There's a new Kate Bush album. It's been an interminable twelve years for Kate fans. How should she leave us hanging for so long? Doesn't she love us?

Here's the deal about Kate Bush albums: In the Kate Bush field it's always winter. It's always slightly yesterday. Hedgehogs invent calculus. You're debating history with ghosts you never believed in, and the voices in your head are really coming from the walls.

I like the new Kate Bush album but I won't try to convince you you'll like it. I'll admit I had to listen both CDs about six times without a break before I realized how much I liked it living in my own brain. It wasn't till I heard it coming out my own mouth in the shower that I knew I liked it. Before then, I don't know what was happening, like getting out of your car at work and not remembering the drive.

These are not radio songs, three-point-five minutes and out. These are flowing, organic things that won't get a lot of airplay. There's confusing language. There are animal sounds. The network programmers will all raise their eyebrows and wonder how much ad space they can sell between the songs on Aerial. They'll conclude *none*. So you'll have to play them yourself.

Here are some of the lyrics to the songs on Aerial:

"3.1415926535 8979323846 2643383279 5028841971 6939937510 5820974944"


"I found a book on how to be invisible
Take a pinch of keyhole and fold yourself up
Cut along the dotted line
You think inside out
And you're invisible"

How to Be Invisible

But what good are they without the sound? Maybe some of ideas can stand on their own.

The idea you could sing pi to infinity. The idea of powerboats cruising over the heads of drowning pilots. The idea of hidden animal languages. The idea Elvis is on a snowy hill riding Rosebud.

There are birds that sing on the album. I suspect digital processing, but there they are, chirping and tweeting in sync with the bass and drums.

Of course, Kate does her share of chirping and tweeting, and a lot of giggling.

If you're weird in the Kate Bush kind of way, this is the grail. It's Mecca. It's the second coming. It's the end of twelve years wondering if she was going to change her style after becoming a mother. It's the realization that somewhere it's still 1982.

Everyone else is going to listen, waiting for the syncopation and creshendo, the climax to songs that never began. Everyone else is going to say, "what the hell is this?" and walk away as if the keys are hidden and all you hear is a big wooden palace door. Unopenable with everything inside. Like a guy trying to understand the female orgasm. Everything's inside.

Your head.

I want to write you a love poem
Every other woman wishes was written for her.

And if I have to write ten thousand
I will begin today

And if I have to lose everything I've earned
Then my life's work has been misguided

And if I die trying
Dream of me, my love.
I could have chosen no other fate.

"The acquisition of wealth should not be our primary goal. Nor should greater and greater numbers of readers. The foremost goal on our minds should be to create a story that is true to its own world view."

"It comes down to this: Writing novels requires an obsession with our truths. Those truths are not put into novels for witnesses but for co-conspirators."

Walter Mosley
Washington Post Book World

If not for wealth or fame,
From which vain spirit is motivation born?
For it moves my troubled mind as white clouds propel the locomotive,
And I am a victim in its path.

For you,
Paused on the darkened arctic shore
In long winter's night
Beneath the sleeping eagles and swirling aurora veil
May these words in electronic relativity
Shrink the thousands of miles to our thought
That cradled in lamb's wool
You feel my breath and beating heart
And know this discovery:
In the enigmatic calculus that brings word to mind,
To hand to paper
My first as my last
Could have been for no other reason
Than to reflect the wondrous and the beautiful
For you

"Very well, then, here is the devil's version of the world, of your world, the version written from the experience of those who have been demonized by virtue of their otherness."

You breach that moment in time when you are sure you're about to spew forth something inherently offensive, and yet to hold back is to shoot your muse in the foot.

Charles Bukowski. Thou art god. And no, not just for being offensive; any fool can lay claim to that quality, but for the sheer power of the don't-give-a-fuck that you gave to the world. The recipients have never stopped clamoring for your gift.

I think about you for a time, and like any red-blooded-noder, I compare thee to myself. Mine are a history of collected writings, my own, and completely not my own at the same time. The nodegel. It is a recollection of evenings, mornings, exhalations, and deprecations that I will never say sorry for; for that is the point. Good writing involves a crisis. Good writing is not a string of pablum, a collection of do-good-hero characters that never suffer. Suffering makes for a good read. And this is where my history, the nodegel as it were, comes into play.

I read many of my "non-factual" (which are nearly all daylogs) nodes and they are nearly all about a certain woman in my life. She is different and special in each and every one, and yet she seems to create a certain archetype, and that archetype has always inhabited the incarnation of my muse. She gains strength with every character I infuse into a sentence. She is short on forgiveness while long on understanding. While it may not make sense in RL it makes for conflict, and as has been previously stated, conflict is a good thing for a narrative.


Ex-Girlfriend: "Do you wish that I was staying?"
Me: "Now THAT is a loaded question. There's no question that I care about you very much."


I'm sorry to have disturbed the flow of words that were hopefully coning in on a conclusion, but that is the text-message I just received from an ex. She is moving back to England on the first of the month, and we have already seen each other to say goodbye. I asked if she was still leaving on the first, and that is the reply I got. WHAT does that have to do with this writeup? Everything, disjointed as it is.

It is one of those life-disturbing moments that causes the stream to fork left when otherwise it channeled right. My discourse would've eventually touched on another girl and the story her and I shared. But fuck that. Enough with the women. Though they are angelic, at the moment I am a devil that needs a fire to rest in a bit. I need to breathe the elements of my own creation and walk a road where I can meander, peacefully, whistling a tune I made up for the occasion and satisfied with nothing else but the sun shining on my cheek.

I honestly had no idea it would end like this. I hoped to gouge your eyes with libel, satanic verses, and the most vile utterings of truth that you never wanted to hear. I wanted to be Bukowski for a moment.

But I realize I am me.

And me thinks that maybe it is time for a sabbatical.

Sometimes I wonder about the weight we carry and how for each of us there is a different burden. Sometimes seeing the burdens another carries makes you wonder how they could possibly bear the weight of it. Sometimes you wonder if you could carry the weight they shoulder. You wonder if you are luckier than they are to have been dealt an "easier" hand in life. I sometimes wonder if perhaps they are the chosen ones. If we are all being tested in this life, maybe the ones who carry the heavier burdens and bear the greater hardships are the ones who are taking the advanced course in life.

Then again, I think 9/10ths of reality is perception. Adjust your perspective and it all changes.

I know this girl. She has attempted suicide more than once and these were not cries for attention, they were serious efforts that sent her to the hospital. She was sexually abused, or more accurately regularly raped, by a step-father for four years, beginning when her age was still in the single-digits. She has a younger sister who she deeply loved and wanted to protect, leading her to basically offer herself to the step-father in return for him not "taking the virginity" of the younger sister.

I find it hard to even imagine the size of that weight. Or maybe the right way to put it is, "the mass of that weight."

She wants to hurt herself constantly and is a very advanced cutter, having cut up her face and having slit her own throat. She fantasizes about becoming three hundred pounds, motoring around in a wheelchair and wearing "old lady clothes." She would have succeeded in killing herself years ago except she holds herself accountable for her younger sister, who she insists must succeed in life, even as she considers herself a lost, empty vessel with no redeeming qualities.

She's intelligent and highly creative. She writes the most intense poems I've ever read, dark and empty and yet in no way similar to the typical shopping cart of angsty poetry you can find in the notebooks of many high school girls. Her poetry will make the hair stand up on your neck. It violates your soul just to read it. Her drawings are equally dark and somehow deeply expressive. If it is possible for someone's bones to grate against their soul on a daily basis, that would define her existence as expressed through her art, but I don't have the right words. She makes me feel like a hack.

I had to say goodbye to this girl recently. I wanted so badly to do something to inspire her during the time I knew her, but I feel very mortal in her presence. I wrote something for her and gave it to her as a going away present. I saw tears in her eyes when she read my goofy story. It was about a tree whose branches reach towards the sky, but does it matter if no one ever sees those branches or the sky? It was about a tree whose roots grow very deep, but does it matter if no one ever notices those roots?

As she turned to go she smiled and told me, "No one ever pays attention to the roots, you silly old man. The roots are underground."

When I left she told me, "Make sure you keep writing stories."

Maybe we aren't asked to carry more weight than we can bear. Maybe we all carry just enough that if we shoulder it just right, we can see eternity.

I wasn’t gonna do it, not this year. Nope, it’s too much of hassle and too much work to be putting together a Thanksgiving Day dinner for one or two people. There’s way too much prep time and most of the leftovers wind up getting tossed after a couple of days. I figured I’d just have myself a normal day and plop my ass down on the couch and take in the football games until the bar opens at 6:00 PM and gets filled with regulars who are trying to escape their own families. There we’d drink and raise our glasses to whatever toast that was offered.

Yep, that was my plan alright.

Until a little voice piped up and said…

”Dad, it won’t be Thanksgiving if you don’t cook a turkey.” (uttered with puppy dog eyes and a pouty face)

So now there’s a turkey slowly defrosting away in my ‘fridge. There’s fruits and nuts and the cranberry sauce was made last night and is just awaiting any finishing touches. There’s fresh celery and onions and green peppers waiting to be chopped and to be mingled in with some chorizo sausage and chicken stock and bread cubes to make stuffing. There’s fresh green beans that need to have the ends trimmed and to be cut in half and mixed together with some other stuff to make some kinda casserole. There’s potatoes to be mashed and rolls to be baked and deserts to be made. There’s cider to be poured and pies to take out of the oven.

My company that day might be small in both stature and in number but at least it will be good.

She already knows how to play me like a fiddle.

I’m much better for it.

A resounding Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from me and mine.

Bob & Anna

I'm heading out the door at 4 AM. I call 411, looking for a cab company to take me to the airport. They can't find the listing. I ask for another company, and get connected to a dead line. I'm done with telephones. I walk out to the main road, figuring a cab has to come by sooner or later.

It's 4 AM in South Philadelphia. There are no cabs. There are hardly any cars, for that matter. Except for a pickup truck pulled up by the corner store. The man looks at me as I'm standing on the corner with a heavy-looking suitcase, scanning traffic that isn't there.

"You need a ride?" he asks.

I quickly analyze the situation. If I get mugged, I only lose a bunch of clothes I don't really like. If he kills me, I either go to heaven and I'm in the clear, or I go to hell and get to kick his ass after he dies. So it's a no-lose situation. He tells me to throw my luggage in the back and hop in. I can hear a little bit of a Yankee country drawl.

We're going toward the airport, and I notice a car seat behind me. He explains that it belongs to a 2-year-old redheaded girl. She gets the hair from her mother, he says... her mother who has MS.

He shows me a couple of heavy pocketknives, part of his collection. One from Florida. He used to live in Fort Lauderdale. He knows about my high school.

I tell him I'm flying to South Carolina, and he tells me about riding in an airplane for his birthday, a little four-seater droning around the Pennsylvania countryside. I think to myself that I would rather be riding home to my family in a Cessna. I have these thoughts pretty often.

We take the exit into the airport, and he asks me to watch the signs for him. "I don't read," he says. "Never bothered to learn."

I thank him at the curbside and leave a twenty on the seat, twice what the cab fare would have been. As I get in line for check-in, I realize that it's coming out of my student loans. But that's no big deal. I'm pretty sure this qualifies as an educational expense. And I hope he buys the biggest turkey in the world for tomorrow.

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.