Sunday, September 25, 2011

Beautiful Lasers.

Music can take you places. It can also make you glad that you have left those places behind.

Lupe Fiasco, "Beautiful Lasers"

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Wet.

Sometimes the rain falls. Many choose to wait it out, to turn their gaze away from the torrent, let it pass peacefully overhead. But the rain does fall as wheat does sway. You can never make peace with it; you have to just ride. Maybe find another who feels the same. For me, tonight, there is no other. 

I push the bike down the road so I don't wake the sleeping. It fires up, sucking in chilly air. In a dark chamber at its core, there is an endless series of injections. Injections of fuel; those that are not followed by sleep and death. I ride through a still puddle, distorting its reflection of the infinite sky. In a moment of morbidity I wonder what it is that a puddle of blood would reflect. 

The ride is all treachery. A layer of water between road and tire, instability at any meaningful speed. Beneath, an engine that wants to give more than the road can possibly take. Perched above, I try to ride smoothly. The tire slides on the white lines that I cross at the intersection. I stay loose. They slide again, front and back, on a short but smooth patch of asphalt entering the interstate, but I hold steady. Distribute my weight. Look through the turn. I don’t know where the edge is. I reach out with my feelings but I can’t hear it. The voice has been extinguished by the wet. Downtown, I pause beneath street lights and peer into the darkness beneath an overpass. There the homeless sleep. I think about how the night always speaks more truthfully than the day. 

I ride home. On the route I have taken, a road is closed and I must pass through a detour I have never known. I come over the crest of a slight hill and find a fallen branch blocking the road. I swerve. The severed limb is large, covered in moss. Mangled shadows dance upon its bark as my headlight passes by. 

The bike slides yet again on the roundabout. I barely notice. I suppose it doesn’t matter. If the streets don’t kill me, the state probably will.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

T.E. Lawrence

"In five minutes my bed would be down, ready for the night: in four more I was in breeches and puttees, pulling on my gauntlets as I walked over to my bike, which lived in a garage-hut, opposite. Its tyres never wanted air, its engine had a habit of starting at second kick: a good habit, for only by frantic plunges upon the starting pedal could my puny weight force the engine over the seven atmospheres of its compression.
I gained though, gained steadily: was perhaps five miles an hour the faster. Down went my left hand to give the engine two extra dollops of oil, for fear that something was running hot: but an overhead Jap twin, super-tuned like this one, would carry on to the moon and back, unfaltering.
I let in the clutch again, and eased Boanerges down the hill along the tram-lines through the dirty streets and up-hill to the aloof cathedral, where it stood in frigid perfection above the cowering close. No message of mercy in Lincoln. Our God is a jealous God: and man’s very best offering will fall disdainfully short of worthiness, in the sight of Saint Hugh and his angels.
A skittish motor-bike with a touch of blood in it is better than all the riding animals on earth, because of its logical extension of our faculties, and the hint, the provocation, to excess conferred by its honeyed untiring smoothness. Because Boa loves me, he gives me five more miles of speed than a stranger would get from him."

From The Mint, by T.E. Lawrence. Lawrence rode a Brough Superior S.S.100. He named it Boanerges, a Greek name that means "sons of thunder." It is the name that Jesus gave to his disciples James and John and a fitting name for a twin. 

It is interesting to see these old accounts of riders and their rides. No matter how different the language or how exotic or mundane the machine, the narrative is instantly recognizable. As though there is only one universal ride and all of us at one time or another travel its hallowed path. 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Okiedoke #7: Two Poems

Here is a poem from Kate Greenstreet. She told me once that the only book that she ever stole was by Heidegger.

The poem is called "If Water Should Cover the Road."

This one is from Lea Marshall. Once, she and I walked the streets of the Bronx listening to headphones plugged into the same ipod through a splitter.

It's called "Dark Matter."

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Okiedoke #6: The Robbery

A friend and her son walked into their home recently, only to find that the joint had been robbed. But, thanks to a cunning act of omission, the thieves didn't steal her son's innocence. Well, innocence is the wrong word. Naiveté, maybe?