From the front porch of the kura studio with cicadas chirping on a sunny day in Okayama come riffs and reflections about tatami mats revealing generational touchpoints, thoughts of friends passed on, reminiscences about american road trips with bands in renegade youth, sickness and healing, tree doctor tests, mystery old-timey radio shows, submarine films and evasion tactics from the signal corps.
Overall: home is where the projects are, planes can take you places you forgot (or try to) and phones can call anyone anywhere and the ¥10 is optional. Importantly, do you remember the number?
Finally going to sneak up to Kobe just before the end of the Jack Kerouac exhibit (aug 3/4/5).
Was hoping things would be chiller and I would be healthier and could bounce up to Kyoto for a couple of days while generally absent in overseas tourists but it just doesn’t seem to ever lineup… Seems every time I leave the house, I “crash“ again #mecfs #digression
Anyhow, this is a little round up of dossiers I’ve mailed out to various Kerouac/beat enthusiast, collectors, archivists and generally-kind folks so that professor Matt Theado & colleagues work is amplified to other corners of other continents.
Of course I love it when folks send me “static montage“ snapshots of the dossiers. As you will notice, along with the Jack Kerouac stuff, also added in different combinations Of my paintings, postcards, various snapshots, occasional goat farm brochures or museum catalogs and as usual, resplendent with stamps, both inky and postal.
Shared here in slightly obstificated versions to pretend I’m protecting anyone’s privacy or whatever I don’t know.
If you don’t know what I’m talking about when I say “Kerouac in Kobe“ or variations thereof, the short version is: this year, like everything else, it’s complicated 🙂
Was scheduled for last year with the original s/croll and a bunch of workshops (including mine) and ancillary exhibits but, due to quarantine etc., the “keeper of the scroll” (cool job!) couldn’t come… so this year it’s a painstakingly reproduced digital version of the scroll + there was a symposium a couple of weeks back and a nice collection of books and artifacts and typewriters in display.
Loads more about elsewhere in this archive >> worth checking it out and giving them some support if you’re in the area. Runs until August 8.
Anyhow, today is father-in-law‘s birthday and think I’m gonna wear my new Fluevog shoes in celebration and we’ll eat curry & new secret hideout. Big moves all around. Ha ha
The beginning of the end of the Tsuchida Station construction project… But you know, “the last 5% is the hardest 95%” next comes cleaning all the parts, a few fine-tuning bits and moving stuff all around. “Don’t worry, I’m super good at this part” (he whispers to himself).
Checking off past steps
Scribbling down next steps
Adding a few bonus projects to make it all a bit more fun
Saturday: My sweet wife Ryoko started day at a funeral for a dear fellow who always supported her band & community and then, changed outfits and hopped the train to Fukuoka for a big test to level up her tree doctor credentials.
Back at Tsuchida station, we watched final bout of Nagoya sumo basho (yowza!) & i made caprese salad with garden tomatoes (& bonus avocado).
Memo: little dude had a fever, up to 39.5°, recently but monitored with Dr. visits & now back in action (& school tmrw)… always a little unnerving *in these times* but he remained bright eyed, full of curiosity & energy (though not as interested in food due to related sore throat).
PS he was sure happy to see Momma come home from her arborist test (me too!) #io
Also: piano moved, laundry started, Ichiro has a fever, Pokémon stamps acquired for a special packet, next step is the tatami mats getting re-wrapped.
Clarification about Pokéman: putting a packet together of Pokémon (and other Japanese cuteness) for a friend’s 13-year-old grandchild dealing with some heavy medical situation and facing eight months of chemotherapy. He loves Pokémon. So: (eager to help) put a message out to the local foreigners FB group for advice and trying to understand what makes a Pokémon card exciting (is it opening of the new packs or getting a super collectible card etc.?) And while I was at the post office, I noticed the Pokémon stamps so I bought a sheet to add to the packet. They’re here somewhere, I’ll snap a photo…
Wife studying for tree doctors certification level-up.
End of dispatch, more laundry to fold.
Re: hat & workclothes >>
Japanese workwear stores are awsum & cheap > fun to explore // my arborist wife lets me tag along for kei-truck trips & i get a whole outfit (plus big hat, belt & cooling shirt) for like 4000¥!
Tabi (toe/sock-boots) are great & cheap to replace &/or have a few pair in rotation.
Baggy trousers keep ya cool (actually) & act like “cat whiskers” when on scaffolds to know how much space you have.
PS Sent requisite messages about baseball All-Star game and Tokyo Olympic conundrums (Note to self: post that radio interview you did)
Almost end of #DaveO50, so made some postcards which are kind of “meta” from snapshots of various collections of ID cards, spectacles, knives, lighters, conference passes, passport photos, passports, ribbons, badges, biz cards and whatnot #personalarcheology
Snuck into the kura barn (after moving some items back into the almost done construction house) for a little bit to put on some inky stamps and scribbly hand writing.
These plus a few other dossiers to the post office tomorrow after the piano gets moved (not doing that).
By the way I am out of both cyan and magenta ink so it’s a great time to sign up for my “postcard as a subscription service“.
Keep in mind, I put extra love into the postcards for subscribers but also send to loads of other people, especially folks who seem to be putting goodness out into the world and/or need a little spark in their life. Is this you?
In reply to someone’s “hot take” about how major media doesn’t give a shit about poetry (whatever)…. I replied:
Do any poets give a shit about major media?
Roll your own chap books, build your own culture, wander widely to find your audience, make *things* every day, stick poems to message boards in grocery stores & telephone poles next to lost cat flyers, mail 500 poetic postcards a year, find the renegade youth to mentor, transcribe stories from grandmothers, but every used great copy of poetry you come across for $3 and abandon them on buses with a note, go *everywhere* just to find coffee shops with a good table in the back corner and write so fast you’re inky pens run out.
Then paint poems on post boxes, make a painting of the poem on the post box and do an exhibit with other paintings of post boxes with poems (preferably at a goat farm in the country)…
Strangely, people show up, people ask questions, people want to be part of whatever it is that they’re doing even if you or them don’t understand it.
Doing these things, I find very little time for erstwhile mass media or even submissions to *highbrow* literary journals (plus rejection letters need a return address and well, I don’t always have one).
Poetry is for you to create and share with those who seek the goods. Carry on accordingly.
Covered a lot of ground but so much more. Looking forward to keeping you up-to-date from regular folks’ point of view as #Tokyo2020 gets underway.
Tokyo 2020, for many reasons will be a very unique iteration (understatement!) of the Olympics with very few spectators, loads of precautions and a host city in 4th state of emergency.
Importantly: truly hope events occur w/o public health consequences.
Lots of anxiety / frustration about IOC hubris & government waffling.
(I realize) it’s not unusual for Olympics to get off to a rocky start that’s for sure and once they get going, a lot of the negativity fades and good times prevail.
For record, at +/- 16% vaccination rate in Japan.
In “better news“: Since anybody watching (aside from oligarchs & bureaucrats) will be watching on TV (regardless of all the things going outside of the sports venues), fancy new technology will make sports (including a few new ones *skate, surf, rock*) look really great on TV – might as well get to know crazy tech – cameras, clouds, microphones etc.
Hey that was fun! could talk with Jody Vance for an hour (one tech hiccup when my phone *automagically* connected to wife’s car via bluetooth – ooops :))
We didn’t get to riff about the extra challenges for athletes coming from Delta-heavy countries, the onerous participant waivers athletes have to sign, and IOC chief Bach’s visit to Hiroshima and other gaffes…