Autumn at the Summit of North Bend

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Even at the top of Mount Si, the onset of Fall can be felt among the jagged rocks and Canadian jays.

Sony Alpha 6300, f/4, 1/800, ISO-100, 18mm. 9/18/2018 1:09 PM.

An Alpine Air

An alpine air

Feet from here

North hill across
The way we can see

Particles clear
They’re spectacles

Below on the map
Looking across

This cloudless canyon
Full of footsteps

Stepped past
The last five years

An alpine air
In a clear sky

Breaths visible
Life vaporizing

SERE Kit – Journal 12/19/17

Things published in certain ways can influence the way you speak, think, and record your own self as you go about your life. That’s where I think the importance of reading lies, the solitary consumption of words give people ways to decipher each other’s meanings in the words we say. I could say that’s one of the reasons I choose to right a lot of poetry, and why above all else I can count on myself to feel that desire to lineate above all other expression.

Poetry is a condensed form of novelization. It’s a highly-interpretive forum for an author to say what could be complete gibberish, and have someone on the other side put it together. Like military codes without codebooks. You just figure out where to drop the bombs.

As such, I almost always post a poem here a day at Radio Reality City. I think it’s a very easy way to spread the art of language in a nearly contextless way. 9:30 in the morning: a poem is live. And up to the person who finds it to make sense of it.

To be clear, I’m not bashing other arts. But I do think that abstracter arts are the ones that are more compelling. At least that’s what I used to say to people who weren’t fond of poetry, because I think you can find a comfort in having your hand held the entire way through a plot. What if that plot is four lines long and has no punctuation? What’s there to be pieced together? Quite a bit, if the author can find a way to make dense the diction.

All this to say: I’ve picked up the novel House of Leaves. Haven’t done much with it yet, but I have it and intend to dive in.

Wordy wordy wordy words. I find myself at a work computer with my head in my hands from waking up early today. Early for me being 7 AM. Yeah, go ahead and gatekeep, I normally work evenings or have evening classes so my mornings really start at 10 or 11 on an average day. Today is no average day.

Even that admonition against the day is a way to influence how my character is presented here on RRC. I remember in middle school when being depressed was what made everyone unique. Everyone projected a character of hopelessness or emoism, and somehow that let everyone be able to interact on that same level. As unguided and juvenile as it is, it worked.

Now you can find all sorts of people making self-deprecating jokes, and that’s just the evolution of such representation.

So no, I’m not depressed. I don’t think I ever have been. And even though I’m tired, I’m here, and it’s only a matter of time before I finally wake up. Aaaaand until then every little thing is just a little more annoying. Meh, I can handle that.

Hello, how are you? I guess it’s time to move away from the waxing portion of this one and talk about personal stuff that’s actually happening.

Well, I’m tentatively clutching an Associate’s of Arts degree. That’s pretty cool, but still fighting the last few centimeters for it.

Abandon Ship is on the horizon, and I can’t wait to jump. I even completely accidentally ended my Lithium Autumn submission with Abandon Ship, like it makes sense! Crazy.

Mount Si go number 2 is tomorrow! Found some coworkers that want to go hiking, and our first climb will be that glorious piece of granite! And a storm has crept in. Perfect, right?

Kirke: wonderful as always.

The Punisher is probably the best damn series I’ve ever seen.

My spare time lately has been spent staring into space while watching the news. Yesterday a new Amtrak line in the county went totally off the rails over THE major freeway, locally. Which is nuts. I didn’t think that happened anymore, yet here we are. In with the news is all the… fascinating new depths corporate America and federal America are plunging through.

This branches off rather cleanly into a topic I’m still pretty light on in day-to-day journaling here, and that’s politics. Check it: I used to think way on the side of “politics is something literal nerds study”. Nowadays I’ve come to realize that everybody in the world needs to be involved in politics, because everybody is effected by it. The good, the bad, the weird, ugly, vitriolic, educated, everybody.

I live in a system that is becoming increasingly malicious towards the people it serves. Kinda like EA back in 2008.

With that in mind, I have become nearly hyper-capitalist when it comes to making my own way. I feel like if I want something, I need to take it. This has led to a very strange, indescribable sensation of needing to be calculated and steps ahead of everything I do. Mind games have taken on a new meaning. I can’t just make action, I need to think of why and how to action. But it’s easier to be steps ahead when the opposition and end goal is clear.

If someone needs help that I can provide, I will provide it. But if I want to self-publish, no one else is going to do that for me. That’s actually in the definition of the phrase.

That’s the mentality I will carry into my political writings. I love other authors for their voices on matters of the sort, but I haven’t firmly placed myself on the side of “write it” until now. Even in art, the truth can be a very awful thing, and that’s a reality.

Yet there is still fun to be had in a place that takes itself slightly more seriously than it did yesterday. Even if yesterday’s “Trust” was very similar to things I read in Autumn House last year. To reiterate: definitely not depressed. But when I write these things I think about what I’ve been thinking lately. There’s a word for that, but I’m tired and can’t be bothered to look it up.

Man, we really went from waxing poetic to waxing poetic, didn’t we?

Right: I really don’t want to become a heavy-all-the-time super serious unfunny character on your screen as more of these come out. Worse blogs are more opinionated, but I’m always worried about how I’m represented. I’m much more humorous and loud in person.

Trust me.

So consume reality, all who read these words. Invest in yourself! You’ll get better returns than you will on $GPRO trading!

Moxie All I Need

Wildlands out there
On the horizon

Tempting to be trekked

I have all I need
To go exploring

If it doesn’t fit
In my backpack

I’ve made up for it
In moxie

I’ve got maps, a compass
And two flare guns

If I get into trouble
I only need one

For the rest I have
A radio, water, and MREs

If you need a knife
Just use one of these

Serrated, a straight edge
And one that folds

If you need a broadsword
I might even have one of those

I’ve got a tent, sleeping bag
Tinder and a lighter

An axe for chopping trees
And some rope to lash

So you see, this trail
Is nothing to me

What gear I don’t have
I make up for in moxie

Upheaval – Journal 8/15/17

Sunday came and went, the day for Mount Si. And I took three friends of mine up the switchbacks. It only took us 2 hours and 48 minutes for one of the people in our party developed severe leg pain and call it off. Not wanting to leave a man behind on the trail, we all turned around 700 feet from the summit.

Just as well. The one day this entire summer it wants to rain is August 13th.

I picked up everybody after waking at 6, overpacked and overprepared with maps and such, and we were in North Bend by 8:30. For those wondering, the path is very well marked and didn’t really make any of us fear of losing our way. Our party of 4 was passed by people full-tilt running up the trail with nothing but tiny Camelbaks on them.

Meanwhile, I came armed with all my camera equipment, snacks, plenty of water, a first aid kit, a waterproof jacket, and my notebook. “All my camera equipment” meaning my other lens and my tripod.

The first thirty minutes sucked, as my calves yelled at me for trying something such as this so early in the morning. After that, though, I was perfectly fine. The next few hours were spent gaining 2100 feet in a little over 2 miles.

Nothing to see. Nothing to see unless you were super into misty forests. The clouds were so low that they broke through the canopy and created this fog that stopped visibility at about 200 feet. Taking the camera was somewhat pointless.

When my friend did call it off, we began our descent. 15 minutes into walking down, the rain that had been hitting the canopy and making the temperature nice and tolerable finally punched through the trees. It started pouring and continued to the entire hour and 28 minutes back down to the trailhead.

Waste of a trip? Hell no! I enjoyed it. And more than that, I know I can do it now. After that first 30 minutes I had no difficulty whatsoever. What sucks is having that mark of an “Attempt” on Mount Si under the belt. No one wants to fail, not for any reason. Even if that reason is because someone in your party was on the verge of a stress fracture.

There’s always a next time. For now I have a couple of pictures of misty forest from the trip. And a growing personal vendetta against the mountain. I’ll summit that one soon.

And following Sunday, with the hike and with a work potluck meeting, I woke up at 3 AM with the urge to vomit. So I did. On and off for 6 hours until there was nothing left in my stomach but acid. Food poisoning? Overexertion? Who knows. I had to stick myself on the couch and live on a diet of sea salt crackers and Gatorade for a day. Being sick sucks.

Being sick when I was in elementary meant I happily got to stay home from school. Now? Now it means I miss work and social obligations. It goes without saying that I value those things much more than an elementary school education in California.

I woke up this morning pretty much all set to go. I’m sore as hell from the hike and my entire body is recovering from convulsing, but I’m good. I’m alive now. I made french toast, had coffee, shaved, and showered. Now I look good and feel good. That’s a lot better.

I’m listening to Solid Gold by Battle Tapes today, in between drafting poem upon poem. I’m back in action and the notebook I started on June 1st is set to be finished before summer’s end.

In the spirit of that, this excerpt is from “Nailbiter”:

“In an instant, your fingers can
become a bloody mess,
a mark of torn flesh until
the nails grow back again.”

Well I think that’s it for me. I have to get to going on my day and feeling better and all that stuff. Go take a listen to Solid Gold and have a lovely Tuesday!


Teeth of Olympia

Stand down
To the teeth
Of Olympia

Lay down
Like you’re becking
It’s call

Wind down
Feel the wind
On your face

You ain’t never
Felt a force
Like this

Come on now
And walk along
Its hilly tastebuds
Spectating its visage

Take pictures
Of its cavities
Admire its plaque
And bleeding gums

Gaze out
At the teeth
Of Olympia

Watch now
As its jaw
Clamps down

Fixed as its
Broken mountains
Eat the sun

You ain’t never
Felt a force
Like this

Poised to Kill Me Thermally

Dry blood and bone dust
Make up the sand and snow
On the slopes

Cold may dominate
But it isn’t without
The bane of bone marrow shards

Or stained glass smashed
Over boulders while it drifts
Down the purple rivers

And glacial giant ice

Nirnroots grow
From the macabre sand
And thrive in the snow

Every skeleton that once
Walked that trail up the
Mountain’s side

Was bleached white
All the same
And their bodies were left

To decay in the wind and
Sun and the water and
The blood shed by fleshy beds

Sinking into the snow
Made from thousands
Of other adventurers