Category Archives: Writing Collections

a library in process holding collection of my writing projects including expository essays, articles for counter-culture magazine, sudden fiction and freeverse poetry – organized by form or collection

Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

[Audio transcript from an updated/location undisclosed recording / Pasted, uncorrected]

Completely unrelated snapshot

Some of the projects I want to make over the next little while:

I want to write a collection of short stories that is just all wacky times, immediately leading up to or following quitting jobs.

Specifically, there is leaving Star Sand Beach Club very quickly and going to Palau and Yap, going directly to the airport and disappearing rather than going to the beach club (in retrospect, seems like the best job ever but for reasons, it just wasn’t.

There is the ATG drug testing, going to Belize incident.

There is the SS Neptune, leaving-to-be-a-schoolteacher-and-getting-karmically-bitten-in-the ass idea.

There is the leaving Kinko’s with a fax at six in the morning and going off to make a film story. That is a pretty good one.

There is the Wirthlin Group phone survey job that was such a nightmare and getting fired from that for not asking personal enough questions, then crashing the office party two days later and mooning the boss in front of everyone and pulling out while the cops pulled in the other way. That was a really good one.

There is Sharpey’s, but I didn’t quit that one, Well I quit but you know with noticing on good terms planning to go back to university of Utah which in retrospect was a colossal mistake. That one was a nice job. The stories aren’t as funny but they’re nice. Although, there was that good incident of getting my car crashed into and taking the insurance claim – this station is called Joyce Collinwood now – taking the insurance settlement money and parting with it and pulling out the dent with a coat hanger.

There is also the Pizza Beast and Pizza Feast incident, that one is a little harder of a story to tell.

There is also the real estate weekly route that me and brothers and I have, where all the papers went into the side yard to make a giant paper of file of pulpy wetness and that was pretty good.

There was also Bob’s story working for that jackass in White Rock that sits by the sea, going in there and me having to play some bodyguard for him. All we wanted was try to get his paycheck. That one wasn’t too bad although not great either, I suppose.

Then there was the job of delivering fliers for the travel company around the campuses in Utah. That one is not bad.

While at University of Utah, geez, I had three jobs there for awhile. “Cinema in your face”, that was a good one, where I delivered the newspapers and fliers to every bar in Salt Lake City – bars, bookshops, coffee shops, etc.

Then I worked for Bing Christensen Land Surveyor. We’d drive up in the hills in a jeep and stand out there in the middle of nowhere until he radios me and tells me that he got the shot and then I stumble down somewhere else.

Teaching WordPerfect classes while sleeping in my van. Well, not simultaneously. During that period, I lived in my van and I also taught the occasional WordPerfect 4.2 or 5.1 or something for DOS classes. But those jobs sort of faded away more than exploded.

Then of course the other really big one I should tell is the story of the job in Japan with the mushroom farm and leaving that day on Mike’s bike and that I have taken up in the trunk of the K car and running away from that horrible job up in the hills with the old ladies.

So if I could bust out ten stories of a thousand or two thousand words each, where it’s really just talking about quitting a job and going someplace rapidly, I think that would be beauty.

Continue reading Riff: A bunch of stories to finish, eventually (maybe)

Exhibit: contributions to “Cannabis Japonica” at Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Barcelona

Opening "Cannabis Japonica"
I’ve got this (almost) exact same outfit!

The Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum in Barcelona (also in Amsterdam) is featuring an exhibit called “Cannabis Japonica – A fashionable journey through Japan’s cultural ties with the cannabis plant” on display until 26/02/2023

I was invited by curator Ferenz Jacobs to contribute some stories and items from my extensive archive and numerous essays to which i readily agreed (though my work/research is not currently active/ambitious though i have a few lines of investigation for *some other time*).

Blurb: The highlight of the Barcelona Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum’s 10th anniversary celebrations will be the exhibition “Cannabis Japonica”. On view from May 12, 2022 to February 26, 2023, the presentation leads visitors on a fashionable and fascinating journey through Japan’s cultural ties with the cannabis plant.

Excerpt: 

A well-known Japanese children’s adventure story tells of a technique used by ninjas to improve their jumping skills. The student ninja plants a batch of hemp when he begins training and endeavours to leap over it every day. At first, this is no challenge, but every day the hemp grows quickly – and so must the ninja’s jumping ability. By the end of the growing season, the warrior can clear the 3 to 4-metre high hemp.

Continue reading Exhibit: contributions to “Cannabis Japonica” at Hash Marihuana & Hemp Museum, Barcelona

Healing Ramble: Tips for airports & traveling whilst chronically ill

Memo: What follows comes from my erstwhile “Healing Journal” – written/compiled on a foggy meandering journey to various countries (Pacifica, Phitsanulok, Cochin, Pokhara, Dikwella/Galle…) visiting all manner of hospitals, clinics and exploring various healing modalities and techniques.

Shared here more-or-less unedited for posterity (whatever that is) and to shed light to those struggling who might come across this riff. Please watch the “Healing Ramble Introduction” video for context on this series.

With respect and understanding that not everyone can do *this* – i have another riff about “why” to seek medical care or healing treatment elsewhere (not in US/Canada in this case). For now, use it if you need it, if not just pass along.

Tactics:

* Request wheelchair service well in advance and use it proudly – Besides getting you around the airport, you fast track through security and immigration lines / You are usually be first on and last off the plane, be patient

* Fly Tuesdays and Wednesdays mid-day, the airports are most mellow at this time (also tickets usually cheapest)

* Dark glasses and earplugs/noise canceling headphones for when you’re in the airport

* I use an aisle seat so easier to go to the back galley area and stretch if needed + restroom breaks without hassle when a sleeping passenger next to you

* Lavender oil, compression socks, eye mask and your most comfortable sweater for the flight, dress respectable to increase chance of upgrades (and because you are sharp like that)

* When flying far – for me anything longer than three or four hours – book a hotel in (or close by) the airport at the other end, in some cases you can get wheelchair ride to the hotel to crash out and recover. Bonus points to get one with a bathtub

* Check your bag, only take a small carry-on with comfort items, don’t try to be that “efficient business traveler” and / or save money with just a carry-on

* Turmeric tea/tincture & aspirin and water water water & coconut water & NO booze – Did I mention noise canceling headphones?

* Put on an audiobook or chill music… Keep the sensory stimulation low by not watching movies especially on the crappy seat back for the videos. For me, the fuzzy screens spin me out plus you see all the other anxiousness and activity going on

* Get a credit card which gives you access to airport lounges… go to the airport early, find a quiet corner and hydrate and snack with protein rich foods so when you’re on the plane, you’re not eating the crap or being interrupted… Plus when using wheelchair service, best to go well in advance as some airports have a limited staff performing this service

* When you board (using wheelchair you’ll probably be first on) introduce yourself to the flight attendants and mentioned that you may need extra water and make sure you are close to bathroom if you need a little sensory de-stimulation

Tip: Oh one more thing, seriously don’t try to do a lot of stuff when you travel, for me I go places to find bookstores and quiet coffee shops and simply be somewhere else.  Just because you are a “somewhere else” doesn’t mean you suddenly have a bunch of energy to go out and about and meet lots of people. Avoid restaurants at busy times as well (i.e. hit lunch after 1:30 get a table in a quiet corner) … for me this reduces sensory overload.

Note: Not all of these tips are applicable to everyone obviously but for me dealing with ME/Fibro find them to be critically handy. All for now, curious to hear your tips or any thoughts about the above.

Also this archive is laden with other riffs about healing elsewhere and taking baths in the Healing Ramble series.

Diary: visitors see new life & family + trip to Teshima w/ Ichiro annotations

A mysterious brilliant visitor from overseas – first in three years – captured me, at home, in my new life. This is my family, this is our home.

my adorable family with whom Xo Ryoko, Ichiro (thanks Amber Sensei)

I wandered far and endured plenty to find this life, and immensely grateful for it all. I’m so happy to show someone from my “old life“ what i found & and she understood very well.

and now with remarkable in-laws/grandparents

With out guests coming, we pulled out the special stash of saké, some fermented carrot pickles, housemade miso, and a few other fermented treats. Also started to soak in soy beans to make soy milk; prepared the Bizen yaki ceramic cups & small dishes for sashimi; also have bamboo shoots from our forest. (thanks M-i-L and F-i-L)

garden vegetables and bamboo shoots right out the door

Ryoko also prepared matcha tea in an abbreviated tea ceremony with tea bowls from her great-grandparents and made anpan (anko sweet bean paste in lil pancakes) to go with.

tea bowls and accessories, freshly washed

I should add that, “no, Japan is not open to tourists at this time” – Our recent particular international guest was on a publishing-company-sponsored book tour / meaning the company supported a business visa requiring a detailed itinerary and accepting of various risks / responsibilities etc. visit with issued by Japan consulate in USA before departure and required 10+ various forms, letters, etc.

Out n About to Teshima

the hilltop minimalist cafe where fig farmers served curry and you can chop your own green onions

Briefly: The many islands of the Seto inland sea (nestled between our home prefecture of Okayama and neighbour pref. Kagawa and the 4th of the main island of Japan Shikoku) host a triennialle art festival – not shockingly unheld for a few years – more to say about the economic goodness and reinvention and volunteer spirit but for now, i’ll say:

We went with our guests rather spontaneously (they had planned and reserved museum access) by our groovy “Esquire” van, then walked onto ferry and used various busses around the island of Teshima, ate curry, drank coffee/tea, more curry, postcards, then a walk-on ferry back to Uno port, more art and drive to Okayama station – the busiest day i’ve had in forever but was buoyed by conversation, views and friendship. Further annotations follow:

whilst friends went to museum, r, i and i went to a hilltop sorta café (really some fig farmers putting out a shingle for a few hours a day) and enjoyed views of Inushima (Isles of Dogs) and back to Okayama #panorama

Ichiro, postcards, ships (all sizes) etc

After our day out, in the bath he explained over and over again all the different modes of transportation and conveyance (big ferry boat, small ferry boat, two buses, baby car/stroller, our usual van etc.) he used during that day, using new sentence construction skills with conjunctions and verb conjugations. His magnificent brain spinning – even working out the names of our friends.

this obv was not our ferry but Ichi loved checking out all the fune

Lil dude got a bit of a fat lip running down the hill too fast and tripping but still was able to chill out at a café and enjoy his beverage.

dude knows how to lounge at a quirky curry cafe with Suzuki and Ota san

Papa wrote postcards and drank chai, sitting on cushions and sending geo-coordinates to pals who found us at カレー喫茶 異邦人 near Ieura port across the island from Kubota where we originally disembarked.

Ichiro mailed my postcards for me. “Choose the right portal for postcards Ichiro” i said {update: he did, what a smart fella} Inventory: 2 cards from Teshima to Gifu and Kyoto.

2 are decoys but one whisks secrets anywhere

Ichiro has now learned how to use the coffee bean grinder and insists on being the coffee captain in the morning, two scoops of the right beans, puts on the lid, covers with his hand, inspects to see if it’s the right grind for French press or Moka pot, all very serious & perfect.

And my darlings auditioned for a role in the next Wes Anderson movie (so to speak) with a pose by this blue truck.

blue, red, yellow – the day was my fave sort of weather, warm, breezy and overcast

Back to the port – love the salty smell, rusty metal and reinvention from industrial manufacturing and process to artistic tourism.

Ieura port – like most of Pacific coast of Japan, lots of factories in various states of use or decay, boats/ships of all kinds including container ships and now ferries, all sizes

Dozen+ of these islands with art, more to say but time to head home with my snappy shoes, happy. Thanks family and friends.

Fluevogs, since 1970 (like me) now with new aglets – getting very worn in

poem: Leaving Saskatoon

wrote a poem (in reply to the great singer songwriter Hawksley Workman who’s playing in #Saskatoon tonight)

boarding pass leaving Saskatoon to Calgary and onwards to Vancouver and Eugene Oregon as an infant (allegedly 10 days old)
Saskatoon
I was born here
but
never lived there (left quickly on a 707)
but
obliged to print on application forms
since–
quite literally hundreds or possibly thousands
there’s never enough room
(especially in Japan)
to write:
b. Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Aug, 16 1970

Marketing Master Class (on notes)

Everything about building a brand, community and marketing is on these cards.

++ Social Mrktg Fu Cards ++

This is not a thread or enticement to join a mailing list, membership or chat server.

Just gateways to a bigger world. Ergo:

Choose a topic card, a story or spiel may follow – or likely already exists – at archive

Tip: see Community Feasthouse pod feed for archive of audio marketing/branding/community-building interviews, spiels, prezos etc for scattered among other media bits &/or Social / Start-up / Community for written variations – you’re smart, you’ll figure it out

Providence, lost

Sunday, Providence
grey like last week
with my bargain matinee cough syrup nod
candy coated

hold onto my thick head
next wave goes to mars
next even further
watch the clothes spin
in their fluff and dried
nebulae

i’ve tried it all on bended knees
but i’ll just think here and sit about
lost months and misplaced friends
haggard days and ice cream cones

i’ll stand here
holding nothing
try to think
how i got here
then figure where i am

i’ll stand a shady place
counting nickels

and happenstance
empty out my pockets
on the ground
you can’t trade lint
for bread and cheese

“it’s cloudier now than
its been for years”

i’ve spent days moving quickly
years dreaming loosely
and hours watching patiently
and weeks muddling and fidgeting

for the moment that is now
elsewhere
and sometime long before

  • From a lost and found journal) + for John Low on the couch { who says, “Evocative. Took me back. Rich, forlorn, our Providence, your Providence”
  • photo accompanying is desk at Koizumi Yakumo / Lafcadio Hearn’s home/museum in Matsue – there’s a pretty good chance I am him reincarnated

Postal wormholes to elsewhere #haiku 

Bend paper to find
Shortest distance between points
Or apply a stamp

{for Amber}

Memo: Personal Archeology > for years and decades

Embark on Personal Archeology

Think of *every* surface as your own personal notebook and remind often you’re doing *this for yourself* and for the future and everyone else is just kind of “bonus” looking over your shoulder. In other words, write when you can, write what you want > mix medias and metaphors, use social channels as a memo book to later copy & paste and expand into your archive.

Importantly: don’t put pressure on yourself, days are *just days* – you’re doing this for years and the decades.

Memo: “document in the way which feels natural to you”

Embark on Personal Archeology, in this case, at Dome Wonderland, Metchosin

Re: Personal Archeology

Document in the way which feels natural to you. Doesn’t have to be a “blog”, can be a notebook with coloured pencils, or buy yourself a fountain pen, or an audio recorder.

Importantly: Tell your stories in the way that feels comfortable like your favourite pair of shoes – then add context, and interestingness. The rest is up to audience to breathe life into it. 

Then do again and again (regardless of outcome beyond self-enjoyment).