30 August 2004

yesterday we passed the absolut ice ferris at sea. have you heard of this? fucking wild. its a giant boat, with a ferris wheel in the middle of it, round and round superquickly to the tune of bizarre trombone music, fast ride cymbals, walking basslines. its basically a huge pr thing for absolut vodka, so the place is swarming with girls in bikinis and guys with sloppy haircuts, snoop dogg, martha quinn. we set up a couple of slides and walkways between our boat and theirs, and i was off for the night, so i got to see the icing itself, a completely wild suicidal rite.

the ferris wheel is powered by solar dry ice compression; the exhaust is filtered off through a, you guessed it, vodka filter, off the starboard side, into a cordoned off section of the sea, about a half mile square. the cordons are tied to giant papermache icebergs, inhabited with audioanimatronic penguins, polar bears, etc. and of course, a triangle of subspeakers half in half out of the water, creating bulging eurotrance bassline ripples that involve the hips against their will.

so anyway, after a few hours of ferrising, the sectioned off water becomes a plate of frozen vodka and saltwater, and all the girls in their bikinis go running about, slipping on their bare feet, enjoying the wild contradcition of frozen ice and blazing sun, belly sliding with their mouths open to receive the salted vodka shavings, the men doing body shots, wool hats and melon halves used for impromptu booty curling, zamboni grinding, and the daring sticking their tongues to the teasingly placed metal poles scattered throughout.

its as the sun goes down that the weridness begins. the ferris wheel is shut down, and the delta t's of the chilling night air and the frozen sea begin to interact and lead towards the inevitable and incredible cracking of the ice. on deck, men in parkas sell you buckets of loose snow to mold into snowballs. but careful, careful...if you throw too hard, the legend goes, the ice will stay intact. you must pack the snowball loosely enough that the snow is still flowing through the air like confetti, held together by the lightest of promises. you can not hurt the ice; you can only fool it into hurting itself. throw the snowball just so, and the ice will begin to itch, and the ice will endanger itself by scratching, leading to the great splashing avalanches of vodka into the sea. cold air rushing towards you from all directions, and sounds like crystal bamboo. the dance party is still raging on the unfrozen ice, and men and women dare each other to stay on as long as they can, some making love on the melting ice as the world crashes about them. until the great spectacle of the final collapses, and the reckless slide into the sea, lost, lost. there are halflit searchlights and drunken rescue attempts, but mostly the passionate deaths are celebrated, even envied.

06 August 2004

we are sailing through a hurricane.
storms on giant ships are just about the best thing this life (this cruise ship life, that is) has to offer. everything gets so fucked up. at night i went to sleep to a nice soporific rocking (ps in morning remembered six dreams), but was awakened in the night by crashes: first things in the bathroom, then a bottled water rolling off of my bed. and then, more ominous, the loud metallic far off crashes of more substantial things on the ship tilting. trash cans, chairs, guitar stands. there are so many angles at which the boat may tilt, that the crashes come throughout the night, each precarious potential waiting for its exact wave parameter to actualize its china shop disaster.

walking around is even better. relativity in action: from my inertial frame, the ship moves around me, this leg heavy, this one light. there are long hallways that run almost the entire length of the ship...the best of these on deck 2, crew cabins, tiled floor and harsh flourescent lights and water tight door lips that are drunkenly tripped over often. walking down these halls, you are treated to the oddest visual sight: people walking towards you at an angle, there feet as close to the right wall as possible, and then there bodies obscenely angled to towards the left. it looks positively supernatural. everyone laughs and smiles during storms, at their own idiot balance, and the seasick are urged to eat green apples, for the pectin.

but up top is where its going down, fucking wind spray wave sky ocean killer god power. theres a sun way off in the distance, backlighting these grey death clouds and streaks of wind, one burst of wind creating the waves, another gust ice shaving the spray off of the crest of each wave- sheeeeeeeeex//

and the officers are going nuts, theyre really tense. a group of three security officers up on top deck are wildly flinging tables and chairs into a barracade, yellow caution tape, worried looks to the sky.

theres a lot of this going on: ~~~~~~~
jan says that the other night i was screaming in my sleep. "like animal...animal. waahahah!" he falsettosaid. the dreams that i remember of the night seem fairly innocuous...a bowling match, photographs of small children playing in sinks, a jumprope-style-reversable tuxedo shirt of light blue tree bark. but i also remember a state of half sleep, in which a dream, still flowing, was being observed by my conscious eye for dream journal inclusion. and in the midst of this mental recording, i questioned myself: if i was semiconcious at the moment, did this really count as dreaming?

could this moment of blur have caused my screams? it seems doubtful, but one thing certain is that my recording of my dreams is affecting the dreaming itself. for one thing, a consistent geography is coming to light. a steep forest hill, a vortex of wind and surf, a physics laboratory on a dark cliff, a vast mall, a store for blue dresses and old record players. a labyrinthine house of strangers and drywall, a purple ballroom ship, a german train, a school with hidden closets and bizarre security designs. the characters too have a consistent personality from night to night, both the predictable cast of family, friends and lovers, and more bizarre, the phantoms that i create out of thin night with rich complexity. in the bowling dream of two nights ago, i had to ask a fair hippie sitting on the floor behind me to move over so i would not backhand him with the ball (the pins, giant red dice, were set up five across in a wicked split at the front of the lane). his blond curl shine smiled at me and revealed puzzlement at my activity and sadness at his exclusion, mystification and irritation, but then an internal shift, and finally a compassionate decision and a smile and a scoot scoot scoot so i could execute my spare. this insignificant moment detailed and full of contradiction and humanity.

the evening following the screaming, i was daydreaming on stage and missed the entrance to scotsman jack walkers blitzkreig of miss saigons "why god why". which was really a damn shame, because the beginning is just bass and piano, a really pretty and mysterious rocking Bo to Am thing over an F pedal. (i frantically sandwiched the first three notes into a sickening mockery of a triplet starting somewhere in the middle of the second beat. but by bar 2 i was on the scene). where was i? i dont really remember, because i was trying to remember more details of the previous nights dreams; but the exact nature of the reminiscive investigation was as lost to me as the elusive dream details themselves. a moment of remembering, unremembered. daydreaming of dreaming, recalling the past and forgetting the present, asleep in wakefulness. and a memory and a dream are in the end the same. why god why, he asks, why did god send me this beautiful vietnamese girl on my last night, why now this love, why?

a memory and a dream, the same. both stories in my experience, in my library of thought, that shape my present actions, reasonings and raptures. are these dreams then real? once they are etched into memory, what difference in contribution to my vastness do they have from waking experience? the cause, the intention behind the experiences themsleves is different, clearly, in that i am actually creating the dreams in a more complete way then i create my living experience. but after, when only the memory remains? and why god why am i creating these particular things? does my secret heart know what memories it hungers for, what will keep my velvet belly shining and full?

and then. the next morning, this morning, and the dreams are lost. i am robbed. i have a pretty good method for recalling dreams: since i almost always dream of people i know, i just go through a mental rolodex of everyone ive ever known, starting with the big guns, then aimlessly floating through different phases of my life, recalling faces and names and scents and songs, until a tickle of recall is awake. but this morning, nothing, nothing. my head a closet heap: i still had why god why running through my head (oh but fuck its a good song!), and i was thick with the jack daniels i had shared with the trombone player daniel the night before. (this trombone player, alcoholic, is a sad story that is slowly breaking my heart, by the way, and i dont know what to do). my head was crowded, gas station bright.

so heres what i did: i cleared my mind. ha!
i tried to do this by focusing on the breath, but im honestly just not a very good meditator, and this did not work, still mocking circles of invasive thoughts chased me. instead i focused on a single image. ah, a blackbird. i painted her loving on mind screen, facing left, still, zoomed in on her twitching head, deep eye, caressed her slightly, and then still. stopped the endless modifications that my mind insisted on for thoughts survival. still, still, breath and then spaced out.

images began to float in on the peripherals. i was hoping these images would be of my lost dreams, but they were not. they were new images, unpredictable and vibrant. a red and green tiger, an animated postal golf cart, a tall glass of passion punch. if i looked to one of these imgaes, the bird and her steel grey background would tear, vertical diagonal swatches of her realitys fabric exactosliced away by my inattention. in refocus, the new images to drift past half seen. and thus i allowed myself to only discern partial impressions of these images that were being created completely by my mind.

to only know some of what i thought.

now, was this dreaming?

and why god why, are you giving me this beautiful vietnamese girl on my last night, why this love now love? do you know what my velvet belly hungers for?


in the morning, i stopped at the mess before going to the beach (oh yes, im in bermuda). i had missed breakfast, but was hoping to find a croissant or yogurt in one of the forbidden stainless steel cupboards of the pantry.

and what do think i found? belly growling, and there, on the counter, under a silver lid, a plate of untouched, still warm, eggs benedict.

why god why?//this velvet hunger//benedictus deo//

02 August 2004

finally started that dream journal. four nights running strong. right upon waking, work it all out, get it down. the reason behind this, is, i feel like i have another life, a really rich and amazing life, that is all but lost to me in my waking state. i would like to be whole, and really know whats going on with me. how pretty can i think?

heres a good one form last week, predreamjournal era, so i can comfortably put it down here without fear of repetitous creativity:

worked out reversed time.
its always bothered me, that to make something happeneing backwards comprehensible, little parts of it have to presented forwards; that is, if you tell a story in reverse order, all the little scenes still run forward. if you write a sentence backward, all the individual words still read forward; and even if the words are spelled backwards, well still the letters are forward. and if you mirror image the letters, well then the whole thing is just incomprehensible unless you read it backwards, and thus forwards.

but ho ho, figured it out! i was in the ballroom of my dream cruise ship, which is much vaster and more purple then the real ship. i had giant geometric canvases and banners streaming about the place, almost ready for the big show, giant rectangles of orange and brown arranged in a challenge. the presidents were coming- reagen, clinton and kerry.

i had two hologram projectors on opposite sides of the room. the projection was a scene involving the three presidents, and some others in tuxedos, in rainwater trenchcoats. and streetlights, and a train. a noir chess dance. and heres the trick: the second projector was projecting a time/space mirror image of the first; so two scenes were playing out on the stage. but my moving the projectors just subtlely so, the images came closer, and when the two images were placed exactly on top of each other, the holographic bodies became these wild blurs of human essence. by overlapping the two timelines, past to future and future to past, the resonance created a timeless scene of noncausation and real truth, which we all watched over bloody marys. extra celery.