The death of a moon cowboy

I am a somewhat-youth with ideas and thoughts and too many dreams that sometimes overflow as these little dribblings from my fingertips. I guess you can try to collect and capture them.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Provo photos

So I uploaded the Provo photos like I said I would. They're on both Facebook and Flickr. I really should've added a picture of our church. It's a pretty rad building, brick, built in 1952 (I talked about it in Tale of a frozen mountain boy). Here's the link to the pictures:

My Provo photos on Flickr

Saturday, October 28, 2006


I just finished reading Ceremony. It was really good. I want to be Indian. As in, Indian-American Indian.

She write so well about nature, and smell and the mountains, juniper, sage, piñon, cattle. Everything; it's really all amazing.

I think I'm going to go ride around town, pulling the kids' trailer behind me, taking pictures of Provo. It may not be the best town, but it's full of some really cool buildings, especially round Center Street, by us. Like the tabernacle, the old Pepsi bottling building, the houses/manors that are converted into bed and breakfasts, old signs, the old meat packing building, and fading painted bricks with dates from 1926. If I really get some pictures taken I'll post them around places for people to see.

Friday, October 27, 2006


So last Saturday I bought this man-purse. It's pretty rad; it's hand-made on a loom in Chiapas, Mexico, but these women who are part of a community run by the EZLN.

[skip this part unless you're curious]
The EZLN is the Ejército Zapatista de Liberación Nacional, otherwise known as The Zapatista Army of National Liberation. Cool huh. They're a nonviolent protest-type group that's anti-NAFTA, anti-globaliation, anti-neoliberalism, and they want support for the poor farmers in Chiapas (one of Mexico's poorest regions that provides 90% of the water to the rest of Mexico, while they themselves still have water shortages). They want the government to allow the farmers to own the land they've lived on and farmed themselves for years and generations, and not have to keep paying some fee to an absentee owner.

I just have so many things to carry. You know, phone, wallet, big thing of keys, notebooks, hats, gum, I don't know I could keep going I guess.

Anyway, I'm not ashamed to wear it. So if you see me wearing this bluish-grey, purse-looking thing over my shoulder, with the letters EZLN on it and tassles hanging down, that's me. Don't be afraid.

Audio: Lover, The Lord Has Left Us|The Sound Of Animals Fighting
Video: The Man Who Knew Too Little
Text: Ceremony|Leslie Marmon Silko

My word of the day:
[why: My Writing Fiction teacher uses this often.]
1 : inclined to be silent or uncommunicative in speech : RESERVED
2 : restrained in expression, presentation, or appearance

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The christening

Update: This poem placed first in Artella's January 2007 Poetic Idol competition.

--- ---

This morning I rode home
through falling leaves and fluttering snow,
with crimson forearms and a drunkard's cheeks.
The clouds hung in black quilted cotton overhead,
dirty and heavy and close.

Stormwater stole up from the streets in a haze--
a low-lying steamy fog,
a locomotive apparition without an engine--
heated by the still-lit streetlamps
in the dim morning twilight.

Droplets fell from the trees on my face,
and brittle grains of snow,
like the white gypsum sands of New Mexico,
settled on my bare arms and I slapped at them,
stung them with wet palmprints.

But high overhead, far above me in the west,
a small clearing lay open in the sapphire sky,
and a star shone down on that sleeping city
(where industry often outshines everything):
Sirius, star-king of the night,
muzzle of the great dog.

And on his right I saw his master,
an unmistakable shape, those stars I knew by name:
the shaman, the peaceful warrior,
man of the mountains and of animals,
kin of Enkidu.

That celestial figure,
an arrangement so familiar to my love.
The name we had discussed,
that I had thought of as a boy,
that we had agreed upon--

because at home, her belly is
swollen like those hanging clouds,
filled and ready to burst, to release.
And the small boy within--
he is at once ours,
growing, fantastic, mythological,
and yet still one and the same
with that watcher in the sky.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

That time again

Have you ever tried writing 55-fiction? It's interesting. Check it out, where it originated: New Times magazine in San Luis Obispo (that's got me remembering Santa Barbara). Anyway, what follows is my first attempt, all 47 words of it. It's called That time again.

"Last year, I brought you a dozen roses, fresh from the florist. This year, it's a bouquet of pansies, picked straight from the Joneses' yard." He laughed a little. "Sorry about that. I guess times change. Happy birthday anyway," he said, laying the flowers on the gravestone.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

[administrative post 10.17.2006]

So, just wanted to say that my poem Arcturus found a pencil was picked for fourth place in the latest Artella Quarterly Poetic Idol contest (check out the winning poems on their site). Not the best, not the worst, though I did do better last time. This time around it was out of 115 people, who entered up to three poems apiece. Anyway, I'm just sayin.

You can read the original poem via the link below. I wrote it in June.

Arcturus found a pencil

Waxing rain

Note: I've updated this.
--- ---

I walked home and the rain thickened;
I removed my glasses
to see the world as I should:
blurred with blackness,
people dipping into puddles,
wading waist-deep past the cars and the limbs.

Rushing over concrete--
displaced by the roots of unbridled pine--
and flowing like silt in a flooded river,
we gather in pools and eddies,
apartment buildings, parking lots:

mouths that open into the ocean
and spread us far and between,
away from our cars and our foundations.
So we run,
to flee the smiling fury of the skies.


as it soaks into my brittle, dried skin,
it warms my aching flesh,
hushes my decaying soul

and I am scaling that mountain again,
sojourning with the rain,
coursing upstream
up its knobbed hillsides;

but this time
am the victor;
am the conqueror.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

The birth

Another day come and gone.
I call it ten, you call it twenty-seven.
Predictions of 'inevitable acting to fit the part',
will come true, and I won't profit,
won't see any of the so-called good.

Keep to the right and ignore the others, you said.
And you will arrive in due time.
But I never meant to travel;
that destination was a ruse--
a trick for leading slaves in on chains, under the
winter branches and full moon shadows.

And it's cold again because autumn never came,
and the bedspread lays stiff on my ankles
like a lake of ice,
my head crooked against the dying bedboards
arms clutching themselves.

It wasn't fear or shame that shut my eyes,
only the simplicity of doing so--
and there, within, I can hug typhoons and not care;
I can watch time transpire, plan the whole mess
out like before.

Saddled to the nightmare,
my feet in hot leather on hot coals,
fevered forehead in the rain,
the voice of angels singing across the
mountaintops capped in silver lice.

Insomniac nights are all part of the bargain.

Friday, October 06, 2006

I want another

I want to stand outside
under the drowning clouds--
I want to lie in the wet grass, with wet leaves
over each of my eyes,
and grow into the dirt:
a reverse weed.

I want a rocking chair on a rotting porch
in the south,
humid breezes dampening my hair and
spiderwebs cradling dewdrops before the sun rises
and transforms everything back to familiar.

I want to walk to a playground
alone at the witching hour,
to fall asleep on plastic wood-textured planks,
tracking satellites
across the mouth of the Milky Way.

I want each little piece of this world;
I want its travelers and landmarks and little-known alleyways.
its bakeries and bookstores.
I want
its laundromats,
its farms and mini-marts.

I want to metamorphose with all of these things at my side
to prove to myself--to everyone--
that transformation is necessary,
and that we should forget
if we were ever
or afraid.


I don't know about this life.
I just don't know.

There is so much to love,
yet so much to hate.
Things to question
and dread,
push aside their existence,
out of sight--
I'll pretend they never occur,
or don't really matter,
for that matter.

I'm a coconut, a flesh-filled endocarp,
but some godly otherworldly survivor
is cracking me open, holding me up and milking everything of
value out of me,
drinking me dry,
right there beside the ocean.

Now I'm an empty shell,
my meat removed, flaked and dried,
and I'm falling,
falling slowly behind a waterfall
that's drawn in vertical lines
of colored blur
and illusion.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

At school narrative type

I went to bed at 4 a.m. last night. I had had a mostly productive day, finished my Fiction and Technical Writing class assignments. Wrote out some Spanish vocab. Read some. But then everyone was asleep, and it was 1:30 or so and I started hacking apart my new Michael Stadther book [Secrets of the Alchemist Dar] so I could scan each page in. I planned to stop at the hacking stage, but ended up scanning every page in as well. It took a couple hours. I wish I'd had the time to do a better scan of each page, so that the colors would come out more accurately. The funny thing was, Jarom woke up right before I started scanning, he "had to go pee-pee," his little catch-phrase. So he goes back to bed and says, "Dad? What was that sound?" I don't know what sound he heard, but he had me take him outside to show him all was well. Then he went back to bed and I started scanning. Scanning is loud, but somehow Bella and Amy slept through it all. Not Jarom. he stayed awake the whole time, finally at 4:00 he went to bed at the same time as me. For all I know, he stayed up even longer.

Then I woke up at 6:35 and was about 25 minutes late to Spanish, but At least I got full credit on the pruebita that I kind of guessed on. Thanks Adriana.

We didn't have Technical Writing today, so I went to the library. I was tired. I thought maybe I'd sleep on a book. Instead, I went to a computer. I know, I know, it's an exciting schooled life that I lead.

So I'm sitting there using a school computer, and in comes this girl who sits in the chair next to me--now remember the tables hold four machines, one in each direction, so it wasn't exactly *next* to me, more like to the side of me. And it just seemed that something was amiss when she sat, like she did it intentionally or something, like she was eyeing me. And believe me, I'm known for my sensing abilities.

I kind of kept track of her, but didn't look much her way--and she was pretty decent looking--but she didn't seem to be looking at me either. But she did seem to hack and cough and choke enough to clear everyone out of her path. She was obviously getting sick. I wasn't really doing anything at the computer anyway, and I had some reading I needed to do, so I packed it all up and headed off to a table where I could read.

I was wearing my glasses, because I got little sleep the night before, and I thought I could see her looking at me from afar. I was really squinting. Anyway, five minutes later she gets up, grabs her stuff, and walks on towards me. She sits down, right next to me. At a table meant to fit four, she sits right next to me! There were plenty of other tables. Now, I'm a shy kid, and I don't know what this girl's thinking, so I just sit there, keep reading. She kept on coughing, throwing little fits. Eventually she asks me in a squeaky voice, "Do you know if the copy center is open this early?"

I tell her that I don't, and get back to reading.

She mentions the cold, asks me where I'm from. California, I say, what about you? She says she's from Arizona, and that I won't be seeing much of her when the winter hits.

She was working on this project, this big craft for her art class. The only thing I remember is this huge green posterboard piece with the stenciled word INSTITUIONALIST on it. She has dance at 9 a.m; she has to have this done right away.

Then the bell rings. She starts to pack up and gathers her things for a long time. Maybe she's procrastinating. Then she starts to walk away.

"Good luck," I say.

"Thanks. Seeya!" she says.

I watch her walk away. She never turns around.

... ...

I go home, pack up some stuff and take off for work. I know that it's Monday, and on Monday, Wednesday and Friday--when I get there late--I have to park further away. Now the thing about that, is that I go through a different, closer entrance to get upstairs. When I am just about to my door, there is always this girl sitting there in an armchair, doing her homework. The first couple times I'd just nod hi, casually, friendly. Then she started talking to me, like a week ago.

"Where do you work?" she asks.

"In here. It's called Distriba. You wouldn't know it. I'm a programmer."

"Cool," she says.

I ask her if she's doing homework, what she's doing there. She says that she has to wait for a ride on these days. I tell her how much school and work I am handling. She acts shocked. She asks my major--it's English.

"Oh yeah? What's your favorite book?"

I tell her my favorite book is Ask The Dust, followed by On The Road. She hasn't heard of either of them. I have to go, I say. See you next time.

But I avoided her the next time. This is getting uncomfortable.

So then today, I say to myself, ah well, just go the usual way, say hi, be friendly. No need to *avoid* people.

She is up there with a boy. I say hi, she immediately says, "We work together," to make it clear to me that the boy is not a threat. I want to say, I'm married, it's cool, but I'm too polite. She says, oh yeah, this is Cameron, and this is--motioning to me, as if she knew my name--

"Matt," I say.

"Matt," she repeats.

"I don't think I know your name," I say.

"No you don't. It's Suzette."

"Hi," I say.

But I have to go, so I leave them. And that was that. I think I'll be going the other way from now on.

Audio: The Red Tree | Moneen
Text: Writing Fiction [7th edition] | Janet Burroway/Elizabeth Stuckey-French

My word of the day:
1 : at an opportune time : SEASONABLY
2 : by way of interjection or further comment : with regard to the present topic
[Why: I read it on some forum, some idiot trying to sound really smart.]

Sunday, October 01, 2006

CSUS party

There was a massive party, almost like it was Halloween and it was 1930. The party was at Sac State. Dad, Heather, Mikie, Joey, Amy, Jarom, Bella and I were all there. We went inside one of the buildings; there was a nice lounge and a white stairway. There were white leather sofas and the lights were dimmed, and so things were only lit by the colorful sparkles of light that came from devices that spun to the music.

I saw my friend Thad from high school. I hadn't seen him in years, almost ten. I called him Thaddeus Winston Andrews, esquire, the III. That's what our junior high school principal, Mr. Momberg, called him during 8th grade graduation rehearsal, and I've never forgotten that. We went outside.

He asked me if I wanted a chile tequila. He had one and he threw it at the side of a car and it seemed to explode. I took one from him, held it and asked him what was in it.

I never drank it, ended up leaving it set inside on a balcony somewhere, with the chile oil separated and lifting to the top.

I realized I had been separated from the rest of my group.

Outside there was a street that looked ancient. I watched as a nice car comes down the street, rams into the back of a second car that was parallel parked. They were engaged in some sort of gangster war or something, They took some items out of the back of the rammed car's trunk, right in front of a shop on the street that an Asian man owned.

I went and got a a second chile tequila which I never drank.

Jarom was standing on the sidewalk, looking clueless and holding the hand of a bearded man who was also holding the hand of his own child. I came up to them and asked the man if he had helped Jarom. He looked like he didn't know what I was talking about, said no.

I went inside to find the others.