Thursday, July 31, 2014


Before my house,
A monk on begging rounds
Outshouts the cicadas.

On the turntable:  Lemon Jelly, "Breezeblock"

Monday, July 28, 2014

Nakasendo Waypoints #85

Striving to attain
Views birthed in mist.
Sacred Ontake.

On the turntable: Bauhaus,  "1979-1983"
On the nighttable:  Ian Buruma, "Behind the Mask" 

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sunday Papers: Ian Fraser

"Jesus Walked Everywhere."

On the turntable:  Van Halen, "Van Halen"

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Nakasendo Waypoints #84

Karasawa Falls (唐沢の滝)
Reverses course to flow
Back to the T'ang.

On the turntable: The Clash, "London Calling"

Friday, July 25, 2014

Nakasendo Waypoints #83

The images fade
As the mind struggles to find
An elusive haiku.

On the turntable:  The J. Geils Band, "The Best of..."

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Nakasendo Waypoints #82

Rain falls equally
On both sides
Of Magome Pass.

On the turntable:  REM, "Green"

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Sunday Papers: Hunter S. Thompson

"Human beings are the only creatures on earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn’t got one."

On the turntable:  Ministry, "The Mind is a Terrible thing to Taste"

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Over and Back

I'm probably the only travel writer to spend two weeks in Provence and not dedicate a syllable to it.  I did write about the flights..

Midwest summer clouds throw great shadows upon the plains.  Yet this is Siberia.  The plains are intercut by the amoebic grey blotches of cities.  I once flew a similar course in winter, from Seoul to London, over a Siberia that was colored an endless white, interrupted only by the massive black gashes of rivers.

As I am flying KLM, the announcements are in Japanese, English, and Dutch.  The latter sounds like a record played backwards.  I am wedged into my window seat, surrounded mainly by large Europeans.  They like to stand for long intervals, unlike the Japanese whose heads dangle like jewelry, bobbing with the fits of turbulence.  The Europeans like to watch you as you pass, making your way to the washrooms.  

Over Holland now, a veritable forest of wind turbines, both onshore and off.

Amsterdam Schiphol airport clean and tiny, smelling of the tulips for sale everywhere.

Flight south toward the Mediterranean, passing directly over the snow-tipped spikes of the Alps. Villages wallow in the green grassy spaces between.

A great circle over the sea, above the whitecaps of cruise liners and pleasure boats.  Then Nice. 

And on the return, all is cloud.  We arc close to the pole, but I never see it.  The only views to be had are out beyond the long grey horizon of the wing. The moon hangs full above, in a sky that never completely goes dark.     

As the smoke is birthed from the kiss of rubber and tarmac, it is a day later, and I am a year older.

On the turntable:  The Wolfgang Press,  "Queer"

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Sunday Papers: Michael J. Gajda

"In Carl Jung's psychology, metanoia indicates a spontaneous attempt of the psyche to heal itself of unbearable conflict by melting down and then being reborn in a more adaptive form. Jung believed that psychotic episodes in particular could be understood as existential crises that were sometimes attempts at self-reparation."

On the turntable:  The Flaming Lips, "Embryonic"
On the nighttable:  Nicholson Baker, Double Fold"