It’s not after all that “history” is some kind of mission
but that it scatters sensual objects on the pages of

nostalgia, a flare of spores around the negative of a tiny
black hole. Hearst’s wife had an affair with Chaplin. She/

he had different ideas from his host. His shoes were too
large for his small feet. He could not tread lightly. Or

like Melville, he was too focused on capital, caught up,
delivered like dental floss through a cog and force-fed:

“bring me the fat in California.”* It was a funny scene
then, but not so funny now. I call it news but others call it

“reportage,” a phosphorescent language spoken by a type of
shelf fungi. A story about fish and weather is deposited

on the shore among small sinkers, hooks, and graying corals.

*Killer Shrews. Enemy Records
EMY 141-1, 1993


December 16, 1933, Charlie Chaplin goes to work at Keystone
studios,* becomes a tramp we see on film, this modern life

a turkey vulture circles overhead, lands atop a telephone pole
weather turns dark; phospor green font, heavy clouds, rain

Blewits. A series of photographs held in FB storage, be a
star every 15 minutes. We discussed paragraph structure

cookie-cutter effect. Paragraphs are stanzas are stops that
need transitions between weather. Full stop, an archaism for

the end of communique. What was past is past, is edited
clipped. Glows through skin, one can see right through


* From This Week in California History

A different sea

I seem to be sort of reviewing past projects, and wondering how I might extend them in different directions. Diaryo ended up being a book of days, that is, the everyday details, the “news” of life (mine, more or less).

But now I recall that, initially, it was supposed to be about listening to the news on the television or radio—as heard from a distance. It was also about listening to people talking; and how the brain half-hears, and reinterprets these reports of daily life. Because nothing is ever exactly transcribed or understood in the way it was meant to be. Like a game of “telephone.” I was interested in what blooms from hearing/mishearing, and what happens to the urgency and drama of news as it warps into other meaning.

One looks at the project that was started, that you pushed in one direction—but that slowly, somehow, becomes warped, shaped to the hidden purposes of one’s emotions, thoughts, or god knows what other impulses; the undercurrents that move it out to a different sea altogether.


Inky Mica Caps clustering, an outgrowth. Under what might be ancient
cottonwoods. The rockets burst upward—whoosh, spring tiny parachutes

December 14, 1793. They call them Quirost warriors “Muwekma men” as drawn
by Choris later. But they attacked the Mission Santa Cruz, “partially burned”*

Never do well with the cold. Spoiled California brat (this isn’t “cold”) soft
mattress. The gum is healing. H-G Gadamer and play, and the heater drums

You insert the topic sentence here and don’t forget analysis. Wear the hat
take off the hat as you enter a room. Hold the door open. The opening

and it falls to the ground, or in one case, lands on a power line,
unretrievable. But the children aren’t sad; more where that came from


*From “This week in California history