westcoast adventure

we huddled together
under brilliant stars
by the drum firepit
no wood, no fire

the full moon rose
over the eastern bluff
and bathed the open field
with silver light

and dead composers
thrilled our souls
denying the past
erasing the future.

she watched me wash in the river.
john thomas stood at attention
saluting the past, i guess.
no reason except the breath of the wind
a tickling zephyr.

it all started when julie called me two weeks ago.
“i want to talk to you about going to big sur…” etc. on my voice mail.
so i called her back and arranged to meet julie at demian’s house at six on monday.

i was on time except the bay bridge delayed me another hour.
fourteen lanes i counted; all lanes feeding into four cash booths and people switching lanes laboriously at a snails pace to get to the “pass holders” lane.
i was stuck for five minutes at a time with no movement and then julie called to find out where i was. i suddenly saw an opening and with the phone in my right hand at my ear did a left handed swoop out of my position behind a white pick-up truck. i could hear the crunch. i thought my whole side was scraped. but it was just the side mirror. don’t drive while you’re on the phone.

after dinner and sleep, the next day we took the scenic route out of san francisco and down the coast towards monterey. beautiful drive it was. and we chatted continuously and listened to james taylor tape and some wild coltrane.


my tent was plenty big for the two of us. without the rain “fly cover” you could see the night sky through the ceiling; we had a full moon and we watched it rise. and later outside for a four in the morning saunter to the outhouse i watched it set in the west.
the full moon
rises slowly
from behind the hill
suddenly the night is illumined
then it sets on the other side of our field
and the sun gradually brightens the day
over the same hill
they go round and round
taking turns dispelling darkness


at war with the groundsquirrels, in spite of their prairie dog stance, artful thieves in a gang. they felt the sting of my stick… eyes behind my head i can feel them surrounding the table. and they are wary of me.
in the daytime they are grazing on the grass like a herd of buffalo. but if i start to prepare dinner it’s bait an switch and there goes the chocolate. sometimes i leave them some lemon seeds in a hole in the picnic table. they even ate my plastic sandals.

today the yellow leaves floated down
became little boats
drifting in the quiet stream
not far now to the ocean
a buttefly parades by me
and a blue/black bird rests
on a nearby branch
over the river
my feet in the stream after a wash
the water is cooling my blood.

when julie was getting rebellious on the third day she actually said, “i should have made love to you last night. then i wouldn’t have this problem with you.”
she wanted to hitchhike to partington canyon and stay at big sur forever. she denies alzheimers, but every night, “where are we?” and “are we in a boat?”

westcoast adventure

we huddled together
under brilliant stars
by the drum firepit
no wood, no fire

the full moon rose
over the eastern bluff
and bathed the open field
with silver light

and dead composers
thrilled our souls
denying the past
erasing the future.

she watched me wash in the river.
john thomas stood at attention
saluting the past, i guess.
no reason except the breath of the wind
a tickling zephyr.

it all started when julie called me two weeks ago.
“i want to talk to you about going to big sur…” etc. on my voice mail.
so i called her back and arranged to meet julie at demian’s house at six on monday.

i was on time except the bay bridge delayed me another hour.
fourteen lanes i counted; all lanes feeding into four cash booths and people switching lanes laboriously at a snails pace to get to the “pass holders” lane.
i was stuck for five minutes at a time with no movement and then julie called to find out where i was. i suddenly saw an opening and with the phone in my right hand at my ear did a left handed swoop out of my position behind a white pick-up truck. i could hear the crunch. i thought my whole side was scraped. but it was just the side mirror. don’t drive while you’re on the phone.

after dinner and sleep, the next day we took the scenic route out of san francisco and down the coast towards monterey. beautiful drive it was. and we chatted continuously and listened to james taylor tape and some wild coltrane.


my tent was plenty big for the two of us. without the rain “fly cover” you could see the night sky through the ceiling; we had a full moon and we watched it rise. and later outside for a four in the morning saunter to the outhouse i watched it set in the west.
the full moon
rises slowly
from behind the hill
suddenly the night is illumined
then it sets on the other side of our field
and the sun gradually brightens the day
over the same hill
they go round and round
taking turns dispelling darkness


at war with the groundsquirrels, in spite of their prairie dog stance, artful thieves in a gang. they felt the sting of my stick… eyes behind my head i can feel them surrounding the table. and they are wary of me.
in the daytime they are grazing on the grass like a herd of buffalo. but if i start to prepare dinner it’s bait an switch and there goes the chocolate. sometimes i leave them some lemon seeds in a hole in the picnic table. they even ate my plastic sandals.

today the yellow leaves floated down
became little boats
drifting in the quiet stream
not far now to the ocean
a buttefly parades by me
and a blue/black bird rests
on a nearby branch
over the river
my feet in the stream after a wash
the water is cooling my blood.

when julie was getting rebellious on the third day she actually said, “i should have made love to you last night. then i wouldn’t have this problem with you.”
she wanted to hitchhike to partington canyon and stay at big sur forever. she denies alzheimers, but every night, “where are we?” and “are we in a boat?” I_ArtMan

happy

i am so happy. words cannot express the waves of gratitude

and relief i have experienced in the last four days since i first

moved into my new home.

for the past twelve years, since i left new york to spend a

year and a half with my dying father, i have been shunted

around against my will. after my father died my brothers sold

the house my father designed and built on camano island.

it had a lovely view overlooking the puget sound.

i would gladly have stayed there. i would have to

pay off my brother and two stepbrothers for their share of my

father’s legacy.

i didn’t have a penny to my name.

due to a series of circumstances and the laws of the universe i

took up with a lady who had a house and a restaurant; the “fish

in'”(a play on words for a restaurant which had been serving

breakfast to the fishermen at 4:00 a.m. since 1923. rockport

was high up in the cascade mountains of Washington state right

at the confluence of the mighty skagit and sauk rivers.

a famous spot not only for the prized game fish the steelhead,

a wily young salmon, but also for the congregation in the

winter months of about 554 american bald eagles. on a typical

rainy, misty day they would be hanging out in the trees along

the river looking all broody and bored.

my brother bobby lived on the sauk prairie on a lot of land in a

small house where he and his wife kathie had birthed six

children; five boys and finally the last child was a girl. so i

was close to my brother and his family. that was good.

dixie and i renovated the fish in’ working side by side for

months. and when we weren’t busy with the construction and

decorating i made a place of my own, with permission, under

the ‘fish’ as everyone called it. dixie was a volatile ’empress’

type and even though i not only fit her list of attributes for

the man she was praying for, plus some she learned to

appreciate, she broke up with me seven times.

so, after a couple of years in rockport, i moved to a pig farm in sumas on

the canadian border…. flatlanders, we upriver people called

them down there on the flood plain.

i had put an ad in the paper… to the effect ” artist will fix up

your house or old barn in return for a place to stay. here

again, i had to leave because the conditions were intolerable. no need to go into the details, it’ll be in the book though.

my agreement with the owner was two hours a day as a handy

man, five days a week would be equivalent to what one might

pay to live on planks with walls covered with a hundred years

of pig shit. i put in some windows upstairs and mowed and

pruned and painted. i had plenty of time for my own work but

i was pissed at the world and extremely depressed.

then at the end of august 2000 i rented a u-haul and dragged

it down to los angeles with my father’s old cadillac (1978). it

was an old golden warhorse my father dubbed “xanadu”…
“in zanadu did kubla khan his stately pleasure dome decree…”

from the poem kubla khan by coleridge.

i called an l.a. friend to stay on his couch. even though i had put him up at my house in new york, he refused. so i slept in the car. I put everything in storage the next day and slept in a residential neighborhood by the curb in the grass to get flat. you don’t sleep very well sitting up.

the next day in redondo beach i showed my paintings… unframed and leaning against trees and folding chairs… they thought i was crazy, everyone else had these lovely gold frames and each one had it’s own easel or stand or pavillion.
a generous artist named bela gave me some advice. “go to venice.” she meant venice beach which i had never heard of.
so i went there. i did a few portraits and stayed in the hostel a block away.

i did o.k. on the venice boardwalk until november when the rain and winds make it very uncomfortable. and of course, no tourists.so no money for the hostel… so i wound up sleeping upright in the car again. until i let a young fellow move it from the library to my regular spot in front of the post office vehicle parking lot. (very impersonal and all my friends knew where i could be found.) but he got pulled over for no seat belt going three blocks, and he had a suspended license so they busted the car and gave it a sentence of thirty days…

thirty days’ storage would have been over $800 here.

that night i dreamed i was in my father’s cadillac flying…
then i was hanging onto a building parapet with the seat belt on clinging to the wall with my fingernails holding the full weight of the car…. i yelled down to some pedestrians. “can anybody cut me out of this car”

like a good amatuer indian i took it as a sign, and didn’t go through a struggle to save xanadu. but that left me pushing a dolly with all my paintings and equipment down streets wide and narrow to the boardwalk and then at night to somewhere where i could sleep beside it.

then i managed to get into the ‘yes center’, a supposed ashram run by a mister a. at first i had high hopes, sharing a small room with three other people; a japanese surfer/student, an english musician of considerable skill and an iranian nanoscientist named behzad nili.

but it turned out to have no traditional activities and was more of a slum and i ended up sitting in the garden every night trying to drink myself to death… i guess.

I called my best friend.   mr. h. rescued me one night and i wound up in a sober living house in culver city.

after two years they decided to sell the house and couldn’t provide a next place where you could share a house with thirteen people and a room with one other man which is big enough to walk between the beds.

then i lucked out.. i found a nice house which was organized loosely by four sober people. i stayed there for almost a year. i lost that by letting my friend barbara park her car in my spot.
too bad because i was really wailing with the painting and that’s where i started my opera journal.

so it was back to a nomad life for a month with my noble destrier the jeep cherokee i bought for $600 by paying $100 a month from my married friends b. and b.a. ; if i put everything from the back on the roof i could actually sleep flat.

then a good friend mr.s. hooked me up with mr. l. and i had a small private room in a made-over garage at the orchid farm called ‘serenity house’ lmao… because that’s when real hell ensued. the owner decided to move into the garage-house which i shared with two others.

i was put into a small room in the front house to share my room with one other man and the kitchen with about ten men… all slobs when it comes to culinary arts and clean-up.

and finally, after a few months of that, they put me into a trailer with a total space of 7 feet by 11 feet to share with a new evacuee from the renovation.

they said we could all move back into our rooms in december. great only eight months without a kitchen or cable t.v.. and worst of all. no internet. and we were using a porta potty with a construction crew of sometimes twenty men.

the kitchen was gutted and i was living on peanut butter and graham crackers and desperate to get out of the box with a window. then they made us move everything out that might break so they could move the trailer out of the street.

all this time, for twelve years i have wondered what forces were involved in pushing me around.

i still don’t know. but i am happy and have landed in a very nice apartment which is mine alone, with a clean kitchen and a lovely bathroom of my own. i also have a nice bedroom and a very big living room on the ground floor so i can grow herbs for cooking and maybe a few roses. i am so happy.

vlad’s war

in the game “go” there is a move called kikashi. it means, ‘it is a move which must be answered’.

Ukraine would form a spear of everything and every soldier and militia and go for moscow.

i know i am anti-war but when you have one, you have to know there will be many deaths and casualties. but “it’s better than just sitting at home waiting to get hit.”

the other thing i haven’t heard on msnbc or anywhere is join them to the nato alliance immediately. that changes the legality. then we can really protect them all and vlad will go to bed crying.


I_ArtMan

women

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yes. be strong. you don’t owe anybody anything in this world. we recover.

i can’t tell you how many times i was dropped by a girl. even as late as a few years ago. and i only broke up with two girls in my life. i like girls/women/ladies/disco strippers and all. i have only really been married once, for thirty four years. but before then i could count and remember the names of 45 sex partners when i was about 28. and i was shotgun married to linda talbot in georgia driven by her dad. she said she was pregnant. i was only invited to the house on the beach in st augustine, fla. i had only met linda the day before. we dangled our feet in the lake and she broke down crying. i agreed to play the part of the guy who impregnated her. it was a lot of fun with an enormous yacht and another house in norwell, ma dad builds ships. so i was ‘shotgun’ married. a year later, i was in new york and signed divorce papers. i could have held them up but that is not my style.

women…. when i couldn’t get to sleep one night just to busy my mind and just for the hell of it, i went through my entire memory and remembered all their names. only two of them were one night stands and about four were two years or so. the only one i feel any remorse for was an english girl named wendy darby. she was very genteel and well educated with a noble face. she loved me too much. i couldn’t stand it.

looking back i can see that she would have made a very good wife for me. she was a little too stocky for me. i prefer slim. anyway, she kept coming back, all clean and perfumed with a cameo brooch on her ruffled white shirt. i finally had to ‘use the knife’. i got that expression from a slim book called “on love”; an essay really, by a.r.orage. i knew what he meant. it’s like once and for all no. i don’t want you. goodbye. goodbye forever. we couldn’t be friends afterwards because she kept coming on to me. oh well. she never forgave me. at least i don’t think so.

maybe the karma of that use of the knife with wendy is how skillfully my wife jean cut me out of her life, mostly, of course she still helps me. helps with my rent.

My beautiful picture this is sort of linda’s essence.

1991 Mt. Marcy, Adirondack mountains

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(five pages, handwritten) so i haven’t changed the ‘diary’ style. 

 

Marcy Dam, Monday, July 30th

 

Long day, short night- watched the sun rise around 5:30.  easy drive, Berlinetta…  approximately 280-300 miles to Lake Placid.  Ryan slept the whole way.  we had plenty of sandwiches packed; stopped once for gas and eat.

 

It’s 11:05 by a blazing campfire in front of the lean to (our favorite with the grassy peninsula to Marcy dam lake).  The moon is half or less and setting.  When we were fishing as it got dark the moon accentuated a complex peak to the south of the dam.  Good day. we swam once in the rocky river effluvium-  not as cold as i expected. We swam at a sandy beach where it is deep enough to swim out and around. Not going to mess around with the bears this time.  too many people hang their food while camping at Marcy for it not to be a wise thing to do.  (we lost food even with the bag hanging because the squirrels eat little holes and food drops down).  Easy wood gathering.  Easy fire start.

 

Didn’t catch anything with the ‘nightcrawlers’ we got at a corner store.  Try again tomorrow as early as possible.

Hamburgers and chicken vegetable soup.  Ryan fell asleep about ten-thirty listening to the “Ramayana”.  Smoking less.

 

Tuesday:  Up at dawn.  Ryan made coffee.  Went for food and fished with worms. No luck.

Breakfast:   Three eggs and nine bacon, koolaid and milk.  Second coffee and clean up on a rainy morning so we made the car trip with empty pack to bring up the rest of the supplies. Spent fifteen minutes on the dry side of a big pine tree…  didn’t have time to just stand there waiting so we trudged on up the trail.  Ryan had his cheap red poncho so his shoes and his pant legs were soaked.  i dressed lite and had left my poncho in the car to come up on the second trip to the parking lot.  Anyway, we pressed on in the heavy rain.  dried off and changed at the car with the heater on. Went to the “Mountaineer” for boots for Ryan and a better poncho.  Closed.  We missed by half an hour.

The guy there at the Mountaineer had that bearded skinny intellectual/backpacker i’ve seen about six times up here already.  He was also at the Lake Placid Camping Supply place where they also had no boots for ryan.  We went to a shoe outlet. Two salesgirls were putting away stock.  We asked about the boots.  At first, they said no.  I said, “They don’t seem to care about children here in Lake Placid.”  First one, then the other joined in the search.  We had to decide and try on three pairs.  they once had a fight over Ryan’s foot.  We hurried. Made one more stop for brandy.

 

Finally, at about 7:30 packed our packs.  No rain but got dark on the way up to the dam.  Ryan was a little scared once.  His new boots of course gave him a nice heel blister on each foot.  No fire that night.  Read the “Ramayana”.  Ryan and I weren’t that hungry and settled for hot chocolate and lemon chicken soup, some candy.  Bed at 10:30.  I read ’til midnight.  No stars.

 

 

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Wednesday:  Found a blue rock iridescent. Barefoot day for the ‘rock hopper’.  He and I went up to the monkey spot. I swam au naturel, ryan had to keep his underpants on.  It was really cold this time and we didn’t get past my navel.  Remembering when he was two letting him go like some kind of giant frog.  It really was freezing then but the kids didn’t mind at all because it was such a sweltering hot day in the sun.

We had started the day late.  Woke at 9:30.  very stiff even with the air mattress.  Breakfast- three eggs, six bacon, coffee and hot chocolate.  then, clean-up and shave.  first tooth brushing for both of us and vitamins.
Ryan enjoying his book “Nintendo Ninja Gaidan”.  Ryan did two mountain watercolors.

Then we gathered some wood.  Ryan fished with bacon for bait. 12 ‘apsaras’ swimming when we went to the dam itself to fish.  Explored a little before dinner fished and swam at the sandy beach.  dinner:  rice and chili and hot dogs, tea and cocoa. Some goodies.  Problems with chipmunks and squirrels and a bear clawed my pack.  Read the “ramayana”, beautiful half moon minus a bit more.  Starry night by the campfire.  Ryan fell asleep 10:30.  Kept fire going until midnight.  Went to sleep relaxed.

Thursday:  I saw the dawn and rolled over.  Ryan made coffee 9:30.  Got food, had breakfast after i washed last night’s dishes. Three eggs six bacon three pancakes w/maple syrup, tea, kool aid.  Ryan did the dishes then soaked his feet for 35 minutes.  we used some hydrogen peroxide on his sores and of course the healing sun.  Wash, shave, vitamins etc..  Ryan finishing Gaidan ninja in hammock. Ranger lady came and gave us the usual lecture…  “dead and down”  for firewood.  Deerflies on my ankles won’t let me rest.  Swam with raft.  picking blueberries by the moss bank shore from the raft.  lazy day.  Two interloper tents went up on ‘our’ grassy spot.  Ryan shy.  Dinner: Chili, rice, peppers, biscuits with hot dogs.  
Ramayana for ninety minutes.  Woke up at 4:00 a.m. coughing….  glad to have the Robitussin for the cough.

Friday:  Up at 8:30.  Ryan made coffee.  I spilled the last three eggs; ate what i could salvage.  then we filled up on pancakes and maple syrup, water and milk. the interloping tenters from Montreal left at 11:00 a.m..
After the usual ablutions took off for Avalanche Pass an easy 2.8 miles.  ryan went barefoot, I in my sandals.  One canteen and a camera. We swam at Avalanche pass from the rocks.  No telling how deep it was, like a fjord with cliffs on both sides.  I dove down as far as i could go and no bottom. We both swam to the middle of the lake.  Awesome, the colors and the light.  On the way up we had another swim at monkey pond…  shampoo and sunbathing.

we got back around six.  Dinner:  Hot dogs, stroganoff, noodles with the last of the rice.  First canister of fuel for the Coleman stove…. hooked up the second one.  Hot chocolate for both of us.  Ryan now reading in hammock, “Simon’s Quest”.  fire ready at 7:00 p.m.Image