Posts tagged Travel
San Francisco :: Hemlock Tremble
A bathroom painted Red Wall Burlesque. Candles lit on the toilet tank, black fingerprints stained the handicap rail. Atop the towel dispenser were 11 purple pipe cleaners plied into treble clefs, waiting in a honeycomb jar. Nine patrons bellied up at the bar, a woman shot pool alone and i made 11 - cultish behavior at The Hearth in Inner Richmond. I plucked a pipe cleaner from the jar and tried to unbend it, but it pricked me and I bled, and I dropped it and my breath stopped. A knock on the door. I returned the pipe cleaner to its form, and its form to the honeycomb jar with the others. Washing blood off your hands takes time enough to read the graffiti above the sink that screamed ‘Fuck You PUssY, Walenski Made It Out!’
The Train (by Hurutshe)
From the AFRICA section of Jerome Rothenberg’s amazing TECHNICIANS OF THE SACRED, found in my girlfriend’s bookshelf, which I guess now is my bookshelf by acquisition. I came out to San Francisco with only 4 books: 1) The Art Spirit by Robert Henri which I’ve written about here before and highly recommend whether you paint or not. Greatest book on ‘noticing’ I’ve ever read, which can help any writer. 2) Bound For Glory by Woody Guthrie. 3) Please Kill Me oral history of NY Punk and rock scene compiled by Legs Mcneil 4) King Rat, lent to me by my girlfriend but I haven’t read it yet. Has anyone? Thoughts?
The Train (by Hurutshe)
Iron thing coming from Pompi, from the round-house
Where Englishmen smashed their hands on it,
It has no front it has no back.
Rhino Tshukudo going that way.
Rhino Tshukido no, coming this way.
I’m no greenhorn, I’m a strong, skillful man.
Animal coming from Pompi, from Moretele.
It comes spinning out a spider’s web under a cloud of gnats
Moved by the pulling of a teat, animal coming from Kgobola-diatla
Comes out of the big hole in the mountain, mother of the great woman,
Coming on iron cords.
I met this woman of the tracks curving her way along the river bank and over the river.
I thought I’d snatch her
So I said
“Out of the way, son of Mokwatsi, who stands there at the teat.”
The stream of little red and white birds gathered up all of its track
Clean as a whistle.
Tshukudo over the dry plains
Rhino Tshukudo out of the high country
Animal from the south, steaming along
It comes from Pompi, the round-house, from Kgobola-diatla.
I’m In San Francisco Now…’This Monkeys Gone To Heaven’ Is Still Playing On A Coffeeshop Radio
First 24 hours back in California and I know already I’m a different person. Last time I lived here was 5 years ago—San Diego—and i was terrified of how my body had chosen to live itself. Never sleeping, booze in the worst and least social way, too many pills, desperate to avoid confronting myself, missing everyone and everything to death, crying speechlessly behind the darkest, cheapest sunglassses I could find. There was no respite, no relief, and no safe word. I yelled ‘“UNCLE! UNCLE!” but the slow stranglehold never released, and my uncle was in prison in Florida for something he was too ashamed to admit to me except in letters that he post scripted: stay in touch with your Aunt, she doesn’t believe me when I say I did these things for her. What scared me most about my situation was that it started off so great.
Ended up washed out on the shores of north Pacific Beach, mouthful of broken seashells and jeans, shirt and sneakers soaking wet and weaved with seaweed from a midnight mission I couldn’t remember. I’d run out of love. I’d written a book and run out of words. I couldn’t cope with criticism, the stories I thought I wrote FOR my friends turned out being perceived as betrayals, and I was some sort of traitor which was a total mind fuck, but a good early writing lesson.
Things were bleak because they were always ending. I ate a burrito and I thought, this is the last burrito I will ever eat. I took an airplane and said I will die on this plane. Same with saying goodnight to friends in town. Same with finding some girl out drinking: it was always the last sweet sex, the last sweet girl I’d talk to, then disappear on.
But 24 hours back in California and I know I’m a different person. The city is big but not at all intimidating, and you dont need a car to get everywhere like southern california. I think of a poem and I can write a poem. There’s no struggle in that sense, in getting lost in the chasm between what I feel and what I fake. I struggle in other ways now, and that’s fine.
I’m here and it’s a beginning, it feels like a beginning, even if it doesn’t last forever it will take me someplace else. I wrote mostly about New York City since I started this tumblr, and now I’ll be writing about San Francisco for a while. Any other artists in the Bay area on tumblr? Get at me. Page St and Octavia.