Although i was warned
that the rocks were slippery
i go skinny-dipping anyway
in a swedish lake
while falling the voice of the woman
who had warned me
flashes before my ear
my daughter Beta is like
dad are you okay and also put a towel on
my doctor says it could take months to heal
then i do something to my back
weeks of pain to pay
sitting in the driveway
on a hot day
eventually i go bouldering again, with Gamma
as soon as i can
and eventually i fall and fuck my back
plus a bonus shoulder
today i finally have my appointment
with an orthopedist
(in the meantime, between my fall
and today’s appointment
i take muscle relaxants and painkillers
which make me depressed and suicidal
(says on the package)
bc Alpha and me go to Istria on a bus tour
and i want to enjoy it
which i did)
(anyway the meds help
although i stop taking them because
they make me groggy, depressed and determined to end it all.)
monday, day before yesterday,
i feel well enough to go
bouldering again with gamma
after which my hand, back and shoulder feel better
but now my knee hurts!
despite no accidents
my new orthopedist
waggles my leg and arm
and says well you know, kneebone connected
to the hip bone, etc, i
can give you a shot but just time
will do it too
i opt for time
one thing leads to another
gimpy back makes you stand funny
which stresses your knee
for want of a nail
now my other knee hurts more
but the first one hurts less
i’m not complaining-
just thinking about how
you learn more about a system
when it breaks down
than when it’s working
Category Archives: Das Gehirn
Although i was warned
When are you going to do these?
My wife brandishes a sack of purple iris things and some other bulbs that she bought recently that i thanked her for buying.
On the weekend, I say, this not being the weekend, but Thursday, although I am home, having skipped work / opted to work from home due to the plausibility of a reaction from my 5th covid shot as an excuse.
It’s always the weekend, she says.
Which is true, I married a philosopher and she is retired now.
However I am drunk (and drunk gardening = risky), because we went to the bank today to negotiate a higher interest rate on my savings account after which we went for a walk along the Danube that ended abruptly at the Alpenverein with wine.
Abrupt and unexpected, but not unwelcome.
You only live once, so.
The problem is, i dunno.
Kid in a candy store problem, I guess.
In this abundant, beautiful world.
When there is so much to love.
In the middle of the night
in Sweden, in the northern part
there are no stars
the light shimmers when you get up
and walk through the woods
to the outhouse
shimmers. it is not
what you are used to, shining from
like the sun through
the trees to your eyes.
it breaks and shimmers
in all directions.
at least i am pretty sure,
i didn’t have my glasses on.
we saw two moose
a big one one evening
a little one the next evening
i sat on the porch in a lawn chair
i looked at the lake
and at the trees
eventually i noticed i was not thinking
i was a little surprised
what am i doing when i am not thinking
i am living
so i lived on the porch
for a few days.
would i recommend this?
i don’t recommend anything
you’ll figure it out
when you meet a bear
If it’s a grizzly bear you
may also climb a tree
because they do not climb
due to their anatomy
but they have a long reach so you
must climb up high,
higher than you would think
and quickly, probably.
raise your arms up
make yourself bigger
or is that mountain lions
if you have bear spray
maybe play dead
then give them a squirt when they get close
others say wear bells on your
clothes so you don’t surprise them
don’t feed them
don’t pet them
and whatever you do don’t piss on their tree
I have never seen a bear in the wild
although once i thought i did
in the fog
but it was just tree stumps
but i was still real scared
and once, and my little sister will confirm this,
when we were picking huckleberries in the hills,
it got foggy, and i told her to walk
on the logic that should we
encounter a bear,
she was quicker than i and
could elude it better.
Bears are on my mind because
they have bears in Sweden,
i have been told,
and my daughter Beta and I are
flying there tomorrow
to spend a week in a dinky
in the woods
by a lake
and i for one am really
looking forward to picking
berries in the woods.
and hiking with my kid.
i joked that we were concerned about
spending a week together in a tiny
cabin, but she reminded me
that i had helped her learn
and we still get along.
and i will walk in front this time
A man in his mid-60s wearing a dark suit walks through a genteel urban neighborhood on his lunch break, feeding crows here and there but mainly scanning the skies for the Attack Crow, which he is trying to befriend by feeding it before it can attack him.
His head swivels like one of those big antennas that swivel so much.
A little old lady with great hair and looking very fit in tight jeans (little old ladies are not what they used to be) with a little old dog on a leash follows the man around and finally cuts him off on a street corner and just regards him, as if waiting for him to recognize her, or slowly realizing the man she thought she recognized is a stranger — the man is not sure, and wonders if she is just going to reprimand him for feeding nasty crows, or complain about it, but she finally, after standing there staring at him, just says,
“Grüß Gott!” to which he replies “Guten Tag!” and after an uncomfortable pause that he cannot parse both go on their way; the man guessing it was a case of mistaken identity, maybe? like maybe he has a doppelgänger in the neighborhood (because this happens on a regular basis, strangers greeting him with odd familiarity) that all these people now think is unfriendly or he is getting really bad at remembering faces.
Or maybe she was just giving him an impromptu psych eval because he looked suspicious or crazy because he was looking over his shoulder and up at the sky and the roofs of buildings because he was in the territory of the attacking crow?
Because, seriously, for 2-3 blocks it feels like a forgotten episode from the Twilight Zone TV series which, auspiciously, began the same year the man did, 1959, and ran until 1964, the year he entered school and gave up hope for humanity.
Rod Serling pitching his idea for the episode: Imagine if you will a man on the cusp of retirement losing his mind because of a crow that attacks only him for some unknown reason.
TV network executive: Rod that doesn’t make any fucking sense. Rod, that makes no goddamned sense at all.
to the woodpile
The stones i am moving
have a lot of spiderwebs on them
and i hear my father’s voice
“it’s more scared of you
than you are of it”
that’s when he lost all credibility
a little boy
because – first of all, how do you know how scared i am, or a spider; second, some spiders are no doubt motivated by fear to bite you; third what good do you intend to do by saying that?
and that is who i have been ever since,
a little boy without faith
in his father
besides he was a lot of admirable
things, for a little boy – how far he could
hit a baseball!
and fix a car!
but his fears were ultimately a prison
something else i inherited,
besides the chuckle and the short legs
so what do you do?
i have spent a lifetime
saving all the bugs
even the jumping rat in that house
in greece that one summer when the kids were little.
in honor of my father
and my kids
i do it even if it scares me
and after a very challenging
and fucking weird week or so
to the point where
i am unable to sleep
i ask you
o wise spider
is it possible to confront too
at one time?
Not at your age
pack as much in
as you can
not because of some YOLO hangup
but because of YNKWTAWB thing
you never know
when the aneurysm will
no i am just shitting you
live for the life
for the curiosity
for the discovery
for the hugs and kisses
for the colors
and the textures
live for the laughs
double check your ropes
and start climbing
check your oil, your battery
take all the steps and
it might be a dance and
when a fly gets stuck in your web
And a medium-brown corduroy jacket
just accosted me outside the store
asked me if I could imagine a world
without war and i thought buddy
i can imagine a lot of stuff
i can imagine eating my cottage cheese
crackers and imitation Oreos
i can imagine everyone sharing the abundance
we’re swimming in every day
i wanted to ask him
can you imagine god created all this out of nothing
out of herself since if there was nothing
for starters, but god, then
all this is god can you imagine god doing
that without being all this? the crow
and the peanut
the garbage and the garbageman?
god is watching you thru my eyes right now
and so on
but he had his spiel
his resonant spiel and said something about
the Lord’s Prayer, of course you know that
and I thought buddy, i’m an ordained minister
that would’ve been on the test if there
were one of course i know it
i took his pamphlet but i’m really
busy so i glanced at it and tossed it in
the garbage can after i crossed the street.
i wonder if he always thought about this stuff
or if he only started after he retired
and had free time to think
but i can imagine thy will be done
but what will
who knows how crazy god is
i can imagine peace between humans and birds,
even bugs – dude i watched
a young man save a bug on the sidewalk
on my way back to the office.
i wanted to fist bump him and say
right on man