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BY Michael

09/01 Direct Link
It's a little bit maddening holiday of a Monday. First my network shuts down in the middle of a poem. What difference does that make? I'm not sure. But I got interrupted. I re-booted the router. My music server bombed out and then my son came rolling down the stairs to complain that his x-box would not work. I rebooted the router. My laptop then found the server twice and announced it was time for Toshiba to update the network adaptor. I kept on writing, switching to cd player until I finished the piece. Sometimes technology is just an interruption.
09/02 Direct Link
This is the part of the letter that gets written in the upstairs hallway. It is dark by nature. This is where the drywall, layers of paper and dust, runs narrow nailed to pine studs standing dry in the dark now for thirty years. Each carpenter has nailed in his allotted number. In the upstairs this is where we hide the hallway, where we hide the bodies, where the dreaming feet pad naked and dry in the night, where spiders crawl the splintered wood to heaven, entering the dark wholes stitched in webs of fear, transcending armor, sprays and paint.
09/03 Direct Link
I am no longer in the study. I have moved out into the upstairs hallway. This is the part of the letter that gets written here, in the hallway. The floor here is hard on my butt, even though it is carpeted. Next time, I am already thinking, we need to buy either better carpeting or better padding. I am ignoring the begged question about a better butt. Even later ignoring the begged question about whether anyone understands the phrase "begs the question" anymore, or if that matters. There are too many "if's" and too much ignoring in this paragraph.
09/04 Direct Link
The hallway carpeting/butt situation has been just fine and has gone unnoticed until now, so maybe it will be ok so long as I do not need to sit on it and write too often. Obviously I have better places to be writing. It is just that I sometimes find the change in perspective useful. I am also wondering if I need to continue to specify this as the "upstairs hallway". I am trying to think if there are any other significant hallways in this house, and there aren’t. So, from now on, I will just call this the hallway.
09/05 Direct Link
This, then, is the part of the letter that gets written in the hallway. Where the drywall grips in arms-outstretched-palms-construction-glued terror to aging pine two by four studs standing dry in the dark now for thirty years, weeping amber. It runs forever it seems, like the hallway in Poltergeist, that the longer you got to know it, the longer it got to be. Right away, I had a problem when I started here: where to sit. What part of the hallway to occupy while I wrote this part of the letter? By now you must realize that location is big.
09/06 Direct Link
I am filling up the page with

white

space

as fast as I can go.

I am trying to

keep ahead of the 5ive thousand pound

roll come loose and hollering after me



It is like this

unto that.

Oh I ache for the inkblot that will

free me

that will undo my tortured legs.



It seems there are words

crowding in this space

that will say what I want

but it is difficult to let them loose.



Until then there is only space,

the multiplicity of purpose and the

strange and nascent craving to connect

one thought to another.

09/07 Direct Link
Yes, I do the new thing. I write the new thing. I write the old thing. The fingers are too slow and cannot capture the idea images sweeping through the brain. This is a day and I am bothered because I have an opportunity. I have four days ahead of me in which I can do anything I want. Doing anything I want may require compressing other things out of those four days and one thing that comes up quickly is that I need to go to the store. I am out of coffee cream and that is an emergency.
09/08 Direct Link
It is morning of the next day and I am listening to the pounding of one of the airplanes from the tiny airport at the edge of the subdivision as it claws its way into the sky. It reminds me, of a day in Canada where I lay, listening to old war planes launch out over Lake Huron. I have a gift of three days and I pretty much know what I will do. Understanding that it is my purpose to live as well as I can I launch myself into the sky out over the trees and Woodland Lake.
09/09 Direct Link
So just now, I am in the hallway, sitting on the somewhat less than adequate carpet, my legs sticking into the study door, with my daughter Amanda’s room to my immediate right. The floor here is somewhat littered by milk bottle cap rings, those little plastic strips you have to tear off to get the milk jug open. The cat loves to play with them and has scattered caches of them all over the house. I am not sure how she gets them in the first place. Someone gives them to her? She digs them out of the garbage herself?
09/10 Direct Link
I was reading the Advent entries in 100 Words. Starting at today's entry and working backwards, I read 9/8 and 9/7, backing up a day each time. Then I read a day earlier, only I had already read that day. Odd, was someone repeating a theme and changing it a little every day? Was everyone? I backed up a day and it was again the same day. I mean the entries were the same. I backed up another day, and repeat. I wrote down the date so that there would be no error. I was reading the same day again.
09/11 Direct Link
This is the place in the hall where I put the chair to stand to change the light bulb at this end of the hallway. It is a difficult fixture, sinking flat against the ceiling and large, protecting the thumb screws from my fingers as if I were a predator of some kind looking for a glass and brass meal. Hey, I am just the guy trying to change the light bulb ya know. I am not some greedy alien being trying to get inside this fixture to devour its tender guts, to assimilate its life force for my own.
09/12 Direct Link
It is cold outside. It has gotten that way over the space of a week, sliding from a day or two of near-ninety down to this 45 degree stuff where I have to turn on the furnace and find myself wearing a sweater and long pants. The leaves should have turned by now, given the temperature, but it is still too early for that. Some are falling nevertheless and the clean-up has started ahead of schedule. I can't escape the sense that we have a harsh winter on its way, while the rest of the country remains hot and dry.
09/13 Direct Link
I had expected hallway to be uninspired, without subject matter. I had expected to be shut off, unable to look outside. But this is a fucking freeway of life. People are tripping over me. I can see into four other rooms from here. I can hear Terry and Michael, Jr., downstairs, perspiring over a phonics lesson. I can see trees out large windows on either side of me, can feel the suck of the wind on their branches, and can hear the neighbor’s lawn mower. I can hear Amanda running a bath behind me. The hallway is a happening place.
09/14 Direct Link
It is a long way home and on the x-way I get time to think, to merge with nature sort of. Or maybe merge with myself. I am merging with the great whine and Om that is the composite mind of 100,000 people going the same place in the same space. Merging with something other than the traffic in the left lane and I am thinking the freeway systems are an enormous latticework spread over the landscape: our antennae to suck vibrations from the roots of the earth. It makes you feel planted in the earth, like an overgrown tree.
09/15 Direct Link
The freeway is like a heavy-bodied river. There is the constant movement, the pushing and flow, the rushing sound. It is like a room that way also, a defined space. It is a hallway where there is so much life and sounds, odors and vibrations passing through. So much of what a room looks like is how you feel about it. "Madonna slept here" An ad in a local newspaper promises. I am thinking about the subterranean need someone might have to sleep in a bed that Madonna slept in, to roll imagination in the same sweat and grease-soaked sheets.
09/16 Direct Link
We can at any point cross into the time shadows, passing through pink mists of other bodies, arms swinging through one another skulls passing through skulls, eyes meeting, pressing fluid, and then passing without obstruction. We are memories occupying identical space, crossing a street others have crossed, boldly passing through their bodies seconds late in time, an intimacy several degrees of terror beyond a simple embrace. In time Birds and busses passing through, trees sprouting pushing limbs through our own trunks. Prehistoric, glaciers, comets and ash come through this one point that we now fold and slip into our pocket.
09/17 Direct Link
Well, it is a mess, but is just my need for a different kind of mess for the second chapter of this letter. Consciousness is a room, and there are many of these rooms, many layers of rooms, many houses even. I am thinking that you dwell basically in a single room at a time, although from there you can see into others. I am sure I will change my mind on this before my letter is finished. There are so many different dimensions of room. I am finding my thinking about rooms and consciousness is a labyrinth of rooms
09/18 Direct Link
Amanda stepping out of the bathroom, dripping on the carpet saying, "excuse me" is a room. She is room in time as she steps over my legs stretched across the hallway during the moment that I type the original version of these lines. This is a room occupied by her movement, my thoughts, by the water draining in the tub behind me. It becomes another room, a memory as she passes into her bedroom, and this in turn is fashioned into yet another as I write it down, changing the color and shape of the walls as I choose.
09/19 Direct Link
It is raining outside and over time rain has meant many things to many cultures. Just now to me at this time of night is a slight darkening at the edge of the great bowl that covers all I see. I am preparing magic against this darkening by slowly boiling up things in a large pot in the kitchen. Ground beef and tomatoes already stewed. Cheeses and other small pieces of vegetables are going into this pot as well as beans, lots of beans, two different kinds as near as I can tell. I've added various spices too, stirring regularly.
09/20 Direct Link
The Prius Owner's Group (POG) had taken over a large amount of the mall for their rain wash. it was raining little too copiously as they tried to soap down their cars. It was cold too. The Honda Insight Group (HIG) had shown up to protest the POG's use of detergent which they maintained would pollute the ground water. They carried soggy signs proclaiming "Dirty Cars for a Clean World" About 30 minutes into the wash an unmarked F350 with a heavy duty snow blade plowed through the group. stacking about 6 of the small cars up against the A&P.
09/21 Direct Link
The paper dinosaur hanging from the ceiling in Michael JR's room, just in front of me, is a room of sorts. The paper dinosaur is an idea with a story. It is possibly a statement of art. It is nearly eight feet across and keeps falling from the ceiling and is tearing in places, slowly dying of its own weight while my son continues to adore it with the faith that only an 8-year-old can muster for something like that. Its tenacity reminds me of the tenacity of that species itself which lasted much longer than we are likely to.
09/22 Direct Link
Earlier today, I overheard an acquaintance talking about his breakfast. Part of a diet, it was low on fat, sugar, and everything good. The thing was how much he enjoyed it, talking about how wonderful the egg whites were. It seems that there is nothing like a starvation diet to make us realize just how fantastic food can be. I remember my own brushes with diets and the way I savored every mouthful. There are many directions you can take this, but it seems clear that not only is quality superior to quantity, but that quantity can actually hide quality.
09/23 Direct Link
It is a morning

much like any other.

Well, I do not see the deer

on the hill,

and the sun seems to have a bit of blue

steel in it,

but still...



True the days are turning

brittle in preparation for fall,

although I have not seen a single leaf

turn color--odd that.



But it IS a day much like any other.



This is the problem,

of course.

This is the wonder.

These things are obvious.



It is why it is difficult to write

almost any kind of poetry.



It is already there

written obvious

everywhere you look.

09/24 Direct Link
I am overtaken by a memory. a nearly physical assault with edges as clean as a newly split piece of oak cordwood, amber crystals still sparkling in the grain. Perhaps when I split that piece of wood a long red and heavy splinter flew off and sunk itself deep in some meaty part of me. It is true the friend in the memory is dead, that all the things we shared at one time are consigned to bottomless entropy. But I am still not sure whether the grief is for what has been lost or for what will not be.
09/25 Direct Link
Compare the faith of the eight-year-old for his paper dinosaur to the faith that his father might have that he is writing something that is worth spending his time on. Daddy is sitting in the hall typing and this act constitutes a room that causes everyone to adjust their wonderment level these days. Something that is becoming in the family a seed, perhaps...but has already caused comparison to Richard Dreyfuss building a mud mountain in his living room in the movie Close Encounters. Mud or not, I am building and it is not the subject but the verb that matters.
09/26 Direct Link
Mass is a summation of force vectors? Mass is a measure of "want," in the sense that gravity is not physical, nor is it an energy. It is a force of attraction, or a force of negative attraction which is what I mean by want. That is all there is Thought therefore might be something different, strolling through halls of repetition. I am you and you are he. It is awkward and we are locked into different shades of blue where blue is blue nausea, the pre-seizure float and nausea, the tingle in the fingers and numbness in your nose.
09/27 Direct Link
Thought seems to be something altogether different from mass or energy. It might be something captured strolling through halls of repetition. I am you and you are he. It is awkward and we are locked into different shades of blue where blue is blue nausea, the pre-seizure float and nausea, the tingle in the fingers and numbness in your nose. we may be learning/thinking machines but we do not need the ability to apprehend beauty. We do not need to be able to see God, to experience awe, or to sing. Are these accidents then? Or pointers to other things?
09/28 Direct Link
I was thinking on my way home tonight. Perhaps I was thinking my way home. It is a long way home and on the x-way I get time to think, to merge with nature. On good nights I get to merge with myself. Merging with something other than the traffic in the left lane has got me thinking the freeway systems are an enormous latticework spread over the landscape: our antennae to suck data from the roots of the earth. It makes you feel planted in the earth, driving over the asphalt, like an overgrown willow tree, juice and legends.
09/29 Direct Link
The freeway is like a heavy-bodied river. There is the constant movement, the pushing and flow, the rushing sound. It is like a room that way also, a defined space. It is a hallway where there is so much life and sounds, odors and vibrations passing through. So much of what a room looks like is how you feel about it. "Madonna slept here" An ad in a local newspaper promises. I am thinking about the subterranean need someone might have to sleep in a bed that Madonna slept in, to roll imagination in the same sweat and grease-soaked sheets.
09/30 Direct Link
Red Rooms. Blue Rooms. Ball Rooms. Family Rooms. Dining Rooms. Rooms in which to bathe. Rooms within rooms. Empty rooms. Dark Rooms. Day Rooms. Rooms to let. Room for improvement. Well-lit Rooms with a view. Rooms in which we dwell with Psyche, brilliant and folded in her arms, feeling the heat from her body watching over her side to the wall that is streaked with sunlight, rooms where we cry because she is so far and gone and impossible to touch, rooms where we search for her, rooms where we spend hours intimate with her, knowing her taste and delight.