Monday, July 11, 1983

Journal entry, Driven

Journal,  Driven

 With unfinished work hanging over my head, I can’t get it together to fix my storage room so I can move the boxes out of my house. It’s too hard. I hate the world. I hate these boxes and more. I don’t feel good. I wanted a Jewish Mama. I want to forget everything and play. I can’t seem to forget anything except all the unfinished work over my head. I need to go somewhere and do nothing for three days. I go nuts if I have nothing to do for three hours, let alone three days. I don’t want A Jewish mama, unless she can type but then she’ll nag me about this and that and the other. I want to do something interesting for a change. I’m bored with myself. Oh man are schmucks. No, they’re not – just the ones that I know. No, just the ones I fall in love with. Maybe I should quit falling in love. And fall off barstools instead. What good is it? I am a hopeless romantic. Romantics are idealists. Idealism is dead. Long live romanticism. When did the Romans have to deal with antics? Is it a kin to Greek antics? How do you seat four guys on a barstool, turn it over. Turn over a new leaf. Figleaf. Get a heart on. I’m bored with my friends. The last time I wielded a hammer, a board fell on my foot. I’m falling over boxes and my feet hurt. And my head hurts. It’s too hot. I want to go home, my feet are in boxes and I can’t reach the clutch.


Saturday, July 2, 1983


Birds in random patterns in the sky 
bitter leaves buffeted by the winds 


Somewhere, deep in the jungle, 
an overripe mango falls. 
The almost perfume taste of a white peach 
and the bastard progeny of nectarines 
from the unnatural passion 
of plums and peaches
like  the acacia beating 
in the desert heartwood.

In the soft lavender dreams 
of your heart
what geckoes dream, 
what chameleons of thought 
rest there, unturned, 
waiting for respite 
from the long night of memory 
and language?

In the subtle home language of dreams, 
a steaming bear turd at dawn tells me 
more of the future
than the tea leaves of your cup.
This is a quiet place for remorse.
It's as if the feet of fallen angels 
made no more noise 
than crickets in the grass.

7/2 1983  or 84

A gopher has much reason 
to be the victim of thought.

7/2 1983  or 84

I am always suspicious of places 
where the tables are well padded 
and the chairs are not. 

7/3/1983  or 84

The sound of crickets 
or the shape frogs, 
the croak coming out 
of a bag filled with vertebrae, 
each croak demands 
one neckbone 
for its passage.

7/8/1983 or 84?
Wilbur Hot Springs

The snake carries the minnow 
from the stream like a dog 
with a bone and swallows it 
headfirst on the hot rocks.


Invisible boundaries
These hills carry all their secrets 
with them to and from the sea.

Trees suspended from rocks 
for no reason whatsoever, 
it's like the next of giraffes 

7/8/1983 or 84   

To cross invisible boundaries
What are invisible boundaries?
Our eyes travel into forbidden scenes 
to peer into a garage where someone 
changes the baby on a dirty carpet, 
where a phlemetic old man 
spumes in the gutter, breath in short supply, 
or to eavesdrop in on the conversations 
of others in restaurants.

Or the way the side of the building, 
painted blue, loses its constraints 
against the sky.
Outdoor windows mirroring back the room.

Within the span of three minutes 
a middle-aged man confesses 
the hospital a wedding, his daughter,
an affair gone wrong while his companion 
spreads butter and nods in silent affirmation.

I never thought of you as middle-aged.


The plums on the table 
the soft burst of fruit 
against the platter 
too suddenly ripened.

Scratches on the outside of plane windows 
from the ash of Mount Saint Helens.

Clouds over Molokai 
flat tongue of Molokai 
rolls from the feet of Maui 
white boats and whitecaps 
Pacific lint. If you look 
in the wrong direction 
all there is is endless ocean 
where reefs break.

1983 or 84?

I can't believe I interleaved 1983 and 84 in the same journal. I think most are form 1983, and  I used up a page or two in 84...



I have found terror in my own thinking
I shall have dominion over my own thoughts
the dominion of fear, he said, I see myself.
An obsession of a dream
which becomes the world.

The heart can only understand
what it understands
because they're only the thoughts
of the corporeal body.
The terror of my life
is not like the fear of my own thinking
Speech – visits – the sleeping
I have in speech for love I see myself
The love I have of life.

7/2/1983, or 1984 probably 83
rev. 2/17

When the mind gets remodeled
 the residents of walking
with arms synchronized
with the stretch of opposite leg,
a crossing over occurs.
My mind frees itself of tangled debris,
the way Highwater floats the flotsam off the shore,
sweeping its meaning,
and deposits it on some other shore.

Unknown date says 730 possibly 1984

sleeping in the kitchen a.k.a.
David bricklayer
we are all friends in this double bed,
this is a submerged reef
in the middle rises as if in low tide,
a wall of bed in the kitchen,
you have long conversations with my best friend
and we fear over the fresh market
bricks like The Mending Wall
How does fear rise so quickly
our moods and consulates Unpredictable?

In your refrigerator
Three jars of jam,
One jar of butter,
a questionable cube of butter,
some birdseed
 (for the cats)
a celibate interior
In the deep freeze,
amaretto and coffee,
ice cream, coffee beans
and the dope cookies crusted in frost.

I am hungry but it is too cold in the kitchen
You said you'd hang a door for five home-cooked meals.

We cross invisible boundaries
what are the invisible boundaries
our eyes travel in forbidden service
seems to appear into
a garage where someone changes the baby
on a dusty carpet

 tight says where philological man sings in the gutter
rest in short supply
or to eavesdrop into the conversation
of others in restaurants.

For the way I saw side of the building
slanted back loses its constraints against the sky
outdoor shadows mirrored back into the room
and then there's another section
within the span of three minutes


Friday, July 1, 1983



The Sacramento river wanders like a snake
through the great Central Valley,
leaving winter trails of oxbows, cirques, and disks;
serpentine shapes stranded amid the levees.
Fields run east to west to the mountains.
Rice levees, an organic mosaic. Earth artists.

The Marysville Buttes rise up like decayed teeth
disrupting the verdant velvet of fields.
We fly over the buttes. Inside the Marysville Buttes
are even more buttes and hidden jeweled lakes,
inside the decayed heart of an old volcano.

The Inner Coastal Range,
a scalloped shelf—like Zabrisky point.
Ocean sculpted by the great California Sea.
A spill of coastal mountains near Winters
disrupts the parallel symmetry of mountains
pushing against a sea of air and green caps.

Odd July snow on the coastal mountains.
Mt. Knocti, on Clearlake, pushes a black horizon,
bas relief of rice paddy patterns in the fields.
The rice farmers will never know that Mt. St. Helena
is pushing the sky up with her woman's body.

Dry washes of feathered snakes, dendritic memory
coming down the mountains to drink from the valley floor.
Napa Valley on the other side of the divide, an oasis.
Those dry hills hiding black gold, red gold, white gold;
hayfields, plowed earth, a valley of dust.
Then, the slate teeth of Mt. Berryessa gnawing the sky.
A singer in the fjord, Lake Berryessa laps
at the feet of the Mayacamas, like a cat.
In the dry regions, yellow pasturage,
the north slopes to the summit, open to the wind.

The lone thumb of Mount Tamalpais, guardian of the bay.
Point Reyes Peninsula, that island in time, a misty sentinel.
Home. I have full access to the plane, it only holds 12,
and there are only four of us, including the pilot.

Mt. Diablo, gatekeeper of the Bay's rivers.
Livermore, on the fault, the nuclear reactor, asleep.
So that's how the great Sacramento drains
into the Bay, over Diablo's feet.
Engulfing one half of the Central Valley
Lowlands—I'm surprised to see nothing grows
in the hills between Vallejo and Vacaville, except grass.

Cross currents in the Bay, a sudden insight,
the realization that the waves take turns
to mesh into each other like a massive weaving.

To the south, the Coyote Hills and and Mission Peak
barely visible beneath the morning fog.
A passenger asks if I take photos to remind myself of home.
He's late for his date with the US government.
He reads The Art of War. Off to the killing fields.

The plane plane doesn't want to land,
the pilot yells at the plane, Come on, land, goddamnit!
What you don't want to hear a pilot yelling.
The passenger thinks maybe he won't have to serve,
but the wheels reluctantly touch the asphalt.
We shudder to a stop, mere mortals again.

minor surgery 9/2016 b/c I couldn't read it.


the river wanders through the great central valley
carving a level journey leaving winter trails
ox bows cirques, discs serpentine shapes
fields outlined in even boundaries 
running east west to the mountains
rice levees
Marysville buttes rise up like a decayed tooth 
disrupting the verdant velvet of fields
Inside the buttes, more buttes
a hidden lake inside the decayed heart of an old volcano
Inner coastal ranges scalloped shelf like Zabriski point
ocean sculpted by the great California sea
Coastal mountains spill into the Valley near Winters