Archive for August, 2022

August 7, 2022

Q: The customer had told a story about one of his own customers paying for a large ticket item mainly in singles, and said “that’s the Pike for you” — and what had he meant by that? Did he have some overarching idea of what this neighborhood was about? A: Low income. That guy probably made most of his money in tips. When people quibbled about price at his store, saying how could you charge these prices, etc., these weren’t rich people looking for deals, these were probably people living close to the edge.

Two regions named Iberia

August 6, 2022

Raw hard hot sweet potatoes had been a good phrase. [A] potassium rich potato repast to grace my palate and plate had been a good phrase, but the draft of the email as a whole had a forced, uninspired feel, so I leave it a draft, then erase the draft, then look up etymology of ‘rehearse.’

Came across african american enclave of tweeters: yt , which I couldn’t figure out from context, means white. Came across classics-minded enclave, then a humor-minded group. Olivine was a word I looked up: a very green stone or mineral that weathers easily. (Where had you come across the word “weathers” recently? Herman Melville’s novel Isreal Potter was where I last came across this frequently occurring word.) One tries to read how the fact that olivine readily weathers makes some believe it can help extract carbon from the atmosphere, but your gaze down the page is soon impeded and thwarted by a barrier of equations that resemble fierce rapids.

Tab open to the far left is free version of Biographia Literaria, which will run you 70 dollars new in hardcopy on Amazon, as the tab beside it discloses, but I’m not sure I can read it in this format. Coleridge had made the distinction between poetic thoughts and thoughts that were merely rendered into poetry, leading me to wonder — had I ever had a “poetic thought”? (I had thoughts that were more generally like the opposite: thoughts that were acutely conscious of poetry’s absence. Abysmal jokey thoughts.) Weathered — word brought to mind, in a positive connotation, a couple elderly Asian folk who’d come into the store recently, Vietnamese and Japanese I would guess, who seemed to me uniquely well aged, not in the sense of being “well preserved”, not old people who looked young, but like rock that had been exposed to weather rather than wood, which would rot, or metal, which would rust, or something fabricated, which would look sad in disuse, and more durable than olivine. (The anti-poetry, the anti-philosophy, the anti-scholarship, the anti-religiousness and professionalism with which I’ve been grafted, “if only the boil could only be lanced”…. Perhaps it’s a bit as if Kafka’s father had undertaken to write, I will think.)

Read some more of “black twitter” and then something I’d written, the tedious slowness of which reminded me for the first time of the slowness I would exhibit in other work environments, too much caution and overthinking, which is fearfulness, “the boil” — too much care where it isn’t needed and too little where it really was (for example, in parsing ancient greek verbs). (Something similar: Bravado and thundering was an unlimited resource, but real courage?) Looking up obnubilate — covered or darkened as with a cloud. Recap: Did I learn anything today? That there were two regions named Iberia: the well-known peninsula, where Spain and Portugal may be found, and a region in the country of Georgia, lesser known. Recap: Did I see anything out of the ordinary today? Actually yes, a gosling. Bunch of geese near the underside of the 14th street bridge complex and these two adults in particular standing by this small awkward fuzzy thing.

August 5, 2022

Were there wet beads on the grass? Yes, drops of moistures moistures I have written were visible on the grass spears.

Tesselated — do the nearer roof tops appear tesselated beneath the distant road of the hill from this point of view? From the late Latin, according to my source, “made of small square stones or tiles.”

There are really two ways, I was thinking: social networking or doing something undeniable. There is only one way, I then thought, after which a mix can arise.

Kicked piece of bark — idea that that sentence could in any way indicate, evoke, or stand for the action it purports to describe is so laughable. “I don’t accept the premise of all this.”

Kicking bark, recalled a stone. (Now that sentence I take slightly less issue with, why, because it contrasts an action, a physical act, with a memory, a mental act — a contrast words and art can make perhaps more real than experience can.)

Holding up traffic

August 4, 2022

Two gals riding side by side on Canal in heavy traffic, how brave and free they seem. They know, as Socrates said, what they should and should not fear:

— They know their rights and are not afraid to assert their rights but are rather afraid not to assert them.

— They are not afraid of the impatience of the driver’s behind them and in fact it is not even something they can say they truly know about, not as truly as they know about their rights.

Brave and free and acting on the basis of a knowledge I don’t got, a person who would be afraid to hold up traffic.

August 3, 2022

Dog park on left, batting cage on right, no one present on the wide green cut grass outfield, no one present on the tan dirt widened tracks where the bases would be. There are no bases, a blemishless white in the carved dirt. Along the median there is first a yellow sign on a post of a pedestrian stick figure with no horizontal black lines, that are intended to stand for a road; there is second a pedestrian sign with two horizontal lines, that stand for the road, a “stick figure road.”

Question: how do the staggered lamp posts of the stretch of walk behind you contrast with the ordered or mainly ordered trees of the stretch that you just now approach? Question of the simplicity of the message of the street sign versus the complexities involved in its design and fabrication. “A great intelligence at the highest levels of society is needed to speak to those with least education and at the lowest levels of society.”

Former location of civil war fort. Its marker, Fort Barnard. “To guard the approaches”… Actually Barnard was the character himself who designed the layout of the defenses of Washington. “Always thought it strange”: that the capitals of the north and of the south were close, let alone so close. Water tank, power building, dog park; “that the water tank and power building were so close together is strange” (is not strange); area where police train dogs, community gardens, house that goes all out on christmas lights, not yet visible or thought of. House between the christmas light house and the firehouse is not yet seen or thought of. Believe Sebat had owned that house.

Although my perspiration has increased from having climbed the hill (“hill climb increase upon interior barometer registered”) (“effects of piston of interior self has appeared upon brow of exterior self”) I am not to notice it until some 100 yards yet, when I shall begin to feel cool. On warm days, often, at that same distance, of a hundred or two hundred yards past the peak of the hill, instead of feeling cool, and on that basis noticing my perspiration, I will feel an unrelieved heat, a layer of it, haunting and uncomfortable in my clothing, the heat that is the beginning of an embarrassing scent (but is, as yet, only a feeling of heat, of an impending embarrassment).


August 2, 2022

Nostalgia inception: Started listening to American Music Club, Over and Done; sought out via computorial interface lyrics to Over and Done and read them; lyrics mentioned Capp Street, which was in San Francisco of course, but where; in The Mission naturally, Google Maps had revealed; which triggered that sense of “we live in a dream,” — that nostalgia, out of which arose a series of images impressed with feeling, such as David Bowie’s Rebel Rebel coming out from a not yet opened bar, the concrete outside ripe with stale beer in the morning sun, the staff shouting to each other within. I wanted to be in those places, see those people, hear those songs, see the world as I did then. Back in San Francisco. Nostalgia.

Looked up caritative (which I first had as caritive.) Caritative means charitable. While having this phrase of Shakespeare’s on my mind: “the gilden puddle that beasts did cough at.” (Somehow, if I “wrote something” I would escape this pang of nostalgia, this disbelief in my present life. All that longing would be sequestered in the finely wrought box of this something I’d written, if only I could write it.) Recalled l’etang was the French word for pond. (And I felt, after all this looking up, I of course hadn’t made myself the least bit cultured or knowledgeable or capable of writing that something. Somehow the information I’d gathered never penetrated to develop me. I was Howie on ‘The Fall Guy’, a Jeopardy! contestant….)

Feels good to punctuate correctly… Looked up Longmen Grottoes (a quite old religious site in China) curious about its English sounding name (Longmenshan is a mountain range in China.) Gross fixed capital formation: having read the definition twice I am still not sure what it is — will come back to it. (Am not yet persuaded that the understanding of it is “out of my star” so I will come back to it.) Checking my blog stats again which have been kind of ruined by what I’m guessing is some kind of bot: on roughly a weekly basis it will randomly hit twice on one of my weird blog posts, then leave a bunch of hits.

Next time I’d found myself in The Mission there had been a tectonic shift I can’t describe. Not reducible to a gentrification of the place or of myself yet I’d found absolutely nothing there of that spirit that inspires my present sense of nostalgia. Caritative was a word that arose in the book of a long time acquaintance of mine, a scholar. Amazing how much reading has gone into the making of this fairly small book. How is it, I’m made to wonder, that people who are not historians think that they know things about history? The ignoramuses at the store, for example, who think they know something about history, but who haven’t even a proper idea of what it is to really know, it often seems. Unmeasured claims.

That episode from Star Trek is suddenly recalled, when the crew is caught in a time loop, and the way to get out of it is if they communicate a message from one loop to the other. Can history do such a thing and does it know what message to send? My own days, too, are like such a loop.

State’s official clam

August 1, 2022

Stop sign, pedestrian sign, first of the four telephone Poles. First of the thirteen saplings or trees to the right. First of the (several) fence sections to the right. Nothing between the second and third telephone poles: no signs, no outcroppings, no utilities, no concrete projections, no unanticipated plant life, no errors from the work crews, the sewer section, the water section, merely the wires between the poles overhead, their shadows sloshed to the side and into the road. Above, they seem an orderly enough procession of the county’s embodied or delineated loquacity, of their searching (though maybe that’s underground); but to the left they appear in a jumble on the road, as if the sun, in frustration, had haphazardly cast down this heavy bundle of railroad ties of shadows. (“No dumping” says a sign on the sewer.)

Earth is indeed where the sun dumps much of what is in the sky. And in the branches. Between trees six and seven the baseball field fence pivots inward, away from the road, 30 degrees. (Why have you not brought your protractor or compass on your walk to determine the exact angle? How are we to make an absurd museum of the universe without our measurements being distortedly exact?) There is, in general, a failure to have been James Agee… (The “Faulkner of his present” will come to mind, their similar styles and differing ideologies….antinomies) Adjacent to the third pole, a concrete sewage opening, a no dumping emblem centered on its lips: green and blue mole with the embossed likeness of a fish. Iron lips, concrete cheeks, a mole, bloated: The Chesapeake. Chesapecten Jeffersonius, which is the official clam of the state. Farther on, ascending a gentle acclivity, an emergency snow route sign, then a no parking sign, then the fourth telephone pole, and a hydrant.

Fence slanting away from the walk on the right, and trees following the fence. Pine. Where it ends a path of dirt and stone in the shade, dirty multi-colored pebbles the size of peas and grapes, leads at a diagonal from the sidewalk to the ball field beneath five trees that are spaced randomly and closely (some trash here: empty pack of menthols, a crushed and weathered waxen soda cup) backed by three houses, only the first with a fence, which is of a dark wood that looks wet. In the front yard, two water bottles have been left out near the property line: the interior of their tops beaded with foggy drops, “frustrated in their hike toward evaporation”, that mountain the drops will toil to reach, a white work van in the drive. “I am like those drops,” (or some such nonsense) is thought (which is more descriptive of thinking itself perhaps: these caught evaporative ponderings) and one can’t think of a white van today without thinking too of the sniper.