i’m drinking dos equis in a mexican restaurant on top of a building. we’re in tokyo’s fixed gear district which may just mean we’re in the fixiest of all fixed gear districts across the world. a chandelier modeled after some mythical mayan serpent covered with feathers snakes down in enormous spirals from the ceiling. the restaurant is aptly named hacienda del cielo, when i...
words for friday
I think of the chimp, the one with the talking hands. In the course of the experiment, that chimp had a baby. Imagine how her trainers must have thrilled when the mother, without prompting, began to sign to her newborn. Baby, drink milk. Baby, play ball. And when the baby died, the mother stood over the body, her wrinkled hands moving with animal grace, forming again and again the words: Baby,...
a house on the edge of San Diego, white and empty, cold through the winter. bicycles hung with hooks on the living room wall, a large blue fish opposite. a thirty mile walk to the ocean, through the hills of northern california, cigarettes, sandwiches, and poetry in a backpack. sailing through clean blue water, wearing a jacket, dolphins jumping in the wake. typhoon saloon, the cat lounge,...
she sleeps on the floor of the san francisco airport. her head rests on my jacket, i took it off for her. these places are so full of windows, light washes over everything. two small children enter the bathroom with their father, a girl sips water in yellow shoes. there is little for me left in the place we are going. a city by the water, one i will return to many times in the next few years,...
i can't remember
we listen to mirah on your record player. you live with your cousin? i can’t remember. the summer is dark and green, people drink beer outside. this house has high ceilings, wood floors, cracked white walls. outside, bugs on fire stream through the night, blink off, on, and off again, disappear into the bushes at the far end of the yard.
it turns out that shoveling snow is not one of those things that a half decade hiatus can bring about a renewed appreciation for. lately, it’s been snowing like all hell out here in the nagano mountains. when i first arrived last year i remember asking about winters, specifically, the snow. oh don’t worry, they told me, it rarely snows here, and when it does, it’s just a few...
And I thought about Paris, which I’ve never seen but which I’ve visited once or...– The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolano (via kilibird) read this book.
Comet Hyakutake’s tail stretches for 360 million miles— in 1996, we saw Hyakutake through binoculars— the ion tail contains the time we saw bats emerge out of a cavern at dusk— in the cavern, we first heard stalactites dripping— first silence, then reverberating sound— our touch reverberates and makes a blossoming track— a comet’s nucleus emits X-rays and leaves tracks— two thousand...
things the cold has taught me
this is another list. i’m sorry. i won’t bullet point, because i think it’s ugly. and i know this is stupid, but because i’ve only had passing association with winter for the last seven years, i’ll endure it. i’m sorry again. clarity wearing a hat indoors keeps you warm installing a heater at the top of your 10 foot bedroom wall doesn’t make sense ...
words of encouragement
a partial list of, up until now, words i’ve scribbled in red permanent pen on fifth grade phonics worksheets. epic kind most kind kindest gnarly nicest sweet rad bueno gold! awesome super (in all its infinite placements) good job
i silence the phone in my pocket, a sign at the entrance asks us to do so. my father orders appetizers, he only does this when he’s happy. we drink wine. well, you and my mother do. the sun drops low outside, comes through dirty windows, shines against the dust inside. people line for ice cream and spill into the sidewalk. it is summer. it is dry.
automatic teller machine
If you work at a steady rate you may reach the river by nightfall and if you have the will a canoe will be waiting by the ash factory for you to take upstream to the takoyaki shack where you can eat delicious food and drink as much beer as you like until late into the night. In other words you have your whole life ahead of you and no one can tell you what to do or how to act or what to say or...
it’s snowing right now, huge thick fluffy chunks of ice, coming softly down to the ground. i finished work and walked to my car, it was covered in a few inches of snow. this is all new to me, working and living in a place where snow is a constant reality. growing up in seattle, it was cold, but it rarely snowed, we were just too close to the water. but here, in the mountains it always seems...
listen listen. it’s so much gold.
in osaka for the next few days. it’s the first place in japan that i’ve honestly felt like i could get stabbed in. there are pigeons eating garbage in the street. plastic bags floating around in the wind. food and beer everywhere. canals between the streets. i like this place. be home to nagano in a few days, will recap and do some photos then.
seven hours more, the trains move further south. we pass through cities that make me think of food: kobe, osaka, itozaki. a bridge stretches across the bay to the east, suspended and dark. hung with cables, it is enormous. i sleep now next to the water and ferries pass this channel in the night. glowing softly with a light contained within, they are like insects in the summer, drifting...