Sunday, August 18, 2013

A color has many faces, and one color can be made to appear as two different colors. Here it is almost unbelievable that the left small and the right small squares are part of the same paper strip and therefore are the same color. And no normal human eye is able to see both squares–alike.

                                      ––Josef Albers, Interaction of Color

Saturday, August 17, 2013


Someone made fun of me because I said I would like to have fried clams at HOJO’s for my birthday. Someone said HOJO’s is out of business so you can’t have fried clams at HOJO’s anymore. Nor can you have the Fudgana nor the Tasty Tester at HOJO’s anymore because HOJO’s is out of business. You can’t sit outside HOJO’s and wait for them to open, nor can you laugh while you eat their delicious square pattied hamburgers or do you remember their delicious Chocolate Milk Shakes with whipped cream? Well you can’t have them either and I forgot to mention the Coit Tower that you can’t have along with the Peppermint Stick Ice Cream which is scrumptious and gone for good although there is one thing you can have or at least do at HOJO’s which is you can sit outside where HOJO’s used to be but you can’t wait for them to open because they will never open ever again in a big empty lot in the middle of nowhere and say I am HOJO’s! Look on my works, ye mighty and! someone told me once I think it was my husband well ex-husband he was a good joe. Perhaps even a great one.



I love the lady
who gave me a truffle
at the wedding door

What a nice way of saying
Your son will make 
a good husband

and now it is time 
for you to go home


On April 24th it was discovered: somebody had stolen the Residents' bobble head.



Perhaps a diesel engine, with an oscilloscope. I couldn’t tell you what a diesel engine was if my life depended on it. Or an oscilloscope. If they have anything to do with what you need for me to say, or do, I am sunk. But you say, they don’t. Don’t worry, you only have to be so good to be perfect, and you are, and that is good enough.
I received a Valentine in the mail
by that I mean that it was left on 
my car seat by the wind. But not 
by any wind. No. This wind has a name. 
This wind is Not, which is for the best. 
And inside the Valentine, which was not 
wrapped, was an oak leaf, cut in two, 
by a desert hand. I gave it a kiss, because 
it’s never good to speak when you are inside
closing your eyes,  thinking about horizons.
This one good, this one not. One kiss,
two. You can feel where the wind was not. 
This one’s good–none are not. This gift 
holds my name.


A book of Faye doodles captioned by her sweet and pleasant and often quippy and always honest writing will be available this Monday. In order to avoid the odious money problem, I will send free PDF copies to anyone who might be interested. As it is a large file (75 MB, with 90 drawings) I will be using

which so far has worked quite nicely.

If you are interested in an e-copy of this book, please send your e-mail address to mine:
Dear Faye,

So today this restaurant put pepper jelly, which I just typed as 'helly', in their pimento cheese. What's up with that?



Wednesday, August 14, 2013


“I prepared a simple pasta dish for our repast.”

How much is contained in these words!

There is the pasta, the preparation, the idea of a repast.

The anticipation of hunger abated.

The we that is us.

Will we ever reach this repast? 

No one can be certain.

That is the book.

Once there was a book and here is the title:

“I prepared a simple pasta dish for our repast.”

Inside the book the pages are empty.

Preparation is just that.


The book was dedicated to a fly that landed on it years ago.

He had travelled far, eaten well, and was ready to rest.


Bring the orchestra up to our room
and we’ll have eggs and vienna sausages.

until we toast everyone we know until all that is left
of the world are the people we don’t know yet,

all ready for our toasts, although they would never
know it, and once we do, we will know them, 

in a way, but not so much as to be a bother but
instead a delight that we all shall someday, with
a hearty toast, forget.


Tuesday, August 13, 2013


for Faye

I tell it we’re not going west anymore there’s no point.

There’s nothing to see there but it doesn’t pay any attention. 

My car doesn’t speak English and it just sits there pointing west.

My car has sad headlights filled with rain when it does.

At night, my car wonders where Saturn is. 

My car sometimes thinks: Mommy.

Saturn is huge and far away.

And my car is waiting to go west. 

It can wait forever if it wants. 

We will not go west, I tell it. 

Me too, I say.

It coughs and coughs. 

It stares at the night sky.

Try to be reasonable, I say.

It’s not there anymore.

We’re not going.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Sunday, August 11, 2013

This hour, when it is six o’clock, and the world doesn’t promise sunshine or clouds yet–but you: this is the hour that I love–this hour is simply full of mushiness for me. 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

EAU SAVAGE, for FAYE (MAY, 2013)

My Eau Savage is on its way!
Today it is in Anaheim, tomorrow 
it will be on a truck, covered in wrap,
cardboard, brown tape, postage stamps
and handwriting. Beneath all of that will be
Eau Savage in a rippling bottle, lightly tinted
green. It will smell like limes! And basil and cumin 
and orris rosemary amber! Once I gave a girl named Mary

a rose, it’s true. But today I want to give a girl named Faye 
a sweeter smelling me. Eau Savage! I say. But I must wait 
for Anaheim: for its cardboard and brown tape, its postage 
stamps and handwriting, its truck driver who eats potatoes,
curses for free who will walk to my door in brown shoes and 
smells like rosemary and naturally, brown shoes. I must wait. 
I must wait for days. I waited for years to fall in love. Why do

I hate waiting for days? You understand, don’t you? Even if you 
do, if I must say, then you must listen to me wait, please do.

Thursday, August 08, 2013


When they demolish your house, 
I want to be there.

When they treat you for death, 
I want to hear that you feel great.

Hey, when that guy beans you with a baseball, 
I want to be able to say: Go Get ‘Im, Tiger.

When you forget who you are, 
I want to follow you from the hospital
to the shelter. 

I will be the one 
with the balloon 
that is red and fat 
and no one knows 
is really a satellite
for watching you. 

I want to join you on another
earth that looks just like this one, 
only perfect, smaller, and the size 
of a warm, kind toaster.



I used to say I felt sorry for the Beatles, because they couldn’t sit around and listen to the Beatles. They were the only ones who couldn’t. The rest of us were far more lucky that way.

I could say the same about Faye Hunter, too. What would it be like to listen to ROOM WITH A VIEW, or BLUE LINE, or her own gorgeous BLINDED and only be able to say, “I wish I could do that one again–it wasn’t very good.”
And now we have LET’S PRETEND WE’RE SPIES, with Amanda Thompson. It reminds me, oddly, of the Beatles’ post-Beatles FREE AS A BIRD, gorgeously sparkling and measured, but mostly in the regard of its absolutely timelessness–how often can that be said of a pop song?  And to carry the Beatles analogy to a foolish extreme, someone like John Lennon was at least lucky enough to recognize that he was a genius, and he often did. Faye? not so much. In fact, Faye’s final recording, LINCOLN LETTERS, was shipped to her by computer and she had difficulty downloading it. Finally, she gave up, saying, “I really didn’t do anything special. I just sang the song, and not very well.” And so she let it go with a sigh and returned to Buddy and Julie Miller on her Subaru cassette deck, often singing on her way to pick up a Bojangles biscuit for breakfast. These songs would have to wait for the rest of us. 

Anyone who ever knew Faye knew that it was nary impossible to be angry with her, but at times like this, it’s mighty easy to get damn close–for these works are difficult, if not impossible, to second guess. A song like LET’S PRETEND WE’RE SPIES is a work of extraordinary beauty, warmth, depth, range, complexity, and unexpected vocal pyrotechs. They were some but not all of the things that Faye was, and we are lucky enough to be able to hear them now, and from now on, with both joy and the deepest sorrow all wrapped up into one wistfully melancholy, beautiful package. 

There are times–all the time in fact–when  I wish I could have one more minute with Faye just to say, “Don’t you realize how brilliant this is?” But I know that it would be a minute wasted–she would let out her patent-pending southern honk of a laugh and carry on with her life, drawing doodles, petting her beloved cats, and cutting up a few apples as treats for Newbie, the baby donkey, across the street. Faye, for all her talent, never really considered herself an artist. And yet she did everything a great artist does, with flair and panache, and to a fevered, focused and delicious peak. What more could you ask from a woman with a microphone or a paintbrush in her hand, standing so delicately and perfectly on planet earth?

Listen to LET’S PRETEND WE’RE SPIES and decide about this music for yourself. Don’t feel bad about disagreeing with Faye: you can call her brilliant, you can call her an artist, and you will, and she will forgive you, and she will love you, and you will love her. That’s what Faye was all about. God bless our times for being able to preserve some of that love past the days she spent here with us. And now that you have her in your world, turn on the turntable, open the window, and let in the sun.

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

A lonely heart misses a hunter


When I told the Old Lady I was depressed
she gave me a copy of Douglas Fairbanks’

It is a silent film and the Three Musketeers 
ride again and it may contain graphic violence
and it is digitally remastered.

There’s good ol’ Douglas Fairbanks
which means nothing to anyone
who doesn’t know Douglas Fairbanks

So let me paint you a picture:

There’s good ol’ Douglas Fairbanks
with a tiny moustache and shoulder length
chestnut brown hair, smiling with head cocked
back and a forest green tight vest open to the nipple
area with one hand cocked on his velveteen pantaloons
and they other resting on his saber, slender and confident as
the swashbuckling D’artagnan, at the ready to rescue the real
King Louis XIV, imprisoned by his brother and destined to live
out the rest of his days in a dark dungeon wearing an impenetrable
iron mask to conceal his true identity: ta dah! the king of damn France!

Now if were Douglas Fairbanks

I wouldn’t bother with any of this I would just get on a super fast amphibious motorcar and go back home to Hollywood from France and give deelish Mary Pickford a big kiss.  She was sweet as pie and more fun than iron masks or motorcars or pie. Douglas Fairbanks, what is your schtick? I can't mentalize your brain-thoughts. I mean, really, what is going on with you? Why do some people have problems? I don’t have these problems and I am glad.

Thank you, Old Lady, I feel less depressed now.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

for Faye Hunter

The Mormons like to marry the dead
if the dead didn’t have the chance when they could
I thought it was a ceiling, which seemed nice,
but really it is a sealing, which is OK too

When I was a little boy my sandwiches 
were wrapped in wax paper
and they were not sealed 
and I did not look at the ceiling
but I found them to be delicious

Marriage like a memory can be sealed
The Mormons say, Hey marriage is a seal
It’s not a ceiling and there is no glass to it
and it’s good news because you don’t cut
yourself and if you do, OK then

In this case I think there may be benefits to that
more than, say wax paper,
which is only a memory
seals only vaguely and
is smooth as paper, which it is
with no edges and who can’t love that?

It floats away and comes back
it is almost lighter than air

It dances where it wants needs to be and

It approaches the ceiling with the utmost caution
but let there be no doubt
it does approach the ceiling

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Faye told me that she had never heard of Edward Gorey. I showed her some of his stuff for several reasons: 1) to see how appearances can be deceiving (dark and macabre in tone, but a true cat lover and bad soap-opera devourer in life 2) he seemed to really be on to something (like Faye only different) and last but not least 3) HEY! my apartment's not so bad. Look at Edward Gorey's!

The obvious choice for her (I thought) was THE DOUBTFUL GUEST. Kitty (Moses) might agree, although she doesn't like doing that with me, much. It's OK. Go ahead. Say what you must. I stand by my dumb choice. Here it is, #4 in my unsent queue to Faye:

Saturday, August 03, 2013


Less Than Three
to faye

This symbol means: I love it.
I thought it meant: once there was
an ice cream cone. It fell down 
and could never get up. It melted
into a thousand soft pieces. 
You mustn’t blame yourself. You 

loved it. They love it. 
Everyone loved it. 
This ice cream cone, 
I, too, once loved.


I remember an interesting skit by George Carlin, about the appropriate time that must pass before one deletes a deceased love one from an address book (or iPhone speed dial.)

But what about gift queues? I have a good number of gifts that I intended to send Faye, eventually, but did not. I sent others, but again, how can you feel anything now but "It wasn't enough." So, before I say goodbye to them, I thought I would share them with you. Perhaps some of you might like some of them.

If you knew Faye, you might know that she would have (possibly) enjoyed these books. If you knew Faye, you probably loved her, too.

Here is the first:

So obvious a choice–why explain?

Bye bye for now.

Friday, August 02, 2013

THE SABBATH: June 30, 2013

to Faye

Is tomorrow Tuesday already?
I like the sound of that. 
So I will say it again. 

Today is Monday. Who is knocking
so anxiously on the door? 
It must be Tuesday.

I don’t like the sound of that.
I will not.

Over the crest of the hill, 
I see the blond hair of Wednesday.
I sigh.

Thursday, August 01, 2013




All I remember of Bruno is how he saw everything as lovely and gold. Even when the soldiers began to follow him, he walked slowly and carefully, and wistfully admired the golden soldiers behind him.
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