Caveat: On Forgetting Having Seen the Cornice of a House

On Forgetting Having Seen the Cornice of a House

The group of people I find myself with
That night as per the howling fugitives
Dana, Kray, yourself, others — perhaps dan,
In vaguely snow-strewn streets dwelling
The Darkness somewhow uninterested in the commitment
Which is inevitably involved in introspection
We did walk and laugh as per the
adjourned party of this dream, perhaps
hoping, or at least hopeful.

Inevitable, perhaps again, that Kray & Dan
should take the stage, a wall along
the sidewalk bearing the hasty, sublime
imprint of white which has
its origins in this Minnesota winter.

That stage I forget. But, when if moved
to a framed window at the brown
forgotten cornice of a house, A framed action
which jumped through the window tho' the
picture was indeed still — The actress
my young mother, whom I've never known,
Tilted in misery, — Who appeared (after
Kray's antics as the carefree dog on an
elevator — which that boxed cornice became
through some trick of photography which I once
knew in some philosophic context, but which
given the retrospect of those pews I now forget.
More on the pews later. Kray swallowed
the spittle in his throat and danced,
blinking wildly in the droplets which excaped
his mouth to dance the blowing gusts of
The open window on this cornice accelerating
so rapidly downward.) in that aquamarine
flourescence of the bottom of the ocean seen
in a black and white film which must
be seething with imagination or at least the
unwarranted indication of things
outside the realm of a black and white reality.

It was fine green workshop lighting,
as If Jacques Cousteau had wandered in
to film this depth, the nascent,
Yes, oedipally so, nascent sun filtering
downward with those discouraged probability functions
which Max Planck may or may not have understood,
but which the fish understand without
asking — perhaps that is their key. A fine gold
key it must be they possess, an ancient one
as they swim within the metaphor which
My motionless child-mother evokes as she bends
foetally upon herself, framed like the light,
within the cornice of that house
above the wall upon the street, wreathed with
the heavy winter taste of night.

The funeral, the man who entered talking loudly
as if he himself were the dead, the discussion
of his purpose on the gravel outside the whiteness
Of those pews, with mooning.

The arrival at your house, the… the decoration,
the food. Your athletics. Your "father."
the ensuing days. The shoes,
The car trip. The black place, the nukes, & John.
The terminal, taxes. writing. sleep.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" added 2014-06-19, but originally written at the date posted.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?

The above is from an undated journal entry, but the journal itself is from the years 1983~1984 (based on the inclusion of math-class notes that I can confidently date from that period) so I have guessed that the above was written during the fall or winter of that year and estimated a date here based on the reference to snow, which means it has to have been after the first snowfall of late fall, 1983 since before then I had never lived where snow fell. It is a record of a dream, clearly, but also there are many indications (unusual line-breaks, capitalization and punctuation, and clearly intentional mis-spellings) that it was meant to be the germ of some kind of poem such as I preferred to attempt to write in those years.]

Caveat: 1983

I walked a lot in high school – mostly in the fog. I graduated from
Arcata High School in Arcata California. My summer internship at a civil
engineering office turns me off of the idea of pursuing engineering,
careerwise. I started
college at Macalester College in St Paul, Minnesota. The main reason for
my choice of Macalester was that it was very far away from home. I met my best
friend Bob on day one, and he is still my best friend almost thirty years later.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1983 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: Lufenholtz Beach

Last year, I got a pretty nice camera from my uncle (used). It was a Pentax.

I took it out while home in Humboldt for Christmas Break this year, and took some photos of the world. One place that's important in my own psychological evolution: Lufenholtz Beach, in Trinidad, California.

1983_TrinidadCALufenholtzBeach

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from memory on 2012-02-17.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?

The above picture is from a scan of one of the rather extensive set of photos (mostly of nature) that I took in 1983-1985.]

Caveat: Memoirs of the Architect

-> . . . )  Memoirs of the Architect ? {Post title}

When the calico cat on the couch fades
    in the slanted rays of the wintersun
And when the streets outside the window
    reach not for home but for their origins
Gentle, gentle, do my tears come.

Without the calculus of my memory to guide
    those tears
Without the nurture of my once heroic
    imaginings
Quiet, quiet, the pain slips heavily.

    Toward anger                .    Time
        the                            .        out
            Knife                .            of
                slips                            time
                    home.                    lost,

    Cannot,
        for whatever reason,
That these viscous drops of blood are mine.
And so bloodied a knife in my trembling
    hand
Call me to mind,
        A japanese garden I once
saw in a photograph which I perceived
with an ambition to become an architect.

    A designer of my struggling end.

Little pebbles, little pebbles
                            meaning
                            .    for
                        .            nought
    Quiet    .
        11/17/83 JARED

    There's no eagerness here.
    Nor will it ever come to pass
        But in the thick, timid soul
    of the non-architect.
There.
    It is irremediable.  ( . . . ->

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above entry was surprising to find.  It appears to mark the very specific moment when I gave up my childhood dream to become an architect.  I'm not sure explains why, though.]

Caveat: While the Men Converse

MenconverseA_260 MenconverseB_260

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" added 2014-06-19  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?


These pictures, above, are undated but they appear in a journal from the years 1983~1984, near other pages which bear dates from mid-August of 1983. Those entries are also in the same pen, so I have assumed these undated pictures date from that time and have thus posted them here on this date.]

Caveat: 1982

I took a road trip, alone, over Easter break to visit my uncle, who at that time was in Port Angeles, Washington. I was surprised my mother let me do this.  I didn't take enough money for gas, so I panhandled in Coos Bay and got enough quarters to put enough gas in the car to get home. That summer, I went to Harvard University, where I studied astrophysics and creative writing and went to a Dead Kennedys concert. I felt I had been transformed from a nerd to some kind of  beat poet, by reading William S. Burroughs and Ginsberg and Kerouac. I doubt I pulled off this transformation very effectively, but I started wearing Army surplus jackets and smoking (secretly).

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1982 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: I have feared too many things

I have feared too many things.
I cannot ask why.  I am not allowed.

When I look back on it all, I somehow cannot organize it all into a single block of "experience" or happening.  Instead it stretches with valleys and hillocks of memory shifting like the sea.  The arrival all but fades behind the departure, until I put my mind upon't, but then the departure sinks beyond any grasping of hands, which seek to mold the memory into a contiguous whole, seeable, explicable, graspable.

I remember wondering at my going, what it would be like.  I remember then again wondering what had happened, when it was over.  I asked myself if I had not, perhaps, been dreaming only.  I sat in a classroom a short walk still from my room, a continent away.  I doze as I study in a library much like I dozed and studied yesterday; or were yesterday and that day the same?

Memories are like that, you know.  They danse before, or behind you, daring you to organize them, and set them down on paper.  Only men of great skill can do that.  Most only end up writing somebody else's memories, forgetting their own.

I studied for an exam for 3 days straight, without much else to do.  I studied in a way I'd never studied before:  just staring at a page, wondering if I knew it all.  That is much harder than getting to know it.  I remember, I played mental games with my roommates, pretending to be insane, when I actually was, and knew it, too.

Then, most of the time, I pretended to be me, which is very hard, because it is so difficult to do.  I spent a lot of time studying my reflection on others, and modelling myself on that.  Ambiguous, eh?

Gently, know.  I tipped the capdriver as he left me standing culturally naked in Harvard Square.  "Which way is Harvard Yard"

"You haven't paid, Jared."  Yes you have, they just screwed up.  You're in the wrong line, kid.  Now, go back to your dorm, don't worry about it.

Ah, my dorm.  I took the top bunk.  That's where I slept all summer.  I remember it, just through that door… in a room built before California was "discovered."

I sat down one night to write a short story for my creative writing class, and began to spew carrots across my paper.  I woke up, frightened.  What a lousy dream.

So I wrote it down, and went to astrophysics.  Yes, you're supposed to have had a high school physics course.  Oops….  I bought some books and tutored myself, but I did not mind, because physics is fun.

My roommate told me he would convert me.  I think I converted him, but I learned more.  Nothing is certain if its foundations are shaken, is it?  A lot of foundations shook last summer, I can still feel the cracks in my soul.  Maybe things started shaking before I left, but I did not notice till I got there, so there is where counts.

Anyway, it was a lot of fun….

-=-

I said goodbye and went into the airport – was that leaving or coming?  My bunkmate, Héctor, said, "Okay."  That's the last I heard.  It was surely the longest sentence he'd used when talking to me.

No, but Boston is truly crazy, if you've been there, especially after having never been there before.  I ran the whole length of Commonwealth Avenue once, late for something.  Steve was along, surely a devil's advocate.  Always the devil's advocate.

He's the one who took me to a punk concert – me, I'd never even been to a classical concert before.  I was amazed, yes:  the various different kinds of people in the world.

Harvard Summer School, I rolled it in my mind.  I have memories of it, from before I went, because I daydreamed.  These memories should be the best, except they lack dimension.  Those kind always do, though.  I wrote a lot of poetry, even without a class.  Not a whole lot, really.  Just, well, enough.  And my short story.  You can read it.  [No – I've lost every copy I had of it.]

I thought it was so great, at first.  I was proud.  I had born my own creation.  Now I have my doubts.  It is with much hesitation that I submit it here, with these memories.  Keep in mind that the story is a symbolic autobiography of me.  It deals with my interpretating some almost universal fears and emotions.

Anyway.  One experience I had that might require some explanation.  I discovered a fourth dimension.  Well, just speculation….  I was sitting at my desk one day, procrastinating (tell me, you never procrastinate?) and staring at my assignment sheet for writing in the face.  But my mind was on astrophysics, and math, and such things as are prone to occupy my mind.  (All too curious.)  It occurred to me this following:

If there is a fourth dimension, then it can be said to be in a direction perpendicular to all others.  (Just as when you lift a plane to create a third, you are moving in a direction [perpendicular] to all others previously taken into account.)  Well, if an object then chooses to move away into the distance of the fourth dimension, from my point of view, while staying stationary on the other axes, then it will, in essence, appear to recede while in place.  How now?  It seems, thus, to shrink!  From this, the fourth dimension is none other than scale.

This discovery has occupied mind for untold hours, to no avail.  I do hope someday I shall clear it up.

I kept a journal last summer.  It was filled with anger, and discovery, and frustration and joy at the end.  But without the memories, it is empty.

I read it out loud to my roommates.  I think they liked it.  They must have liked to see me strip off my costume, reveal the suffering, erratic soul beneath.  But by the end my journal was often for them too read, and so it lost its naked truth, and became a sort of underwear, or better yet, a bullet-proof vest to wear under a shirt.

(Of course, I fell in love, several times.  But oh so shallow, beside my longing for a girl at home.)

So what did you do last summer?  "Oh, I don't know.  I went to Harvard, goofed around."  What did you study?  "Creative writing, astrophysics – oh, no -  I studied myself."  Did you learn anything?  "Sure, I learned a lot.  But that is nothing in an infinite universe.  There is much more out there."

P1050972

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above entry was written shortly after I returned from my experience at Harvard, between junior and senior years in high school.]

Caveat: Il pleut

Il pleut

O where are all the other raindrops?
I'm falling all alone.
The city races onward,
The sky is thick with clouds,
Can't you see it's raining here,
But something here is wrong.
Einstein and Planck are dead now,
The frogs and squirrels don't know,
The raindrops keep on falling,
The universe goes on.
My window's partly open,
I hear the sounds without,
The sound of falling raindrops,
But everything is gone.

O quand il pleut ou allons les rats?
I haven't seen a one.
The telephones are ringing,
The voices, they're not there,
The squeaking of small rodents,
A-dancing to their song.
Newtonian mechanics,
Relativity now,
The rats sleeping in their places,
Their tails, they are too long.
And everything is quiet,
The sky is changing blue,
And the rats have stopped their dancing,
But everything is gone.

O what's the meaning of these flowers?
They've cropped up everywhere.
In the sun, grass grows quickly,
A sidewalk stone gives in,
Flowers of different colors,
And colors make a song.
The light, it seems uplifting,
But: E=mc2,
Drowning by our planet's mass,
Some fleeting fast photon.
Once more the clouds come back here,
The sun is covered up,
Flowers weep small raindrop tears,
And everything is gone.

[The "retroblogging"
project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2013-02-18. 
I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big
project.  But there's no time limit, right?  The above poem (quite atrocious, methinks) was written in a
journal I was keeping while at Harvard Summer School in 1982, between my junior and senior years in high school.]

Caveat: Cage of lions and I we are two things

Cage of lions and I we are two things

Secure within immutability
safe inside my sphere
I pound my head against
its walls
begging to be free.
Then a man with silver key
cracks my prison
sets me free.
I grab some glue,
I gasp for breath
I beg the man to take his
key, and go away.
Patching sphere
repairing cracks
I turn around and
pound my head against
its other walls.

I know the answer
I have asked the questions
but no one tells me how

Dog and bug are in a room.
A green plant.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right? The above entry was written during an angsty end to a bitter junior year in high school.]

Caveat: 1981

I just went to high school. I was a very depressed teenager. I refused to talk to my father, but I would go visit him because he had cable TV, which my mom refused to get. I spent the summer with my uncle who was in Skagit County, Washington. I developed anorexia (self-diagnosed, but seriously – no food for 2 or 3 weeks straight?). I began writing poetry.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1981 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: Frogs and horses, why are they?

Frogs and horses, why are they?

Time is inescapable.
A burden.  We cannot ever
escape.  A child knows not time
but they make him learn.
They throw it on his back,
and he never notices
until one day,
then it is too late,
and they are happy.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" transcribed from paper on 2010-11-28.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right? The above entry was undated, but I'm guessing sometime around the end of 1981, based on which journal it was in and what was nearby – I didn't always fill in my paper journals linearly.] 

Caveat: 1980

I just went to high school. I walked a lot in the fog. I played dungeons and dragons a lot with my friends, Wade and Richard. I spent the summer with my uncle, who was in Boise County, Idaho, at this time. I contemplated becoming a Mormon, just to annoy the hell out of my parents, and because the church was conveniently located across the street, and I envied the sense of community the Mormons at school projected. I also remember telling my mom that if I could vote, I would vote for Reagan, though I suspect this didn't annoy her as much as I hoped.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1980 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 1979

That Spring I travelled to Europe with my father, stepmother, sister and stepsister. I liked Europe – I tried to speak French and pretended I was alone and not with those American tourists. I graduated from the 8th grade with the feeling I was destined to always be alone. My mother separated from her second husband and we moved back into the house in town on A Street at 11th Streeet in Arcata. I hated high school before it even started. I felt fear every day.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1979 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 1978

This was the year at the 'ranch' – my stepfather's farm on the Arcata bottoms up against the Lamphere Dunes near the beach. I disliked my stepfather and my mother was clearly distressed by this marriage of hers, but I chose not to give a damn. I had a little hut that was a sort of detached bedroom. I listened to Cat Stevens and drew pictures and watched the rain. I took very long walks along the one lane roads of the bottomlands. I decided that I liked math, and over the course of the year – the end of 7th grade and beginning of 8th grade – I went from being rather remedial at math to being very good at it.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1978 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 1977

This year was the 'exile from Eden.' I ended 6th grade at Centering School, and began a VERY traumatic transition to 7th grade at public middle school. I have always believed this was the single most traumatic experience of my entire childhood – more than my parents' divorce. My mother chose this year to remarry, too. I was very angry and resentful about this. 7th grade sucked.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1977 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 7th Grade

1977_ArcataCAJared7thGradeMy 7th Grade school picture. I don't particularly like this picture, but it's what I looked like.

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" written and added 2012-12-25.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?]

Caveat: Driving Across Canada in a Bug

Ann (mom), my sister and I drove across Canada in a bug. I don't have many pictures from that epic adventure. But here are two I found. I think they are both somewhere in Ontario – maybe the north shore of Lake Superior? It was the land of one million mosquitoes.

Betsy the Bug.

1977_LakeSuperiorONBetsyTheBugCamping

Jared and some random stranger. I remember the green baseball cap, which was a permanent attachment to my head that year.

1977_LakeSuperiorONJaredAndStranger

[The "retroblogging" project:  this is a "back-post" written and added 2012-12-25.  I've decided to "fill-in" my blog all the way back.  It's a big project.  But there's no time limit, right?]

Caveat: 1976

5th through 6th grade at Centering School were the best years of my childhood. I was popular at school, I learned a lot, and I was relatively happy, in my low-key way. I we meditated after lunch. We voted on what to study. We made a lot of art projects and did drama. We went to camp at Wolf Creek and slept in canvas-covered geodesic domes.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1976 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 1975

That Spring my parents divorced. 4th grade sucked. My mother enrolled me at Centering School, a private, alternative, 'hippie' school for 5th grade. I really liked Centering School. I walked the length of 11th street, from my house on the edge of the hill as A Street down to the school, which that first year was in the Methodist Church (that it rented) near Q Street. I staged mock 'superhero battles' with my friend Steven during recess.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1975 – it was written in the future.]

Caveat: 1974

Moore Avenue school closed, and I ended up at Alice Birney Elementary in
Eureka for the remainder of my 3rd grade year. I walked home sometimes,
alone, and it seemed very, very far – epic. Then that summer the
commune house in Eureka seemed to fall apart, and so we took a long trip
to see my grandparents at their summer home in Colorado. My parents
forgot my 9th birthday – I think they were stressed. I started 4th grade
at Edgemere Elementary School in Oklahoma City, because we were staying
with my grandparents there. By Christmas, however, we were back in
Arcata and I was at Sunnybrae Elementary.

[This entry is part of a timeline I am making using this blog. I am writing a single entry for each year of my life, which when viewed together in order will provide a sort of timeline. This entry wasn't written in 1974 – it was written in the future.]