Tuesday, December 03, 2013

halfway past the label

If the words do not come to you
do not force them

I had to learn that. Many times over. So much crap tossed in the flames or the virtual trashcan.
Maybe this passes muster. perhaps it survives. We'll see come tomorrow.

When did we stop giving a shit? When did I stop paying attention?
was i too busy in search of fun? Trying to wrangle my way back to the triangle.
or just another buzz?
I get in the truck and pump out my CO2
I go hose down the world and cry at the butterfly
get the hell out of here! go away!
I am death and the reaper
fear me

Cut loose again. Not sure why. Garbled replies and it is probably me.
shrug. Keep going. This ain't it. No rest for the wicked.
and the very next day I get messages and messages replied
no please no. Not yet. Maybe not ever.
perhaps this is it. Just me on the road.
keep working and the words come when I don't expect them

Is there a day of reckoning?
Well, when is it? Can't say eh?
Carry on then. Let the wicked carry on with it.
Let the good continue to be good.
I'll just try to muddle along.
See you there. Maybe. If I make the cut.

A thousand songs and a million tears
are not enough
a picture of ten thousand words
is but a glimpse of another soul
friends of pixels and oceans away
souls out of time and in my mind
they are part of me

Sunday, October 06, 2013

Pieces of Me. 2

Heard it called islands in the stream
and ships passing in the night

how are you to describe and put forth the explanation?
of the meeting of two humans
in the proximity of now
the big now. the is was and will be
tell me how you do it.
still wrestling with it over here

I hope you don't expect me to explain it all
I surely do not know
this is all a big mystery to me
a never ending search for data
a mine that never plays out
more research is needed before I can surmise
some sort of answer
of how I like you and you like me
and how it ought to be
what is the good?

He drank hemlock
I heard John was sawn in two
how many monks beheaded in search of truth?
If I stumble and If I fail
may mercy find me
I tried and keep trying
what else can the iron do in the fire?

I was there and she was there
the her that is and is not me
where was I?
was I hearing this or did I imagine such things?
NO, this was real
I was there. I remember it.
what does it all mean?
I am still finding it.
there is no end.
Keep going.

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Declaration of sorts

Be it known to all interested parties or those ever so disinterested but on the contrary somewhat bored enough to muddle through this rambling declaration I am no longer a single man.

Well at least in the sense that if I went on a date with a female other than the one whose bags I loaded in her vehicle yesterday and said goodbye to this morning before she took off for a week in Houston and Austin she would likely exact severe retribution. So in that regard I am no longer in charge of some things in my life.

Like dressing myself. Those worn out old blue jeans? Probably makings for a purse or some sort of other craft project. Broke down old boots? Replaced. New cologne that I have previously never seen or heard of? Check. Shaving even though it is just an ordinary old Friday and the fanciest place we have to go is dinner? Done.   I accept these things because I am generally incapable of dressing myself in a manner that is fit for public viewing. I am very likely to keep wearing jeans that have seen their better days five years ago. Shirts with one or two burn holes in them? Still good. It is a good thing women find something tolerable about men because otherwise we would still be living in a cave and eating meat on a stick, perhaps quivering from the kill and while that is fine for oysters and perhaps some other meat, it is generally a good idea to scorch the hell out of the bacteria that is likely to be lingering on my preferred protein sources. So, all in all I accept the fact that I do need a handler. Probably 2 or 3. No, make that four, I have a sister too. Between my mother, daughter, sister and now girlfriend it is less likely that I will turn up to some event wearing clothing that should have been donated, no sorry, burned or otherwise disposed of.

That said, this is going to take some adjustment. I am not used to finding tools in a state of complete disarray. Neither am I accustomed to finding .22 long rifle shells rolling around in the bottom of the tool box. That was cause for a discussion of the concept of rimfire ignition and the relative ease with which they would penetrate said toolbox and the ensuing trip to the hospital if it found meat on its wayward path. Since she has recently moved into new digs I found myself helping out with the unpacking. This continues to be a work in progress. I have managed to thin out the stack of boxes that were sitting on the porch and store them properly in the shed/barn. Hung one shelf, a couple dozen decorative doohickeys and one rod for hanging clothes in the laundry room. I was somewhat dismayed that the sockets had been summarily dumped into a vase, but they do in fact exist and I will give her credit for that. Considering that she was making a hasty departure from a particularly bad relationship I count it in her favor that she had the presence of mind to load them at all. I can overlook the pink hammer that would fold under impact with anything more resistant than a tack. I can disregard the seemingly endless supply of wind chimes which I affectionately call clang-bangers. The 682 items in the bathroom, the closet full of nothing but coats (on the back porch to boot) and the shoes....I swear I might have an even ten pair of shoes, which is not enough for this week in Houston if you were to ask her...all these things are par for the course. I expected it and would have been nothing less than shocked if it were any different. It is however going to be an adjustment. In my wildest imagination I could not have foreseen the need for 14 t-shirts for a one week trip. Oh right, morning and evening. The idea that one might wear the same t-shirt in the evening for more than one day? Unthinkable. Yep, some adjustments are in order.

When I afford myself a moment of introspection of finding or rather being found by someone I wonder at what sort of meandering path it was. I do not know the odds of meeting someone from 20+ years ago on that wild assed world wide web. Facebook has indeed made it simpler to do so, but that is by no means a guarantee. Further, even upon finding one another, the timing for a relationship has to be right. It does not do for one or both to already be in a relationship. I am not the sort of man who goes after someone when they are in a relationship; good, bad or meh. I didn't before and I am not starting now. When she first found me a couple of years ago we were both involved. I kept my distance and said hi and howdy when it was called for but I made no attempt at reconnection, in any capacity. Then one day I received a picture of myself in the inbox. After a bout of raucous laughter I immediately posted it as a profile picture. Sweet memories of ill-spent years in college. Not so sweet for my mother though and she began to inquire of its origins I had to throw up the Heisman and say," not so fast woman, you really really do not want to know." Little did I know that my response to the maternal figure was going to be somewhat misread. The next day after some rounds of liquid bravery were consumed at a girlfriend's place she sent me another note asking if I was mad or somehow offended. Typical of me, I was scratching my head and trying to figure out what the hell I did wrong this time. At least I knew enough to say, "Mad? Why would I be mad at you? That was great! If you are talking about my comment to my mom, that was me throwing up a road block before she ventured off into dark woods she did not want to enter."

"Oh. Ok! How have you been?" and so the interrogation period began.

As I said this was a request to say something, a few syllables at least, about where I stand and what I think about it at the moment. She particularly wanted me to mention the wretched pink hammer and the shocking fact of bullets in the toolbox. I included the part of my inability to dress myself properly of my own volition. It is undeniable and symptomatic of my existence as male human being.

That'll do for a start.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Broken dreams

whiskey in the jar o
because you know she drank me easy

Dreams of me when i was young
dreams of me when i was there in full regalia
80 years ago before i parted light
who was the atoms before I was borne?

some they like a fowling
some they like a fishing
and some they like to hear the cannon balls a roaring
me? I like sleeping
especially in her chamber

i had dreams, good ones they were
i had them in my hand
and like sand they slipped the gaps
not sick and not well

said  i was the philosopher farmer 
weeded and wedded to the land of ants
go f yourself bitch
i gotta go work today
blood, sweat and tears are my share

the music follows me around
strains of what i once knew
it calls me and beckons hard
come to us again
we miss you
i can feel it, i can hear it
on the border
right over there on the other side
come on horse, let's go home

I had dreams of youth
believe it or not
and some i smashed with my very own hands
others died of their own accord 

tomorrow rises again
yet another day
of sweat, hours and perhaps some blood

the band played on

Friday, May 17, 2013

Dilapidated Road Hazard

I have the oldest truck in the place
it should have been taken offline
about 5 years, 2 transmissions repairs
and untold gallons of gasoline ago

I go where they tell me to
and then wonder why they can't figure
if they send me here and there
the other stuff I am supposed to do
doesn't get done
no, we didn't skip those spots
we haven't finished yet
yes sir, will have him there tomorrow
provided he doesn't have to be
somewhere else

Utility man
put me in the field wherever you want me to play
I can pitch if you want me to
or out there in the field
I really do not care
that is all on you
but remember this
if another team comes calling
offering a better deal
adios muchachos

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

I really don't particularly give a damn

has to be one of the best lines ever
he is walking out
where will I go? what will I do?
frankly, I don't give a damn

best fucking  line ever.
will brace myself for the onslaught..

have a flower
it's chenille

look, I did not make you
or me
I did not wire your harness
nor mine
all i can do is deal with what I have
and now
what? you thought it would make sense?
as if you or I would make some 
semblance of reason together?
not so 
not so dearest friend
best we can do
is muddle along
2+2 = 4
it took him 400 goddamn pages 
to prove that

i shit you not

That is Shoeless Joe
I think he was a pretty good guy
in retrospect, after all is said and done
after nemesis found the hubris
i still think he is ok
there was a day
long ago for you and me
but in regards to time
why it was yesterday
was a couple of men that walked in that liquor store
or was it a store of stuff
who knows?
grantland rice and ty cobb
back from augusta
with bobby and the boys
there was joe
behind the counter
grantland said to ty, turn here and we will find him
and so they did
give me the bottle up over there
ring ring ring
Joe? aren't you gonna say somethin?
Ty. I wasn't sure you wanted me too
and Grantland wrote it all down

If i ever live to be a thousand or nearly so
same as Methuselah
I will never understand
I am a dolt
a fool
no better than a bump in the road
all i have are a few mumbles
and words from somebody else

don't look over here (past oblivion)

don't look over here (past oblivion)

just say you never met me
safer that way.

at nearly a quarter to 2 what did you expect?
shall I find Waylon and Willie this time of night?

tadao said to tear down the wall
the wages were sttttttttrong
so he did
get me that jackhammer and get to it
luis, i could sure use a burrito

it still looks like a drill bit to me
no matter how phallic

grasses waving in the wind
been there
and she got mad
while she talked to some random human
i watched the airplanes fly in and out

aint none of my concern
if your mustang burns
still over here

Sunday, May 05, 2013

No more hurting people. Peace.

that is what his poster said.
tears well up.
sounds so damn simple from the voice of a child
wearing his jersey of the wheel of a hub of Boston Bruins
missing a tooth
does it really matter where he was standing or what he was doing?

yeah why

why does it happen?


what brings us here?
is there an invisible sun?
wrestling with the existence
I want to know what makes people kill boys like this
or why we have to send out drones
I guess it was cheaper to fly in  by wire than send men in
and a duffell bag of a bomb with a cell phone to activate it.

I don't want to have to think about these things!

It makes me think back to the day of 911
that morning
I think of it again
it wasn't that long ago we remembered ten years in Iraq

complacency said the Senator from KY
it is difficult to restrain the anger

 I know that face
and the sun is set to rise
dear god, let him rest well
even if he who made him die
can find no place here to lay down

i want to cry out
this just ain't right

half-hearted misgivings

there is a coal on my shoulder
someone make it go away
with a knuckle and a fist it might
too tired to care

my thunderbird
drives like a dream
slide over here and let me put my arm around you
going too fast
make them have wings

i was here
and then I was gone
you kept on moving
that was to be expected
I sincerely hope it all went well

earl breaks it down for me
scruggs he's gone too
the possum isn't or wasn't nearly as photogenic
as chesney and dr dre
save me from what might be

no, no, no, I will still be over here
with what I have in hand
qwerty at the ready

seventy years ago
over there in Berlin and
where were they?
hurt me all the time
allll the goddamn time
i hope you know this will go down on your permanent record
oh yeah?
did i happen to mention I was impressed

i forget for what 8 was for
kiss off

at the sound of the grinding gears
i fired it up
don't stand too near
you might wear some of it home
hauling nine thousand gallons

where is the paradise?
i think you lied
it is not here or there
there is just the now
same as it ever was

it flew away
and I ran away too
every time I closed my eyes
fare thee well

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

life goes on and the wheel breaks the butterfly

I cannot help it. Life has a way of moving on.
you can stay put if you want to, but the rest of us are moving on

lying underneath stormy skies
she said the sun was set to rise
this could be paradise

no, i think not. this is just me and you and a bunch of rain
paradise is over there somewhere
we ain't found it yet
but, please be sure to tell me when you do.

there are few sure things in this life time
death and taxes among them
sure as the summer is hot in Texas
 winters are cold in Russia
the grass keeps growing
and rust never sleeps

time marches on with or without us
you can try to stand athwart the ridge of progress
and say "Stop!"
be about as effective as that viking standing at the shore
you just keep on telling those waves to stop
see how much they listen to you

I say shine
shine and burn hard and bright
use whatever fuel you have at hand
be true, be honest and be your own self
it is who you are after all

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Atrazine 4L, Triazines, Scott's Bonus S, the EPA, water and your big tree.

I spray and spread a lot of chemicals around. I am good at it. I know which ones work on what plant and how and why and when to use them. It is a dark, arcane realm that I do not always like to inhabit. I am heavily regulated and closely watched. I have been inspected more than once and my presence on a job site can cause more than a little bit of controversy. I accept this. I recognize and applaud the Tx Dept of Agriculture and the Environmental Protection Agency for their efforts to keep me on the narrow path. The TDA man said my records were exemplary. Peachy. As long as I pass, fine by me.

Why exactly do we have to keep such exacting records of wind speed, temperature, registration numbers and amounts of product used? because this shit kills things. Dead dead dead. 

I had to spray wildflowers yesterday.
I did not like it.
It was kinda sad to hose it down with 2,4-D. But, I had to.

Not only that I put out one of the triazines which are now on the target list of chems the EPA is concerned about. Why are they concerned? Water. They are getting into the water system. Time for some links. Brace yourself, this blog is likely to have some ponderous links. From the USGS report

Results showed that large amounts of triazine herbicides and their degradation products were flushed into streams with runoff. Much of this transport took place during the first runoff period after application of herbicides. Subsequent runoff tended to produce lesser concentration peaks. Herbicide detections in larger Midwestern streams tended to be seasonal with higher percentages in spring and early summer and lower percentages in fall and winter.
The upshot being in the last couple of years, the EPA has decided that we should not apply this class of  herbicides in the vicinity of water (let's make that 50 ft shall we? yes let's! oh and a bunch of other restrictions too!) and that includes things like ditches, creeks, ponds (natural or man-made) drains or other water moving thingamabobs.

I have a really strong feeling it is violated constantly. Scott's Bonus S contains atrazine, a triazine, it is heavily marketed in different areas than where this study was conducted, the Midwest (hey look Amarillo, you are now part of the Midwest!) farming areas. It works and is relatively inexpensive, but it moves around a bit too much and also has a rather long half-life, some variations lasting up to 230+ days in the soil. How many homeowners this weekend will apply this stuff right next to the creek that flows through their neighborhood? Time to get a label. Yes, I read the damn label. Regularly. The very first thing that jumps out at me is what turf you can use it on and where it is sold. This is stuff specifically for St. Augustine. You cannot use it on bermudagrass or bluegrass. But, wait there a second you told us this class of chems was used up in Amarillo and I know it is too damn cold there for St. Aug!  Yep, you are right, so where is it coming from? This one. Atrazine 4L What crops does it mention regularly? Why that would be corn and sorghum. And where are those crops typically grown in the US of A? That would be the Midwest, including but not limited to Amarillo.
Now, let's get back to our homeowner friend. Did he or she read the label? Did they see the part on the Scott's one about not putting it out under trees or shrubs? Didja? Better check it again, the fine print, under restrictions and other shit you ought to know about. Not the big fancy advertising they paid good money for, no the teeny tiny writing the Feds make them put on there or some lawyer said they better because we have been having to pay off entirely too many people. They don't run that disclaimer on the ads I hear on my radio station or the ones that run on my TV. Nope, no mention of the water restrictions concerning this product or the damage it can cause to your great big Post Oaks. Y'know that one your wife liked so much that this house was the one she picked? Right, that one. No, he really doesn't say anything about that on the commercial does he? I guess they figured it wasn't a particularly good selling point. Now how they can sell this stuff at Home Depot without some mention of water(other than the standard boilerplate) is beyond me. If you have a wide expanse of St. Augustine lawn without any driplines of shrubs, trees or other ornamentals within the area, go for it. If you are like the thousands of homeowners with great big established trees don't say I didn't warn you.

There are no trees in the corn field. Those that might have been there a century ago were long since rooted up.
I suppose this is a plea to read the label of what you are using, whatever product it might be. Read it and understand it. Get past the fancy adverts and read the important stuff at the bottom.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

I had words and then I wrote it down

Happy Jack lived over there on the Isle of Man
banging drums and sand, couldn't stop Jack
couldn't prevent Jack from being happy
the waters still came on

ten years man, ten years
can you count all the dead? there are bones enough to do so
i can't count all the dollars
war on the cheap costs a helluva lot
whip their ass and take their gas never came to pass

ten years ago we let loose the dragon
rolled out the cage, unlocked the bastard and he roared
oh and how he did roar
the echoes linger today
nay, nay dear sir
the fires still burn

i once said I wanted Osama's head on a stick
a watery grave was good enough
i can handle that
that was last election cycle
and ten years later ten fucking long ass years
nobody seems to give a shit about that
nobody gives a damn
about a million dead
faces they never saw
voices never heard

there isn't enough whiskey in tennessee, kentucky, ireland and scotland combined
not enough weed in cali, british columbia and colorado all put together
to smoke out, drown out or fade into oblivion of mind
the blood we shed for no good reason

we owe a weregild
far more than we can ever pay
tears. tears and some half-assed syllables.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Seen any hope or joy around?

I re-read an entry into this digital diary of sorts written about 2 years ago. I was out of a job and in the middle of having to move. It was a particularly bad time. I heard the other day that David Letterman gave an interview to somebody or another, a frank and open interview, in which he told of his struggle with depression. In his understanding of the condition he likened it to having 20/20 vision of the world. Seeing the world with a clear vision of how awful it really can be. Is this to say that those of us that are experiencing joy are somehow looking at the world through eyes that see less than they are capable of seeing? Or do they simply not choose to look upon those things that are terrible and ugly? Is truth beautiful or ugly or neither or both? Perhaps I am trying too hard to distill down everything into one lump that is either/or. Perhaps all of life is a mixture of good and bad. 

It is funny to me how I can find humor in odd spots and laugh at things that shouldn't be funny. Why did you laugh at that sir? I do not know, somehow it was funny at the time. I know a thing or two of gallows humor. Laughing in the midst of a horrific situation because at that moment there is no time for reflection. Laugh at the absurdity of it. Later we can be hurt and angry. Right now we have to deal with this situation. It isn't always funny. Sometimes there just isn't anything to laugh at and the absurdity of it all confounds me. 

Absurd random chance, both good and bad, happens to everybody. Whether we like it or not, this world is not under our control no matter how much we would like it to be. The best we can do is to control ourselves. I can't control the behavior of an ant. I can't even remotely eliminate them. Keeping them at bay is the best I can hope for. 

Keep the world at bay. That is probably your best shot at survival. Let's just deal with survival shall we? Thriving and growing for another day. Let's just stay alive first ok? This is the attitude of the cactus. It is part of why I admire them. Survival in a harsh and unforgiving land. If that prickly pear can withstand Texas every summer then I can too. If it can soak up the infrequent good rains that come its way and make flower and produce seed and fruit then it has exceeded expectations. I can ask no more. It is my task to make the most of the good times and slog through the bad. Survive, then you can thrive.