Sunday, December 17, 2006

THe claSh

"Should I stay or should I go", thinking of the lyrics of that Clash song, it pretty much sums up my thoughts about getting a room for the rest of the winter at one of my friends houses, or sticking it out. The band is ok, but not one of my favorites. The house situation is ok, but it's been harder than I had anticipated.

COnsidereing my options, going back and forth, over and over I am not sure. SO what should I do? Ask me some questions?

ON the upside. Thanks to global warming the house is totally habitable right now, even though it tends to always be colder inside than outside, which really sucks! I cleaned today, so I am happy to stay there, but how long will we have 50 degree temperatures? And when will I have time to disconect my stove and replace it with a better stove borrowed from friends, plus finish insulating the floor joists under the house and other crawl space insulating attempts, plus the other handful of necessary tightening up and battoning down before a, regardless of unseasonably warm temperatures, winter that will still involve mostly very cold days and often frigid temperatures. I'll need at least 4 days. Doesen't seem like much? When do I do that when I work 8 hours a day plus, go to meetings etc etc. And all that is just so I am warm, that is not even with electricity. Did I mention FUCK OFF DTE!!

Pros. and cons, costs and benefits, should I stay or should I go; it all adds up to another hard decision, but right now I am leaning toward staying in my upsidedown house. I'll give myself til the last day of the year to decide.

Got my first mail today. To the resident of... (upsidedown house address) Detroit Water and Sewage- pay us $1, past due?? Ummm, I don't have those utilities currently, so why am I giving you even $1, whatever? SOoner or later I will and I will pay them.

As mentioned I have been insulating lately. What a nasty job. Let me tell you, fiberglass on your face (and in your lungs) makes for feeling bad about yourself and what you are up to. I wear a full coverall suit, hat and gloves and I try to wear protective gear, but everything steams up, gets knocked off while crawling around in a tight crawl space under the house, or I begin to wonder if I'm probably just concentrating the poor air that I am breathing inside the mask and making matters worse. The proper gear does matter sometimes. But, today was not so bad and I am making progress, about 20x20 to go.

R30 insulation that is for 24 inch joists, even with no face (the paper barrier) is not cheap, about $40 a roll, so that's were the money has been gong lately. I also bought a fire extinguisher, an oil filled radiator and a bunch of new paint gear for the job I am on right now in Grosse Pointe. New stuff from Lowes and discounted with a family hook up. This was my first purchase outside of the city. I am trying to keep it local and real.

What else? Cash for my 35th birthday from the folks has helped with some of these purchases. LOng gone. The birthday was pretty good, especially I appreciate my lover and all that she gives everyday to me. Thanks baby!

What else?? Dispatch Detroit VOl. 8 is out and I have 5 poems published in it and the whole book rocks and if you were not at the Zeitgiest for th reading celebrating the release of th book, well you missed it becasue the folks I read with and those who came were outstanding! Cheers to having the guts to do what you believe in, be it writing poetry, publishing other people's poems or just speaking up to freinds of family, whatever it is- to you keep it up!

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Rooftop Thoughts

I am on top; on the ridge of myself, looking out with watery eyes before th sun sinks. It's cold & hard to breathe freely. I feel a little desperate, trying to control my own destiny. A sign says "acres of hope", I respond, "I know", but where to now? I see my neighbors and strangers and I think 'they are compelled to do what is best for them and theirs'. I understand, but this has too little to do with building community as a strategy to outdo capitalism.

Deconstructing what it takes to feel like I am still up for this struggle, even just my small part: friends, my voice, some space and time alone every now and again, and diverse activities that keep me learning; it is a double edged sword. I like to be involved in lots of projects that take the place of a formal education and occupation, but each of these, friends included, not just activism, they all take time. Everything takes time... and I'm still on occasion having a hard "time", with just how long it does take. Nevertheless the process is all important, it is life.

From up here I also see looming towers that lay shadows down right over neighborhoods, be they hurting or healthy. It's hard not to stare at them from this vantage point, even though there are so many more interesting things to see. Maybe more of us should climb up on our roofs and take a look around? We could wave to each other.

Some may think these highly fortified institutional walls are here to serve and protect us, but these buildings also keep people out, especially when their focus has something to do with money. Even people interacting and caring for one another in our neighborhoods, on land that has policies cemented to them, makes for uncertain efforts. That's how I am feeling. In the end the land is not ours, nor is it the state's, but those that make the rules have the upper hand and that get's to the question of power.

So many policies equal impossible demands. Try and cold call downtown to figure something out, even if you are trying to pay them something and almost guarantee it will suck the energy right out of you. The bureacracy is virtually useless. Our lives are not like anything those who occupy offices in the highest of these walls know or remember, so we are doubly challenged to try and mend a social fabric that unravels everyday before our eyes, and fight back. I believe our efforts must somehow change (destroy) the system that has us construct such walls, because in these buildings misguided decisions are made for us and they undermine our efforts to speak to one another and control our own lives.

Real estate values going up, but what value is it? It's the value of a dollar. The values I write about, are priceless, and they most closely resemble the anarchist philosphy and way of life. But even if that feeling of others are out there struggling like me and have been for so long under the banner of the blag flag, what good is it ever if it does not help you to keep an open mind always.