friday, april 27

fragment

he takes his time
he wanders in the growing dark at the
end of a warm day, the rhythms of this task or that one
carried to their logical end
the tools all put away, the doors all latched

perhaps like me
in these moments he assays
the archaeology of a lifetime; the only unit of
history he can begin to understand
yet the only one that so surely overwhelms

the evidence substantial
but not easy to interpret
the artefacts and traces
fossil tracks and documents
all coherent and compounding

yet he relates to them as an eyewitness
and such testimony is notorious:
confused and unreliable

even the past we've physically traversed
is a territory no more knowable than known

Monday, April 16

pursuit

In which robacarp goes to Kansas and watches funnel clouds skip over the town where I was born.

Saturday, April 14

i'll do better next time

Other people are off chasing tornadoes and such. Me, I am doing my level best to have something useful to say, but all I really did today was sit around and wait for it to rain, aimlessly cycling through the tiny fraction of the Internet that I pay any attention to, where of course nothing at all is happening because it's a Saturday and everyone else has better things to do.

My brain has been doing a passable imitation of an AM radio in one of those regions where the best you're going to find is that call-in show where people have straw bales and bags of water-softener salt for sale (would be willing to trade for a leather seat cover in good condition) but you keep cycling through the stations anyway, swearing reflexively and without much real venom (you're just too exhausted) at right-wing talk show hosts, high-school sportscasts, and preachers who want husbands to model the Lordship of Christ for their wives.

Once it finally started raining, of course I decided it'd be a good idea to leave the house, but the truth about Boulder is that there's not really anywhere to go in this town that you haven't been just about a literal five hundred times before. It can be a little bit like that radio, but at least nobody here is talking to me about the sanctity of x.

Thursday, April 12

more observations on gear nerdery & utility fetishism

1. You have too much crap in your wallet.

1a. There's nothing you can do about it, so relax.

2. A film camera isn't just a different animal. It breathes some other atmosphere and preys on strange creatures with metabolisms a digital camera isn't even sure can exist.

3. Twist-action on/off is stupid. Flashlights should have a button you can click with one hand.

4. Fuck nonstandard batteries, especially in basic tools. If I can't buy them at the only store in town, your gadget is bad and you should feel bad.

5. Most of what you can't move with a skidsteer loader just doesn't need moved all that bad.

wednesday, april 11

this poem again

a day on the road, pavement and gas stations
the endless god damned sky
the sun like glass and structural steel
like empty storefronts and gravel in the streets
like the covers of 1970s new wave paperbacks
like none of these things, like mathematics
and corn growing in the busted dirt

the plains like nothing at all
the wind
going on forever

the opening movements of
the season: that day you realize the deep
boulder strange is leaking back out into the world
the low wet clouds hanging over the foothills
the nighttime thunderstorm passing fast but
shaking a little with portent

random shake and ancient pipe scrapings
no idea of the thing you'd want to share
with a newcomer to the field
nothing for any dignified night
just a quiet motion of last resort while
the rain tapers off

lightning through the basement windows
low thunder as it rolls
out above the flat

monday, april 9

you're forever arriving and departing
the days and hours in between
like shadows, like snapshots

Monday, April 2

thrift

On Sunday, I find an apparently functional Canon SLR at Savers. At $3.99, it is cheaper than both the replacement battery and the box of 35mm film I immediately purchase at the King Soopers a few doors down.

Thrift stores are structured a little like games of chance: For the most part, addicts are going to lose, but the periodic and unpredictable endorphin rush of a good run will eclipse the costs enough to keep them coming back.

Anyway, where a casino consumes money and offers mainly the jangling, disorientation-carpeted hell of the modern gambling experience, thrift stores mostly just consume time I'd be wasting anyway and turn it into a mildew-scented shuffle through the gradually composting afterlife of American material culture. This turns out to be healthy for perspective, to a point. And hey, one time I found this brown button-down shirt with with white dots on it that I really like.

Sunday, April 1

timebinding animals

THE PLANE GETS in a little after 7:30pm on Friday. By a quarter after 9 I'm parking my high-mileage Toyota outside a birthday party. By 9:20 or so, I am standing on the porch dizzy from shotgunning a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon. It will not be the last. Here the temporal becomes a little hazy. Almost everyone is wearing something which they have calculated to be either ridiculous or sexy (or ridiculous and sexy). Glass can be heard to shatter. Here and there is latent an awareness of decisions being made which might re-align entire lives with varying degrees of consequence and permanence. Everything is both weightless and unevenly fraught with possible meaning. It is, in short, an actual party.

In the indeterminate Saturday mid-morning, I shuffle back past the party house to discover a tire gone completely flat. The spare gives no indication of having been used in the thirteen years since the Toyota was first purchased, and is empty. I press Sarah (she of the birthday party, now sitting brutally hungover on the porch in the spring sunshine) and her car into service ferrying it to a gas station airhose. Some guy up the street lends me a nice floor jack. Automotive disasters halfassedly resolved, we return to the porch and murder the afternoon's remaining prospects of utility one can of PBR at a time.

more: notes