The ghosts of these buildings visit me in my dreams.
And because of my sleep-state you can't hear my screams.
I tossed and lost all sign of the coast.
Land was a place where we wished to be most.

The beer that I drank filled my belly with pain.
The fog and the dog seemed to darken the lane.
And the ghost at the door from the pages of lore.
Sounded like Janis Joplin all drunk on the floor.

Awake and asleep both at the same time.
The morning all hiding like in commit of a crime.
When really awake in my head I did bake.
These easy oven visions and my peice of the cake.



I didn't include footnotes in my rant professor
whatcha think about that you young whore and tha lore that I shoot from my hip in the dark
is the beast in my heart , I let loose on a lark.
We went to a game and it turned into a battle
whatch thinks gonna happen when that trunk starts to rattle and prattle on endless like about why you got game
is the least you can do to just spraypaint your name.
You fell over hard and were not even pushed
whatcha thinks gonna happen when you get holda some bushed, not the kind in the house house on the hill that seems ill
is the last thing you think when you shoot straight and kill.

Does this have to do with the present or past
and could you repeat that thing you said last




Savior, messiah, maybe just good Samaritan, Jenny Cossey. This is only the first Jenny in this tale that serves in this capacity. I couldn't, wouldn't, rather not stay another night in the hostel but I would have to if it were not for the benevolence of Jenny. She's my good friend Jay's ex-girlfriend ala the last chapter. Kind of far removed for such a display of kindness.
I arrive at her house at 129 Clayton Street for a dinner that will determine my immediate future. Jenny lives alone but has invited some friends over for this evening meal inspection. She has agreed to let me stay in her flat for one week if we get along. I know its more whether or not she feels safe with me. Jenny is beautiful and richly smart. She has invited her friend Erin over and she arrives right after me. We need courgettes for the pasta that Ms. Cossey is preparing. Erin and myself, that's myself that is, go down the hill to the Haight Street to the community grocer for the courgettes. She is a tall beautiful affable soul and she sets my mind at ease. Not that she's trying to set me at ease, neither do I think I show signs of needing to be coddled. Her demeanor however makes me feel reinvigorated in that I've taken such a bold and foolish leap of faith. The night is enveloping the world.
Erin tells me that, "This city's great, it either opens itself up to you or spits you out."
I wonder what will be my fate.
The dinner goes swimmingly and we play some board games afterward, Balderdash or something of the like. Jenny tells me that I can stay for one week. I am overwhelmed, I thank her and ask if its okay if I just stay the night and collect my things from the hostel in the morrow. She says that's cool and my way seems paved.
In the next few days, there in the comfort and hospitality of Ms. Cossey, reality sets in and seems to weigh down on me like a medieval torture. "Add another stone," say the fates, "he will give up soon." Searching on the internet for jobs to work and rooms to rent. Walking the streets of this new town, my new home. The fog and the cold. The park and the beach. High up on Haight. Lot's of time alone. I don't really even know anyone 'cept for Jenny and her dog.
A little desperation sets in. I had imagined I could at least secure a room to rent within a weeks time. It dawns on me though that I don't have a job or any verifiable source of income. This minor detail might make me a less attractive candidate for a possible roommate. Bad equation to workout too late.
There are, I find, hordes of young people trying to secure new diggs in this city of change and of transience and of possibility and all right there before the fall. I am invited to an open house. Some nouveau riche yippies have completely refurbished an already great flat. Saltillo tile and mauve textured walls, some marble splashes her and there and an updated fireplace, luscious. The event is like a party with a lot of candidates and losers. Not conventional losers, only losers by the fact that the room up for grabs is only one. One storage-esque space right off the kitchen. A room that is an afterthought really, no tile no marble no mauve, only white. Bare wood walls and barely enough room to lay down diagonally. The selling point, roof-top access, oh and extremely posh, proper, oh and beautiful, roommates. Three roommates all fabulous. And the winner's room was indeed once the pantry. All for the low low price of 750 a month. American dollars. But that is the state of Babylon at this time.
Do you want to stay here or not? Look at all the other candidates politic - ing. You better get busy if you want to stay here in Babylon boy. And then the desperation changes its modus from a slow weight to a sudden crash.
I leave the "open house" dejected. Tough life this one. I return to an empty flat that's not my own with a six pack of Anchor Porter. I watch TV, I drink the beer, I fall asleep, alone, far from home.



Red and Blue Butterflies

Did you just see that little red pill roll across the floor?
Nope I did not see that dear and I think thats whats more is that it isn't even there my dear.
But I could swear that I just saw a little red pill roll across the floor.
Qouth the Elwyn Never more.
and I think I didn't tell you That I was seeing little red and Blue Butterflies my dear.
Oh how very queer.



Would you rather build up a tolerance


develop an antidote?



You Can't Do That

"I'm moving to San Francisco"
chorus: "Oh you can't do that."
"Why Not"
chorus: "Its too expensive"
"But what about all the throngs of poor people that live there, I think I can do it"
chorus: "But there's all those Gays"
"So the fuck what, I have lot's of Gay friends"
chorus: "You Homo lover you should be ashamed of yourself, besides how will you ever find a job"
"How will I ever find a job here? I think I can find one out there in my field"
chorus "What's your field?"
"Video and Film"
chorus: " You should move to LA"
"I don't want to move to LA, I don't like LA, I want to give up my car and move to San Francisco"
chorus: "Give up your car are you crazy, how will you get around"
"Bike, Bus , Train, they have great public transport out there"
chorus: "That sounds dangerous, aren't you scared"
"No you are the one that's scared, stay here and languish in your lifechoice of safety and security
I'm moving to San Francisco"
chorus: "Oh you can't do that."


Bay to Breakers

And the setting sun lengthens the shadows in Union Square. And Babylon fights the darkness with its neons and streetlights and they all point skyward. I can find no one in the Hostel with whom to hit the town and have a hoot-a-nanny. So I buy a big Newcastle and settle into the TV room where there are posters of movies that had been filmed in San Francisco all Steve McQueen, Hitchcock, and Eastwood flicks. I turn in early and the sleep of death is warded off by the power of anticipation and the stench of rotting old buildings.
Tuesday is day two here in the big city for the young man from Lubbock. I don't have a phone or an address and yet I want a job. The least I can do is get a phone. I go down to market street in search of a Sprint store. I walk for what seems like miles but I think my weariness lies the lack of good sleep and the hardness of the pavement. I find a place to buy a phone and sign a contract. I choose the least expensive phone because it is the largest model they have in the whole store. Mobile phones in the year two thousand have become remarkably and rather absurdly small. It seems as if soon people will just be holding microchips up to there domes and talking out into space like a society of schizophrenic communicators. By just after noon I have secured a phone and updated my resume to reflect my current number. I check into an internet cafe and review the job listings on a site I have been told about called craigslist.org. Turns out that craigslist will become my life line to jobs, apartments, laughs and lovers. A couple of jobs catch my eye although I am probably under qualified for both of them. I decide to spend the rest of the afternoon doing some exploration.
I assemble my bike again for the fourth time in five days. I keep having to take it apart for various safety and alternative methods of transport reasons. I find a map that is far superior to my tourist map. The map can be purchased from the hostel for two dollars fifty. I decide that I will try to ride to the beach from my downtown position, it doesn't look far on the map. This map however doesn't display elevation and I have no idea yet about the best route to avoid hills. I am not prepared for the steep climbs that many of these streets present and so I often have to get off the bike and walk beside it dumbfounded at the newness of all the things around me.
Once I get past civic center with all its filth and stench of urine and its seedy under tones and over throwns I settle into the much more neighborly area of Hayes Valley. Slowly commercial turns to residential and my nerves calm a bit. This is my first look at streets that will become so very familiar. One day soon I will haunt these streets late into the black of the night. Riding now Past Hayes Valley and into Western Addition. Left and down to the Panhandle and the cool breeze and the towering eucalyptus trees. I find the term Panhandle comforting because it is the name of the region in Texas where my silly life took shape. Awestruck I feel as I ride my ride of freedom and destiny. I admire the architecture so and even in death I will be able to feel the cool Pacific breeze. Now Golden Gate Park with its austere museums, hidden groves and leisurely lakes. I have been to this park before and I ride by the Japanese Tea Garden which I had visited in my scouting report. Where I had sat about a month before with my Russian liaison and discussed what I really want from life and thought of my fortune which had read "Stop looking for happiness
for it is right beside you." I had interpreted that to mean the city itself. And on down the hills and the long sullen stretches of the outer park to the beach where sea turns to sky and where my body comes to rest.
It is now late in the afternoon, my lungs and legs breathe hard from the ride. I call my grandmother from my new mobile phone. I tell her of the beauty all around me and I tell her of the triumph of my spirit. Most folks back home think I'm crazy and they all had occasion to tell me why I shouldn't make it even this far and how even if I make it as far as I am, standing here on Ocean Beach, that I will surely and inevitably fail for various reasons. All I can think about is how each man must measure success by his or her own standards. The sun starts to sink low and the sand starts to get cold under my feet.
When I return to the Hostel I call my friend Jay. He is in Portland and had tried living San Francisco earlier this year but didn't like the vibe very much. He offers to call his ex-girlfriend and ask her if I can stay with her for a while. This is my first big break. I call him back later and he has talked to her. She says just to give her a call and Jay gives me her number. I thank him profusely. He tells me her name is Jenny and she is really cool so it should work out.
So I call Jenny, this complete stranger, friend of a friend, and ask politely if I can stay with her for any length of time. She tells me to show up for dinner at 7 o'clock the following night. She explains that if we get along OK I can stay with her for one week. As I hang up the phone, now the payphone at the hostel, I feel a sense of elation. Although it is only my second night there the hostel begins to seem like my own personal prison, but only the first that I would concoct in by time between the Breakers and the Bay there in Babylon.




Excuse the inquisition, but you've taken the position of somone who knows up from down and right from wrong
Is that why you play your tragic song to the tom tom beats and that fucking gong
But don't be long, don't make us wait for the reasons that you've left your home
In a land where they say that a godhead does provide the means to your fantastic crome
Your ride, whether it be truck or motor cycle or the wrought iron madness of an uncle named clyde
So get it through your dome that you've gone astray young lad, and your dreams will start to fade
And the decisions that you've made will tear asunder that hopes and plans that you thought so care fully you had laid
of mice and men...
where and when.




double word irony ~ a phrase I use to refer to an incident whereby something nominal from your past reoccurs in your present. Or if your present isn't right now then your future. Double word ironies cannot be planned for they have to be arranged by the fates.

In the Art School at the University of Texas my focus was a department called Transmedia
when I moved to San Francisco after school I landed a job at a place called Transmedia

things that make you scratch your proverbial head and go
"Hmm, ain't that a coincidence."


Free Fall

So there I am on the CalTrain, bike, bag, hopes, dreams, and that dash of fear that the reaper gave me. The CalTrain goes North form San Jo. to San Francisco. And all the little stops on the way surprise me, Palo Alto, Redwood City, Belmont, San Mateo, Burlingame, San Bruno, South San Francisco, Brisbane. Never before had I been to these places or even seen their names on a map or sign. So there I go on my way to a great unknown.
In San Francisco I have precisely nothing. To be more specific, no friends, no job, no place to live and only one vague contact. As the train approaches 3rd and King, last stop on the line for SF, I am in a real fury of anticipation. I have been to this area before on a road trip and had stayed in a great hostel in the Marina District, the one that's in old Fort Mason. I know that International Hostels has another joint down town. I have a vague idea of where it is, in a city I know precisely zilch about. The Hostel is on Mason street rather than in Fort Mason. Now this is the first double word irony that we encounter in this tale. There will be more so pay attention.
The day is sunny and fair. It is one of those incredible Indian Summer October days that grace the bay area. I get off the train, try to orient myself with my inadequate tourist map, mount my bicycle and off I go falling freely towards what, I don't know. I'm South of Market and I have something like seventeen hundred dollars on my person. I am riding in the direction that I think I should go, just trying to look natural and right at home. I'm not a tourist because I have abandoned my home in Texas in favor of this more liberal climate. And although I don't actually have a place to stay yet I consider myself a resident of the bay area. I get to Market and go left but not far enough. I start heading North on Stockton and finally decide I have gone too far in the wrong direction when I get to Chinatown. So I go west a couple of blocks trying to find Mason. I'm tired and I'm lost but I don't want to get off my bike and start looking at the map for fear of being spotted as someone who is lost and looking at their map. And I'm not actually lost I'm just overwhemed by the city and I'm feeling like a fish out of water.
I ride around for at least an hour not wanting to ask direction and not wanting to really study the map. When I get really caught up in a bunch of Union Square shoppers and have to get off my bike for fear of collision I rally the courage to ask a nice lady if she knows where I can find Mason St. She points me in the right direction and I finally find the Hostel I am looking for.
I have never really spent any time in any old buildings like the one that houses the Hostel at Mason and Taylor. They smell funny, those old buildings. I get my room and I lock up my stuff and I feel a bit more free. I find a smoking room and I make the acquaintance of a nice fellow about my age named Owen from Ohio, or just Owen. We converse. He tells me he's been searching for a job for weeks and has been unsuccessful. This is discouraging but this is just one man's opinion. We go out to Union Square together and watch the all the people living their city lives and visiting this great Metropolis which I might often refer to as Babylon. The sun is quickly setting and my journey has just begun. One thing of note however is that the anticipation has subsided and has been replaced by solid glee and gripping fear of that which I know I can conquer.



What's up with that last Post ~

Uh, what is up with that last post?
Try this one.
Noooo promises.

Seeming to rest on the laurels that were rumoured to be genetic.
Basically running at a patient pace because thats the way it goes.
Not really slowing down in the mind or in the fear of the minutia.
Those little things that need to get done, in a timely manner.
Realizing that there is no due cause based in reality for fearing the mundane.
Perhaps an intrusively improved attitude might help manage,
the fear that is. Alone, lonely, here or there, fear creeps up, right up onya.
Lessen of course you maintain senses done been cleanses, and sanctified.
And vigilance and reigning in of foolish pride.
Remembering not to always try to rhyme.

nope not much better..................



Man my thoughts be on the meander, on the long way home. I forgot where I was supposed to be and I forgot what I was supposed to know.
So, I could tell it like this. I've been to many far flung spots around the terra we call the globe. But thats macro and I'm talkin about minute bro like a matrushka on a death roll down to the west go. Thats where I went.
Way out west where I swear the life that is the best does reside and abide to life in time in rythm with the tide.
There exist enclaves of life and style and deed and thought. They coagulate, they gather together, they find and initiate their fellows, with an impressive socialized and antagonized the massive the hypocrite-ical, you know, the labor of the bellows.




"Like a Sailor bustin into a Brothel."

Just workin on my down home sayings.
Not too shabby? eh?




One day I woke up in San Jose. I was in an unoccupied dormroom unit in what is commonly called the I-House. Or if you're not into the brevity thing the International House. Please all you hecklers can just forget about 'of Pancakes' its been done to death. I don't live in San Jose or even in California so these circumstances were at least nominally unusual. I had been retrieved at the San Francisco airport the day before by my Russian liason and her American, truck owning, cohort who went by the name of Ben. I had brought two bags and my bicycle, which had to be disassembled and put in a box. We had 'partied' well into the night and I was feeling a touch of the old hang-over. Mouth felt like carpet somewhat shagged. This was the day in which I would reassemble my bike and head by my lonesome into the city of San Francisco to make a new life. I readied myself for my journey. I think it was Monday which is a bad omen in Russian superstition. Never begin anything on a Monday they say.
I readied myself in the common bathroom. I wished I had shower sandals. Common baths in dorms are breeding grounds for the most virulent fungal colonies known to man. I paired my belongings down to really only what I would need and stuffed all of that into one bag. One bag that I could carry on my back so I could ride my bike. I was a little nervous. While I readied myself my Russian liason had sorted out directions to the Caltrain station. The Caltrain runs from San Jose up the peninsula to San Francisco. I would have stayed in San Francisco proper to begin with but I did not have a contact there. No friend, no job, no place to stay. I was confident. I knew that within two weeks I would have that town by the tail. In two years it would have me by the tail. I would in fact have to knaw my tail off in order to escape.
I got my bag ready said my goodbyes to my Russian liason and the other friends I had made at the I-House and I hopped on my bike. Sometimes life is better when you're riding blind. And when you realize that, you come to the understanding that in truth you're always riding blind. No matter how much time and effort you put forth on thinking about, seeing into it, or just wondering what the future will be like, its almost always different. Not all divergences being equal that is. It was a sunny and fair day in silicon valley as often is the case. I mistakenly took this for a good omen. I rode past the University, into downtown, into bad neighborhoods and to the train station. Bike, check, bag, check, hopes and dreams, check.
My main point of anxiety at this juncture was the correct procedure for boarding the train with a bicycle. I didn't want to be spotted as an alien right away. That was the kind of thing I wanted to carefully unfurl in casual conversation.
"Hi whats your name?"
"Mine's Matthew, where you from?
"oh California you say, I'm from Texas," and so on and so forth.
I spotted another passenger waiting for the end of the line train with bicycle in tow. I decided to follow his lead. He went to the front car and put his bike in the obvious 'for bikes' spot. I struck up a conversation with this dude. He was a professional bicycle racer and he was just cruising around Cali on vaca. He made me feel small and unimportant, later I realized irt was just his skill at bravado. I would encounter many more human like this on my journey through Babylon.



Some days are slow. You can let your mind wander and your heart be free. However in the luxury of the slow days, time seems to pass like molasses in January. And its only the first day of October.