Cobalt night

At sunset, the sky shined perfect dusky cloudless cobalt.

Now, I’m sitting in the local bar way too late–alone, yet not lonely. The perfect woman to go home with sits at the table next to me, but she’s with friends, one of whom seems to be a sort of leach boyfriend. (Trust me, I’m perceptive about leach boyfriends.)

Two things I know. Winter is coming; and another hopeless love this way comes.

All you can do is hang on and enjoy the ride while it lasts, for some day the ride will be surely be over.

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Just another sighting

She appeared briefly Sunday night.  Said a quick hello.  Then quickly disappeared.  I wish it didn’t matter, but it effects me deeply whenever I see her.

I have ruined all my personae and their attendant narratives.  (Shit!)  Time heals everything through reconstruction.  Too bad it might take until after you are dead.

Published in: on April 7, 2010 at 2:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

If on a winter night

I’ve decided to read again Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler. It makes me think about reincarnation and that life when everything turns out exactly right.

Published in: on January 2, 2010 at 12:28 am  Leave a Comment  

A long long time

During the past two weeks I watched the whole of Battlestar Galactica again.  It aroused deep emotions.  For reasons lacking explanation, each episode reminded me what it is like to spend an eternity without V.

Published in: on September 27, 2009 at 9:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Totally …

Let’s say you want to run away from your heart.  Let’s say you can’t.

Then you are totally fucked.

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 4:30 am  Leave a Comment  

A poem before traveling

Why I am awake at this late hour and writing this post I cannot tell you.  Let’s just say that one can do worse than quote an ancient Chinese poem before traveling.

Evening after Rain

Sudden rain this afternoon
saved my thirsty garden.

Now sunset steams the grass
and the river softly glistens.

Who’ll organize my scattered books?
Tonight I’ll fill and fill my glass.

I know they love to talk about me.
But no one faults me for my reclusive life.

Tu Fu (712-770) from Crossing the Yellow River translated by Sam Hamill

Translations are different works of art. Yet 1300 years from the writing to the translation, sometimes, does not seem to make a damn bit of difference.

Published in: on July 10, 2009 at 2:44 am  Leave a Comment  

A Sighting

So, what happened to V?  Well, I had one of my occasional V sightings last night, and as usual quite unexpectedly at the bar.  Of course, my heart went thump, thump, thump.

She’s moved on to other men and looks for the one of her dreams.  As for me, it is the usual tonic of beer and whiskey, which ain’t working so well as far as getting her off my mind.  And for sure, the chance meeting with a Stray Dog.  I’ll have to admit my Stray Dogs have not been half bad lately.  It remains a mystery why they attach themselves to a miserable broken down fuck like me if only for a little while.

I miss V.  What else is there to really say?

Published in: on March 24, 2009 at 12:22 pm  Comments (1)  


I read War and Peace for the sixth time–one time for each decade of my life–and I realize it is melodrama, yet such spectacular melodrama. I recall Tolstoy repudiated the novel. He should not have. As pulp fiction goes, it is the best of all time. Now, I retire to my bed to read some more of it.

And think of her, of course, some more melodrama.

Published in: on January 16, 2009 at 1:16 am  Leave a Comment  

One more crazy

Summer 2018. I’d been out to the North Avenue chess pavilion playing chess. I went down to the local bar afterwards for a Bud–no shots anymore except on special occasions, for I was old and couldn’t drink hard.

She was sitting in a corner of the bar, reading a book, and looking as beautiful as the first day I met her there 42 years ago.

I could not resist. I walked over to her and asked her what she was reading. Gulliver’s Travels she said. I remember that I said. It’s about human folly. What are you reading? she said. The Brothers Karamazov. Yes, that always drove you a little crazy when you read that. Well, at my age you never know when it will be the last chance you have to read it and be a little crazy one more time I said.

Let’s talk she said. If you have time.

I’d love that I said.

Published in: on December 2, 2008 at 2:20 am  Leave a Comment  

So strange

When we were together, I would dream of chasing her, finding her, then she disappeared never to be found. Now, that we are not together, no matter where I am at in my dreams, she appears from nowhere.

Dreams are so strange. Life is too for that matter.

Published in: on December 1, 2008 at 1:29 am  Leave a Comment  

The spine of it all

I wonder from where my desire to write comes. I think reading certain writers stir the desire in me. As V rekindled my desire to love and be loved this year, so reading Calvino stirred my desire to write again. To write often means trying to grasp an impossibility as when love ends in a broken romance, a romance which on sober reflection afterwards seems as if it was always an impossibility. Just as I still love V, I still adore much I have written that will most likely never have a reader.

Writing this brief passage has been more painful than I can describe. Desire remains regardless of outcome. It is always desire from beginning to end that holds life together.

Published in: on November 21, 2008 at 11:19 am  Leave a Comment  


The noise from the construction site across the street has started this morning. The sky is low and gray and the air damp and chill. The coffee tastes like shit, yet I need the caffeine to get a little direction.

V stopped by the local bar last night. We had a nice long chat. She has a new boyfriend which is as it should be. Whether she does or she doesn’t makes no difference to me. I continue to live in a fantasy world where my love for her might have been. Everybody can laugh at me for that but I just don’t care. Desire has no limits or boundaries once it takes hold of our souls. I’ve always been the kind to want what I could not have and wreck the things I could have. Every dream I ever had about V was one of chasing her and never catching up to her.

Nothing interrupts the chess games. The tournament games start by the dozen each week. I dreamt last night I let all my games timeout. I simply stopped playing. Yet this morning, I cannot bring myself to let them go. I must make the moves no matter that they are an empty formal exercise today.

Life seems as if it is a bunch of words in a mass paperback book yellowed with age. I continue reading only because I want to know what happens next.

Published in: on November 12, 2008 at 10:57 am  Leave a Comment  

Pricking the solitude

Today’s book is War and Peace, the recent Pevear and Volokhonsky translation, hard cover, and weighing a ton. I read a few pages this spring, or right before winter broke. It was a Friday and I was waiting for V just before spending one of those glorious weekends with her. I was deliriously happy at that time, being in love with V and all. I did not pick it up again after that Friday night. In fact, I forgot all about it until this morning. Now, it seems right I should have it beside me.

I’ve read War and Peace several times, the Constance Garnett translation. Each time was a special time in my life. The first time was when I was 17 years old in the summer of 1965. Each morning when I woke, I would read for a good long spell. I read the whole of the James Bond novels that summer. After dispensing with those, I went to the public library and cast about for something else good to read. I was an aggressive reader for my age, so I hoisted War and Peace off the bookshelves, read some paragraphs at random, and gave it a try. I was hooked within 25 pages of it. The next time I read it was in the summer of 1971. The girlfriend with whom I lived that summer went to see her parents for two weeks before the start of summer semester at college. Being left to my own devices with nothing to do before summer semester began, I read War and Peace again. It was entirely different book on the second reading. I think each time we read a book we love it is a different book we read, for we have changed and with the change all language has changed, not with us, but by us. We hear what we want to hear.

There are other times too when I turned to the book in my solitude. It projects cacophony in the midst of silence.

Now that V is gone, my life admits no recognizable sound into it except the memory of her voice. I cannot express how lonely I am without her. Yet the void must be filled with something or else I would go mad if I am not already. In Europe, Proust broke the silence. Now, it simply must be Tolstoy.

Forgetting is the most impossible and hopeless task. I can only love V even though it is only her memory that lingers here. Two days ago, after a bout of illness, I felt a profound sense of peace and silence descend upon my soul when I woke. I feel it still. It is a different stage of loving V, the stage where only War and Peace can prick the desperate solitude I feel and help fill the void that is my soul.

Published in: on November 11, 2008 at 11:40 am  Leave a Comment  


Played chess all night long. Didn’t play well, but I had some bore hanging off my shoulder recommending moves and ruining the whole experience. (I think he waned to fuck me. Sray Dogs come in all genders.)

Ate breakfast at Tempo aftee chess.

Remembered how she sprawls about the bed in improbable positions when she sleeps. I wonder if she knows that is part of why I love her.

Published in: on September 4, 2008 at 4:55 am  Leave a Comment  


She sleeps late, oblivious to the sunlight flooding the room. I sit in a chair by the window and read Sebald’s Vertigo. Occasionally, I glance at her and wonder how she sleeps so deeply and long. I am most content on Sunday mornings such as these.

Published in: on August 31, 2008 at 10:18 am  Leave a Comment  

An old traveler

Yesterday, I was reading a travel guide for Amsterdam, Brussels, and Bruges–three cities, along with Paris, I will visit in September. The most fun part was studying the maps and tracing walking tours. I imagined V was accompanying me on the trip. We walked along foreign streets, and sat in cafes refreshing ourselves.

She sat down beside me unexpectedly and unannounced while I was immersed in thoughts of traveling. I enjoyed sitting with her. I did not mention how sad I was that she was not going with me. The melancholy of it disturbs my thoughts this morning. But I would rather have this melancholy than not having met her at all, despite my disappointments regarding the impossible.

I suppose these thoughts made me fish four of the Sebald novels from the book stacks in my apartment. They are written in the first person. The protagonists are melancholy travelers through Europe. These characters share a personal exhaustion with the age in which they live and the countries through which they travel. The plots are a fascinating accumulation of detail. The hero starts his journey tired and melancholy. He never leaves those states despite who he has met or what he has witnessed. All seems as it necessarily must be.

I feel old today. That’s just as well, for I am. I resist any attempt at objectivity as I think about what I want to do. I cannot say anything as eloquently as a Sebald character can, yet I may never have tried, for eloquence arises from the subjective, not the objective. I’ve run away from myself for so many years I wonder if I can ever recover something imitating a genuine self.

I hear in my mind’s ear Willie Nelson singing his beautifully styled version of I Can See Clearly Now.

Published in: on August 28, 2008 at 9:51 am  Leave a Comment  


The sun rises over a broken heart. It hurts.

“The trick is not minding that it hurts.”

Published in: on August 23, 2008 at 7:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Labor of love

I finished the first draft of the novel I began writing at the the beginning of the year. Three hundred twenty pages sit beside me. I’m going to put them away until I return from Europe.

I wish I could tell what it is about; I don’t know myself. I’ll figure it when I work on the second draft. That’s always the hardest draft of a novel for me.

I had no intention of working on a novel this year until I met V. She inspired a story shortly after we met. Whatever happens to the manuscript, it will continue to be a labor of love. Maybe someday, I will finish it. Somebody will publish it. She will read it. She will understand she will always be in my heart.

Published in: on August 8, 2008 at 9:16 am  Leave a Comment  

Summer Sunday Afternoon

At the bar. The Cubs and Sox games are on TV. My iPhone plays me chess. No V though. Damn.

Published in: on August 3, 2008 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Summer Saturday

Sitting in Pippin’s with V. She’s reading an Agatha Christie novel. I’m playing chess, blogging, and catching up on my blog reading on the iPhone.

A honey of a day.

Published in: on August 2, 2008 at 5:51 pm  Comments (2)  

summer sometimes

“You are the best person I know,” she said to me more than once. A bit of hyperbole born from love. Eros and all that. Still, that would be something which to aspire.

Summer weaves its sultry soul into mine. Summer and I care only about love these days–or so it seems–me and summer the consummate sometimes guys.

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 1:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

things even out

You think you lost your love,
Well I saw her yesterday.
It’s you she’s thinking of
And she told me what to say.

She says she loves you
And you know that can’t be bad.
Yes, she loves you
And you know you should be glad.


Playing the Beatles Anthology. And why not?

Life drones on without her, almost completely halts. Yet I am unfettered, independent, and free to be as unconventional as I want and choose. Free to get into deep trouble one more time. That’s a paltry compensation, yet what would life be without some small compensation for a broken heart?

Meanwhile, I play the computer chess program 5 minute Blitz set at moron level. I crush it as if it had a heart and soul that needed to be cut out and stomped on–like mine.

Everything tends to even out for me.

Published in: on July 29, 2008 at 12:04 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sunday afternoon

Reading Sartre’s No Exit. Sitting alone. Quite frankly, V is the only person I want to be with. Even though the depression I’ve entered because of her absence has been a time short, it already seems an eternity.

Published in: on July 27, 2008 at 2:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Revolt, love, reverence, and trust

I now see I have been experimenting with publishing some highly personal details of my life in this blog since the beginning of the year. Yet it has not been a diary or journal, for I wrote with an audience in mind. Many details that would appear in a diary not meant for public consumption do not appear on the blog. I don’t know if I could write my raw emotions and do them justice. I have tried at times but failed.

I do not reread my blog entries. However, I will go back to when I met V and make sure all the entries that were about her get placed in the V category. Those entries interest me most.

A white heat burns inside me ignited by my emotional attachment to V. I would like to describe that heat in a larger context. Although I am a skeptic, I firmly believe life has a larger meaning than desire: something along the existential dimensions of love, reverence, and trust.

System building in philosophy is dead. System building survives in the sciences and hangs on in the large religions. Somewhere, outside those system builders, philosophy survives, but can it survive if the individual herself or her reflection upon the “feeling of what happens” have no place in philosophy?

We are all philosophical in our unique ways. Life forces philosophical reflection upon us, whether we like it or not. That is always a recurring theme in my life. I must try to make sense of events and my feelings about them. Whether events are small or short lived, or volcanic eruptions within the soul does not seem to matter when it comes to reflection and the strange desire to know.

The entries in this blog this year come more from passion than deliberation about what I ought to write. I almost see it as fate stirring my desires, then resigning me to accept much less than I hoped. I am glad I wrote it down. I am glad some have read the entries. It means a lot that someone somewhere actually read me this year.

I have revolted this year in my own paltry way. I wanted to make room for the genuine: especially love. The revolution is small and unnoticed. It is not complete. I cannot let things stand as the do now. I must have completion even if it means a failed project.

Yet it might be true: there is no finish line.

Published in: on July 24, 2008 at 10:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Exquisite feel

I think I’ll call it the V-chess set from here on out, the beautiful ebony chess set she gave me for my birthday. I hope she never forgets it is the most perfect gift I have ever received, coming at the time it did. I analyze my Internet chess games with it. The exquisite feel of the pieces have a charm that remind me of the times I cupped her face with my hand and kissed her as best I could, and she returned the best kisses I ever felt.

Published in: on July 22, 2008 at 12:55 pm  Leave a Comment