framework & fretwork


just t he f/acts

para//ax e

margin all i a

When I said that I lived in a shanty house in the hood, I failed to mention that I lived in a shanty house in the hood, with spiders. The one thing I am prejudice against is spiders. This prejudice is based solely on the merit of their looks: I don't like the way they look, and it is the last thing I want to live with, although I have gotten better by necessity. When I first moved in, I assessed the nationalities of spiders represented, and inwardly did my freakout dance, and did a little chant thru the house, opening and closing cupboards and walking swiftly around the see-saw floor, over and over, that "I lived here," and that we would "live in harmony together" … preferably where I couldn't see them, thus the big-footed dance to accompany the chant. I studied an illustrated book on spiders. Did you know they have 4 sets of eyes? Eight in total! This is totally a freakout detail! A spider can see in front, back and both sides, at the same time! It is a little army patrol unto itself, and are probably sensitive to being squished, in that, they can see it coming. Some spiders are Rangers and they get up on their front legs, to see better to hunt their prey. I would see them on my ceiling, skate a few quick spidey feet, and then lift up on their front legs to see across the (relatively) vast ceiling, find an imaginary aim (as there was no food that I could see), and quickly spider after it. I think it is the smooth and swift skating movement of 6 legs that freaks me out, too. Six legs with 8 Eyes!!! combined with speed freaks me out!

After I stuffed the open spaces around the windows with fabric, did my clompy walking chant for a week of days, I sat comfortably as could be in my wooden rocking chair in the living room and read a book, and a spider plopped on my forearm. Reflexively, I swiftly blew it off, thinking aloud, that This is Not the kind of Harmony in Living Together I Had in Mind! Over time, after stuffing the open area of windows with fabric, I saw less spiders, however, a total country bumpkin spider came in thru the chimney, walking towards me, yellowish and jaunty legged and slowly like it had all day to tip its hat and make its way thru the back 40 of the clunky carpet, and offer me a mighty fine, warm and welcome, Country "Hello!"  I believe I dispensed of its well wishing. I honestly don't remember, just that it came in thru an "open door" I hadn't foreseen as an entrance, and I was chagrinned at seeing it coming right at me, even if it was slow, low, and unsightly.

One summer, I worked in the front yard under the auspices of the manifestation of bugs that fell from the sky in orange-yellow crescent-shaped larva. I had a job making $100 an hour sewing shade tarps the size and shape of an industrial building for a pvc pipe manufacturing company that needed to store the pipes out of the sun, as the sun broke down the pvc and it was less expensive to make an industrial sized tarp the size of an industrial sized building than an industrial sized building. The yard was big, like a small gymnasium, and I moved my industrial sewing machine into the yard, and would sit under a large elm tree near center and sew, surrounded by 1000 sqf-plus of shade tarp at any given moment, hoisting each foot into the sewing machine with full bicep and body curls, occasionally tromping high steps to readjust a 4 foot high mound of fabric in front or in back of the machine, and rippling out in a 50 ft radius. I worked from 6-10 am, as it was too hot to sew later in the day, as elm bug larva fell on me from the tree overhead, and squished juicily in school bus yellow under my fingernails and spotted my faded denim shorts permanently with bug juice. I relegated the spotted shorts that I worked in as "bug pants" and put the same pair on and took them off each day. On occasion an elm bug would fly by, and land on the shade tarp, right in front of the presser foot of the sewing machine, unerringly where I could foresee its demise. Being kind, I tried to scoot it away with my fingertip before the crushing inevitable, and it shat tobacco juice out its back end for this thoughtful gesture. This happened several times for me to get the gist that the nature of this bug was sentient enough to not want to be bugged, even if it was short-sighted. I don't believe I squished an elm bug under the presser foot, but similarly suffered its amusing gesture as a means to an end in that if it wasn't one bug that came by to be bugged, shooting tobacco juice out its back end, it was another.

Once, I opened the door to go to work in the front yard, and the metal industrial sewing machine head had been lifted from the table. Of course, I needed the sewing machine (head) (positioned in the table and connected to the motor) to sew. I was instantly distressed and a little jumpy, as I went to the sewing machine table to take a closer look. The heavy metal head was gone, however I generally sew with a bonded nylon thread that holds 10 lbs per stitch and immediately found I was able to to follow this thread... around the block … to my machine head in the gutter with blood on it. Industrial sewing machines are indestructible, and they are heavy, as in really heavy I might get a hernia heavy if I am not concerted in my body awareness while I am moving it heavy. Some drunk petty pincher probably thought he could easily poach my machine head without self-inflicting repercussion. I twinkled at the thought of karma, brought the machine back and cleaned it up, and purchased a thick chain, extra-largely for show, as the chain securing the machine and table together could solidly be rendered from the most non-astute passerby on the street. 

At the end of the street was a laundromat. I recall hot days washing laundry, with a constant buzz in the air, of dutiful machinery, cross-referencing the probability of the people and languages that interloped there. There was an african american man absorbed in reading a Playboy, while seated in a plastic seat, purposely unaware of the world around him. ( I may be projecting that he was purposely unaware, on purpose). I sat across from him, and watched the back of his magazine among other things, and thought,  in the heat and haze of the afternoon, perish the thought, he wouldn't know what to do with a live woman if she sat down in front of him.

Up the street was a book shop slash scooter repair place. It wasn't positioned as a "store" so much as an industrial living-workshop-building on the side of the road; a cementitious unfeathered perch, bequeathed to the current occupant by his father, and utilized in current form as his solitary domain. Initially, I only discovered it was a used bookstore because of a shiny scooter outside that caught my eye. The owner had a pit bull that felt more like it was his mate. He watched John Wayne movies in black and white on his tv and enticed me to go on a scooter ride with him. I could have my own scooter, and we buzzed and hummed loudly thru the adjacent parking lot of a mall nearby. We talked of ways to make scooters faster. I think he enjoyed my company. I got the impression he didn't get out much, outside of the concrete rectangle with metal shop-shelves of books, the personal size tv, that you can view from an upside down bucket, and a pitt bull, like an ugly but loving, and therefore loyal, lover. He had soft bedroom eyes that looked like they got tired of weeping with no residual moisture and were a little bugged-out like his pitt bull, and interstices of furrows stacked on his forehead for worrying about things that perhaps his worry alone couldn't change. (I am thinking in reflection, this could be what happens with only the world of John Wayne as your reflection). At some point, I just didn't want to relate anymore, scooter rides or not, so I didn't go back. I did pick up a used book though while I was there, and it was Castaneda's Power of Silence. Ironically, the title spoke to me. It gave me words for something I already knew in my experience, and I was fascinated with my new find, also with the power of words to define, add clarity, grasp and behold knowing, in a way. It also taught me about other ways of knowing, perhaps, even the nature of knowing.

Around the corner was 7/11, and I marveled that 7/11 was making a simulated bright entrance around every corner of this "prosperous" urban utopia, as far as the eye could see, and that it was more profligate or prodigious than all churches, no matter the faith, combined. As I exited the store with a muffin at dusk, a car backed up aggressively towards me, as a young, wiry and tall man ran out of 7/11 with a case of beer in both hands. I was standing between the running man with the beer and the back of the get-away car. Without thinking, he solved the problem of my apparent obstruction by ramming into me with the case of beer. Handily, automatically, and quite naturally, I was now embracing the case of beer by the handles, with my spongey muffin riding on top. The man fled into the car without the beer, and as I looked into the back of the car, there were 3 men in the back seat angrily and vociferously staring back at me self-righteously, as if I stole something from them. They reviled me with all their stationary might. It took me a moment to think if I should or shouldn't leave a memento, and that would be to crush the case of beer hardily on the back of their vehicle inches from me, to give them something longer lasting to stew about, but they sped off, so I returned the beer to the clerk that was already out the door. He thanked me heartily and in a flurry and gave me ice-cream for free, and I noticed that my muffin was totally unharmed as I reflected that I held the case of beer by the handles, and the muffin on top. (I suspect this is an odd detail to relate in the overall scheme of things, but it was important to me at the time and I took note and felt like a handy smarty pants, preserving my perfect muffin for me to enjoy in all this overworked ruckus).

Once I decided to run to 7/11 at 11 o'clock at night to get ice-cream. The fact of the matter is, for anyone that knows me, the "once" I am referring to is not eating the ice-cream. I decided to run to 7/11 because it was late at night and I lived in the hood, and it is so natural to my form I take if for granted: I like to run in the way I wouldn't think to ask "Why Walk?" when I can run! On the way back from 7/11, I ran back with Ben & Jerry's in a small brown paper bag. I was pulled over by a cop for running on the sidewalk. Incredulously, as I saw the lights on the car flashing and registered that they were for me, I manually down-shifted and my body came to a stop, but kept the motor running. The cop wanted to inspect what I had stolen. I remarked that I had the store brown bag it first! She didn't have a clue, and it was written all over her face with a can't-come-to-grips expectation of me. This didn't stop her from approaching me with caution, suspicion, and curious and sustained Authority, even after the fact of the brown paper bag. Thankful to be on my way, and hoping I wouldn't be harassed any further if I turned my back, I merged into traffic that wasn't there, and headed for home.

On the road to modest self-expression I made a concerted purchase, in that I thought about my desire and expenditure for black 20-hole lace up Dr. Martens. I was aware that the skinheads also wore these exact boots. I decided I liked the boots for my own reasons, no matter the skinhead or KKK reference in the locale. I wore these boots one day with shorty-shorts, big blonde hair, and a Cross Colours red, yellow, and green stripe zip-up top made of a sturdy canvas material I found at a discount store. Cross Colours is a brand promoting racial harmony by making "Clothing Without Prejudice" which appears on every garment. The top I was wearing had a Cross Colours patch sewn on it, conspicuously promoting the brand and message. I came around the corner from 7/11 and there is a group of African Americans standing in a circle talking and relating, and when they saw me, they stopped short and I was given the ominous, unflinching and big-nostril stare of impending death as I walked by, wondering what they were looking at.

I went home disconcerted, because no group of people had ever stopped whatever they were doing and given me the look of unmitigated eradication. I thought about it, what they might be seeing, and "Oh, I get it!" They think I am a mish mash of verbal and nonverbal communication, a contradictory walking statement, a didactic dichotomy? Then I thought further, and realized that when I think about it,  this made sense to me to dress this way without thinking because this is the way I feel about  the caucus of the "blacks," like the caucus of the "feminists," like the caucus of the legal system, i.e. the people that "protect the people, under, twitch-twitch, God"… that simply upholds the wardrobe of community values and pacifist membership to prominently point the finger (so as to not be pointed at). I also realized I had unwittingly stalked and caught my self, Castaneda style, and put a promiscuous notch in my belt of self knowledge.

tax man that didn't pay the irs + model apothecary


conspiracy mountain men/ invite

brick thru window / bust because he is a romantic

chasing my stolen bike with a bounty hunter from argentina

cop / vagrant peeing on my lawn / priority

trench coat guy / can't go straight home

grocerys / pretty little thing / loudest confidence

upholstery guy

sewing machine / coke kiss

feel the echo of silence because it has been that way a long time

apparently tripping thru this world

foiling the bead heist

everybody knows me / like the guy that wears 20 hats / i didn't know

parole baby sitting service and the flying finger,  xubrnt fiasco

performance art catalog

all i have, save the ground i stand on / people were once the land


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