Friday, October 27, 2006

Kept in the Dark

Part II.
Listening to Cole Porter songs under the covers. My breath can be seen and my nose is running. I thought I was waiting for a guest to help keep me warm, but it turned out I opted to get warm somewhere else.

Half hour earlier, looking for the tiniest of keys for a chest where I keep my extra blankets I found my small oil lamp and a cord to connect my portable MP3/CD player to the line out of my crappy garbage picked boom box instead. I could finally listen to CD's and have a little more light. It was cold, but my room was beginning to feel warmer.

I never found the key and instead jammed a knife into the lock and before I could even give it a twist it jumped open. As though it were satisfied in a way that if I had found the key there is no way it would have worked as easy. Out come the reinforcements thanks to one of my favorite tools, a pocket knife. Fuzzy ones, wool ones, flanel ones- blankets are good.

I was trying to play piano to the Cole Porter songs for a few minutes,and it was sounding ok, but the covers called, especially to my stiffening limbs. It's really not even that cold out yet, but tell that to my toes.

Earlier earlier that day I got a good amount of tiles gifted and dropped off to me. They are rectangular and a blue bronze that is hard to describe, but I like them a lot, and not just cause they were free. I am considering dropping $50 bucks or so on some complimentary antique Koy tiles that would go very nice with the ones I already have and use them for my bathroom. The only thing is the fish tiles are $6 each.

There goes the oil lamp, out and at the same time (coincidence?) there goes the music too, the inverter is out of power. It's only comfortable under the covers. Two thoughts. I can't stand DTE and it's time to leave.

Part I.

At work, like I sensed it coming, despite knowing I should paint til it hurts so I can finish this job already, I left at the right time. After only 4 1/2 hours and only a slight shift in the grey weather to greyer, I called it a day and started for home. I ran out of paint in my small quart container and without contemplation it was just like, "well that's it, I'm out".

The kids from Western are walking by and traffic is suddenly backed up as smoke already starts to fill the air. That was 3:30. As I'm hitting Vernor at Vinewood, fire engines race past towards a thick black smoke coming from a few blocks straight ahead on Vinewood and it looks like Toledo. There are both houses and buidlings of some sort up there. I wonder what it is? In a moment I can even see flames.

It was not that I got to be there in that moment as everything came together and something started to happen, but because they ended up closing off and evacuating 3 streets for several blocks that I felt lucky that I was already getting out of there. At 7:30 when I was visiting a friend back in the area, just on the other side of Vernor, smoke was settling into the neighborhoods. It was pretty creepy.

Not really expecting to get any information I pull over and my friend gets out to ask a cop what was/is burning in there. He gets some ridiculous "well you see that would be the Fire chief's call, and I'm not sure why those people were evacuated blah blah blah protocal. At least we didn't expect much from them. Cops. No matter what it, seems clear that there was something in that building that is coming down into SW Detroit.

Should more people had been evacuated and will they ever know what was in that building? What about the other buildings near us that seem empty, because there is little activity going on should we assume we are safe, who knows? The point. SW Detroit and too many cities where the residents in areas that are low income have what are called "acceptable" levels of toxins fom industry in it's back yards, literally, for too long. Canaries in the coalmine.

Lois Gibbs formerly from Love Canal, a housewife turned amazing environmental activist, at the Bioneers conference last weekend talked about how it is legal to poison us. No joke. To assume that we would be told what are in these buildings that may catch fire or explode one day with no warning, or corporations involved in industries that pollute our environment stay within permit levels is not likely, and even if they were, discharge permits mean permission to poison us. We need to shift the burden onto the polluters and refuse to be lied to and kept in the dark.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Metal Moment

Now this is great. And when I was 15, 16 or 17-going out to this bar called Blondies near 6 or 7 Mile,I forget, to catch live metal and punk shows, I’d probably have said “fuckin’ sweet.” Listening to Merciful Fate, Slayer, Exodus, Metallica, Kreator, even Negative Approach, then and right now tonight on a mostly cold and fantastic October evening 2006, nearly 20 years later. On this Autumn night a plate of dark clouds with phantom ribs cut threw the cold and makes me stare up and appreciate how unheavenly the clouds can seem. In the house a CJAM metal show plays songs from my youth while a very “metal” pewter plate of candles burns. I wasn’t trying to match the music, I just don’t have electricity.

It’s all too metal a moment for me to deny I will always have a soft spot in my heart for the really classic records like “Reign in Blood”, “Killing is my Business and Business is Good” and quite a few others.

This thrash, speed, dark, death or whatever metal label at the time suited it, actually was often quite thought provoking on serious subjects, like the Holocaust or war profiteers for example, and no doubt was crucial to my current anti-authoritarian, deviant world view. Of course my view is not limited to such a singular position, nor is my music now either… I grew some, found Sonic Youth, and Miles, then ole’ time “country” music which included prison work songs and the Delta blues and soon after that the flood gates opened and I was interested in all of it. It was likely in the very early years Hendrix and sound of waves that primed me for embracing all creative music. From Peruvian flutes, Stevie Wonder, the Moog synth., COIL, Segovia, and of course lots of punk. Music Is Best. And I still wear a leather jacket too with the traditional hand drawn skull on the back, this one from the band D.I.R.T.

Anyway, did you hear the price of copper is significantly down?

I know this because the 250 ’ (that stands for feet and “ can be the symbol of inches) of 12-2 Romex (wire) I purchased yesterday was nearly $20 cheaper than the last time. With the savings I threw down another $25 and got a role of R-19 6 ½” x 23 insulation, because the 2x4 joists in my house are 24” on center, which means that from the center of one piece of wood nailed into place to the center of the next corresponding piece is 2 foot, so I need a wider insulation and have to settle for the R-19. That stands for the rating of how much insulation it provides. Oh boy is this Saturday gonna be a party. Did you hear that, 250 feet! Just kidding. But actually, yes, insulating, reglazing windows and running 3 new circuits to the upstairs, while replacing the old nob and tube wiring, mostly because it’s accessible and hopefully I’ll not always have the floor and ceilings open like they are, are all on the agenda. Yea it’s going to be a party, a work party.

I should have my power on this next week, now that I finally got that damn meter installed, oh and there will be a separate post to come on that matter. Plus 80% of my windows are repaired for now, so no more boarding and unboarding windows for a few weeks now, and I found a bunch of interesting things at the Architectural Salvage Warehouse yesterday also, and maybe at the Habitat for Humanity restore too.

I’m broke now, but another week (hopefully) and I should have about $500 to blow on salvaged lumber, new insulation and stove pipe, or maybe I’ll, gasp, fix my exhaust on my car. Oh my, I know. It’s hard to believe since it’s so charming roaring down the road sounding like a SUV beast, but my little Honda buddy is not really very pleased with the way I’m neglecting it, so I think it might be time to give it a little attention. Either way, that time off I was hoping to take to work on my chimney and other stuff-forget about it. That $500 is practically already gone. Onto the next job and I’ll just squeeze time in to work on the house in the evenings, since I should have electricity soon. I’m lucky that I have work, but when I had 3 jobs or so overlapping , like in August, that I did not like.

I’m most excited about my new plan for converting my attic into loft space, and I’m not talking lofts like that bullshit gentrification that keeps eating up good land and buildings for tired old ideas of economics and “helping the city comeback”, please. I’ll be opening up (already did) parts of my 2nd Fl. ceiling, add a header to catch and secure the dormer and then remove a bunch of ceiling joists, so that the attic is opened up to the roof of the house and I’ll have a 16ft high ceiling in at least one room. I’m looking forward to one day sitting and reading a book from in there and looking up out onto my huge garden. It’ll be a good place to sit and is perhaps inspired by my old place on Hubbard.

Since I am not going to try and break down what any of the above means, if you are at all not sure, for a bonus, just in case you didn’t know 2x4’s are not actually that, but something like 1 ¾ x 3 ½ -just in case you need to take a measurement soon.
See ya

Kakistocracy-look it up.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The pressure of knowing

Though it's getting colder & I still do not have heat and electricity (beyond what's going on inside my body). I'm coming out of a bitter cold feeling towards what is and people in general, hence my delay in posting. Not been so worried about being physically cold, but succumbing to a cold heart has been an issue as of late. You might not know it by the end of this post as my blood boils and I spit out the poison that makes me sick, but I'm feeling better now. I think it's true; even if this does not end on a hopeful note.

I think this is a good place for me to let it go, even if it is not private and authorities have access. Mostly just cause it's easy to archive and I do like to share some of these times in my life with others. As for "the man's" watchful eyes... It may be hard to believe nonsense, but you better believe you can be watched these days, ask the CA 14 year old girl who got pulled out of Bio.class by the FBI and interrogated today for posting an antiwar cartoon on her myspace blog. Anyway, read on if you like, knowing it's not a good space to be in and that I want to stay away from there for as long as I can this time, but maybe you feel the same way and it will be a cathartic journey for both us.

To tell you the truth I think about some people I know and the attitudes they have adopted which seem so hard and hopeless, full of the language of male violence and self importance and know that is where you go when you give in to this royal mess. talking about "i'll just shoot that fucker this and these people need to get what's coming to them" type of rhetoric. I feel totally put down by it and it makes me feel less towards the signs of solidarity and good will that people do often extend towards others. I think we are a society consumed by this way of acting and thinking. Like clockwork, from that "i'm a hard ass" stance I wonder if my friends could easily forget about me and dismiss me also if I gave up on trying to create change and some stability around us since I have struggled not to do to the same to the aforementioned friends of mine with less and less success. Why hold onto people who seem to be lost to the world as it is? For the sake of keeping love, support and struggle alive I have these people in my life (somewhat) even though it's not really a good thing right now, or is it?

I wonder if I could just say fuck it all, hole up in the Upsidedown house and make really intense music and poetry, and possibly feel better than I had been trying to do something about what I see, however pathetic that would be- finally a loser punk having given in to the pressures of knowing and chosing to withdraw into self, dark and alone, occasionally coming out to vent in public about the latest genocide, like a big public fart. How useful is that?

Some days I talk of having a child or think about my 3 year old nephew and feel disgust at the thought of the lives of children in this world, and think "no way", especially because of the imbalance of power that is seeping into everything and the ignorance of this country's inhabitants. Many would say their lives, chances for kids and the world are altogether in a better state now and I would whole heartedly DISAGREE. I'd say more like a step forward and 2 steps back. And hell yes am I being cynical and judgemental. When someone throws the word "rape" around or talks about prisons as industry and the potential to make some money by getting into the business, or how about a charter school in Arizona, that includes Kindergarten, where the whole school is centered around teaching capitalism overtly, all different people in the space of an hour...well it's asking a little bit much to not feel cyncial? These are all examples per conversations I had or were near this weekend and they make me not want to have kids, but just try and help the ones who are here now and have inherited this military madness.

People are so tied up into the myths that so called leaders have made up and to speak up all the time makes me feel sick of it all. As a matter of fact these last times I got to be in the presence of so much ignorance I didn't even bother to speak up, but I also didn't get totally drunk as a means of dealing either, which I would say gets me about on the breaking even scale of acting responsibly. Speaking of "even", saw the band The Evens last week, good music, interesting form, nice try, but in the end couldn't get down with what felt like a very Liberal politic. Whatever.

I feel hatred at where we are. I understand what is happening in the world of terrorism and war and decision making I think pretty fucking well. Most people who are subjected to all this are the civilians,everyday people who are elderly, the infirmed, the children and could be my family and firends. Yea, I got a little bit of hate in my right now. Not at these people, but just how fucked up that is. And like it said it a scene from one of my favorite movies where some future post apocalyptic news is being read in Hardware, "it's going to get worse before it get's better".

I don't want to get over what is going on in this country though I just want it to fucking stop. As it pushes towards a totalitarian state and decimates, threatens and exerts it's terribly cconfused philiosophy of the elites on the world, I need to release the knowing and find more hope. Probably more spray painting in my life would be a good thing, but then I likely is it that one day I will be on the other end of a prison penpal.

I think back at my life in response to all this carnage and have to say that I'm doing ok. No, as a matter of fact I've got a pretty good story to tell about finding out not only about how this system really does do some serious internal damage, but also how we can heal from what is inflicted on us t just by getting out there and doing hopeful things with others. I was thinking the other day, not counting just thinking about the world since I was a youth, but actually engaging in the culture of disent and trying to do something different, that it's been about 15 years. SO what? Well I'd say cheers to stepping up for collective action and the history of resistance, because it can not only keep you alive, but kicking too. More than ever those stories are out penetrating the dominant paradigm too and I am not going to give in because I want mine to be there too, so not only can I try to effect change in this life, but even after I am gone. You don't even have to be a famous bad ass, the likes of Goldman, Malatesta, Kicking Bear, or countless others, because I've had friends who aren't with us any more and only a few people will ever know of them, but those of us who do remember that they are tatooed unto our spirit and we have to stick together and shake these feelings of so much hate and trade them in for renewed comittment to fucking this bullshit up.

well, just got kicked off the library computer, so hope it makes sense.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

new poems

Nov. 23rd
(inspired by CRASS and Higgs of LUNGFISH)

(part 1.)

why each animal
like each word

why each component
like each form

seasonal events
like songs

reacting to the gift of life

(part 2.)

See it happening
Times up

4 more questions

is it contagious?
are nearby trees effected?
how long will it take,
a day, two?
is it the temperature?

Yes And
It Is

that answer
for my wonder
go out &
into a bright yellow
ginko leaves walk on cars

each is ready
& says
you are the only you

it's not inconceivable

friday novemeber 10th 2006 8 am
watched the leaves of a tree fall off

so many

shedding th world
shunning it

Oct. 27th
to th er

I remember, those
when we were

above water

business elimination language
closed the issue

we are all in, deep


Oct. 23rd

to the change
on the cross
on the floor
to tree tops
"jesus, what a sound system"
escape from tv
US Roman isms
into small places, where
people can be loved, again
heaven-ly moment
on this earth
fighting the good fight

Oct. 8th

Closed Eyes Calm
Candle, Light
It’s Good To Write
Finally So Quiet

Cycle Artists
Ground Poems on Rocks
A noise
A House
A mouse
Or an intruder

It’s Good to Write
But the train comes early,
No mourning
step, inside

PinkSunGases, Look
Strong and Grow
Lucky Bamboo
Mouth , the words
Name No One Man
They mean far, less- without
Fall leaf rustling

For Artists
Who are wrong
But belong here
It is Finally Quiet
Enough to Fall
Asleep with a poem