Herbie Mann Comin' Home

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

He Must Have Moved

That line from The Haunting Of M refers to a late Victorian photograph. So used to the stiff, Stoic, frozen pictures are we that the smear of a rapid-turned figure amidst a tableau of posed bourgeoisie catches notice at once.

Spirits, spirits of the dead. A photo that weighs heavy with Victorian propriety erected when aristocrats, gone, have given way to the newly-rich. A tight-collared, corseted morality whose driving fire -- like all ours -- licks restless even when contained, even more when contained.

Then the scene, the scene, filmed in almost no light, where a barely distinct chair near the foot of the bed seats an even less distinct occupant. Or has it done so? The chair, a small rocker, is left rocking. Or has it been?

There is so much restlessness. Move yourself now. So that you don't come back. Later.

Chip On The Shoulder, Soap From The Sweat Of My Argument

It's driving gets me pugnacious. Like my voice picks up plenty of snarl and it fills the room wherein my attitude sits beefy, unwinding from two or three bad jobs, looking for a corrective by fighting any man in the bar who says different from anything just now settled-upon as a good enough reason.

Brad Pitt -- yeah, you! You turning away, cream puff?!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cartesian Job Proof

I blab;
Therefore, I 'prof'


The élite: they're happiest in control, and sad when bored.

The mass: they're happiest in complaint, and sad when drunk.

Both are at rest in surfeit.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Sartorially Speaking

Your tailor's stitch need no longer hold up under an aggressive chase.

When they stop asking for a tie to the interview, you've been slotted: the cloth ceiling.

What you wear needs to be clean, for sure, or you will be badged as 'blue collar', yet the mere neat appearance, that casual office look, the deal-friendly-with-people surface, holds your salary at low simmer, your prestige to be patted on the head like a good boy.

Default wardrobe: the thousands not spent on suits, the thousands, build a library.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Death By Rum-Raisin

It's dark as oreo crumbs, the streets are wet, I've gone out to carry back the package.

My wet trenchcoat gleams in the street light like butterscotch. A very black Smith-and-Wesson revolver digs under my arm like a freezer scoop.

The smudge where my lap would be if I was sitting down is a ripple of triple-choco-fudge.

The fedora has a broad brim, somewhere the city sound of a broad with strawberry lips.

Venture Meditationism

Exo-Chi: swimming is better than running is better than walking is better than reclining. And they're all much, much better than driving.

Laughing is better than them all.

ndo-Chi: sitting cross-legged, buttocks slightly raised, breath even, eyes open.

Best is 'realizing' -- whatever that is.

Parse the phrase three ways:

1) Whatever that is = I, son of the Western Mind, find 'realizing' not fully understandable. Isn't it what I always do when I'm conscious?

2) Whatever that is = No matter the task, the fullness with which it's done is the 'realizing'.

3) Whatever that is = Once the 'realizing' occurs, an ontological stage is reached that is self-evident internally.

Trump-Chi: accruing and owning the right to spin the mandala for over a thousand-million lifetimes.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

One Month In

Snow. Out the Saturday window one-third the way through Spring, snow. No animals apparent, women leave their supermarket car doors in soft, grey jersey sweatshorts and t-tops. A day-off man, the man strolling from the bank, stepping off the disabled ramp, cazh in his exercise tee, a fifty-year-old.

Girls, garrulously teen, move up as I do before them, in the coffee line, finding the irony at the snowfall. Basketballer-tall the woman in front, and short in the line right over, a blonde and kind suburbanite, smart I'm sure with her daughters and sons not there, she alone having ordered a sammy with her joe.

We almost collide in this tight cafe, and we socially smile and she speaks out more about this shop moment and it's clear she likes people and the years have been mostly good, and it strikes me when I leave, now very apart from the crowd which is keeping warm, and I say to myself in the chill, that we must have been -- if the right philosophy is sought -- friends in another life, where it no doubt snowed and some hardy, willful people wore their version of flipflops in cold weather, this snow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


The 'Greatest Gen' earned their luck. As children they were aware of losing it. They suffered over its loss and fought for it, triumphed in gaining it, then squeezed it, the sweet orange of their adulthood and old age.

'Boomers' were born into it, expected it, found it to slip, rued not being able to hang onto it, and have been softened by expecting it.

X'ers have never really known it, but heard elders talk of it, thought they had been cheated of it, pretended to an affluence that substituted for it, and felt not one whit certain of it, despite declaring an ideological allegiance to it through either capitalism or a brittle neo-progressivism.

Those under 25, bewildered by what it means, still play around, surrounded by that form of it that doesn't realize itself before it's not there anymore.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Watch bright suns on my ceiling. Shine my teeth with the radon. Brush my face like a poodle. Speak bright things to the earlobe. Wash my car till it drives home. Do good things to my basement. Pull the strings of the Pharoahs. Count the hairs of the Senate. Crack the will of the eggwhites. Drown the thumb in this graphite. Eat the cant of the cashier. Tuck the floor of the world view. Do good things to my money. Send fresh milk to the bassist. Tell the beads of my body. Save some truth for the last song. Pill my shirt when you're shifting. Shut the dark when you're rising. Name your drink for the soundman. Leave your phone in the air lock. Blah blah blah doo doo doo doo. Tweet tweet tweet su su su su. Ma ma ma da da da da. She she she he he he he.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Just All Draft

They use the word 'publish' as flattery. This is available, but not polished.

This is the work of a 'diarist'. It may be shared non-anonymously, but frankly, much of all writing isn't worth reading, my entries not being exempt.

The true audience of this is me. I can't conceive that those, even, nearest me would have the patience or interest to go beyond a skim.

That's what 'publish' must now mean: ennui-candy, a nose-blow, distraction.

'Me', which is to say, my 'public', writes for 'The Ages', which is to say, for the period that electronic availability -- or my physical body -- lasts


Even the most erratic person isn't. Isn't there a periodicity about any of us? Anyone catches sleep. The seasons catch us cold, allergic, bundling up, seeking shade. Bodies produce hot, new bodies, and those bodies stop, get cold again, disassemble.

Sleep dissembles death. We lie quiet and unaware, asleep, but our dreams work through. Awake, the dreammind, like the moon, shines unseen, overshone by the day, the conscious. Our work, by day, tries its small achievements, tries to peak with a victory, overswagger enough to be noticed, but bow low enough to be no target.

Our greatest somatic moments, the ones where our confidence and self-imposed strife pushes us the most -- giving birth, defending assault, orgasm -- strain us, demand of the body, risk the body, seek to find a limit.

Living is the test. Courage dares life, presses for release or an attainment of 'loss'. Nirvana symbolizes overstretched elasticity, ultimate re-lax. To be caught back in the struggle means refinding the identity whose purpose is yet again meant to climb the rock face and have nothing but below.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Toughen-Up The Grammarian In You

Two things strike me; they are grammatical. The first involves semi-colons; the second, hyphens. Jabber today has taken the place of deliberative writing; it's not just a matter of emails or chatrooms, both of which, of course, encourage the worst in the interest of the quickest.

It's not offensive chatter that spurs me, it's an antiquarian interest; the ability to grab onto a 'form', in this case, grammatical, and just work it. Thus, I chose, some years back, the semi-colon; it hardly gets used, and I figured it was lonely.

For the same reason -- quirk -- I took to hyphenating phrasal verbs; ferreting-out verb forms whose meaning requires the use of a following preposition (or two) and not simply spacing between them. Looking-up a phone number does not mean craning one's neck; dumbing-down one's speech does not entail miming into one's throat.

Consequently, to avoid missubvocalizations, I've instituted a new personal rule, which in a Kantian sense, I feel should be held universal; we must do-away-with spaces when semantic issues necessarily appear.