Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy Birthday Papa

the furnace of your soul

Happy Birthday Papa

New Year's day is 13 hours away.
I think of all those who have birthdays on that day
though you neither saw 1967 nor the age of 21.

I wondered often what the sky was like on the day;
on the evening you complained of the headache.
I imagine an indigo tinted grey sky ceiling
covering the streets littered with ochre leaves.

New Year's day is 12 hours and 45 minutes away.
I think of the January 1st that you missed;
I always imagined that it snowed on that cold day.

Three continents and 40 years later close to New Year's day,
my mind and memory still goes back to the once gone date
and the shape of my heart still carries the form
of a flame that must have been the furnace of your soul.

– Son Dao
(December 31, 2006)

My father would have turned 60 on January 1st 2007


For Zsuzsanna


He stares at the reflection in the still water
and understands why the trapped fox chewed off its paw.
The sun lies low in the western sky bathed in vermillion.

She sits alone in a crowded café like a pillar of salt
and understands why the caged bird plucks its feathers bare.
The background music plays out the soundtrack of her life.

Vast geography and time between faces that have never met
sometimes cross hues and vibrate identical frequencies,
connected by either an old sage's strings and red silk ribbons;
or the light, wave and particles of a quantum universe.

(December 31, 2006)

Monday, December 25, 2006

It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind

It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind [65 of 365]

The Atheist Christmas Carol

It's the season of grace coming out of the void
Where a man is saved by a voice in the distance
It's the season of possible miracle cures
Where hope is currency and death is not the last unknown
Where time begins to fade
And age is welcome home

It's the season of eyes meeting over the noise
And holding fast with sharp realization
It's the season of cold making warmth a divine intervention
You are safe here you know now

Don't forget
Don't forget I love
I love
I love you

It's the season of scars and of wounds in the heart
Of feeling the full weight of our burdens
It's the season of bowing our heads in the wind
And knowing we are not alone in fear
Not alone in the dark

– Vienna Teng

Christmas Day

Christmas day comes to me dressed in grey clouds and the scent of Oolong tea. Hardly a white Christmas but it is a peaceful one. I have the split urge to stay in all day dressed in pajamas and do nothing or to go out later to see friends. It has been so long since I've been in desired company and in laughter on Christmas that I feel like a bear who doesn't want to come out of hibernation...

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Silly SantaSon

artic fauxtobooth

I rose with the sun this morning. Something was calling I think though I'm sure it was not a Christmas
ghost. They don't bother with me for the most part. I am either too silly or cynical about this particular holiday. I find it distasteful that western culture has embraced something solemn and turned it into a global economic venture. It is not Christmas spirit, it is shopping spirit. I'm sure many people think of this but most may not say it. Oh well...

In any case, at least for a short moment I decided to be at least goofy and humorous about it all. At least for the sake of the children who still believe in St Nicholas.

Merry Christmas blogland!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Winter Solstice

The shortest day of the year and the longest night of the year. It is my favorite day.

This morning greeted me with rain clouds and heaven's tears. The angels must be crying for those who are lonely and aren't loved. The cold and damp of grieving hearts seep through the air through the glass of my windows and into my muscle and bones like sharp shards of heaven cast from above. Faith is something one believes in without proof. Being human is the conditioning of familiarity to all things even if they make one suffer. Do I want to be a person of faith or a human being? This is the question.

This season of holidays and such seem redolent of bringing these types of thoughts out of me. Each year the period between Thanksgiving through Christmas seems to me more of a journey of walking barefeet on fallen cactus or beds of hell's coals. Some say that happiness is a choice, I did choose to be happy today. However, often I find that being happy and being sad are not mutually exclusive. It doesn't sound nice but in my experience it is the truth as I have experienced it.

So I am left to try to find the beauty in the sadness, all things that are beautiful are not pretty. This is today's measure of surity...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Those who (have) transformed

It's grandpa's beanie. I put it on this morning because it was cold. And then I thought of him...

Years ago when I was about 14 years old, I was preparing to take a trip with my uncle and cousins to the Grand Canyon. He told me it would be a wonderful trip and that I should write down my memories, my experiences. He gave me a note book. I had never kept a journal before. I took the book but really didn't put much down in it. I didn't know how to translate my experiences and thoughts into language that another could read and understand.

At the end of the trip there were some notes in there, dates, places and most likely some doodles. I always doodled then as I do to this day. I didn't realize until much later that in each of my doodles were encapsulated the experience I was living through in that moment. I can look at a doodle or sketch and recall entire volumes of what was going on in that moment, people, faces, images, words, pages of books, conversations, feelings, etc. Some people use mnemonic devices, I used drawings; my own language of hieroglyphs.

Some time after that trip, I started to try and keep a journal. It was strange and difficult at first – this thing with language. Being a perfectionist, it was hard at first to write down the perfect thought because I viewed the journal as something special, almost sacred so each sentence had to be perfect, as if what if someone read it one day? I got over that eventually.

26 years later, I still keep journals and try to record things. Well not so much things or events, there are better ways of recording those. I try to record the events and emotions that go on inside my mind, my heart. The funny moments, the happy moments, the anger, frustration, disappointment and so often, the heartbreaks.

This journey, process, commitment has led me to places in the world and in the cities of my interior that I could not have imagined. Uncertainty has been the only constant, I have learned that surprise is independent of good or evil, happiness or sadness. Uncertainty has become my friend because no matter how sure something is, our surity in the very thing we have faith in that it won't change is very likely to be the thing that unravels us like a hemp cord overburdened in an artic storm.

Every moment in my life I am reminded of these simple lessons.

It is heartening, poignant, sweet and sometimes bitter that the gentle words of an old man who has now left this physical world still vibrates in me like the hum of my arteries pumping blood through my tissues. I am reminded that life is not made up of grandeur but of meekness and little details that often reside in corners out of our line of sight or in partial shadow. I am reminded that this universe we live in is made up of astronomically tiny pieces of sometimes matter that change in the very event of us trying to observe them.

I think grandpa too has transformed into those little Quantum packets and he is out there in the universe exploring the stars. No doubt he is mapping everything, but that is another story...

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bodies of water and strange faces

Last night I had another dream with a large body of water, I think it was a sea or ocean. I know it ran North-South and the water was to the West. Don't ask, I just know. I am always oriented in my dreams. I always know which ways the cardinal directions are. Maybe I was a navigator in a past life and I did something horrid and was cursed to keep certain aspects of that life: constant wandering and never being able to be lost into something I love. Anyway, the place was coastal. There was a very large, modern house in the dream. I was staying there but it was not my home. Again, I was a chaperone or escort or bodyguard or some sort. Me, a mercenary; funny as hell. But this time it was a little different, I was in charge of two young women in this dream. They were sisters and one of them, the older one was some kind of performer. We kept going back and forth to a huge old theatre of some kind. It was beautiful. I didn't understand why their parents were not around as they were not adults yet. At the end of the dream, we were preparing for a long journey to somewhere. I didn't know where, that was the end of the dream.

In writing this entry, it struck me that what if I was not a hired hand and this was in the future and the girls were my children? Yikes! I have had many prescient dreams before but at the time I didn't know it. They sometimes come true in days, weeks or in most cases, years after the dreams. Hmm, something to ponder...

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Slipping through water

Had a dream last night that I was somewhere with mom and Khoi near a large body of water. I was canoeing. I remember my thighs being sore from kneeling. I talked to mom, didn't talk to Khoi.

Later in another dream, the body of water was larger. I was in a house on an island in a sound or something like that. Bernie and some others were there, he got his hands on a canoe that didn't seem all that worthy but he wanted to go out. I looked at the water and the sky and saw that there was a lot of wind and cautioned him against it but he went anyway.

You can throw someone a flotation ring but you can't make them hang on to it.

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Condensation on glass

When I opened the blinds this morning, there was condensation on the glass. It is the first time of the season. It is a little strange how I've paid attention to the first's of the season this autumn. Not that I'm ever inattentive or ignorant of little things but it feels that I'm paying a different kind of eye to them now. Something inside has changed in the last months, even in the last days, I have perhaps crossed some kind of threshold. Perhaps life is coming back to me or I have wandered back into its domain.

I had dreams of doing something that required the taking of blood from patients in a hospital or clinic. That in itself is not odd though what was odd was that I was queasy about it. I am in real life never queasy about blood nor needles. The entire
dream had a feeling of discomfort. Odd really.

But the best thing that happened last night was right before I went to sleep I got a message from me dear friend Hilary that I had lost contact with for a long time. I was too tired to reply in full but sent a message to say hi and say I would write more today. I had the biggest smile on my face in a long time falling asleep...

Friday, December 15, 2006

In a raging river

I come into Friday morning with Oolong tea and the scent of Meyer lemons. It is not such a bad start. Outside it is grey with hints of cyan, the blue sky trying in earnest to break through but in honesty I don't mind a bit of gloom.

The last dream I recall clearly was endowed with water, no surprise. But there was a lot of water, a deluge. I was at some sort of research facility. It looked like an old NASA lab. Everything was old, nine inch monitors, old analog phones, men in white short sleeve button shirts and thick black framed plastic glasses. I was there to find a message, do a pick up. I am not sure if I found the message or not. It turned out the entire facility sat on pilings in the middle of a huge river like the Mekong or the Amazon. And for whatever reason, it was cresting and tearing everything apart. Tsunami? Perhaps. The building we were in was coming lose from its pilings and we were trying to evacuate. Debris, huge debris were flowing upriver, the current reversed violently. Trees, man made detritus flowed and tumbled all around us. I don't know if we made it out...

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Certainty and Uncertainty

Wednesday has passed like a cloud moving over cold water.

Time spent sometimes feels like it is not spent well in the moment until one has had a moment to ponder what was just experienced. Then, then everything seems to have a purpose whereas hours or minutes before seemed pointless. Is all understanding only in hindsight?

I like to think not but certainty is a strange companion. She is steadfast only in her uncertainty. She always keeps one on their toes. Perhaps this is why she is so enchanting, we like to think that we like knowns but deep within the universe of our hearts we harbor an affection for what we aren't sure of, what we don't know.

It is like the temptation of opening Pandora's box.

Why do I personify certainty as a woman? Perhaps it is a woman that I think of as certainty/uncertainty...

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Rainy Tuesday Morning

Sleep did not last as long as I would liked last night but I don't feel too fatigued. I woke up in the middle of the night to the "tid, tip, tup" of rain drops on the roof. The rain has been steady since sometimes after midnight. I tend to sleep better with the rain but last night wasn't so. Nevertheless I did go into REM sleep. The dream I recall was odd. Well, all my dreams are odd.

I was on some sort of school campus with a number of people with 4x4 vehicles. It was some sort of camp out. We were to spend the night spread out across the grounds of this place. There was a grass quad, tables, benches and chairs. I remember staking out a spot for my tent after a conversation with some people. I put a green folding plastic and metal chair to hold my spot. I then left to go back to my old apartment. I rang the bell. A young woman came to the door. I apologized that I had not come back to fetch all my things and asked if it was okay that I did it now? She let me in and we walked upstairs into the flat. It was much as I left it. As I entered the living room, my old cat Stoopid who I thought was lost came up to me. His fur was beautiful, soft and blue grey as I remembered him. He snuggled up to me affectionately. The young woman said he'd been waiting for me. I picked him up, held him close and smelled him. He was the same as I had remembered. That was the end of the dream.

Alas, when I woke Stoopid was still lost to me. I am sure he has either died or living happily with newly adopted parents. I had left him with a cousin during a period when I was moving around a lot. My cousin went to Burning Man and left the care of his animals to a friend. The witless friend accidentally let the cat out onto the street and he was never seen again. I was very angry and sad. Stoopid had been through so much with me over the years and to lose him like that... I never wanted to know who my cousin's friend was because I would have hurt him. And ever since, I've had a hatred towards Burning Man.

The presence of those you love through loss is something you never shake...

Monday, December 11, 2006

Rainy Monday

Monday's morning came softly like random half droplets of moisture shed by heaven. The light filtered by grey clouds remained soft and encouraged me to stay in bed longer than I might have. I was coming out of a series of dreams.

Again there were people I didn't recognize, I'm sure I would meet one day. It always happens like that. The recall of the dreams were not particularly clear this morning. The only one that is clear in my memory is that of me being in a desert town and riding a Harley Davidson motorcycle. That was a laugh! But it was like the Harleys of today, it was futuristic and more advanced. The bike was not painted at all. The entire finish was bare metal or polished metal. It was surprisingly light looking for a Harley. The people traveling with me were in cars or SUV's. I was the only one with two wheels. I remember a red lighted intersection where the signals were hung from cables across the intersection, like in the desert in Southern California. That is all I remember...

Sunday, December 10, 2006


There is chalky dust on the windowsill;
traces of glory of a story that has ended.
Though it leaves its pigment behind, faded.
What was once emerald is now faded mint,
the hue reminds my eyes of faded photos
like the ones sitting in the shoe box in the closet.
I keep those hidden away, in the dark;
I say it is to keep them from dust, from light
to prevent the fading of memories; visions,
but it is really to protect myself from nostalgia.
To protect myself from living ghosts now gone
like a pagan's exorcism of the fire that lives within.

(December 2006)

She Brought Me

I sat at my desk, dippling paper with a pigment laden brush
wondering what this new day might bring,
having crossed a threshold in my mind and heart
then I heard shuffling of gentle footsteps behind me,
a familiar swooshing and tap, tap-tap; I turned,
it was grandma standing there, all dressed and ready.
She brought me bread and pepper roasted chicken for brunch,
said she'd be back in the afternoon to fetch me for our outing;
later we strolled in a place that brought back memories
like the plenitude of petals and vibrancy of Spring colors.

(October 2006)

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Demon Lover

for Susan

There are places where he doesn't go
because it obscures the glow of her face.

He avoids certain colors of light
because it mistreats the hue of her eyes.

In the darkness he can sit for hours
to gaze into the warm light of her soul.

In the dawn's light he finds close comfort
and holds her alabaster skin in his vision;

for moment upon moment through time
and lets her soul seep into his skin.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006


sweet and tart


I ask myself
why I've not

eaten pomegranates
given to me

and I realize
because when I smell

their sweet and tart
I will betray myself.


Narrow Daylight

The narrow sense of daylight
can't explain the way i'm feeling.
And the turmoil that comes to me
when Southern Cross is high

which calls for me to take up on
efforts better left to a Seraphim.
But this is where I am and
the stars are my instructions.

They want me to turn Demons
with this melancholy visage and
they expect me to change scripture
with this downtrodden, drone voice.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


There are moments in experience
when all that you have sensed,
all that you have felt and endured
comes to the feeling of grape seeds
pressed and raped against the liquor
of your drying and precious life.

There are moments in lasting breaths
of other angels you haven't met;
they scribble unknowns on the walls.
They have unknown seeds in their gums
and cry scraping notes god has not heard.
They wait for us to lead them to rest.

There are moments in between
when everything seems to make sense;
when all the fear and all the anger
can be described in a single scribble
written on frail age old papyrus; then
I decide, they can learn it on their own.

i have no life

i have no life
it's what i tell people
knowing the life i have

is in a box
within another box
somewhere in another place

collected as images
tidbits of words
expressions in lyric

the minds has got to wonder
what the eyes are going to see
when the hands open those boxes

unpacking that life
re-reading that history
will the stories have changed

will pleasantries be stripped
the gloss of photos
replaced by expressions of regret

i have no life
like the life i've lived
the life i live remembers no past

the whispers in my head
are all my own
re-renderings passages gone

(july 2003)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Suicide Tears

In the thin air between
the sadness and confusion,
a silver cloud with a grey lining
follows his steps like an obedient pet.

He casts no shadow beneath his pains.
He recognizes no gems among the thorn laden path.

In the hoarse breath between the fear and anger,
an orange mandala with a white core
collages itself to the vestiges of wings.
He feels not the heat that can bring comfort;

He senses no gentleness of a kind god;
He walks a path of paradox with each step.

In the shudders that rack his frail frame,
his tears commit suicide in each of their falls.
Leaving a trail of rubies, sapphires and emeralds
in his lonely slushy footfalls in the soft peat.

the taboo of our egos

he looks like his mother
though less solid
and more like a statuette,

but he is fluid
on the inside not
really reliable for

our needs, not stone.
even wood can furnish,
even rotten wood holds

at least for the grain,
this won't do at all,
this idea of heart shall

we are a forest
of scalloped leaves

meaning "what was left" –
the wanderings of the mind
the treasures of the heart.

the taboo of our egos
can't possibly bear sunlight
damn them...

wrap them

in our burlap comfort.
hold them until their
turbulent breath

is quiet as least as ours...

Nothing happens by accident

Early this morning, before sunrise I woke up in a bit of a panicked state. I was thinking I was supposed to be leaving for Switzerland in a day or so and there was so much that was unprepared. Then I realized it had been a dream, a very realistic dream at that. I had been dreaming that I was moving back to Switzerland for school or something and that there was a lot to do yet.

I was in a cold sweat. I breathed deeply then fell back asleep within a couple of minutes.

As it often happens, when I'm having lucid dreams they come in series. When I was asleep I went back into the same dream. The dream continued and I had departed and was now in Vevey, the town I used to live in. It was full of trepidation as I realized I hadn't arranged for an apartment and my papers weren't in order. The experience continued and I guess things worked themselves out. I was walking along the lake again but found that the water level was much higher than normal. The paved path that I used to walk on was flooded and I was walking on grass instead. The giant sycamores were partially flooded. My old apartment was still there. Nothing else had changed except for the water level.

It was a nice reminescence. When I woke up again, the first feelings were that I really was going to Switzerland.

Later today, I was looking at a design for a friend and giving feedback. Surprisingly or not, one of the possible solutions for the piece was to use deconstructed Swiss style typography.

Nothing happens by accident, we just have to understand what the purpose of events, situations and people are for...

Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep

Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep

watercolor and graphite on paper, 5"x7". 2006. view large

I Am in Need of Music

I am in need of music that would flow
Over my fretful, feeling fingertips,
Over my bitter-tainted, trembling lips,
With melody, deep, clear, and liquid-slow.
Oh, for the healing swaying, old and low,
Of some song sung to rest the tired dead,
A song to fall like water on my head,
And over quivering limbs, dream flushed to glow!

There is a magic made by melody:
A spell of rest, and quiet breath, and cool
Heart, that sinks through fading colors deep
To the subaqueous stillness of the sea,
And floats forever in a moon-green pool,
Held in the arms of rhythm and of sleep.

Elizabeth Bishop

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rain Before Thanksgiving

Tonight I went out for a walk and just as I sat back down at my desk I was greeted by the sound of rainfall hitting the tile roof outside my window.

It is the most agreeable sound I've heard all week...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Abstract Autumn

I edited the previous blog entry into verse to go with this morning's photo:

Violet patches

Abstract Autumn

Monday morning arrives
in the company of last night's
clouds and winds.

It feels more like autumn.
Outside, the orange and ochre leaves
of unknown trees sway in the gusts
like little birds flying against a gale.

Spots of blue among
broken clouds in previous days
have been replaced by violet patches
juxtaposed against silvery white;
a ceiling of cotton candy.

Outside my window there are
gossamer remains of an
abandoned spider web.
Its owner long gone – a meal for a bird
or having found a safer home
has left its artwork in tatters,
silk becoming fodder
for an organic mobile;
part natural and part urban.

Calder would be proud
of the accomplishment.

Pollock would envy the wispy
flagellation of threads in air,
wishing he could have flung
paint half as well.

And Rothko,
he would be envious of the subtle,
beautiful, and melancholy
palette of this Autumn daybreak.

(November 13, 2006)

Windy Monday

Monday morning arrives in the company of last night's clouds and winds. It is feeling more like autumn. Outside, the orange and ochre leaves of unknown trees sway in the gusts like little birds flying against a gale. The spots of blue among the broken clouds in previous days have now been replaced by violet patches juxtaposed against silvery white like a ceiling of cotton candy. Outside my window there are the gossamer remains of an abandonned spider web. Its owner long gone, a meal for a bird or having found a new safer spot has left its artwork in tatters, materials becoming fodder for an organic mobile that is part natural and part urban. Even Calder would be proud for such an accomplishment. Even Pollock would envy the wispy movements of silk in the air, wishing he could have flung paint as such. And Rothko, he would be envious of the subtle beautiful but melancholy palette of this Autumn daybreak.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Sunday evening

It is mid evening. The day found me musing through photos and looking out the window. There were moments when I thought I might go outside but did not.

Afternoon into evening proceeded quietly. Now it is dark and the cold outside is trying to seep in through the double panes of glass. It is peaceful now yet I am restless. Still restless...

November Sunday

sunday's sky

Today's morning came through the blinds lazily, distracted by the large fluffy grey clouds hanging from the earth's ceiling trying to decide if they would weep and grace us with heaven's tears. I rose to make tea in the cold autumn morning feeling the chill of the wooden floor for the first time in the season. This season's signs come to with incredible acuity this year. I am not sure why. Perhaps there is this morose feeling that it could be my last, as any season or moment could be anyone's last. In this frame of mind I try to pay attention. It is hard to know if I am successful. For without a doubt as I pay more attention to some things, others will be missed. That is okay though, I am merely reminded that I am just flesh and bones, some grey matter and mostly water...

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Only those who died young

Only those who died young (Danaë)

watercolor and graphite on paper. 5" x 7". 2006.

excerpt from Duino Elegies: The Tenth Elegy
By Rainier Maria Rilke

"Only those who died young, in their first state of
timeless serenity, while they are being weaned,
follow her lovingly. She waits for girls
and befriends them. Gently she shows them
what she is wearing. Pearls of grief
and the fine-spun veils of patience.-
With youths she walks in silence."

saturday november morning

this morning came with the soft thud-thud and pop-pop of hesitant raindrops on the roof. they were soft but enough to awaken me, more so than the grey damp light sneaking through my shutters. still hazy and lazy, i flipped the covers away and got up and dressed to go make a pot of morning tea. while the water was heating, i listened to a voice mail from a dear old friend whom i've not spoken to in a couple of months. he had a disturbing week. he has never called me because of any sort of distress or frustration in the 16 years i've known him. i've not called back yet because i'm not ready to be a support yet – not just yet. once this tea has kicked in, i shall be ready. i shall be ready to set aside the quiet turmoil of my frail universe to be a friend...

Friday, November 10, 2006

all and nothing

inside, outside,
real, imagined;
are they the same?

it is here, today.
it is here
as most other days.

i want to comment
but it feels
that the words

have already
been said,
or have they?

it is as if
the things i imagine
become real.

they feel real.
real enough
through someone

else’s context.
but it is me who is here
so how could it be another's?

all i have to work
with are those
luscious, lovely piercing

eyes asking
for nothing.
how could it be

that such
open eyes could
ask any soul

for all

Sunday, November 05, 2006


He endures the phalanx of tests,
the sort of prodding he has been
avoiding all his life.

He finds no discomfort
in dying for another
yet the chore of cleaning
up his own corpse
he finds so completely distasteful.

He finds it ironic and humorous,
lost of all its patina of greenish foam,
the classical age long gone.

He stares into the mirror
and looks at the sleeping pills.
such powerful little pistils they are,
the gift or humankind's work.

With a violent crack
the mirror shatters and falls
into isosceles triangles in the sink.

Even without his consent
the balance of this universe
holds him in his spin.

(November 5, 2006)


They expect a certain kind of ending
who am I to disappoint? A child of Confucious;

"Make sure to buy the paper from the right vendor;
Make sure the incense is not broken.

Don't bother with the box, linen will do.
Don't use dahlias, he will come back for those."

They expect a certain kind of ending;
branded in life, the scars will hold, I'm sure.

(November 5, 2006)

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Last night Bach held his hand to me through
the hum and vibrations of a weeping cello.

He'd been in Leipzig too long
he was sad, angry and tired.

I had nothing to offer except the pathetic look
on my face. He turned from me, shaking his head.

He bent over and sat quietly for hours.
He then played something in the air;

I was too ignorant to see his images.
when I came back years and years later

I found the sound of lament
expressed in something beyond heaven's melodies.



The sadness doesn't really pass because the storm has gone.
Now the sun shines brightly and burns its mark onto my pale skin
I am still afraid to walk into the light, to be among others.

The scars on the outside are long gone though it itches,
beneath the skin, beneath the China wall of protection;
the organs on the inside, once reliable turns to liquid.

The pillars are no more yet they believe in sodden limestone;
the chalk of my heart now can only draw crooked lines.
The protective circles, the ghost's mandala has lost all magic.

When she holds my hand; the suffering old woman,
there is a bit of me who wants to hang on, to try and heal;
and then the moon falls and sun rises and I turn to ash.

(November 4, 2006)

once upon a thursday

two goofballs on the light rail

i hung out with my friend jeremy in the city on thursday evening and friday evening because he will be leaving california to go back to michigan soon so we were all over the place getting him prepared for his drive home and having fun while at it...

you can see the rest of the photos from this adventure here!

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Jeudi Matin

Thursday comes
with the influence
of grey clouds
and heaven's tears.

It is autumn
so the slow
dallying drizzle
completes a picture

and settles
my expectations
to the mood
of an earthy Autumn.

(November, 2006)

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

from my "yet to be lost writings"

"24 Feb, 2006. 21:06h

Sometimes I miss her.

I miss the conversations we used to have. Sometimes I hear music and the universe we shared comes back into my mind the way air fills empty space. Sometimes the melodies are footsteps that I hear in the core of my being. When I turn my eyes to see the person they belong to all I can find are whispers of the dust that has been disturbed. There was no one in physical form. There are the ghost reflections of my mind. There are reflections in space of the person who once stood right where my mind imagined her to be.

I close my eyes, take a deep breath and bring her scent, her ethereal presence into my lungs and for a moment, breathe the air of paradise lost."

in the genes

so i had the bright idea to send my aunt in france a message yesterday asking if my father wrote much, especially poetry when he was alive and if she might have any of his notebooks or journals.

she replied to me that if he did, she never received any of it. however, she said he did have a gift with language – something that i have seemed to inherited. i didn't have any expectations but was a little saddened. how great it would be if any of his notebooks survived and i could read them.

alors, at least i got some of the good genes...


The machine pulls at the earth
the way my tie pulls at my neck.

Both want something but can’t agree
on what is more valuable,

the blood of the living
or the fossil of the dead.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Kitchen Knives

eight of swords
Eight of Swords

5" x 7" watercolor and graphite on paper, 2006.

Kitchen Knives
by Christine Boyka Kluge

On the counter,
a forest of knives quivers,
vertical trunks burnished
and joined with brass.
They keep their dangerous mirrors
Twisting pointed blades
in the butcher block stand,
they anticipate the grip
of your unwary hand
as you lift
your silver face
from the dark narrow slot.
You glimpse your own pale eye—
looking up like a lost blue star
from the sharp edge
of your tiny universe.


about the eight of swords: A woman is tied and blindfolded within a cage of swords. This is the "damned if you do, damned if you don't," card. The Querent is in a situation where they're afraid to move. If they move, they'll get cut. However, the ropes that bind them, the blindfold over their eyes, are their own fears, keeping them still, immobile. And so the longer they stay, the more they constrain and entrap themselves. Ever been in a situation where you're afraid to say anything, so afraid that you second guess yourself, end up saying nothing, tying yourself in knots? But speaking up is going to get you cut to ribbons? That's this card. The Querent must have the strength to endure the cuts, else they'll stay trapped. They must move, for the longer they let the situation continue, the worse it will get.
(source: aeclectic tarot)

Monday, October 30, 2006


Morning's arrival was accompanied by cold.
The first dawn of the season when my bones
hummed the density of chilled violet air.

Apropos it was, it caused wonder in my head;
what events and intersections would reveal in this day?
I started a painting of a dying girl just in case.

Watching the transparent pigment lose themselves
in the field of scratchy divots had a certain comfort;
viridian green, cadmium yellow and always ochre.

Watching the pools dry, not unlike dewed grass
receiving the life of sky's golden orb; the warmth,
what looks so rough wet finishes like molten dunes.

As the sun rose above the neighbor's eaves,
I pulled myself away from the desk to make tea.
Walking downstairs into the empty great room

I found a metaphor of my entrance into my next chapter.
These new pages aren't acid balanced; have no guarantee,
but patiently i wait while tea brews, inhaling the fragrance.

October 28, 2006

Sunday, October 29, 2006

dream journal: oct 29

last night i had a dream that i was watching an old man in prison.

it was of another time perhaps. he was old. he sat on the floor of his cell atop the strewn straw. he made little trinkets to be sold, perhaps to repay a debt for why he was in prison. i could not tell if i was in the same cell or in another one or just invisible. it was like being in some other place as an observer where no one could see me and i could not affect the situation.

it saddened me.

the trinkets seemed to be maltese crosses cut of tin or aluminum. the edges were rough, burn. they had wires that could stand themselves up or be hung. before waking, i felt very upset because he was gone. perhaps taken away.

i felt a strong sense of injustice. i remember muttering in my waking side that he would be lost among a thousand unknown faces and be forgotten.

i woke up with tears in my eyes.

En Prête? (2006)

There was a time when things felt different.
The oddity of light coming through
curtains disturbing silent fibers

brought about a sense of wonderment.
My eyes morphed into a child’s;
my knowledge replaced by curiosity.

It was a glow that comes faster
than Gabriel’s note, Hermes’s letter.
Now, glories of annunciation have gone,

replaced with “Is it time to go?”
I’m ready in this flesh and liquid of crimson;
only my mind is hesitant, like a loon in circles.

Then the writing on my palms say,
“Are you ready? The boatman awaits.
You must leave regrets here, your sadness too.”

It is time to go, I hear Rachmaninoff.
The piece found in a Scottish winter;
let it come, replace this earth bound vessel.

Mirage (2006)

It is another cold moment in the autumn night.
There are nightbirds and moths flickering outside

the dark window trying to get in.
(Why would creatures that could fly even

choose incandescent light over
phosphorus points on this earth’s ceiling?)

He stares at the semi-reflections on the window
trying to see past the double panes of memory.

Images present aren’t discernable between
objects in the distance or reflections behind him.

Behind him in his mind is not a physical distance
but frayed remnants of emotional wakes.

Traces (2006)

There are melodies deep in my heart
Somewhere in the past, she put them there.

There are memories in my vision
Of southern France, she placed them there.

There are verses in my book,
She put them there in Alexandria.

She keeps for me lines
In red silk.

She holds for me
faces of a past I have forgotten.

She shapes for me faces
In a future that has yet to come.


Since I saw a certain picture an idea that has been stumbling around in my head...

Reveiller (Octover 29, 2006)

Early in the cool autumn morning
my senses not yet functioning,
she brings me a platter of fruit

with a cup of jasmine tea.
The white blossom's aroma
assault the lingering sleep in me.

Her gentle hand on the back of my neck
stirs something deep inside,
taking me back to an undiscovered country.

The mind's eye tries to trip the shutter
like a camera needing a tripod.
The skin's raw nerves try to grip

the sensation like a mantis holding prey.
a streak of light from the vertical blinds
find a spot on my face, crossing my pupils.

Morning's luminosity push me from the fake death,
stirs my reality, forces focus and I find
myself alone clutching an unfamiliar silken scarf.

Saturday, October 28, 2006


click on image to see it larger

watercolor and graphite on watercolor paper. 5" x7". 2006.

she came into my mind this morning. i don't know where from...

this is what 40 looks like

saturday morning

i woke up actually feeling refreshed from the best sleep i've had in weeks.

had strange dreams last night. the last one before i woke up involved me going to las vegas on a triste with someone else's wife (it seemed like an ex-girlfriend perhaps) while she was on a business trip and i was tagging along, as it were. i remember limousines, a very nice hotel room, her conference guide (it had something to do with graphic design) and me shedding my suit and tie for a t-shirt, jeans, expensive shoes and an extraordinarily heavy jacket after we had sex and were headed down to the conference floor.

strange huh?

the rest of the day was pretty low key. i got out of bed early and started a painting of a maiden. the maiden started in a standing position but ended lying on her back and eventually turned into hamlet's ophelia.

grandma brought by brunch as she headed to the senior center and said she'd come back to pick me up to go hang out. there was a pyrex of pepper roasted chicken drumsticks and a fresh loaf of sourdough baguette. it was a wonderful feast, something so simple yet dear from the hands that made them.

at 13h45 she and lien picked me up and we headed to stanford. she was determined that i get a haircut and was willing to take me all the way to palo alto to the person i prefer. so we spent the afternoon hanging out in stanford and then i got a haircut and then came home.

quiet. oddly quiet day.

now it is late and as i try to distill the day i am finding it a much easier task than i could have imagined. i can't say why. i just know that i didn't make it anymore difficult on myself as i needed to.

perhaps i have learned some things...

Friday, October 27, 2006


40 [19 of 365]

i turn 40 on saturday...

it's now eight minutes before midnight. you would figure that for someone who loves words as i do that i would have something significant to say about turning 40, huh?

no. i've nothing to say. at least not now. perhaps i'll do it in hindsight and by then i'll have the advantage of being a tad older. maybe that will be enough for me to impart some shred of wisdom.

maybe. you can hold your breath.

i am not going to...

the history of light

the history of light

watercolor and pencil on watercolor paper. 5" x 7", 2006.

for anesh

the poem below is something that i've found to think about on the day before my birthday...

Field Guide to the Night Sky
by Jennifer Chang

No one witnesses
the history of light.
The sky litters itself
with dust and I’m unsettled
by the steadfast burn
of thinking.
The night sky reaches
inside me,
I am sleepless
waiting for each star
to cross
into its corner, flower
then dim.
I do not believe
in paradise:
to flower, then dim.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hi Miss...

hi miss

ok, so i go out this morning for brunch and shopping with my grandma looking just like this which is nothing out of the ordinary. but obviously something has changed because today i got an unprecdented numbers of "hi, miss" than ever before. i mean ever before.

now, i'm used to getting mistaken for a girl when i have long hair (which it is not even long right now) a lot and it doesn't bother me. but usually it is once maybe twice a day, today for three hours in a mall everyone i came into contact with except for two (male salespeople in the calvin klein and some other store figured i had to be a guy as i was looking at men's clothing) stared me right in the eye, smiled then said, "hi miss!" they even said goodbye, "have a great day miss!" what the???

when i lived in the deep south, the girls i hung out with laughed caused i got more cat calls than they did. that was understandable cause my hair was really long and i'm little. of course then there was that time jamie's grandmother thought i was his wife's girlfriend but anyway i've never gone out for a whole morning in a crowded public place and have everyone think i was a girl.

perhaps it's because i lost some weight from being sick and my face is a little different? i don't know what to think. i don't think i'm getting a complex about it. all of you readers say yes please!

i just don't know!!! ;p

end of life

02:25am sketch

i could not sleep so i picked up the pad and a pencil and she revealed herself from the depths of my fatigue and insomnia.

this is the poem i wrote after i finished the sketch. i edited it this morning and thought they should go together:

END OF LIFE (oct. 26, 2006)

it comes not with surprise
nor with fanfares of brass.
it is more like a season;

the centered calmness of autumn.
quiet gentle slopes sheathed in leaves;
sheathed in quieting noises
that wrap like a gentle repose
descending over the detritus of
summer's extravagance;
summer's vibrant spectra.

it comes not in malice raucous
but in a rustle of twigs, leaves and feathers.
it is an awaited sensation;

the shy touch of intimacy,
silky stretches beneath terminal sheets
undulating like a sleepy caterpillar
anticipating the chrysalis,
expecting the drunkenness of
autumn's frugality;
autumn's monochromatic tones.

end of life does not argue,
does not try to make explanations.
end of life seeps like soothing cold
finding no resistance in tired tissues.

lying on toadstools

lying on toadstools

the quilted pillow i'm laying on was made and given to me by the woman who was my nanny when i was a little kid. she lives in vietnam.

by Sylvia Plath

Riding home from credulous blue domes,
the dreamer reins his waking appetite
in panic at the crop of catacombs
sprung up like plague of toadstools overnight:
refectories where he reveled have become
the holstery of worms, rapacious blades
who weave within the skeleton's white womb
a caviare decay of rich brocades.

Turning the tables of this grave gourmet,
the fiendish butler saunters in and serves
for feast the sweetest meat of hell's chef d' uvres:
his own pale bride upon a flaming tray:
parsleyed with elegies, she lies in state
waiting for his grace to consecrate.

Monday, October 16, 2006



i'm trying hard to feel calmer and better...

Kathleen Raine has a soothing effect on me:

"Shall I uncover his loved desecrated face?
Are the unfathomed depths of sleep his grave?
Beyond the looming dangerous end of night
Beneath the vaults of fear do his bones lie,
And does the maze of nightmare lead to the power within?
Do menacing nether waters cover the fish king?
I piece the divine fragments into the mandala
Whose centre is the lost creative power,
The sun, the heart of God, the lotus, the electron
That pulses world upon world, ray upon ray
That he who loved on the first may rise on the last day."

From Isis the Wanderer, 1948



i was feeling ghastly this morning so i painted the feeling. i wanted to see how horrifying i could make perfectly happy, joyous colors.

i think i succeeded.

9 hours in 3 days

of sleep

this has got to stop soon or it is going to make for some very interesting drawings or at least dreams

last night's dream:

just before i woke up today, i had been dreaming of being with people who were familiar to me but i've yet to me with. there was a lot of water. the place was like an aquarium laboratory or something of that scale. there was a woman teaching and training me how to monitor and run the systems and the differences for type of ecosystems in each type of tank. they were huge tanks.

she was so familiar to me but i was awakened abruptly and my recall of details about her was lost.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

that time of year

how i'm feeling close to my birthday...

Fleur de Saison
by Emilie Simon

Dès les premières lueurs
Oh je sombre

Il me parait bien loin l'été
Je n'l'ai pas oublié
Mais j'ai perdu la raison
Et le temps peut bien s'arrêter
Peut bien me confisquer
Toute notion de saison

Dès les premières lueures d'Octobre
En tout bien tout honneur
Oh je sombre

Je sens comme une odeur de lis
Mes muscles se retissent
Et j'attends la floraison
Mais qu'a-t-il pu bien arriver
Entre septembre et mai
J'en ai oublié mon nom

Dès les premières lueurs d'Octobre
En tout bien tout honneur

Oh je sombre

Oh le temps a tourné je compte les pousses
Des autres fleurs de saison

Je ne sortirai pas encore de la mousse
Pas plus qu'une autre fleur de saison

Pas plus qu'une autre fleur de saison

Il me parai bien loin l'été
Mes feuilles désséchées
Ne font plus la connection
Mais qu'a t il pu bien arriver
Entre septembre et mai
Je n'fais plus la distinction

Dès les premières lueurs d'Octobre
En tout bien tout honeur
Oh je sombre

Oh le temps a tourné je compte les pousses
Des autres fleurs de saison

Je ne sortirai pas encore de la mousse
Pas plus qu'une autre fleur de saison

Pas plus qu'une autre fleur de saison
Pas plus qu'une autre fleur de saison ouu-ouu-ouu-ouu

Dès les premières lueurs
Oh je sombre

Monday, October 09, 2006

The Portrait

Han & Tuan
Maman et Papa (c. 1965)

The Portrait

I stare at the picture
of this man
I've never met.

There is something
in the eyes,

I swear we have
met some time before.

I swear that his gaze
is something
I've drawn before –
or he has drawn me.

in the dark of night
I wonder which one
envisioned the other first.

The cant of his head,
the pools of his eyes,
are things I've
inherited without

What am I to do?
pictures to be drawn,
poems to be written.

I'm a triangulation,
an extrapolation of him,
and the pretty woman
at his side.

Some kind of
strange prodigy;
a twist in reality,
a twist in sobriety.

(9 October 2006)



monday morning comes in a blue hybridized between cerulean and indigo yet brighter than a child's smile, if that is possible. the blue beckons me to come into the flood of the sun's rays yet i am still inside. the only light hitting me is the glow of the lcd screen. how momentarily sad and lame. soon, i will rise from this seat and venture out to enjoy the autumn sunlight.

had vivid dreams last night as usual. there were people i have not met yet. i know them in the dreams as i usually do but i have yet to meet them. venues and geography are generally the only clues i have as to when i might meet them. in some cases it was months later and in others, years passed. crossing of paths is inevitable though, i have learned that by now.

someone asked me this morning who was in the painting i just finished, people always assume i am painting someone in particular. but no, they are either people i've yet to meet or composites. composites can be useful. in the physical, character and other dimension one can craft the ideal person they would like to deal with. how much more convenient could it be to paint or draw a model who will never complain? especially if you depict them with a beauty they either don't possess or do not know how to show.

they become real. real enough anyway...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

embarkation (2006)

wooden walkway


The night grows late
but not as aged as I feel.

This heart wants to be lost
in my emotions,
leave everything behind;
this corporal existence.

Though I know there
is no exit out of this space;
this space of my head;
this space of my heart.

I wish for easy exit,
to let go and say goodnight,
but I know better.

I can't myself dumb down;
I can't myself let go
as if it were fiction;
someone else's book.
Conciliation or
comes sooner or later.

Readiness is pointless.

When in The moment,
the body shall die
and my world will stay
insignificant, without matter.

Yet consciousness only
rubs in this very existence.

Horizon of experience,
this is all I have:
a flame transfers ignis,
leaves consciousness as smoke.

trouble is a redhead [illustration friday]

trouble is a redhead

The Self Banished
by Edmund Waller (1606-1687)

It is not that I love you less
Than when before your feet I lay,
But to prevent the sad increase
Of hopeless love, I keep away.

In vain (alas!) for everything
Which I have known belong to you,
Your form does to my fancy bring,
And makes my old wounds bleed anew.

Who in the spring from the new sun
Already has a fever got,
Too late begins those shafts to shun,
Which Phœbus through his veins has shot.

Too late he would the pain assuage,
And to thick shadows does retire;
About with him he bears the rage,
And in his tainted blood the fire.

But vow’d I have, and never must
Your banish’d servant trouble you;
For if I break, you may distrust
The vow I made to love you, too.

the scapula

the scapula [9 of 365]

one of my favorite passages from Jeanette Winterson:

"THE SCAPULA OR SHOULDER BLADE: The scapula is a flat triangular shaped bone which lies on the posterior superficial to the ribs and separated from them by muscle.

Shuttered like a fan no-one suspects your shoulder blades of wings. While you lay on your belly I kneaded the hard edges of your flight. You are a fallen angel but still as the angels are; body light as a dragonfly, great gold wings cut across the sun.

If I'm not careful you'll cut me. If I slip my hand too casually down the sharp side of your scapula I will lift away a bleeding palm. I know the stigmata of presumption. The wound that will not heal if I take you for granted. Nail me to you. I will ride you like a nightmare. You are the winged horse Pegasus who would not be saddled. Strain under me. I want to see your muscle sheath flex and stretch. Such innocent triangles holding hidden strength. Don't rear at me with unfolding power. I fear you in our bed when I put out my hands to touch you and feel the twin razors turned towards me. You sleep with your back towards me so that I will know the full extent of you. It is sufficient."

– Jeanette Winterson. from Written On The Body

Thursday, October 05, 2006

little things


little objects go a long way, they carry stories with them for any attentive observer of a moment or moments experienced and preserve them to be re-experienced everytime the person looks at the little things again...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006


ungloved [7 of 365]

rain came again this evening. as i sit here in front of my bedroom window, i can hear the gently taps on the roof and wall. it is a light rain but it is like the sky's tambourine, beating a light rhythm that i find so soothing. the smell of the air is slightly different too. after several rains, the grime of the streets, the grease, gasoline and oil will be washed away and the scent of the trees and plants will come through. how i wish i could smell the creosote and sage of the high desert...

that life is so far from me now in many different ways. i wonder when i will see signs of it again...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

shorter days

the days are shorter now. even if i didn't look out the window, i could sense it. i could sense when the light hits the windows a little later in the morning and how it leaves a little earlier in the evening.

signs of things to come...


Omens [6 of 365]

by Louise Glück

I rode to meet you: dreams
like living beings swarmed around me
and the moon on my right side
followed me, burning.

I rode back: everything changed.
My soul in love was sad
and the moon on my left side
trailed me without hope.

To such endless impressions
we poets give ourselves absolutely,
making, in silence, omen of mere event,
until the world reflects the deepest needs of the soul.

after Alexander Pushkin

Sunday, October 01, 2006

sienna (2006)


Sienna (2006)

This afternoon
the grey overcast sky
broke out with a light rain.

First of the season.
The air smells good now,
after the rain.

Now the sky is cracked
with sunshine
and dramatized

by dark grey patches.
Summer is
indeed gone

and my friend
has come back
to stroll with me

among fallen golden,
umber and sienna leaves,
crushing underfoot.

Saturday, September 30, 2006


saturday ends with a sunset just a tad earlier than previous weeks. transition. violet in the sky comes earlier. the coolness evening does not wait for moonrise. all these things i gladly welcome. the downslope of autumn, the inevitability of the test of cold, dark and barrenness lie ahead and i feel quite at home.

such feelings and sensory experience remind me of how precious the few abilities i have are worth – all things that i take for granted. the ability to visualize what others can't. i visualize too much, too often and at the wrong times so sometimes i try to stash them away. once in a while i am gifted with a good friend who reminds me of the worth of my gifts.

so again i will go to sleep and keep my wish to wake when the orange orb breaks the horizon...

Friday, September 29, 2006

before i woke

before i woke this morning, i had a dream of a good friend that i had not seen in a long time. it was a pleasant surprise. it was good to see her so i went looking for a way to express what i felt...

She Walks in Beauty

She walks in beauty, like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meet in her aspect and her eyes:
Thus mellowed to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.

One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impaired the nameless grace
Which waves in every raven tress,
Or softly lightens o'er her face;
Where thoughts serenely sweet express,
How pure, how dear their dwelling-place.

And on that cheek, and o'er that brow,
So soft, so calm, yet eloquent,
The smiles that win, the tints that glow,
But tell of days in goodness spent,
A mind at peace with all below,
A heart whose love is innocent!

– George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Thursday, September 28, 2006


i flow like liquid from places i've been
sometimes as nectar
sometimes as sewage

i float briefly like a lump of coal
surfing the surface of running magma
light as a moth and just as flammable

i fly like particles from places i've been
sometimes as ash
sometimes as smoke

i swirl and ascend like fleeing angels
tumbling upward in raging emotion
light as thought and just as fragile

i try to hold this fabric together
my time, my space, my breath
and will to wake when morning comes


between fair and midland

He had journeyed so far

thursday came and went with a soft grey backdrop. relatively uneventful. which is not bad nor good. there are moments when it seemed like one would want to push a moment one way or the other. being in the center can sometimes be an awkward thing especially when one is used to being left of center, i tend to be there.

it can be like having peace and then getting bored. the lust to do something to turn the situation is strong like the scent of carbon dioxide to a female mosquito. but today, i refrained...

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

one step closer

the sky reveals its grey lining for the first time this season. morning came cloaked in a dull 20% grey, accompanied by seagulls far from water with matching patches of pigment on their wings. they hover in the distance outside my bedroom window like monitors of a school hallway, ready to ask for passes.

the air is noticeable cooler, cool enough for me to partially close the window that has remained untouched and open for at least three months. soon there will be more moisture in the air, the dry smell of dust and exhaust will be replaced by the damp of trees bedding the ground beneath them with fallen leaves and broken twigs.

i look forward to the brilliance of organic decay made more luminous by the dull light and desaturated sky...

on the edge of something

on the edge of something

laisse moi (2004)

leave me
leave me to these thoughts where one shouldn’t follow

this is not a medium for sentiment
not a place for a flat tire of the heart
no one will come to fix you

it is a moment of extreme
not a place to dredge up the once long ago
not a moment to feel the places where you have been

don’t say what you’d like
don’t do what might be normal, for you
this is the place where you find the green sign

don’t think of exit as a matter of leaving
it is just another opening
but this time it is on your own accord

make the best of what you can’t see
your history only haunts you when you are enemies
so lay your knife and open your heart
you only get to be this vulnerable once

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

fault line

late afternoon/early evening.

there is a fault line that threatens to shift. it runs vertical in between my shoulder blades and on the left of my spine. tension built up there during the night, probably from whatever dreams in the darkness that have found their way into the afternoon sunlight now growing gold and giving way to the eastern blue to lavender sky.

recalls from last night's dreams are only in fragments today. they are more unclear than previous days. their blurry imagery is accompanied by the dull pain in my sinus, like a left on water hose behind my right eye. perhaps being on the left side of my brain, this is a signal that i am thinking too much.

perhaps i should let go of the thinking, pull out my tarot cards and play with the universe.

Monday, September 25, 2006

monday's journal


"It is a little like an emotion that changes from despair into [accepting] inevitability and in doing so it tries to extract the most beauty out of what life there is..."

lundi matin

woke refreshed yet still wanting more sleep but did not give in because the feeling of wanting to do a lot today was stronger.

last night's dream was strange. i played the part of a protector of some woman i didn't even know. she was living in a trailer of some sort, like an airstream and the person who rented it to her had a trapdoor or peep hole in the floor of the thing. so i sat in the trailer waiting for the perp to try to poke through and whamm-OOO!!! i let him live. it was not a violent dream or anything but the emotions were intense. i woke up in a cold sweat. whoaa!!!

all fixed with a nice cup of green tea!!! (Camelia sinensis).

so it's hammer, duct tape and green tea that is in my survival kit for any situation...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

air of autumn

Quercus kelloggii

the light streaming through the window in the morning is cooler today, a shade more of violet than the cerulean blue of summer.

if my nose wasn't plugged up from having a cold, i might guess that the air might smell differently. i know it would if i were out on the calm surface of lake sonoma on a canoe. i might go back there every week and watch the foliage slowly change. by late next month, i could find sienna, umber, ochre, scarlet and gold reflected on the dark still water on the warm springs creek arm. it would smell of dry bark, moss and lichen untouched by rain through the hot summer.

the coves would sound out the rustling of rodents collecting acorns, diving through inches of fallen leaves. the occasional caw of a crow. deep into the brush where the creek trickles into the lake there might be a great blue heron patiently waiting for the stray minnow. early in the morning and late in the day there will be sights of migratory birds stopping by.

lake sonoma is a waystation like crystal reservoir on the other side of the golden gate as thousands of winged travellers move south.

these things i miss, being stuck with drywall around me and asphalt beyond. there is no dirt beneath my toes...

Saturday, September 23, 2006

autumn arrival

the first day of autumn, yay. even before opening the shades this morning, i sensed her arrival. the air was cooler this morning, barely perceptible in california's lack of seasonness. yet i feel the change and am glad for it, i've had enough of the constant sunny days and sadly even in the bay area – the smoggy sunny days. (once, i had thought i left that behind in southern california, left the smoggy air to the silicone, make-up, lights and ostentatious air of los angeles but no. even here there is scent of crowding without any of the benefits of urban compactness, density and diversity. there are just miles and miles of subdivisions, strip malls and crowded 'expressways' that crawl at a mule's pace packed full of commuters in their suv's. yuck.)

i need to get out to the mountains to be reminded that nature is still there.

i need to get back to the (real) city to be reminded that the city is still one of humankind's greatest inventions.


nocturne (2006)

four twenty eight a.m.
silence and darkness.
outside, palm fronds fray
against grieving shutters.
through broken stained windows
venetian blinds hum and heave
melancholy meowing chords.
on the floor, bands
of pale gauzy light
elaborately bruised, empty fractures.
a passed over geography
of pitted terra cotta tiles.
wait. wait wantingly and the moment
will come when the waning
senses surrender to calm
and sweet slumber deftly
persuades the wrinkled mind to
uncoil the body into dreamless repose.

*this poem was previously posted sans image in feb 2006

Thursday, September 14, 2006


hey that hurt

what opening your eyes

yea, opening my eyes your arse! but wait, i'm still here. it's bright. way too bright

what were you expectin? angels?

fuck you

no, fuck you. i would appreciate a little more courtesy from a little human that you are

oh shite! and you are an angel?

well, no. i'm a... harvester


well, a reaper

haaa! you are the fuckin grim reaper?

well shite, don't make it sound so...down

i save your arses from the harpies

what? wrong mythology bloke

well, it's not as easy as it seems, okay?

just give me a break you want me to keep that big hole in the back of your head or not?

Friday, September 08, 2006

phoenix descending

phoenix descending
Originally uploaded by equusignis.

into its endless cycle.

"...I assumed he'd come to die and decided I would let him.

Each day he turned more from a monk in tattered robes
to a god performing penance for razor mouth and venomous body
though all gods are killers without fault..."

– Erin Lambert. Excerpt from "On Faith"

Friday, September 01, 2006

ghost on the wall

ghost on the wall
Originally uploaded by equusignis.

The Promise
by Sharon Olds

With the second drink, at the restaurant,
holding hands on the bare table,
we are at it again, renewing our promise
to kill each other. You are drinking gin,
night-blue juniper berry
dissolving in your body, I am drinking Fumé,
chewing its fragrant dirt and smoke, we are
taking on earth, we are part soil already,
and wherever we are, we are also in our
bed, fitted, naked, closely
along each other, half passed out,
after love, drifting back
and forth across the border of consciousness,
our bodies buoyant, clasped. Your hand
tightens on the table. You’re a little afraid
I’ll chicken out. What you do not want
is to lie in a hospital bed for a year
after a stroke, without being able
to think or die, you do not want
to be tied to a chair like your prim grandmother,
cursing. The room is dim around us,
ivory globes, pink curtains
bound at the waist—and outside,
a weightless, luminous, lifted-up
summer twilight. I tell you you do not
know me if you think I will not
kill you. Think how we have floated together
eye to eye, nipple to nipple,
sex to sex, the halves of a creature
drifting up to the lip of matter
and over it—you know me from the bright, blood-
flecked delivery room, if a lion
had you in its jaws I would attack it, if the ropes
binding your soul are your own wrists, I will cut them.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


some days the fabric of my existence is like the surface of watercolor paper, it is rough, fibrous, dry and is tortured into thousands of little divots waiting forlornly for the moisture and pigment of color. when i cannot find my own words and hues to fill this pulpy desert, i turn to others. i turn to the thoughts, words and visions of others like a surrogate embryo looking for a host, looking for something that will nourish me in my moments of barrenness.

on days like these, i lose myself in the streams of images of others, wander through the labyrinths of words and sentences of long dead poets and writers, peer back at my scribbled drawings to see how i might have escaped this sort of black hole in times past. moments of comfort come and leave like tides, shifting the willing sand around my mind's ankles. i stare blankly for long expanses at the rippled sand the water leaves behind before i remember that this is normal, that this too, no matter how strange or uncomfortable, will pass, really.

so again i pick up the brush or the quill and start the cycle over, lay down the washes of pigment, scratch lines into cotton pulpy boards and find myself somewhere in the mix of colors – somewhere between burnt sienna and alizaron crimson. and when dusk comes i'll find bits of myself in the hues of the dying day.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

The Room of My Life

the room of my life

The Room of My Life
by Anne Sexton

in the room of my life
the objects keep changing.
Ashtrays to cry into,
the suffering brother of the wood walls,
the forty-eight keys of the typewriter
each an eyeball that is never shut,
the books, each a contestant in a beauty contest,
the black chair, a dog coffin made of Naugahyde,
the sockets on the wall
waiting like a cave of bees,
the gold rug
a conversation of heels and toes,
the fireplace
a knife waiting for someone to pick it up,
the sofa, exhausted with the exertion of a whore,
the phone
two flowers taking root in its crotch,
the doors
opening and closing like sea clams,
the lights
poking at me,
lighting up both the soil and the laugh.
The windows,
the starving windows
that drive the trees like nails into my heart.
Each day I feed the world out there
although birds explode
right and left.
I feed the world in here too,
offering the desk puppy biscuits.
However, nothing is just what it seems to be.
My objects dream and wear new costumes,
compelled to, it seems, by all the words in my hands
and the sea that bangs in my throat.

Monday, August 28, 2006

blue woman with turban

Originally uploaded by equusignis.

the stranger came to my dreams again. this time she wore a cerulean turban.

"...I have tried obeying and not obeying laws
and neither has taught me how to climb.
Neither and both are guidelines.
Neither and both will ever fit.
I push words around; the clouds
won't remember it.
Their shadow spreads over other cliffs
and I see someone else on a climb.
She makes it look easy, far away.
Does she claw as I claw? Is this even worthwhile
to do? It's always more full of doubt
and harder
when the climber is you..."

– Susan Minot. FromThe Cliff Crawlers

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

russian hill to golden gate

russian hill to golden gate
Originally uploaded by equusignis.
hold your breath and listen to the sparrows. tilt your head and fall into the stream. the leaves cover you until you come out on the other side. there is sky you've never seen and smells you've never scented. pull that lotus seed out of your nose...

Monday, August 21, 2006


today i celebrate the death of something and hopefully the birth of something else.

i've never been one to make use of decay with the proper manners but this is a good time to learn as any.

decay. the point of time, space and matter in the human experience when the pieces don't harmonize anymore to produce anything that reminds the viewer of reality.


there are movements on the ridge
there is motion on the uphill
seas of green strands swaying on the willow

there are movements on the ridge
there is motion in the hackles
the silver of the hackles don't lie

when down comes the movement
plunging is the term of something
sinking into and then below

like a fork finding recessess
into the not quite set meringue
so crusty at first but then satisfaction

there are movements on his spine
it is like a drunken scorpion
doesn't know when to put it down

Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Gift (2004)

It is a gift that I have inside of me.
A heart of flesh and warm blood in my veins,
The images my eyes bring to my consciousness

And the courage of my soul to see them for what they are.
In pain and in tears sometimes my abilities offer me,
Yet in between all these sensations there still lies hope.

I must believe that hope exists.
I have a conviction that tomorrow the sun will rise
And with day’s end the moon will greet me.

I believe that when I look up at the dark sky
Shimmering stars will greet me with their smiles.
When in the desert with only sand and stone,
I believe my memories of you will never fade.

It is a gift that lives within me
That really belongs to another heart.
Yet I don’t possess the heart to put it in its rightly place,
Stars shine more brightly when viewed through a window.

In this house there are many glass panes.
They open our hearts to the past and to what may be;
They draw by lines and dots upon the celestial sky;
They tell stories of feats we may not always fulfill.

Yet they are faithful in a way that humans aren’t.
There are always gaps and holes in their stories;
There are always misplaced brushstrokes in their murals...

We can’t rely on murals to explain our lives,
We can’t rely on close ones to tell the truth; always,
Affection has her own course and her own ways.

But that is the reason we listen to her so,
It is not to record the bare truth of things.
It is to remember the feeling of our desire.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Muse Hotel

Lies and Lace
Originally uploaded by EvilxElf.

At the muse hotel tonight
I have a rendezvous with a sight

She sits in waiting
On the red sombrero sofa
Her nails glossy and scarlet
Her lips glisten for attention

At the muse hotel tonight
She haunts the dimly lit lobby

She sits in waiting with
With a Gitane in hand
On the red sombrero sofa
Her hands smooth and veinless

I step from the courtyard
Into the checkered floor lobby
Like a lamb going to the altar

This strange dark haired woman
Where she comes from I know not
But she has an appointment

She sits in waiting
On the red sombrero sofa
Like Salome before her last dance
With lips glistening and liquid
Scarlet nails gently tapping
On a priest’s wicked sickle

She waits for the pulse of my blood
She waits for the warmth of my flesh
I have a rendezvous with appetite
At the muse hotel tonight

much gratitude to Maria for the use of the photograph

the waystation

i am in this empty house, drifting
in her imagined scent and soft skin.

beyond the doors are sand and cool sea
and this may be the place where i die.

not and end, a point of departure.
i shall miss the quirky endearments;

the look of the eyes and curve of lips;
the strange smile she sometimes shows.

i always wondered what it was like
or felt, to be on the backside of a mirror.

manhattan beach. october 2004


i wrote the first draft of this almost two years ago. it took a longer time to let go of something in order to finish the piece.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

24 hours

the last 24 has been full of disturbances.

in my waking moments. in my sleep. in my in-betwen states where i hold most closely. something, someone out there has been trying to get in. it or they have been trying my patience, my desire to breathe, my desire to see the beautiful in everything when they aren't pretty. i feel the pressure like a cold cut of steak on the inside of a ziploc bag, waiting to be thawed, dried, salted and peppered like the one i fixed just that way for dinner. a piece of protein butchered, trimmed and saved just the way that those who might have me might like it.

i resist and i think there is still is resistance in me. i'll resist most likely long after i physically can't because i have words. i have pictures.

the anger is what is coming out of me now. the anger caused by fear comes out from me. it doesn't make the fear go away but its familiarity makes it possible to roll it all into something i can learn to deal with. i've learned i can live and live and live and speak my intent despite my fear. i will never shut up because i simply don't know how to. i am heisenberg's principle.

last night i had a dream of visiting an old woman, someone i didn't recognize but she was like an aunt or something like that. she was somewhere distant from where i am. my mother was with me. when we got there, her house was flooding. the level of the water was up to her bed, it touched her body. she was getting cold. her breath was passing from her body when i reached her and lifted her head, held her slender frail neck.

it was too late. she had gone. gone from the coldness and constant insane stupid self serving and pointless questioning of this world and i couldn't reach her anymore. i held her fading head in my hands with her body in the rising wet and cold water.

i awoke disturbed and crying. i wanted to vent my hurt and rage upon the face of this planet.

i wanted to walk out onto the desert and with a silken blade cut every throat of the idiots out there and more. i wanted pure destruction. enforced destruction in order to guarantee the cessation of stupid loss of life.

i am not political. i am fragile and human. i am so fragile i am completely willing to destroy half the planet in order to enforce quietude. level the whole fucking place so i'm no longer separated from the places and people i want to be close to. level the fucking idiots so that the bystanders don't have to suffer another eon of shit. and then others will level me and for a brief moment there will be quiet and kids can play in the yard or the river or the orchard field without worrying about land mines.

Monday, August 14, 2006

people who support

i am today, this moment, in this place am so tired of people who say they want to support me asking the same godamn fucking questions that there aren't answers for and asking for guarantees where there are none. at least none that i can deliver. to be fair i understand that they ask because they are fearful of things they don't understand. nevertheless there is a limit to all and i ask myself why i fucking bother. why do i fucking flying bother?

Friday, August 11, 2006

les temps perdus

les temps perdus
Originally uploaded by equusignis.
she sat on the bus across from me with her mom and little sister. the freckles...she had the greatest not quite pig tails! and her eyes were huge and hinted of mischief...

it was that day

i heard a fragment of something from the plastic radio hanging underneath the kitchen cabinet and above and near the stove.

i might have been making a sandwich for her, my wife at the time.

something on the radio, i couldn't tell what it was but my tissues told me it was not good.

it wasn't. it couldn't be.

i was supposed to meet the father of a friend for breakfast later that morning.

it was all a hurry.

and then my friend who lived in nyc started sending me pictures, there was mostly smoke.

he called and i can still remember the brokenness in his voice.

i am never offended, surprised, or moved by death.

but i am hurt by the ability of what we do to each other as humans.

once, i was asked what would i would do about the situation in bosnia.

i said, either take away all their tools or LEVEL the place.

absolutely pure destruction. enforced destruction if you aren't going to play nicely.

i still hold to the thought, being a child of war and violence.

so yea, i wanna play god. actually, god is a fucking wuss who has let herself be manipulated by stupid men.

so i'm not really manipulating.

i just wanna kill.

years later, i am only beginning to come to terms of the horrors of that morning.

and it is a lame thing to respond with violent thoughts but it is also human.

how sad is it to be in this state and to know the truth of the matter?

Thursday, August 10, 2006

i've decided

Confucious was and is an asshole.

one day, when i can go back in time i have a sliver of steel for him. yes, i hate him and i hate all that he has left behind for many asian cultures. and for that, i hope i never get to meet his descendents. because i'll have more than words for him. and because i know human anatomy. and because he was a freaking mysoginist. i'm sure i could come up with more reasons.

what do you call someone who is a socio/cultural bigot? just a bigot? hmm...maybe that is just what i am.

just a flashing moment of brimming anger in me.

i think it is healthy, for now...

Monday, August 07, 2006

quote of the day

"Even the Pope wants to halt the hostilities. The Pope is on the side of peace and progress and the British Left is on the side of USA Neo-cons. Oh God." – Jeanette Winterson (in her August column)

Sunday, August 06, 2006

i gave her some color, she needed it

grit (2006)

she rolls on the grit, from cheek to nose,
from lips to ears and finds herself still,
lying barren on silica seas.

the grains scratches her eyes but it is
more important to see the thing that
might end you so she looks up into
the bitter baby blue horizon.

it is that time of day where there are
no shadows of the sun to protect
and only the gaze of a white hot
observer like your old grandmother
watching over you playing piano.

so she remembers giving up the
instrument long ago but the bars,
melodies, rhythms never left.

they refused the abandonment.
they refused to be unraveled
like strands of cultural DNA.

they believed that the physical
are just canvases for something we
aren't meant to really understand.

they believed that this is all a
test for which we will never, or should,
want to see the outcome of in our life.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

no song*

no song*
Best viewed large, click on picture. Originally uploaded by equusignis.

the bird has no song so it holds out its wings, aged and tattered primaries.

the multicolored refracted rainbow has left its barbs.

black is now black.

the color of starless midnight, not the shimmering seven mystics of transparent rainbows nor the pretty of the ugliness of the surface of an oil slick.

gloss and shine given to a dusty pallor, the texture of coal in an abandoned shaft.

the bird has lost its voice, replaced it with gestures.

the movements of a crippled crab.

the shuffling of a wounded sidewinder.

he sits and watches the once glorious creature, stealer of flame, bringer of light now at the end of its short reign.

he sits and watches unblinking, dry eyed, afraid to lose the images.

he sits until the predawn dew replaces the moisture abandoned by his tears.


*this was a sketch of someone i spied sitting on the train. he had this intent but aloof gaze as the train moved. i made a quick sketch of him and then added watercolor while waiting for a friend at a café afterwards. later that evening on the return home, he was on the same train. he saw me playing with my tarot cards and asked if i would do a reading. i declined but he pulled out a deck of regular cards of his own from his pocket and started an impromptu reading on me as we chatted. it was an interesting conversation but what was stranger was he was reading things correctly that he never could have guessed so i showed him the sketch i did. we continued to converse until we reached our stop. he gave me his email after i told him i was going to post the drawing. it was certainly a serendipitous encounter. there was more to the conversation but that is another story...

hesitant, expectant and intent

hesitant, expectant and intent
Originally uploaded by equusignis.

they didn't mean to cross paths or even directions yet sometimes intersections can't be avoided.

sometimes separation is not measured in degrees but in speed and direction: velocity.

sometimes we don't really know our personal velocities until there is a collision.

collisions sometimes can be a creative force.

collisions can create entire universes...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Originally uploaded by equusignis.

she was hip and classy. she wore an embroidered silk cap along with headphones and an ipod. she carried a fold-up scooter in a clear vinyl tote bag for that last stretch home.

she was trying to remember her lines from the script. it was supposed to be funny; a comedy and musical, Grease. but it was no match for the drone and rhythm of the train and the warmth of a summer afternoon...