Hatchet Fish

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November 2016

Our worlds turned bad overnight. Trump’s snatching of the US presidency right from under our dull noses had everyone in dismay. Or half of us. “I guess this is who we are,” is how one of my friends sadly swallowed the bitter rift in a comment on facebook. With dry mouths we chewed on our flaking hats.

The sisters and mothers rushed to reassure the vulnerable that we have your backs with memes a-ready. Safety pins were to mark Friends not Foes. Some kept kicking and punching at empty air on facebook. Some assembled on the streets in defiance and fear. Trump tweeted “professional protesters incited by the media…unfair,” and then appointed some piece of shit associated with Breitbart media to Chief of Staff.

I was five months into grieving the death of my individual beloved. The image of a steam shovel dumping another massive layer of garbage on top of the one that hid my house occurred to me. In the literal realm, I had resorted to the environmentally thuggish practice of using ziploc bags to contain all the squalor that kept coming out of my cats, hour after hour, to keep them alive. Don’t count me out. I’ll just be standing here for a while.



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a functional

I don’t know who I am and I’m fifty years old. In other words, I don’t want to be who I am, though the pin’s in, as it were. That descending Google Maps pin, “that thing where” it lands with a pulsing circle of living jelly around it, ready to go go go, watch yourself move, drive, be on the route you’re supposed to be on. It’s dropped on me here. This is where it will continue to drop from now on. Right in the middle of my life, which is actually more like the two-thirds point if I’m lucky enough to live to 75. I feel that is true.

I am a function. In mathematical terms. I don’t rule; I am a rule, like y=2x. Give me any input and the output will be the same. Or the same thing will happen to the input. What is this rule that you are? I don’t know. It would be easy to say that I turn anything to shit or that I make things only to shit on them.

But, with addiction and so-called addictive behaviors, the action is even less dramatic. The input is so specific: x=beer. Why (sorry) = x/1.

“apparently a source of much at the beginning”

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Syd Barrett 2Syd_Barret_454990574At this time, don’t know much about Pink Floyd. Fink Ployed. Syd Barrett appeared on my Pandora station called “Jandek,” another group I don’t know much about. Sid Barrett interests me because he quit or was fired from Pink Floyd in 1968. Was yet apparently a source of much at the beginning.

Syd Barrett. Looked a lot different when he died.

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Choice Facts

I’ve lost my way. More than once. In fact, I am probably right now in an endless circling divagation, my life a tiny town drawn in around wherever my erring took me.

Yes. That’s about it.

There comes a time when you admit this is your final resting place and put the pin in. Even if you feel restless and unfinished, hardly begun. Your town is what has been drawn around you, based on what you actually do and think and feel every day. Is it enough? No, it’s not enough. Are you bored, at your age? Yes, I can be. I could be done. Finished.

Should I move to New York? No, you couldn’t, ma’am.

But is that really true? Yes, it’s a fact.

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Gary Snyder: “always doing what you want to do, is hardest”

Discipline as self-restraint is an easy one; being clear-cut, negative, and usually based on some accepted cultural values. Discipline of following desires, always doing what you want to do, is hardest. It presupposes self-knowledge of motives, a careful balance of free action and sense of where the cultural taboos lay–knowing whether a particular “desire” is instinctive, cultural, personal, a product of thought, contemplation, or the unconscious.

Gary Snyder, “Lookout’s Journal,”  Earth House Hold.