outwait outrun outwit


an archive of pleasures, wounds, sublimations
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06.04.04, friday afternoon

Along the windy roads to and from Bodega Bay and Stinson Beach, countless hawks and turkey vultures soared, wingspans as long as small women, above jade hills and blond pastures where cattle and horses flicked tails and abandoned farm buildings rotted, plank by plank, into the earth. Cliff swallows cast shadows on the steps of steep cliffside staircases while barn swallows packed mud nests into the eaves of old saloons downtown. The cloudless sky burned blue.

At the pier round the corner from the obligatory fish n chips stand, I watched sailless ships bob. Seals barked, fat black whiskery gods. Families pointed cameras, chittering here, there, over there.

Here, there, over there. Repeated again and again, all urge and no specifics, like bad poems, windowless prisons. I think about this in the car, while our friends from LA worked the stereo restlessly, looking for hit after hit. A song perfect enough for now. The perfect moment, to be followed, relentlessly, by more.

Later, last night, I decided that I would fast soon. Not to diet, but to know what my body knows at the crossroads where history, nature and the human spirit meet, when a young city-bred cambodian american-born woman learns the names and behavioral patterns of birds, whose shadows had once crossed her path unknown and separate, whose future had once seemed separate from hers.

Although mediated by human constructions like cars and highways, my trips to the Californian shoreline reveal the disconnection I experience daily, surrounded by post-modern re/presentations of a reality where metaphors are tired, pills induce happiness, and history's envisioned as a series of tricks or monument-solid truth. Dupe or be duped, right?

Should I remove myself from sources of addiction, from places where stimulation--emotional and intellectual--is excessively controlled by advertisers, taste-makers, corporations and the State, I might experience moments of the sort that waits, hidden, quiescent, outside of the perfect/ed moment.

I remember vividly: along the beach Jimmy and I had walked while tiny crabs surfed on starry blue waves, diving under our feet into the saturated sand as the waves receded. Studying the slight indentations that marked their hideouts, I felt close to the poetic, which in turn can become profound, a moment prophetic.


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