Saturday notes:

writing plans
are coming together
(news comes later)
it’s not
easy
I tell you
I should
really
emphasize that

anyway,
I’m in a spot
where if you
sneeze
they
bless you
with
“bless you”

it’s true that
if you really
write for
a long period
the words
flow
easier

and you
can
open up
a franchise

a little history of
my writing:

it began in
zines and
picked up
through spoken
word coffee shops

and I’d scrawl
my pieces into
a notebook
on the bus

the big thing
was to grab
that next
available seat
really take
that for granted
(many trips spent
entirely standing)

I learned to write
in truncated language
and abbreviation
’cause the bus
would shake
all to hell

not that NPR
has asked

. . .

a cold
c. has explained
the science
of how
the common cold
develops
but I forgot it
fast
only
know it
in caveman essence

this makes me feel…

rested a lot
late broke
outta the house

to hear a woman
talk about how she’s
in a chicken leg phase
but if she works out
they can really
look cool again

don’t get me wrong
I’m not complaining

the oddness of
the various sound bites
around me is intriguing
and why I come
down here
in the first place

the place is
mostly cleared out dead
and quiet
good good
barking dog
new album by boards of canada
friends swing by for
a second
these are good people

“transition between hot and cold
no matter how
you do it
it’s always hard”

THE KING STAY THE KING (from HBO’s THE WIRE)

By Episode 3, D’Angelo Barksdale is entrenched in The Pit, monitoring the youngest and least experienced of the Barksdale drug crews and trying to improve their performance. And in a succinct metaphor, we get a sense of the drug hierarchy and everyone’s place within that world.

D’Angelo finds Wallace and Bodie playing checkers in the pit with chess pieces and is incredulous that they don’t know the better game. Striking his standard hardcase pose, Bodie could not give a fuck, but Wallace — the last innocent of The Pit — wants to learn.

Piece by piece, D’Angelo catalogs how everyone in “the game” has a role and how few — if any — transcend that role. Bodie, ignorant of chess but not without pride and self-interest, is fixated on the pawns. If they make it across the battlefield to the other side, they become royalty.

“The king stay the king. Everyone stay what they is ‘cept the pawns,” says D’Angelo. “They get capped quick. They be out of the game early…”

“Unless they some smart-ass pawns,” says Bodie, correcting him.

Yeah, I wanted to make some very similar comments, probably realizations I’d not have without having seen this episode a year or so back. Regarding all the peaces on the board or field, they resemble US. That is, they each have their own separate powers. The Knight, he moves in sevens and is the only one who can jump over people. He’s eccentric. He can make the first move, if he so chooses. The others have their own moves, sweeping, the diagonal sweeping Bishop, the vertical/horizontal sweeping Rook.

To me, the pawns represent the common folk or working class, the ones who are caught and can only go in one direction. But maybe they only choose to go in one direction because they’re hellbent on promotion. This would switch things up a bit, saying a bit more for the typically downtrodden pawn: “The only time he steps aside is for a capture. and even then he’s moving forward.”

With that aside, at the very least, the pawn serves the purpose of being in the way. Being in the way can screw up your enemy’s game plan.

What are your powers? And can you transcend your current circumstances (jump over), promote yourself to acquire greater abilities, be many things at once, be greater than even a king or queen? Perhaps the piece that can go in any direction and also jump overtop and in sevens, etc., has your name on it.

Played a game with my friend Josh last night. Chess always teaches you something about yourself. In this case, as I slaughtered up most of his army on the field, I became overconfident. This became my undoing. Even as I was able to advance my pawn and promote it to Queen, thus having two queens ready to stab down, his very next move was to pin my King and end it for me brutal. Humbling.

By the way, this year’s Halloween was a wash out. Oh well. Seems so often that this time of year, we’re broke as hell, or unstable in some other kind of way. Forces me to think in terms of seasons, for sure. National Novel Writing Month, for example, falls around this time of year, and many complain that this is the time when they’re most busy and could you please switch it up, move it to another month? Seasons, ebb and flow, busyness, down-time, making time. Making time, forcing time, and exhaustion, pushing yourself too far.

I carved a pumpkin up good. Took a lot of patience. Poked holes through the stencil provided from the kit. I didn’t take the time to research any kick ass faces this year, or crank out one of my own. And oh boy did it take a lot of carving up. Be patient, she kept saying. A lot of self doubt. I can’t keep on with this. I’m failing with the bat. That doesn’t fucking look like a bat. No one’s gonna know that’s a bat…

Finished the thing up pretty good, though. Looks awesome in the dark lit up flickering.

. . .

Sunday, I’ve run into friends up here at the coffee shop, and so we’ve been sitting around talking about whatever and it’s just been the most beautiful way to spend this kind of time. You know, early morning. By now, it’s 1 PM, though, and they’ve cleared out, and I’m writing, reading, writing some more, brainstorming thoughts for the book, switching back to writing in my journal, doing the whole ballooning thing. Such ‘n such thought relates to this, to that, to coffee, and back, then on, forward, gleeming, so obvious it’s right in your face. Yes, so obvious that I’ll include in the book a chapter dealing with the piggies at war. You know, they are so random and that randomness is so refreshing. After all, they cease battle as the sun goes down and mostly differences are set aside, ‘cept they can be awfully bitchy still. Such is life. Hard to put every single little thing behind you, unless you’re a buddhist, and then, well… Do buddhists not struggle? Anyway, the piggies will get their safe space to vent on some issues before sun up.

. . .

Is it okay that I like Stevie Wonder? Very superstitious!

I’m only superstitious when I’m listening to this song. Otherwise, I’ve set the guilt asail and everything else from the ashramas that have plagued my heart over the years. So I say. The book will surely deal with that, too. I must admit, while I speak of it, that it’ll mostly contain free writing sessions and flow on very playfully, the way I like it.

Very superstitious

I ran through
a goddamn
window when
I was a kid
and bled a big puddle
on the kitchen floor
while my mother
frantically called 911
I wonder what
day that was

what the hell
is up
with numerology?

I don’t know
if it is
off putting
that I say aloud
that I am
an atheist
or am fascinated by atheism
by its possibilities of freeing people
(or anyway will people still
find a way of trapping themselves, even without theology?
but of course!)
and yet
be fascinated by
hauntings, visitations

the buddhist thing
as I see it
is to reopen
your awareness
things around you
and in and about you
things you
usually
overlook
and to regain this
is to feel like
you’ve gained
superpowers
and should therefore
assume
a masked identity
but it’s
not like that

you’re being
more
you

that
is all

besides,
saying I like
a few Stevie Wonder songs
is not
like saying
I own
Sheryl Crow albums

because that
would be
crass
I tell you

flat out

don’t go that route

Move in for the kill

“Chess, like love, like music, has the powers to make men happy.”
Siegbert Tarrasch (1862-1934)

“There is no remorse like a remorse of chess. It is a curse upon man. There is no happiness in chess.”
H.G. Wells (1886-1946)

“Chess is so inspiring that I do not believe a good player is capable of having an evil thought during the game.”
Wilhelm Steinitz, interview with J. Moquette, 1896

“It is always better to sacrifice your opponent’s men.”
Savielly Tartakower

Well, hey friends. Good morning. What have I been up to? Much chess training. It’s not been so long since I started playing, and tonight, after what’s seemed like hundreds, I finally won a game against another human being. Lasted for about two hours, and it was neck and neck, but I delivered the death blow in the end.

Stay tuned…