I'm really working through the panda poo paper, raining Exit Bar Boracay, drinking, watching the dancers, not high or with flute enough to join in. I realize that my real aim as an artist has always been threefold - writing, music, illustration. Let's work through the Nevada shit before getting to the Philippine stuff, which is getting spooky tribal. Gee, but life is fun.
Just realized I forgot to embed the Puka Drum N'Flute a couple posts ago. Now I know pushing play on an embedded audio file is pretty newfangled, but try it, it won't hurt.
Got two new likes for Ari Park this week. Kind of cool for a manuscript that has failed to sell. Like Alex Chilton said, the record may only sell a hundred copies, but the hundred people who find it really want it.
Speaking of which, a great performance by half-a-band that just had its equipment van ripped off, opening for Badfinger. Tossed amid all the spiky proto-punk, the etherial musings of Candy Says, Motel Blues, Thirteen. Throw in the Kinks' End of the Night to an audience of dozens. Lost three guitars last night. We do as we please, yeah!
Then, like a sign from the heavens, an epigram that was somehow inserted into an SEO piece on Sibicrom, Inc., I am regurgitating. "I am going to say this.. motivations are embedded in the narrative. Separating them out and defining them seems counterproductive to me. Preserve the mystery, let your characters run free."
A Candlelight vigil to save Boracay's last remaining "unspoiled" sliver of tropical paradise, Puka Beach. The pace of building here must be seen to be believed, with the Malay government aiming for an increase from 1.1 to 1.5 million visitors in 2015 alone. Package tours from Korea, Taiwan, China, figure prominently in this equation. Paradise lost? Not quite.. but each rustic property that gets sold seems to be replaced by a monstrosity and the non-corporatized island vibe is diminishing apace. My second day on the island, I was fortunate enough to be able to add my Bukidnon flute to some truly talented percussionists & the sound of waves off Willy's Rock.
Can't fake it, simple pleasures are best.
Meanwhile, the sketching continues. Inspired by Cowachunga or something long buried in my head? Whatever, so refreshing to be out of the U.S. Pray that your country does not become a de facto printer of world currency––auto-tuned by design, vapid.
Muskrat, fox, entering another channel,
whoever told you that he would lead you,
well it was good for a while.
I will not say he lied, there were simply limitations
of what it was possible to perceive
at the moment that achievement
became defined by others, you diverged.
There is nothing higher than to be
accountable for your soul
and everything you bear.
Unaccountable, inspired, insipid, fired.
Who cares? The fire this time is daring to speak into the wind
unafraid of the shit blowback.
Killing your darlings all around the block,
slobbering, drawling. Perfect.
Just before habagat,
the tourist purveyors itching for crowds
the fertile ground pioneered by sun-seeking misfits
has prepped the sinking paradise for influx––
the Malay government straight-faced aims
for a thirty percent increase in tourists,
from 1.1 to 1.5 million.
Welcome pan-Asian package tours,
The last neglected patch of the nature
behind Station One, across from Frendz
was not turned into a
showcase for tropical bounties
that brought the
first wave of freedom-seeking misfits.
It is now a glaring box of Korea-financed
construction rising how many stories?
The weight of an island ready to sink into
itself––planning, what planning?
Puka beach next on the horizon,
then onto other backpacker-prepped islands.
Still, Boracay is cheap––malleable, nonexclusive.
There are plenty of human owned businesses
along the beach, from an era when actual
people could afford to start beachside businesses.
Many are gone––Mango Ray's and others––
and when they disappear they are
replaced by boutique boxes, fast food chains.
Boracay is no Waikiki where bulky concrete
long ago dwarfed the last tiki hut.
There is still more real human life-pulse
than in Tulum,
which maintains a Mayan Riviera eco-chic that
equates with semi-exclusivity.
There is life on this beach, real DJs at Exit Bar,
Red Pirate musicians with soul ––
less & less room to move, still a pulsing heart.
I'm going to start posting some ink artworks I've been working on the past month or two on the panda poo paper. Practice is getting them to a nice level of fluid expressionism (diarrhea?) A scene from the second chapter of Cowachunga... Kyle & Dylan peering into a very odd saloon in the ghost town, Beattie.
Speaking of saloons and places of ill-repute... here is a very odd picture that somehow typifies my lost night in Roppongi between planes, en route to Manila. There was a very odd Ginza geisha-centered love triangle at work here, I found out. The entire night felt like cutting floor material from a David Lynch set.
I had one of those sudden moments of clarity on the sodden, seats-in-the-aisles bus ride to Boracay from Bacolod this afternoon. It was that, despite silence from nearly all quarters, there is some movement from behind the iron doors that Pink Floyd so eloquently sang about and came, unfortunately, to embody. The gatekeepers may be ossified, but they are not asleep––the go-getters they have set in their place, those people seeking "new voices" are not doing their jobs very well. And that is gradually dawning, beyond the franticisims of the preachers of algorithmic virality and mass-feed manipulation.
Literature in its truest incarnation has never been about the masses––it has been about reaching and moving one or two souls. About setting in place a line of causality that may flower in unexpected ways, in generations unknown. If the audience for good writing is silent, so be it. It is hopefully the silence of contemplation, not disregard.
I do not congratulate others for the ways that they have moved me, those who have touched me the deepest. Moods, dreams, ancient etchings on the wall––their destinies were fulfilled by the very act of expression, of exerting movement of some novel feeling within themselves.
If Arisugawa Park is mechanical, as one editor described it, how do you think it felt to be in the watch spring each day, immersed in commuter flows and komakai longings? The moments of true thought are hard fought, subtle, the freedoms minute and jealously observed. Maybe this is changing... pendulum swing. But I was in hot house Roppongi for one night and the bartenders and hostesses were still calculating by the minute, the price of leisure purchased. Knowing everything, knowing nothing––the wisest human has only lived a single lifetime.
One year ago, as Facebook reminded me.. a warm bowl of pho and contract with a respected Bay Area literary agent. Full of hope that years of work would see the light. Now satisfied that, although Arisugawa Park will never be published during my lifetime, I have moved on conceptually, writing evolved. Tulum, Raleigh, Miami Beach, Las Vegas, Bacolod. Cowachunga. Many experiences.... WSOP gonzo journalist, Mayan Riviera flute man. I've learned that I am never going to chase the algorithmic gravy train... integrity my calling card, not the hunt for eyeballs & clicks. Money, what money? write n' create. #endurancewriter
I have promised that I will save your life if you only listen. You will have to materialize as something other than cloud-based content. You will have to sprout invisible wings and fly beyond the constricts that threaten to nail down even the most malleable, the wind thieves, the flute players. You will triumph over the close mimicking of creation by algorithms that cheapen thought and convince many that everything has been said. Digital realities, oh yes they exist insofar as they effect behavior of the lazy, lamprosite, feeble minded, feverish.
You will fight against yourself daily, whispering to those who half-listen. There will be an immediacy to your words, allies uncertain, there will be a moment when the signal is given. Then there will be either ignition or silence. The clues hidden in plain view. Moving beyond slavish adherence to the now, among those who consider themselves digital gatekeepers. Self moderated expression, fabric. Curated knowledge, valuing of thought and time spent as humans.
If those times would only come again, one thinks. Maybe they are now becoming. Archived reality, alternate reference points. There is a multiplicity of reference points, a hollowness to the clickbait tsunami. A dry constrict of unhappening in today’s literature––blasphemy––the lighthouse is empty, unguarded. The sheeple, the muggles, the muggins, McGuffins. Tengo you have found me lathered in Unrealism, a wild sheep living in a cave, working on dreads––the very definition of disaster. The anthropology of the e-cigarette laid out with sharp demarcated vapor running into still breathing lungs. The latch of the bathroom stall that lifts and latches several times an hour, the fan whirring, buckets forcing water down, heat, infamy. Darkness? What darkness? Light? What light? Perfect breasts, perfect curse, I am unrepentant. Clickbait no more.
I see several varieties of bananas here in this downtown Bacolod scene. Such subtle differences. Feels like I am tasting fruits, vegetables for the first time again here. Small, non-GMO (unlike Thailand and Indonesia, according to a college professor I talked with). Food that tastes like it did 100 years ago, when life was certainly tough but flavors lingered on the tastebuds with true fervor. Then there is the crown jewel: inasal. Native chicken, grilled to perfection. Yes, you can tell when the animals had a relatively happy life.