Weren’t too long back I was floatin an muddin drywall up in a godawful pitched ceiling attic. Makin a video editin room for some guy who does that shit in santa barbara. santa barbara has nice weather. the houses were all plain, mostly one story, no landscapin to speak of. So while i’m up in the attic hunched down squattin to pull my tape over all the fucked up seams of this fifty year old house that was built on the cheap an’s gone on to settle quite a bit I hear people singin some song in the back yard. It was band practice, and the homeowner, Steve I think is his name, I hear him tellin em how to dance and when to shake the cane and when to come over to the left and all that, ALL DAY LONG. I mean ALL DAY LONG. I had this “put another ribbon on your SUV” goin through my head right through my supper, which I ate in Echo Park, a good twenty minutes drive from that assholes place in Santa Barbara. So image, two months later, I get online and go to boin boing dot net like i like to do to see all the little thingys people send in and I see that fuckin yellow ribbon. I couldn’t believe it. Take a peek and you’ll get a load of the song that made me consider givin up remodelin work forever.
September 30, 2006
September 29, 2006
September 26, 2006
This is life in the Richmond district.
This is the biggest dirt saw I’ve ever seen!
I’m back in The City.
September 22, 2006
This is the rough draft, when I’ve made the changes I’ll erase this warning. Feedback welcomed.
A house settles down like an old man in a chair, and the years give it a lean, the parts grate against one another and all corners wear down. An empty house sitting empty from death in a family, a final generation dead in the ground or hard times turning a family away from their shelter, more hopeful under the stars than in that pathogenic home.
This is where the carpenter found himself. An old home, broken windows cataracting, liver spots of bare wood coming up through faded skin of paint. The house was empty, save for the carpenter and his tools.
His tools were instruments of healing. With a jack he raised a corner of the basement, up in the attic rafters were strengthened with fir planks, insulation pumped between walls gave a new warmth to a creaky shivering carcass, like a strong nip of whiskey would throw heat into thin blood.
At night he spent the longest time sharpening his tools. Blades on chisels, teeth on blades, the razor edge of planes. Tools of a remodeler. Someone with patience. Someone who will work around past mistakes.
A chisel has many edges. To cut with ease the back is flattened. It does no cutting but must be smooth to allow the bevel to slide into the wood. The gross edge of the blade is hollowed, then an angle instilled into the steel along the tip of the hollow edge. When the tool was maintained his work felt good. He was so intimate with what he held in his hand he could sink it or raise it like the wood was water and the steel could float in it. Work was enjoyable.
There were mysteries that remained, of course. An old thing will look one way on the surface, but years instill surprises. The carpenter dug into the framework of a building with bright eyes of exploration. The carpenter needed to read the danger before it came. Thin nails without heads were highway-men, they could rob the tool-steel edge of all its value. Like bitter insults they sunk into the wood skin to wait, they came out at him violently, as though the carpenter were a stranger touching a sore spot.
This was the house. It played cruel jokes on him, putting stone where it shouldn’t be, hiding rot where there was no water. It was an old man, tired of living, almost ready to die, letting those younger than him suffer his tricks his last curl of zest. Being ripped open was a pleasure, all his wounds were testaments to his trials, and this carpenter was like a confessor, there to hear every last transgression done unto him so he could do unto others. Do unto the carpenter.
The carpenter slept in the empty house at night when his work for the day was done. Wind howled at him through the flue of the chimney, sounding bitter and vicious. An old blanket of patchwork fought back while he slept. Spirits from within the space came to look over his body as it moved in the rhythm of sleep. Spirits of the elements that were stripped from the earth and brought into new forms at the hands of men years ago. The wood from forests, even things men don’t consider to be alive, the silica in the glass, the oil in the paint on the walls. These were spirits that remembered.
The carpenter heard voices in his sleep, his dreams gnashed at him, he woke in the morning. A woman was gone from him. He considered her responsible for the terror of night.
Carpentry can be a dangerous profession. As a saw bites into wood the wood might pinch and spit the saw back out, back at the one who set it in its forward motion. On a roof one could slip, under a house something may collapse. A web of power runs behind the walls, hidden and hiding in wait for the steel tip of a tool.
As this house killed the carpenter he could not understand it was happening. He thought this work would heal him; rebuilding this old home to firmity, loving something abandoned, wouldn’t that restore his own strength?
But the house was slowly choking him, dulling his mind, waiting for him to weaken. Then it put the sharp blade in the Carpenter’s hand and let him take his own life. The Carpenter had no idea. He believed, as the blood ran from his neck, that the thoughts of the woman had distracted him. He was a patient man, and as life pooled around him and became something else he tried to figure out where he made a mistake, so he wouldn’t make a mistake again. He wouldn’t. He would never be given the chance.
September 21, 2006
Mike from the great LA band the knifechase (myspace it) corrected all my spanish. Thank God!
Jesus is coming to Echo Park. This is not a rave. Jesus come to see lilies, biggest in America. You will want your own water. Ten thousand people must come, there will be a yard sale. We raise money for hotel room for Jesus. No sex. Don’t make Him sleep in bushes. He loves you. If you had sex on Mary you a sexual assault. Meet at red bridge red like blood and ten thousand doves. This is not a raid. Jesus has no good English. Spanish more good. Come early to be close.
Jesus make wine red like red bridge like blood – blood like red fire truck screaming on Sunset. Do you remember Jesus? He was young man dies for your mistakes. If you make mistake you kill Jesus. Jesus is so sad up in heaven he wait for you apology. Say sorry in Echo Park and Jesus no more triste. No more coraje o penas. Why you keep making wrong, las maldades things you say to people? You give up on yourself? You give up on us too. You will have torture if you give up. Hot rocks for floor. Hot air for breathe. Sulphur for in you eyes. You think you want this, because you give up. You think you no care. No te molesta?
You want fucking, drinking. You want feel good, but no help no one. This why Jesus cry. Water. Doves. Clouds and lambs. Red wine like bridge red like blood. Blood of Christ. When you die you feel bad. Fucking feels stupid, like running from police. Fucking because you no like person? Why you fuck you don’t like? No seas tonto. You tell your friend, they no care you fuck stranger. Feel bad for you but no say nothing. You keep fucking for un chingo de pretestos menos corazon. If not for heart, than why? You never look importante making like this. 2007 at 8 p.m. J is the tenth letter.
Why you boracho, all the time boracho? Maybe you kill friend mistake. No te molesta? C is the third letter. You drink like bad priest, fuck Mary if she come to your door. You would fuck the mother of god because you don’t pay attention. Madre del Cristo. Cojido. Coming to city, to cities only. Jesus is coming to Echo Park.
Echo Park Lake swimming pool next to Highway 101. Binary highway. 10 5 19 21 19 Go north OR south.
Northbound take Glendale Boulevard exit, turn right on Glendale. Park is on your right.
Southbound, turn left on Glendale, cross under freeway, Park is on your right after the light.
When you feel empty – putting cigarette smoke in your lungs will not fill you up, you breath it back out after some part of you dies. Is that what you love/love/love? You hungry you drink, it doesn’t stop the hunger. Why don’t you want to feel what is really there? How will you change the problem with this confusion? Don’t be so simple. You hide. Jesus has big hands.
Jesus isn’t wearing a robe, We bought him some nice pants and a shirt with the special offering money. He asked to look nice, but told us not to spend a lot of money. We bought him black shoes, without too much shine. There will portable toilets and food vendors. We expect long lines. Be prepared. This totals 74. Christ = 77. Subtract Jesus from Christ = 3. This is the trinity.
You do sex to have something to think about later, but if you were in love, you would think only of your lover. Jesus is not a cowboy. Jesus will ride herd on your ass. Jesus is not a cop. Jesus raped him with a night stick. Jesus is coming to echo park lake, red bridge like the blood of Christ, blood from the bodies of murdered men. All but one had been scalped. a wagoner had been strapped to his feed box, a hot skillet had been put upon his back. Several arrows protruded from the corpse. Jesus is coming to echo park lake. Jesus said that only coming to cities only. He was found nude and covered with a mattress in an alley around Western Ave. He had been shot twice in the chest and sexually assaulted. Cat hair was found on a number of victims. Blood of Jesus with a rainbow and 1,000 doves at 8:00 pm.
September 18, 2006
“He’s fuckin worthless. He’ll be two hours late and spend half an hour organizing his truck. And he picks things up all the time, he’s gotta inspect everything. Half the time it’s just a clunk of dirt. Steve says it’s what he’s on. People like that are always wonderin’ what their girlfriend is doing, worried she’s got something and not sharing it with him.”
Locke pulls a bent spoon out of the ground, the field had been a hog farm. Local restaurants came and dumped food and all out for feed. Jags of coffee cups and tea saucers perc up out of the ground.
Planes were flying overhead. The horse was watching us from the far corner of the field, wary of the idled tractors.
“Take it home and make your drugs with it.”
Locke made one little laugh and kept his eyes on the spoon.
The merchant ships pull into ports and contact a chandler who outfits them with necessities from local suppliers. Fruits and vegetables, diesel fuel, socks, hawser, marine paint, anything the ship might have run out of after forty days at sea.
Bags of rags are important in the engine room, where diesel fuel is used to clean grease on fittings and decks. I reached into a bag once and pulled out a vintage Charlie’s Angels t-shirt that must have been sold by a U.S. scrap dealer to a Chinese rag dealer, who in turn resold them to the captain of our ship.
This horse has one blue eye.
I’ve never seen a blue eyed horse before.
Two things to notice in this photo: the seat on the tractor is left up. This keeps rain from collecting in it and rusting it out. In the distance a plastic bottle is over the exhaust. This keeps rain from going into the engine.
That’s all I’ve learned about tractors. Now you know too.
We have a poem submission today!
Andrew calls this one “poem derived from hours on the internet”
A Famous Dead, Fat, Drunk Baby
I bought the old guy a drink
because he had one of those interesting faces– I mean,
one of those faces that looks like it got hit
by an interesting life an awful lot.
This operation has an immense bearing on the fate of the Empire. It is hoped that all forces will do their utmost and attain results
as magnificent as
those achieved in the Battle of Tsushima.
“Stop! Put trash in bin. Do your part
in helping keep
Chick: What about the steak, Mom? I thought you like steak?
Mom: Goddamn it! You know I forgot my teeth!
Show us your corn!
E-mail us a photograph of your cornfield
and we may
to the rest of the
‘Imagine every morning
if the teachers had the children stand up,
place their hands over their hearts,
‘We are one nation that denies God exists,’
Banish negativity, reverse incantations.
Stretching my Nipples by Dawn.
?Absolutely no reason except I have a toothache.?
My Mother, Fate Kicking You in the Teeth and the Fragility of Life
The singers are from West Tampa
with unnamed songs under fluorescent cafeteria lights, for free
while you wait for food. Toasted Cuban sandwich, black beans & yellow rice
with a cafe con leche for $8. Sunset neon psychedelia
across the Courtney Campbell causeway
What is being gotten rid of – you step back and look at it ?
might have become a FACE as we know
from many fairy tales where some “ghost” is terrorizing
some haunted castle and once some “hero” is asking: WHO ARE YOU AND WHAT DO YOU WANT
. . . . . phhhhh it is gone.
?would animals like sports?
September 16, 2006
Cambodians often run donut shops in San Francisco. I asked Lily, who is Cambodian and runs three, why that is. I thought maybe donuts were a big part of her culture when she lived there.
“We don’t have donuts in Cambodia. Cambodians are very poor, donuts are very cheap to make. You can buy 30 pounds of flour for twenty dollars and make many donuts. Vietnamese, they are rich, they open grocery stores. It costs a lot of money to open a grocery store.”
September 14, 2006
This was unincorporated San Mateo County. SFO, the airport, had 20 jets a day taking off in a flight path directly over the one acre lot we were working. I could look up and read instructions on the underside of the wings. “Not a step”. One compartment was marked “Spare tires”. Loud low planes. The Bobcat, the John Deere and the viberator plate were all simultaneously drowned out by the jet engines.
Giant shadows ran up the hillside at us. If you looked up the plane wanted to kill you. It was screaming and blocking the sun. Locke shouted, “Man they’re big. No wonder the trade towers fell down.”
We were working together in another field five years ago when that happened. People still have horses, horses still chew up fences and we still fix them.
September 12, 2006
Strange machines. No one bats an eye, just go ahead and pay two dollars to get cash because the store doesn’t want to pay the credit card company 8%. Why doesn’t the government just issue us a government debit card instead of printing money? Or better yet, get the government out of printing money and let private business control all our money, in whatever form they choose.
September 11, 2006
Out at the sad heel of the city there is an old roundhouse, abandoned, half burnt down, unrecognizable to most as the hub of the train yards in San Francisco. Why would anyone know? Freight trains haven’t run through this city in years and years. At one time all tracks led to the roundhouse, and the engines would come in and swivel around to be repositioned on their next outbound set of rails.
There are deep trenches in the concrete floor. Workers could operate on the iron locomotives from below. Elevating a ten wheel diesel locomotive with a hydraulic jack would be pretty risky.
This building is in a vast field that runs along the current passenger train service, known as CalTrain. I met a homeless man a few years ago who claimed he set the place on fire one evening cooking speed.
Who knows if it’s true.
All kinds have come through here since it was left empty.
Rich and poor.
I find it to be one of the most beautiful places in the city.
Even the charcoal factory behind it.
Take one last look before the city knocks it down.
September 10, 2006
BAC0N iiS BAC0N, EGGS iiS EGGS, D0N’T LET THESE NiiqqAS BETWEEN Y0 LEGS THEY SAY Y0U CUTE THEY SAY Y0U FiiNE 9 MONTHS LATER THEY SAY iiT AiiNT MiiNES!
Got a myspace friend request from a stranger. I got going through their friends, and found that little gem. Wanted to share it.