Wild Promise of


i left berlin and returned home to st. louis for thanksgiving. a week’s worth of preparations for a meal that, in my house, lasts less than an hour. god love my mom. the next day i left for new york to stay through the holidays with an escapade to dc

listening to the pastel’s leaving this island (1997)

Autumn and the Order of Seasonal Clarity


as if all of us are water particles, we find each other when we’re in the same cloud. and for that time we’re in it together. sometimes we fall together and stay water particles together but water particles in a stream, or a lake, or a puddle, or a sea. eventually different paths part us. this doesn’t mean we won’t rise to a same cloud again but it does mean we won’t be in the same place as we are now.

autumn. the electric colors of the season with new found health and a love of life and spirit that hasn’t been felt since childhood. a phoenix rising off the grid from the ashes of a memory. a personal best in excess igniting a fire-lit path to the palace of wisdom and clarity. a milestone on the larger quest to find who-knows-what all the while learning that losing control is a winsome way to retrieve it. autumn.

push em to the crux

listening to terry riley’s persian surgery dervishes performance two (1972)

And The Sun Doesn’t Care

spring in berlin’s a joyous time of year. mr blue sky’s in town for the first time since october and everyone starts waking up from their darkness. we all manage to lose track of a lot of time to a lot of fun.

summer is a lot more work. the initial excitement of nice weather sets in and you work to enjoy all the sun you can, while you can. “let’s go outside and enjoy the day!” it’s taxing. staying in working on “art” while the sun bakes your desk through your open window on one of the weeks that it’s actually hot enough to use the term “bakes” or have an open window but you don’t even want to go outside cause the sun rose at 4am and woke you up and it doesn’t care that you went to bed at 1am, or 2am, or 3am, or that you’re just getting home. it’s out and you’re feeling like Day of The Insomnia Zombie in-between sleep and awake but there’s no way out of it because it only lasts a couple of months and you have to enjoy it while you can

and then there’s need for a jacket in early august and it’s like fuck it! i should have done more when it was nice… now the nice is gone. it’s colder now. fuck it. im going to sleep when i want to sleep. im going to wake up when i want to wake up and im going to work on whatever i want to work on, whenever i want to work on it and it doesn’t matter cause it’s grey outside and this is berlin. it’s grimm brothers fairy tale weather. it’s autumn and the turning leaves are the blanket for our after-summer rest.

 limbs of lost mannequinslimbs of lost mannequins

listening to tales of murder and death’s hallucination of beauty (2012)

Ibiza on that Guacamole Fiat

i went to ibiza. it was my first time in ibiza. the plane descended as the sun set on the horizon. i don’t know how to say ibiza correctly. i believe there’s a Th sound. luckily i don’t have to say it because this is a written blog. ibiza’s alright. there’s nicer islands but this one has more techno. all the techno.

vlada rented a guacamole-colored fiat and we criss-crossed the island eating fish and chasing sunsets. she’s a spectacular travel companion. she could have a travel show: gypsy travels with vlada (originally called joints and sunsets). she’d show you where to get the best deals on everything and which cafes have wifi to find that next deal.

IRL is the new RPG’s Ibiza ProTips v1
– the tap water’s salt water
– all the internet’s slow / mcdonalds has free wifi
– because it’s siesta that’s why
Es Vedrà is literature 101 in real life: the sirens almost got odysseus there!

Stadtschnellbahn PDA mit Kicks

sbahncouplethis couple sat in the unoccupied bench across from me on the s-bahn. she took off his glasses and they start kissing. not passionately, just pecks. loud pecks. loud pecks because she loves him so much. for them, the rest of the world has ceased to exist. with every twist and turn and flip of her hair, her boots kicked my leg because the rest of the world ceases to exist: i am the ceased world. i reach into my bag, pulled out my camera, and start taking photos. i whisper, “ya that’s good. ja”. they asked what im doing, i gave them a closed-tooth smile and take another.

sometimes i hate love so much. today i didn’t want to get kicked by the couple making-out like virgins

A Day to Hannibal

in elementary school history class we were taught about the pony express. the pony express was a horse-powered courier service which delivered messages across the american west from april 1860-october 1861. it failed after 18 months because it was replaced by a better product, the telegraph. sure morse code isn’t as exciting as dodging indians on the back of stallions but if understanding History is about learning from our mistakes then why, year-after-year, were we taught about a failed delivery service?
“the pony express” is a lot of things.

i drove my mom’s car up the illinois side of the mississippi river then across to hannibal, missouri. we went to hannibal a few times as a family. i haven’t been back since. mark twain is from hannibal. the temperature was near 70 and the sun was shining. a cloud hovered just above the water’s surface. it rolled north, much further north than i traveled. on one of our family trips to hannibal we went to lover’s leap. it was the first time i heard the term, was quite heavy. i went back there after taking a photo of a yellow corvette one block from the real becky thatcher’s house. becky is the unattainable aristocratic woman.

i asked a young couple if i could take their picture. they agreed and she added,  “i been livin here my whole live and i’d never seen anything like this” pointing to the cloud riding up the river. they’ve been through a lot. neither of them have had it easy but they’re trying and they found each other (a little laughter too). she’s 17 and lives with him. he works full-time. they’re saving money to move to alaska after she graduates high school in the spring. they’re ready to leave now. they just moved into a new apartment building. the first night he went into the basement. he moved a sweatshirt on the wall and discovered a meth lab. i hope they make it to alaska. we said goodbye, i thought i heard them say “hey…” as i got in the car but maybe i imagined it.

starting in east st louis

meeting the mississippi riverbox

before arriving in hannibal i shot my way around side roads taking an occasional photo. around the bend of a dirt road i found a group of holstein cows. the farmer who’s land i was on came down on his atv to say hello. his dog was in the back. she goes everywhere with him. he took over the farm after he lost his previous one in the flood of 1993. i remember the flood, it was 20 years ago but it’s recent history along the river.

returning to hannibal and lovers leap

i want to do this forever.

Sain’t Louis

st louis. i went home in january. i could wax poetic stl history for days but it still feels like a compromised place. there’s gun toters, there’s abortion clinic bombings, there’s “legitimate rape”, there’s seedy strip clubs, there’s abandoned strip malls, but there’s jesus. in the black neighborhoods where the whites dare not go and want them to stay, there’s a lot of crime but jesus is also there. it’s a melting pot of midwestern simplicity with licks of northern and southern culture. the people and their varying groups, no matter how extreme, are separated by a single colloquialism: ain’t. some use it their Others don’t but they’re all St. Louis.

listening to r.l. burnside – poor boy a long way from home (1978)

Continue reading

End of the Line

i sold my car and moved to berlin. it’s been seven months since my last post. The Journey was 2012 and the world’s predicted to end in december. upon my arrival i knew that this blog couldn’t be continued as it was while making myself at home in a place i’d never been because there’s that time in a new place after the honeymoon fades where one might question the decision. i didn’t want to write about that or endless rambles of longing wheat thins and other groceries not available in germany. when the end-of-the-world-day comes and goes my blog will be a year old and in the new year i’ll continue this project as the next chapter.

last weekend i rode the trains. that’s it. as far as my day-passes would take me i rode the trains. ipod in pocket, camera at my side, and changing leaves all around. it was vaguely reminiscent of The Journey, quite fitting for an epilogue and the pass cost less than a shrimp cocktail

Cupcakes Turtles and Kinks

dolly parton had her own variety show on abc in the late 80’s. we watched it as a family. she said a lot about growing up in the smokey mountains. they meant a lot to her.

in the early 00’s a girl i was with told me she’d never pilgrimed graceland and wanted to, badly. hours after the start of spring break we were diving south to the mississippi delta in the rain. we wore all black. the sad-face photos of us at the eternal flame were outstanding and appeared meaningful.

while dolly aired, the family took a spring break road-trip to florida. we left in the middle of the night. i woke up in the backseat when my mom announced, “this is where dolly’s from!” the rising sun shined through the fog that rested on the range: smokey mountains! the name made sense

the day after graceland, girl and i were entertaining the staff of a bbq place on beale street. we asked if they had ideas on where to continue our trip but they weren’t much help: two of the cooks hadn’t ever traveled outside of memphis. we numbered six places we knew on a napkin and rolled a die. one was drive east to the smokey mountains; two was south to new orleans; six was west to texas; i don’t remember four or five. we rolled a two, easy!

despite my car breaking down so close to new orleans, i didn’t make it back on this trip or back to the smokies on that trip. if i stay on the road long enough i’ll be able to connect all the nouns of my life. e.g. if i take the smokey mountains on this journey, i’ll be experience mapping at a highly skilled level. like the circled white icing on a hostess cupcake

great smokey mountains-

i stayed the night with family friends in louisville. from there it’s a straight four-hour-drive to st louis. i wasn’t ready for that: i had this feeling that the trip was incomplete: it wasn’t a i-don’t-want-this-to-be-over feeling, rather a this-isn’t-done one. i turned the gps off. exited the highway and cruised with no direction

for days i wove roads and states without a map. i often didn’t know where i was. i slept in the car. i barely spoke. i drove really fast. this is experience dessert.

weaving until it feels right-

in southern missouri, i was on a farm-to-market road. the speed limit is marked 50 but everyone keeps 70+. at the top of a hill, off the corner of my eye, i noticed a turtle crossing the street. i hit the brakes and ran out. i snapped the photo and picked him up as a caravan of trucks sped past the spot he was at

i set Allegory Turtle down safely in the field he was walking to

now i’m ready.

i kept a rough course in the direction of st louis and as the cupcake’s circle would have it, came upon the subject of the journey’s first photo via a road i’d never traveled-
how predictable – life is pathetically poetic

listening to: the kink’s till the end of the day  (1965)

Pulled over in Spartanburg

A Palmetto State of Mind
south carolina

from savannah, i took two-lane state roads through the cradle of reconstruction. this is where lincoln and johnson experimented with giving land to the Freedmen. everyone i met was wonderful though my conversations were more “yes” and “thank you” than talking. im over talking. it’s forced. self-oppressive. i don’t want to talk anymore. i want drive through the south quietly, forever.

the sun isn’t far from setting. i got the biggest coffee the gas station had. then got another biggest coffee another gas station had. it’s not a big deal: i pull over and pee wherever i want cause i can do it standing up cause im a man. i pulled into spartanburg, sc cause it’s on the edge of the smokey mountains. a perfect place to stop before appalachia.

i fill up my tank and drive towards downtown. a police car is to the right of me at a four-way-stop. the police car turns and i pull behind them. then they pull over to the shoulder. i pass them then they get behind me. i can almost hear the benny hill theme playing really slow. then they turn their lights on and i start my voice recorder. it is no longer forever.

oy. remember when i was over talking?