it was damn near a hundred again today /
over at the airport where they measure /
a little cooler here on the edge of things /
the river is running low, like it's august in fact /
as well as by date
||i should still be at my desk, but instead /
i'm out in the yard in work boots, sweatpants, /
and a chore coat, fucking with the christmas lights /
while there's still enough daylight left to see
||another lawn and garden report
||a lawn and garden report
||I’m in the mountains, dog-sitting for family. They live in the kind of place
that’s flooded with natural light during the day, where you can see the
Continental Divide out the windows. Put wood on the fire, take the dog
outside, startle as big corvids of some kind glide past overhead.
||It’s snowing, finally. Single digits outside, according to the search engines,
which I have no reason to doubt too much. The little indicator in my taskbar
says 3°F for Denver International Airport. It was in the 50s yesterday, if not
warmer. Tonight we came out of a show and brushed 3 or 4 inches of fresh dry
powder off the Jeep before we drove home on mostly-empty roads.
||the snow melting over the green grass /
the leaves half fallen /
three blackbirds chasing a hawk /
haze over the flatirons and /
a single lenticular disc of /
cloud above the canyon
||the late afternoon /
of the year gathers /
around the town /
where we live
||I went down to the Women’s March in Denver on Saturday with my girlfriend and
my sister and a couple of our friends and (from the looks of things at the bus
station) a pretty good percentage of Boulder County. I didn’t take a camera
any better than my phone; none of us were really sure what to expect from the
whole thing, and traveling light seemed like a good idea.
||I wrote this on Sunday night. I didn’t post it then because it wasn’t
finished and I thought I should reword it so it was kinder. I guess it
might as well go up as-is.
||Hello, Colorado citizens.
||We keep on putting ice cubes in the box wine. It seems like a bad habit to get
into, but I guess I can’t credibly argue that it’s a worse habit than the box
wine is on its own.
||in my life it seems like /
there's a measure of imbalance /
in the warp and weft of things
||It’s some time well after midnight. There’s a storm rolling in over the
mountains and up from the south. On the radar, the colored splotches are
over Boulder now and not quite here. There’s that heavy feeling to the air and
the smell of flowers. The thunder is almost continuous, and you can hear
rain on the trees though it’s not exactly raining. I’m sitting in my back
room with a window open so I can hear. Someone’s windchimes are making
intermittent noise and there’s a breeze where there wasn’t one a few minutes
||Out along the foothills, everything blanketed in snow and the particular dingy
grey of snowclouds still churning slowly over the mountains. I wouldn’t be
surprised if it were still coming down up above Jamestown.
||New York always feels something like a foreign country. Not like one so
foreign that its modes and routines are completely illegible, but one far
enough from usual life that I’m often unsure what the rhythm is, the protocol,
the whatness-of-what. I speak the language (one of them, part of it) but I
don’t exactly speak the place.
||Back in Colorado, one festival and ~1400 miles later, a week has predictably
lowered temperatures into the range of encroaching Fall. Where I live, the
tourist traffic has slackened and the coffeeshop is emptier.
||Our plane descends into Denver International Airport and an obscuring
haze drifted in from Washington’s burning forests. We step into the terminal
and everything is momentarily new, unfamiliar. Outside, despite the smoke, the
air is beautiful, cool and dry, easy to breath in. We aren’t on the bus 5
minutes before I catch the tang of dank, weapons-grade cannabis drifting out of
an open pocket or bag.
||For weeks now, between Nebraska and Colorado, I have been operating at a
heat-induced cognitive deficit. I am never not sweating.
||rtd / bus schedules / transit data
||it was raining again tonight /
heavy pattern on the stovepipe, /
a kind of static on the roof
||I rode in to work today for the first time in months, along the foothills down
36 with trucks full of debris and construction materials rattling past, out
onto the plains along Nelson Road. Everything has that sort of springtime
muzziness about it, the ragged-edgedness of early grass through late-winter
grime, the smell of thawed-out earth, a haziness in the air, a certain texture
to the wind.
||Erik Winn was tall and skinny and had skin like tanned leather. He wore
glasses and shaggy sweaters and tall leather boots. His teeth were terrible,
until he had them all out and got dentures. He smoked constantly –
hand-rolled cigarettes from a big can of American Spirit tobacco. He rolled
more expertly and effortlessly than anyone else I have ever met. He drank
coffee, slowly, all day long. He seemed to live on peanut butter sandwiches,
bananas, now and then a baked good from Trident, where he was very nearly part
of the physical structure of the place when he was living in Boulder. He was,
whatever else my description might suggest, a handsome man, and I know there
were women in his life before I knew him, though by the time we worked together
he was almost monk-like in his ascetism and claimed variously to have given up
on love, on art, on a lot of what my Christian heritage is always calling the
things of the world. He played classical guitar, skillfully, and sang, though
I always had a hard time getting him to start.
||I’m writing this, imprecisely, on a typewriter I only half
remember how to use. It’s not exactly a romantic typewriter.
It’s a product of the death throes of an entire category of
consumer utility item. An entire technological mode, really.
It must have been sold some time in the 1990s, after the obvious
total superiority of computer word processing had emerged.
||i step out into the rain, pipe in hand /
and look in a cardinal direction /
i wonder what's happening down that way /
and suddenly i'm thinking of you /
of what it's like in your life /
how far away you are
||4pm: ambient Twitter radiation prompts me to look out the office
windows in Gunbarrel. Sure enough, in the hills towards the northwest, a small
white plume, too low and distinct to be a cloud. We confer. Definitely smoke.
The Internet says it's north and a little west of Lyons. Through binoculars it
looks bigger, oddly less distinct. It's hot out, windy enough. Fire season
seems to have re-emerged.
||Main Street in Lyons is busy all day long, thick with tourist traffic,
National Park daytrippers, and people on Harleys. I feel invisible - walking
for groceries, reading over food and a beer, watching mid-afternoon rain from
the doors outside my rooms. A lot of people pass through a place like this, but
you're so much background noise to most of them.
||from a bus running north out of boulder
||midwinter midafternoon; depressed as hell /
sitting in a huge cabin in the rich-people mountains /
writing a sprawl, pages, of melancholic midlife bullshit
||i'll do better next time
||this poem again
||It's been the kind of day where at some point one had better plans, but in
the end what one does is lay about one's basement apartment acting out some
stereotype of reclusive dorkitude.
||The upstairs neighbors are having a work party or something. It looks like
they're installing a drip irrigation system in the back yard. They've got music
on loud. Phish, Led Zep, Floyd, lots of the Dead. It might be a Pandora
station, but I hope not. Lately I'm taking a dim view of algorithmically
determined music selection, or at least a dim view of Pandora, which has
entirely taken over the public-audio landscape around here and seems to exhibit
an ever-narrower imagination. All of the easy choices rendered automatic. Radio
minus the human element.
||Short flight in from Omaha. It's raining in Colorado. Can't even see the
mountains from the bus stop at the airport.
||Brent is in Colorado Springs for a Space symposium, so I take the day off,
rent a car, and drive down to this quasi-famous upscale hotel complex at the
south end of town.
||1:37pm. My sole intention for the weekend is to do nothing whatever in
furtherance of my day job. I find that I am able to get just past noon before
relapsing, and I manage to repress the impulse after only a few minutes.
Clearly this is progress.
||It's Wednesday night and we're sitting in the Mountain Sun again.
||me and sun microsystems
||It's mid-September: normally the season of impending dissolution and
incautious expectations. In Kansas they're parking trailers and setting up
tents by now, stretching tarps and putting meat on the smoker. If I concentrate
I can halfway hear string music and smell handrolled cigarettes. We won't be
there this year, most of us, for one reason and another. Everything gets fucked
up sooner or later, and the truth about the Good Life is that nothing ever
comes for free.
||it's still the early years of a century /
the kind of time our survivors and theirs /
might understand hazily /
as an age undone in the succession of catastrophe
||Allegedly, March is the snowiest month of the year in Colorado.
I had been having doubts, until yesterday.
||i wake up at noon or maybe one /
go down for coffee /
sun out, blue sky haze /
brown grass by the railroad track /
check the mail on the way back /
it's empty again
||at the end of the last summer i /
spent at home, i visited a friend /
who was staying in a nearby town /
he was working the phones at a collection /
agency, waiting to go to jail for a while /
i forget just exactly why
||Levente's in town from Budapest. Today we tire of the suburban apartment and
drive to Lyons to sit in the Barking Dog. It's been months since I was here. I
reflect that things were better before I got it into my head to move into
Boulder, away from the foothills and the elk and the dead grass and whatnot.
Not in fact because I immediately lost my crappy job and my woman lost her mind
and her interest in me, or any of that, but because somehow it was another
movement away from a life I understood & wanted.
||I'm sitting in a bus station, trying to get wireless. It isn't working.
Mike Huckabee is interviewing Ann Coulter about her new book on Fox News. A guy
named Daniel asks if he can use my phone. He's clearly stoned out of his gourd.
After he calls his dad, he asks me if I play any instruments and we talk for a
while. Actually, pretty much he talks, but although I'm always at least a
little nervous at the prospect of talking to some random dude in a Greyhound
station (because, let's be honest, these places are freakshows, and before you
know it some guy will be trying to sell you bad coke and/or encouraging you to
join him in his personal relationship to Jesus) I don't really discourage it.
CA, who has been talking to an old metalhead named David on the bus, arrives
from Nebraska and we depart.
||"the names of the months sound like threats"
||You ever have one of those days where you're up to your eyeballs in
bush-league technology problems, and you think man, I should have just gone to
Virginia to hear some bluegrass, get a little high, and spend a week
helping Abe drive his new ride back to Colorado?
||sunday morning in late october /
the burnt taste of instant coffee /
bright day on the edge of things — /
dead leaves and cold air, undecided wind
||i'm always, every day /
awakening to a world /
i barely know and hardly grasp
||So I went down to Denver last night to hear Dennis Kucinich talk at the
Skylark Lounge, a couple of blocks away from an apartment where I spent most of
the summer of 2005.
||america and hope
||it ain't just feet of clay /
you shatter and shake down dust /
from all the way up /
dust and pieces sharp as glass, /
colors of broken bottles /
trap shot pigeons, storefront panes /
and busted windshields /
edges like the beercan sheer /
that lacerated my fingers once, /
the taste of blood like copper /
no like coors light aluminum /
and my face in the mirror /
as i fumbled for a bandage /
mike outside the door /
it's just a little cut /
my face in the mirror /
a stranger through the bloodloss /
buzz, to myself at least /
in all those mirrors from /
nebraska to colorado and /
points in between asking /
what are you doing? /
i didn't know then, /
in kansas city bath /
grand junction billings /
christchurch wichita /
westmoreland salina /
or maybe i'm a liar /
maybe knew too well /
but it was always a rhetorical /
question and it at least /
has never checked the motion /
of these brittle feet.
||dear boulder concert crowds
||in the distance, there is snow on /
||Chris Mercogliano is in town on a
book tour and crashing on our
couch for a couple of days. I haven’t read the book yet, but I did go to a talk
he did last night at Naropa. One liner version: Childhood is ever-more subject
to a range of controlling and domesticating influences (soccer tots,
medicalization, school, electronic pacification, you get the idea), and this is
not a good thing.
||Anybody know of a decent place for rent in or about Boulder, CO, for less
than 1200 bucks?
||It is summer now. The grass has started to turn brown. We have sealed ourselves
in the relative coolness of the house with the hum of box fans, decrepit
computers, an ancient laser printer. The kitchen is filthy and piled with the
wreckage of my highly improvised cooking. The entire former contents of our
bedroom closet, purged in response to the death-stench of some rodent or
reptile in the walls, spill across the couch and living room floor.
||It’s been rainy here in Boulder County, and the landscape is as green as it
seems likely to get this year. I should have learned by now, though, not to
make predictions based on so little experience of a place. After 26 years
Nebraska and Kansas still surprise me. 78-year-old men sit in gas stations
over bad coffee talking about the weather and shaking their heads.
Certainly this is a piece of deep routine, but partially it is because the
weather still surprises them too.
||literacy - a short list of things badly or not at all understood by yours truly - other notes collected from paper
||I went to the DMV today to get my very first Colorado driver’s license. The
office in Boulder is housed in the back of a near-death mall, and the
atmosphere is the kind of Midwestern Soviet ca. 1987 that lets you know you’ve
stumbled into a channel of that bureaucracy which runs like dry rot through the
official American system. The older guys all look just like the actor who plays
the bond company stooge in The Life Aquatic.
||I'm not sure I care too deeply, and it sure as hell ain't all that
surprising, but I think I just caught the Bill Ritter (as of yesterday,
Colorado's governor-elect) campaign (or an earnest supporter) gaming
||should be a good day to be in boulder /
says junior /
on account of the holiday /
i ask /
there is a pause /
oh yeah, i say /
||Wednesday night: Drive to Breckenridge by way of Keystone, to see State Radio play a bar called Yeti &
Sherpa's. The music is good. The crowd talks a lot, which seems to be standard
practice for Colorado crowds at rock shows.
||rage - command line love
||a brief digression on manpower, inc.
||This past Monday, of course, was All Hallows Eve - an observance which is
well over a thousand years old in the Christian church and probably a good deal
older in various pagan traditions. In tune as we are with our cultural
heritage, we chose to celebrate in the traditional manner: By running drunk
and naked down Pearl Street wearing carved pumpkins on our heads.
||can of worms
||minor scalp laceration
||i: punditry - ii: attitude - iii: anyway
||My stuff is carefully, maybe even artfully, packed in a single
backpack. Shorts, shirt, longjohns, disc, cleats, notebook and pencil in a
Ziploc sandwich bag, three letters demanding responses, bandanas, shaving kit,
sunscreen, knife. The dirty brown sleeping bag is neatly rolled. I must be
forgetting something, but I can't for the life of me remember what. Colorado,
here we come.