublime - it's not your fault - you have to work with what they give you

Jaspreet
4:46PM

William Please serach your network name and after that enter your security key there it will help you to connect your internet on your phone.

William
4:47PM

I refuse to put internet on my phone

William
4:47PM

Never!

Jaspreet
4:48PM

Oh okay No issue William, Let me provide you best alternate as you are not able to do that from your end.

William
4:49PM

You know what their service people do? they throw wires across the roof -

William
4:49PM

what a mickey mouse outfit

William
4:49PM

4

Jaspreet
4:51PM

Please stay connected.

William
4:53PM

your text just came from link to set up a user name - its the wrong one. what a joke ... it's a curse word!

Jaspreet
4:54PM

William let me share the another alternate as you are not able to access your internet on your phone

Jaspreet
4:56PM

We have a dedicated department which will help you remotely to fix your concern. The number is 1800-934-6489.You no need to explain everything to that department I have mentioned in your account's notes. The steps is to call on Our technical department.

Jaspreet
4:56PM

next step*

Jaspreet
4:57PM

We are available to answer your questions at your convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the XFINITY Customer Commitment.

Jaspreet
4:57PM

To sum up, I have run the health check on your account and did troubleshooting to resolve it and after that I will share the technical team number with you.

William
4:59PM

yes sir

Jaspreet
4:59PM

I appreciate your cooperation.

Jaspreet
5:00PM

William you are really a supportive person.

Jaspreet
5:00PM

Please call us our technical department they will remotely fix your issue.

Jaspreet
5:01PM

We appreciate your business and value you as a customer. Please do not use the back button of the browser. If you use the back button it will start the chat again.Have a great day and a wonderful life ahead,

William
5:01PM

Oh, I know that number! It was found after trying ten others that were disconnected ...

William
5:02PM

Jaspreet, Jaspreet - we are all beholding to our masters - unless we say *no* ... thank you

Jaspreet
5:02PM

Okay let me share the link with you where you can arrange call back from our technical department

William
5:03PM

yes sir

Jaspreet
5:03PM

callback arrange link : https://www.xfinity.com/support/schedule-callback/

Jaspreet
5:03PM

We are available to answer your questions at your convenience, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This is the XFINITY Customer Commitment.

Jaspreet
5:03PM

Our team will call you within 24 hours and resolve your issue,.

William
5:04PM

copy that sir - I pray all will be well with you and yo9ur children ...

Jaspreet
5:06PM

William, I can understand your position right now

Jaspreet
5:06PM

But please be assured I have done my best to help you.

Jaspreet
5:06PM

I hope we have answered all of your concern to your satisfaction today?

William
5:07PM

Thank you jaspreet - we've done all we can - good luck, sir

Jaspreet
5:07PM

You're most welcome William.

Jaspreet
5:07PM

, Have a great day and a wonderful life ahead.

William
5:07PM

But of course!


Monday, July 10, 2017

Quick Shot: After The Holiday




Hey, Brother!Good to hear a friendly voice. Yeah, I hear it ...

Shooting off fireworks with the kids for the first time, huh? I got your numbers, hang on - hmm hmm. Boy, I can just imagine. First thing I think of is their bright faces. Did you ever wonder what moments they'll remember? A thought we keep to ourselves - for want of appearing stoic or strong or unconcerned with personal trifles - the first thought always for our kids, always wondering if we're right or wrong.

I sure as Hell hope you got that camera rollin' now and then. It's aesthetically pleasing - if you're good or just a lucky fella you might even catch that eternal moment, if at all possible - depending on your attention to details as they occur. That other stuff remains unrecorded - some of it deliberately - if only to exercise the mind, maybe. Years later, even, to judge your character or gauge your maturity; a marker set like a guide stone along the roadway to note the advance of time.

And then? The thrill of the Fourth when I was little boy, in all its noise and fury, popped into my pumpkin head.

"I know how to handle fireworks!" The 10 year old me piped up, looking hopefully at my Dad.

"You'll know how to handle them when one blows up in your hand". He looked at me directly, a little sternly, no malice intended but like he knew something I didn't, part of the Pantheon of knowledge only Daddy's had access to - O', would we ever rise to that level? Still, it urged me to take caution, if more for the seeking of approval than anything to do with my personal safety.

I did pretty well actually, even after we returned to River City, the City of Thieves and the most boring town in America. Plenty of trouble for a lad to get into, times being what they were. Each situation to be challenged or just ignored, at the height of your fancy for mischief. Plenty of that to go around, all right. Pre-Urban Renewal, the kids near feral and the people as funky as that Old River that flowed past at the lowest points along the Levee. Yeah, the return was a retreat really, to my "home". My father's, really, while I remained a stranger. I been one since, anywhere I go. I'm about the same age as him now.

You know what happens don't you? That firecracker with the quick wick blows up in your fingers. FUCK! Hurt's worse than frostbite, god damn it, hurts like a motherfucker for a while. So what do you do?

You sure as Hell don't cry. Not in front of anybody at least. Unh unh. Shake off those tears and just keep going like nothing ever happened ... show off the mark it left maybe.

But, what about your Mama's?


a piece of string
to hold it all together -
traces of dreams






Tuesday, July 4, 2017

4th of July (USA, 2017)





4th of July -
all the way across the river
one boat to the next




Monday, July 3, 2017

Maquila' Girl - December 2010









aqua snow
in a Chinese shovel
I'm waiting ...
my Maquila' girl



;;;





.

June 2013 - From There to Here: Conversations with John E. Carley






From the Archives: A Hundred Gourds 2.3 June, 2013

From There to Here: Conversations with John E. Carley


"If a verse stands alone then its structure is largely self-referencing. In the case of haikai this means that, other than for a perfunctory bow in the direction of two or three lines, we can do what the hell we like. Because we already know what our mission is (should we choose to accept it): to be absolutely unequivocal about getting the content across. And if that means working in a bit of extra context ... all well and good. After all the text we're translating was written as free verse in the first place, right?"

"Well, no it wasn't actually. But those funny men in skirts probably only spent so much time on things like metrics, inflection, assonance, consonance and blah de blah because they were too damn stupid to know better. Not like us intellectuals, eh?"



Carley's renditions bounce unerringly off the wall and hit their mark spot-on. A *must* read for haikai poets everywhere.





Sunday, July 2, 2017

Statement On Passage of AUMF Amendment - July 2, 2017






(click image to enlarge)



Simply amazing! What a month, a week ... ! I read this news and nearly couldn't believe it - I am still stunned by this move. Maybe because there were no notices given about it. Not in my back yard, it wasn't. Not in the news. Why not? Always, consider the source.

I returned to Facebook last week, too, you know. I'd been away a long time, a real gone cat. Throughout the past election I'd tired of the drone - the righteous vicissitude and malleability of opinion changing with each catchphrase the narrators of thought externalized, straight from the script, some of it so shrill you'd almost beg for the promise of reprieve and embrace the lockstep of Newspeak and its ascension. I was a hairsbreadth from just chucking it all in. I can see why some retreat to the taciturn safety of ignorance - I was even screamed at for agreeing with a person's position - did I detect a lack of concentration? Seemed Pavlovian to me. There was one person who I could actually debate these questions with, but even he seemed under the spell of some strange enchantment. Or, he was being paid. I didn't realize that many professors moonlighted.

Now's a good time to read up on subjects (or expand your list) and come up with some real answers - not meandering in and out of the page when it suits you or when argument demands clarification and inspection. Science is not achieved by projecting a sense of authority or indignation. At least, test your theories first. You don't know where I've been or what others have suffered - suffering, perhaps, the best teacher of all.

I returned, not to "cavort", mind you - after familiarizing myself with it, in short order I'd considered my Facebook account to be nothing more than a tool for promotion - I went back to infiltrate. How so? I would create a trend. A new meme; one with a hashmark, #, applicable to twitter, no strain on the nervous system or its ability to be comprehended, just a comforting conformity - pronounce "meme" out loud and tell me I'm wrong - with a gentle premise: #PostForPeace I would become an agent among provocateurs. You see, I'd gotten my hands dirty before.

Yes - my scheme - to manipulate public opinion. I'd tried it before, but in a direct manner. After awhile of that, no one wished to engage me. Seems they didn't care much for factual statement, or didactic prose for that matter. Too dry. Most don't have general knowledge beyond a gloss or headline anyway. What they did respond to was emotion, and, being part of a "concern" - a sort of like minded righteousness - at that. Ample opportunity to study the phenomenon - popular posts receive the most replies and encouragement, political posts ranked equally for being contentious, if you chose a "side", off the chart, others mining friends by the thousands - I decided to mimic it, shamelessly, with similar zeal.

Nothing better to do - the group of writers I came to join didn't write - I settled on using guile to skew the message, to interject subtle, repetitive information and claim it was knowledge, add some misdirection if necessary, gathering mindless followers (five in the first five minutes) along the way to display my propaganda until I had a million hits - advancing, in my opinion, my ultimate goal for an anarchic vision . . #AUMF . Authorization for the Use Military Force.

Well, some people think it anarchic. It simply doesn't follow the Narrative currently in play. I think it a means to gain citizen involvement in decision making, actually, if you're smart enough to take what's rightfully yours. A means to find peace, if we were ever so lucky to pass it. What is it, exactly?

A return to Congress' original constitutional duty; to debate and determine who is our enemy, threatening our lives and existence here at home, or, as has been for 16 years ongoing without, "who is the ghost out in the hall?" The boogieman. The false flag, good guy/bad guy vilification, the means to bully, seize and/or co-opt any opposition to our Military/Security complex, raking in your tax dollars, hand over fist, while robbing weaker nations for the stuff that they think they "Need" - with the aid of some past colonial masters at times, a malcontent agenda, and some arm twisting to drive them. The Coalition - old King Leopold would be proud. What's to stop them? The Commission, you'd reply - isn't the Commission just a buffer between the people and the the King? It isn't, or never has been, a tribunal, it's decisions only ceremonial in nature. When was the last time it supported restraint in things of a military nature? His Majesty or Uncle Sam, those are your current choices. Assuming anybody's actually taken notice.

You might argue "But there's still the movement", There is no Peace Movement - not here anyway. No. Don't kid yourself. 1970, maybe. Don't try to argue. You'll lose.

An unadulterated Peace Movement doesn't exist in the USA. Oh, you could go stand on a bridge somewhere, chatting and signaling your virtue on a cardboard sign. I know this, mulled it over and chewed on it for awhile - considered the viability of the energy behind it, and the capacity to escalate it, get beyond the noise of the "thinkers" with elaborate theories all too willing to espouse them, and combine with other organizations, the disabled vets, the nurse's organizations (noted for their solidarity in advancing medical insurance causes), preferably with track records of "action" - until I spit it back out. Time was wasted. Time was lost trying to find one organization not bent on advancing its tenuous connections to social issues or an underlying political agenda.

Barring that agony, there was direct activism. I've tried to coax, threaten, cajole or instill a following over the course of the last decade or more. Not a following, to be precise. Just attention and involvement, cause and effect, the latter, hopefully, for the better. But the dark side was strong in this one. I've lost friends on account of it. Most on Facebook, come to think of it; a telling sign.

And those lost, over disagreements attributable to the election, the most purposefully divisive circus presented ever, in my estimation. My activism rejected logical fallacy - it involved thinking contrary to accepted norms. Not a great venue to win friends and influence people, either. It hurt me, too, stoked my insecurities and threatened my self image. It probably even left a mark. I'd gone against the grain but hadn't time to check for blisters. It changed me. More people say I'm an asshole now than before.

Acting on a cause like this was like asking someone to be food taster for a tyrant. After all, this is a $trillion dollar industry$ - year after year after year ... but you say there is still? All right, here I am, you're looking at it. Think that preposterous? I may be all you got. What do you care - Well, what did you do in the war, Daddy? "I was scared" would be an appropriate response.

If you'd answered, with some care, you'd have acknowledged one and a half million dead non-combatants due our military adventurism, an amount our Secretary of Defense "Mad Dog" Mattis recently disavowed, Albright only partially conceded and Hillary cackled on about thinking no one would ever learn of her culpability - not one of them taking any responsibility, of course - that would be a start.

There was one little hitch in my nefarious plan though. Zuckerberg, the owner of FB, had just changed Facebook's mission. Oh - haven't you heard? Oh - did he ever. Not without a little help and guidance from his friends, I'd wager.

A few "shares" of my innocent meme and the omnipotent algorithms kicked in, cutting off any thing I attempted right at the knees. And that's how it stayed, locked tighter than a drum, forbidden to "share" or post for two days running until I gave up in disgust. I tried to end run it, even sending some brave volunteers to certain erasure - my account, which I'd abandoned for so long, had never really let me walk away. But for some recurring cookies, I've since continued our separation, opting for some remorse.

It's not a "dating service", by the way. It's a stockade for the lonely and for the willing - and those few stalwarts who don't quite fit in? Regardless, every user there is herded to one end; no squawk, no fuss, you will be only with people who totally agree, "we" will direct you, to disobey is to be ostracized - you can even block out voices that don't agree with yours ... Read the happy clip here. Then throw it up to a mirror to reveal what it really means. Cross yourself first. I was spooked for an entire week afterward. Pun intended.

As for Representative Lee, above? She was the only Congress Person in 2001 to not vote for military intervention. Who would have thought that? Nobody at the time. Someone, or some entity, had attacked, and nobody was asking questions. Certainly not the populace, stirred to a frenzy as they were. Even if someone had petitioned their legally elected representative - The President boldly stated he would proceed with or without the public's consensus. Do you get the point now?

No voice. No decision making or debate. Patronizing words, a bait and switch, do what you're told, with some willing already, whether or not they are able. None for The Others. Others just standing by while Others are dead. But how do you think your Representative or Senator, will choose to vote for an #AUMF, Amerikan? Who's whispering in his/her ear? To whom is he beholding? The biggest contributor to maintain his office? A string of promises on a golden thread dangled like a carrot from a pearl-handled stick ... doesn't anyone do anything for their own integrity? But wait.

Pardon my hashtag, but doesn't he owe his position to your informed decision? Alright, disregarding relative knowledge of the subject, or what sources provide it, a choice abandoned to convenience, at that; I'm referring to a vote cast to return to Constitutional authority, your vote, one that outweighs private entanglements ... wait, that's almost a dirty word now, isn't it? Only "liberty" freaks and knuckle dragging goons adhere to that. What is the actual purpose? The Constitution is the law of the land, its actors, essentially, the authority, yet its contents are severely self limiting in nature to prevent any oppressive rule. It offers only negative reinforcements further restricting Government's intrusions - all allowances, changes, state efforts, interpretations, misrepresentation and disrespect in general - we screwed those up ourselves. Isn't that our nature ... but to put aside the philosophical and directly promoting action; Didn't they take an Oath, and how did that image of citizen representation emerge? The usual methods, the usual suspects ... fuck 'em.

Direct enough? But, it's yours, if only you would accept it. Do with it what you will. I might even go along. Not for some overseer behind a curtain - Look, I don't even want to hear what you think. I barely found the time to write this. I'd rather you contact your Representative/Senator now, before they vote. Now go and tell them personally; visit, call, text, email, fax, harass if you must ... if you care about the consequences of not doing so. Be persistent. What was it ... oh, yeah, just type this . . #AUMF



(... do it. I was wrong. It's not too late.)

Saturday, July 1, 2017

community

.



















A ‘flock’ of crows reside in the woods by my new school, or should I say I’m a new student? … they are obviously a family group, with their own distinct inflection of sounds when they call to each other. A bit different from the dialect of the city crows near my apartment, who have a hardened edginess to their communication. Are these city dwellers more stressed? Or is their stridency meant to overcome the noise and confusion of the humans rushing about beneath them? Perhaps they are a ‘murder’, a 'mob', or a 'gang' of crows?

I sometimes look for the Preserve’s crows as I cross the bridge by their wooded ground as I travel to and fro for a course in field biology. Even when I’m not thinking, trying to focus/not focus on my breathing, I can’t help but notice their antics or hear their friendly calls to one another. They happily disregard us, unlike the city crows, who seem to challenge us when Dottie and I take walks through the streets and alleys.

Dottie, Buddha that she is, remains unperturbed – unless, of course, the rabbit is about!

siblings
locked in mock battle!
winter crows




.

Friday, June 30, 2017

garden party




everybody else
holding everybody else's kid -
the garden party





quarter moon







all things
being equal -
quarter moon





Wednesday, June 28, 2017

... long nights

















have you ever noticed
4 o' clock in the morning
is the middle of the night?


all of the nights are long now
since this Solstice moon