Friday, January 28, 2011

Daily Write Part 5

Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days. This one is a review of some pipe tobacco, Hearth & Home's Anniversary Kake. The core of it, the idea for it was flushed out in those first 15 minutes, then I spent an hour or so on it. So this very much is rough. This also counts as my sixth and final necessary Tobacco Poem. Thanks for reading.


Around the edges of the glade nude
nymphs dance, show no shame –
there are none now to watch them
perform the old pieces again and again.

An exposed rock, low to the turf,
the outside dark, deep, aged,
pitted and pocked and potent,
overpowers the center,
controls the shape of whirling women,
their hair flung forth to lift in the wind
of their own making – the still stone
squats silent in their close tussle.

These two forces – the feminine
dancing figures who know what they do
and the terrible tip of the outcrop,
tiny in relation to bedrock below,
but filling the glade, giving shape, giving order
giving stage to the performers –
the power and pleasure of the forest
the flight and the fight of flesh.

But creepingly another comes,
pierces crenellation shrubs, perceives
and, arrested, allured, alarmed,
cranes neck back and dextrously side
to see the pale hides of these hidden women,
their blinding skin more splendid against
the bold black backdrop of Precambrian rock
than they ever could be couched safely on any cushion.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Daily Write Part 4

Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.


The word had come upon him like a slow, rising tide, like a soft piece falling into place, making pleasure real. He felt the truth in the thing. It wasn't that he knew, logically or reasonably, but he knew nonetheless. That last bit of brain clicking softly with the rest like two cardboard puzzle pieces. And in the end, that is all it ever is. Science, Religion, Politics – these are all based solely on faith. Science even tells us itself that our senses our fallible and our mind over-interprets every input, every thing we see, every food we smell, every touch we feel. These things are, by the time we realize them, interpreted: our brain flips what our eyes see, strings together disparate snapshots of what is seen. On the other hand, Science tells us that truth only comes from sensation and reflection – neither of which are logical processes we can trust. Everything is based on faith. Show me in a way that I can remake that the tides are caused by the moon interacting with the earth, by their gravitational relationship. Hint: to do this you must first prove to me that the world is spherelike, the moon too, that gravity on a cosmic scale and in a cosmic location is active. We all simply rehash what we have been told, what we believe, what we know. Reason is a whore. The only thing it can do is take us from a set of premises and give us a logical conclusion. Those premises though are unreasonable, just by their being.
His chair creaked as he shifted his weight imperceptibly. His bulk causing one bolt or another to shift in relation to the rest of the chair, or that's what he thought it was.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Daily Write Part 3

Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.


I ridicule these books. I laugh at their similarities and their subtle differences alike. I find it funny they they all have found the same suggestions, the same solutions to the Pleistocene problems. A literature has built up here, a sort of ars poetica on steroids, juiced into a full size self-help book for the blogger, the bard, the biographer. The basic tale is always the same: at the beginning they teach to write more, try new things, worry less; and at the end the tell us to rectify, rephrase, and rearrange – but use these edits to experiment as well, to continue attempting untried tactics. This is old hat for me. This is Rebecca's hat that she gave me. Her poetry rules have stuck with me through my writing, have echoes along my path parallel to my progression. Priscilla Long's book is the latest and was, initially, much the same. I was mentally comparing chapters of her's to chapters, to portions, to pages placed in other poetry self-help books. But chapter two I couldn't. I found an addition there. Though Rebecca's Rules apply here too, this is a new tactic, an insight that has not been illustrated in every other book of what is becoming a genre. Words words words. It is so simple and obvious and I am sure other authors wrote about it, but not in the way that her ten, fifteen pages on the pleasure and prerequisite of compiling pages of words, lists of lawyerspeak, or parts to a lathe, or colors that are yellow. Sure she hates the Latinate, calls Anglo Saxon the true English, ignores loving the revolution of the Romance invasion from France, but this idea is, after eight years of reading these things for classes, one I haven't come across before quite like this.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Daily Write Part 2

Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.


The koi pond was a muddy mess. One could look at it, not into it. Every once in a while a streak of orange would mark the great expanse. The boys sat around it anyways, watching for those flashes of orange. The sun beat their necks into red-skinned, glowing, heat-radiating spans. One of them idly tossed rocks into the pond, small little stones really not that much larger than gravel. Every once in a while the plop of the stone starting to sink would attract a fish, would reward them with a flash of color. The green grass showed a definite yellowing, explaining the lateness of the season with such a visual cue. The boys sat on the grass. The stone bench nearby had steeped in the sun, sending too much heat forth for bare legs in shorts. There was a small bird bath – overly gaudy like most garden decorations – but the water kept evaporating away. The gravel in the path had basalt's slightly bluish tint, its field an alternating pattern of light and shadow in miniature. There really was no garden, the pond was placed in a wheat field between stalks of yellow growing out of the dark earth. The dark earth. With their mother's warnings to not muddy their clothes, the three boys arose and moved into those rows of their father's money. They all knew that a dirt clod or two would start it, but none of them wanted to be the one to toss that first transgression, though they all wanted to be throwing. Throwing what was once dust, and would be again once it burst on the skin of another. They stood like this for years.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Daily Write Part 1

Gunn and I have decided to post our daily, 15 minute freewrites for five days.


The zebra lay on its side. The taunt skin of the belly heaved and deflated with a rhythm, with a cadence all its own. The black nostrils of the beast puffed dust into miniature fogs while the thick, wet skin around them grew larger, then shrank. Its mouth was open just a crack, showing slivers of white teeth, suggesting a pink tongue. The black lashes springing from eyelids showed the effects of the dust: the gloss lost to a thin hail of particles. The thick trunk of the neck was tensed, displaying a smooth definition of muscle beneath short hair, a lumpy canvas of undefined musculature. The chest's characteristic stripe was less dusty than the eyelashes, though still with a patina of dullness. The back showed thicker tufts of fur along the regimented spine. The two front hooves were flecked with mud from a watering hole. The tail, as it lazily switched flies off, created miniature waterfalls of dust in the thin air – unsupported, ephemeral cascades of light brown looking, rolling, building like smoke but down to the ground instead of rising to the sky. Flies buzzed anyway, of course, as they always do. Their clear wings purred in the wind, their helmet eyes scoping good places to land, the hair on their abdomen exhibiting the dulling effect of the dust. Instead of circling, they seemed to make squares in the air, but when more than one got airborne, their squares intertwined, embedded themselves in each other like Olympic rings and, when one strayed too close to another's path, a double helix of buzzing rose, the pitch of their wings, perhaps their tempers, flaring.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cyberpunk Inhabits Us Part 2

"The future is already here – it's just not evenly distributed." - William Gibson, 1993, "Fresh Air" NPR

"Politics has, like, jacked itself up to my level of weirdness. I can work with this. I like the sheer sort of neo-Stalinist denial of reality. That's what makes it work. It's interesting. I'd like to see it get less interesting. But I don't know that it necessarily will." - William Gibson, 2007, "Through the Looking Glass" The Washington Post

"When I wrote 'Neuromancer' [almost 25 years ago] cyberspace was there, and we were here. In 2007, what we no longer bother to call cyberspace is here, and those increasingly rare moments of nonconnectivity are there. And that's the difference. There's no scarlet-tinged dawn on which we rise and look out the window and go, 'Oh my God, it's all cyberspace now.'" - William Gibson, 2007, "Through the Looking Glass" The Washington Post

"This is new. People in really small towns can become world-class connoisseurs of something via eBay and Google. This didn't used to be possible. If you are sufficiently obsessive and diligent, you can be a little kid in some town in the backwoods of Tennessee and the world's premier info-monster about some tiny obscure area of stuff. That used to require a city. It no longer does." - William Gibson, 2007, "Through the Looking Glass" The Washington Post

"If I had gone to Ace Books in 1981 and pitched a novel set in a world with a sexually contagious disease that destroys the human immune system and that is raging across most of the world -- particularly badly in Africa -- they might have said, 'Not bad. A little toasty. That's kind of interesting.' But I'd say -- 'But wait! Also, the internal combustion engine and everything else we've been doing that forces carbon into the atmosphere has thrown the climate out of whack with possibly terminal and catastrophic results.' And they'd say, 'You've already got this thing you call AIDS. Let's not --' And I'd say, ' But wait! Islamic terrorists from the Middle East have hijacked airplanes and flown them into the World Trade Center.' Not only would they not go for it, they probably would have called security." - William Gibson, 2007, "Through the Looking Glass" The Washington Post


3 Page Interview/Article from The Washington Post here.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seven Pictures From Inside The Cabin

This cabin filled with caustic smoke while the basement smoldered then starved, saving the structure. This is Wood Light Frame covered in Silver Nitrate Spray Paint.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cyberpunk Inhabits Us

“For [cyberpunk writers], the techniques of classical 'hard SF' – extrapolation and technological literacy – are not just literary tools, but an aid to daily life. They are a means of understanding, and highly valued.” - Bruce Sterling, 1986, Preface to Mirrorshades

“Breifly, we believe that the signature obsessions of cyberpunk are: Presenting a global perspective of the future; engaging with developments in infotech and biotech, especially those invasive technologies that will transform the human body and psyche; striking a gleefully subversive attitude that challenges traditional values and received wisdom; and cultivating a crammed prose style that takes an often playful stance toward traditional science fiction tropes.” - James Patrick Kelly & John Kessel, 2007, “Hacking Cyberpunk”, Rewired: The Post-Cyberpunk Anthology

“I think we live in an incomprehensible present. And what I'm actually trying to do is illuminate the moment, and...and make the moment accessible. I'm not even really trying to explain the moment. I'm just trying to...trying to make it accessible.” - William Gibson, 2000, No Maps for these Territories

“In the '80s, when I became known for a species of science fiction that journalists called cyberpunk, Japan was already, somehow, the de facto spiritual home of that influence, that particular flavor of popular culture. It was not that there was a cyberpunk move-ment in Japan or a native literature akin to cyberpunk, but that modern Japan simply was cyberpunk. And the Japanese themselves knew it and delighted in it. I remember my first glimpse of Shibuya, when one of the young Tokyo journalists who had taken me there, his face drenched with the light of a thousand media-suns—all that towering, animated crawl of commercial information—said, "You see? You see? It is Blade Runner town." And it was. It so evidently was. Japan lives in the future; it has lived there for a century. Hot-wired by repeated onslaughts of technologically driven change, temporally dislocated, deeply traditional yet subject to permutation without notice, we all, today, must to some extent feel ourselves to be warped, alien, disfigured. The Japanese have simply had a head start.” - William Gibson, 2001, “The Future Perfect” Time Asia

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Six Pictures From The Road On The 2nd Day Of The Year

North First Street, Elk River, Idaho

Taft Street, Elk River, Idaho

Elk River Road/Highway 8, Just East of Bovill, Idaho

Elk River Road/Highway 8, in Bovill, Idaho

Highway 8 near Helmer, Idaho

Highway 8 near Moscow, Idaho

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Seven Pictures From The New Years Eve Road

Highway 95 Just North of Moscow, Idaho

Highway 95 Just North of Moscow, Idaho

Highway 95 Just South of Mary Minerva McCrosky Memorial State Park

Highway 95 Just North of the Coeur D'Alene Casino

Highway 95 Bridge, Lake Coeur D'Alene, in Coeur D'Alene, Idaho

Highway 95 Just North of Worley, Idaho

Highway 95 Just South of Viola, Idaho

Friday, January 07, 2011

Four Photographs From The Thanksgiving Road

Nothing to see here.

Eyebrows of the Loess hills.

The reservation.

A break in the clouds.