Saturday, May 5, 2018

The Amber Foyer

Rain, Steam and Speed: The Great Western Railway by William Turner


We have many words for things that we aren't sure of: God. Love. Meaning. Each of us borrows them, like the color Yellow. What we paint, on whom we smear: these creations are our responsibilities as we mix them on the palettes of our memories, thoughts, and desires.

For me, yellow is always the light of the amber glass bricks around the front door in the townhouse in Sacramento, specifically in the August afternoons of 1977—when all I had to do was open the door and I could pass into the City where I would meet him as his guide. He was a short man with bulging eyes. A hunted man and I alone knew how to help him. My dress was as beautiful, like a painting of a train hurtling over a bridge and into an explosion of gold cloud and a river of sunlight.

And I knew that the Temple of the Cats—where they lounge in statuary and streaked jasmine—was where could find the answer. We waited on the roof, listening to the drums as the sunset swallows the towers and the tiles, touching them like copper and persimmons until the night comes. He shyly said the Moon was prettier reflected in my eyes than in the sky.

This was Khandormand, and it would be there in the morning. “I’ve lost my ticket” he said. It did not matter. Outside were the markets and bazaars that hid treasure, phoenixes, orphans and burning censors of myrrh and frankincense.

Or were they simply olive trees and stucco walls? The smoke from burning rice paddies? A watercolor copy of an oil painting? Or  did I find them all in the Year of the Cat?

Thursday, March 15, 2018

Deukollectrum: Laundry

It is not a question of how much of our lives we spend pushing the rock up the hill. We are always doing that. What amazes us is how much we do not notice. But we are so used to our task that our conscious mind seldom notices.
The slope is long and steep, but if you stop and look at it at all, you’ll feel that piece of feldspar start to move and you will be reminded, perhaps only glancingly, that the rock will fall down the hill and you will have to start all over again. Which of course you will have to do anyway, but living in the moment allows precludes that sort of thinking.
But is this blissful ignorance really pushing the rock? Is it an unintended gift left on the slope by an otherwise unfeeling, indifferent universe? 
When I am sitting here watching my laundry go around and around (it is not merely metaphorical, but analogous) I seldom think that I will be wearing it. I don’t think about that plum colored thong I like to wear when I’m feeling dangerous. I try not to think or even see the blouses I wear at the office, nor do I imagine the poses I’ll manage in the yoga pants. When I put the Breton shirt on I feel like some ludicrous extra in the Umbrellas of Cherbourg, and I like that feeling.

This is an excerpt in draft form from The Deukollectrum: which is a collection of many blog postings from this Webtraption along with some longer essays that I have been working on as of late. What is it about?


It's about Albert Camus, The Odyssey, Heraclitus, Louise Brooks, Du Fu, my Mother, Captain Ahab and just about anything else. It is large, it contains multitudes and it contradicts itself. David is illustrating it. It is, much like laundry. Always in some part of the cycle.

As a result, I won't be posting material here all that much. Perhaps a few things like the text above, but please check back once in a while for announcements.


Deukollectrum is my own coinage. I'll explain it later.