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Doomed and Immortal

December 28, 2015


The leaf falls down
And the tree grows another.
The tree falls down
And the forest grows another.
A man falls down
And is buried by his brother.
Life goes on
In the child of his lover.
When the sun goes down
We see stars without number.

We are doomed
And we are immortal.

“Life moves from the formed to the forming.” ~ Nishida Kitaro

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My photos are on Flickr


Then The Walls Fall Down.

August 10, 2015

img050No, sorry.
There is no reformation
This time.
Not for this thing.

Hoping that it won’t
Come down to killing people
As revolutions must.
It won’t.

No leaders, no ideas
No propaganda, no ammunition
No means
Means no

There will only be a sound.
Inaudible mostly.
A vibration
Vaguely felt at first.
Then the walls fall down.

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My photos are on Flickr

These flowers

June 15, 2015


When you don’t fly, 

But travel on the ground

Everything stays connected.

The cemetary, the forest, the rocky shore

The long ride home through old cities

Of rusting industry.

All connected.

 Why did I spend fourty dollars

For a basket of cut flowers

To decorate her grave

When the the bluebird

And the bobolink 

Do it for free?

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Most of the babies

May 3, 2015
The demons take most of the babies.IMG_4919 -1
In some places more
At some times less.
But they do take most of the babies.
Just never
All of them.

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I stepped aside

March 23, 2015

IMG_4917All through the forest
The cardinals sang, full throated,
Like horny young Italian boys
From their balconies in the pines.

I stepped aside as a woman in spandex
Came jogging down the path,
The tinny sound from her earbuds
Spilling out as she ran.

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Why You Should Be Afraid of Nobody

March 17, 2015


Nobody is everybody else
Other than you
Invisible to you.
Nobody just isn’t there.

Since the invisible looms
Far greater than what isn’t
Unless you’re exceptionally lucky
It’s nobody that will destroy you
With that nothing
You can’t see coming.

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The Preparation

February 20, 2015

IMG_1598Last night Amy Williams played the Cage Sonatas and Interludes from 1945 on a properly prepared 1898 Steinway piano. It was gorgeous.

“Ah!” said Williams before the concert as she fixed the screws and bolts between the strings. “I get to play this on a prepared piano, so it’ll sound the way it should. You can practice it on an unprepared piano, but this is such a radical piece when the piano is prepared.”

“It’s 70 years old” I said. “How can it be radical unless we’re living in a really reactionary period?”

Later that night I dreamt of a woman living in an ancient time; or not so ancient, perhaps the 16th century. It was her life’s work to learn, and to share with her people, somehow, a different way of hearing, a radical new way of listening to their world. In other words, she needed to modify the existing neural connections that were the common audio processing channels for the humans of her time, and to pass it on, somehow. To open new pathways in the brain for sound; it was probably dangerous work. I watched her in my dream. I have no doubt this woman actually existed.

After the concert as she was removing the extra hardware from the strings Amy said, seemingly astonished, “It felt so romantic. I don’t remember it ever seeming so romantic before.”

“Well it’s a beautiful piece” I said. “Why wouldn’t it feel romantic? That’s just what Cage meant when he said that sooner or later everything becomes melodic. It’s the 21st century; we know how to listen to this music.”

I think we have to stop calling things ‘avant-garde’ unless they really are. And hopefully we don’t think about it at all. Nothing from the 20th century is avant-garde. The hallmark of the avant-garde is that it is, at least initially, not necessarily incomprehensible, but unable to be processed through the normal neural connections. The avant-garde will always require new pathways, new junctions, wider and maybe deeper streams for the data channels. When those new channels are formed, events are experienced through the senses to the mind smoothly, without friction, discussion or thought. Once these new paths are established, the music is not avant-garde, it is simply music.

It is the 21st century. That ancient woman did her work. We know how to listen to this music.

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