Crater Lake, The Redwoods, Portlandia, Crescent City …

We’ve been on the road. I met Bonnie Jo’s friend Eric in Portlandia and we three hit the highway. There have been many miles covered. I’m going to post a selection of photographs here of that section of the trip. High points were the redwood trees, seeing elk, going to crater lake (astounding) writing whilst in motion, staying in lots of working class or industrial areas and really getting a feel for them, saying hello to grifters, a man doing the peace sign to me as we flew by, we’re still in motion and it’s hard to blog anywhere near it all but this will give a feeling of the last part.

 

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The Merry Prankster

So we hit this amazing place to stay when visiting Ken Babbs. It was on a logging road and it had a cat called Freeloader, a dog called Jude (who was found wandering in LA) and another dog called Tito, who was found wandering Nashville. Those dogs were so good to me. There were chickens in the yard, a great greenhouse and when we arrived the stars were so clear. Ken met us in a car park to drive us up there and he said we were lucky to get such a clear night. It was so beautiful and dramatic! The place we were staying had a store room full of homemade chutney, jams, pickles all labelled and organic. There was a great artist living in the small yurt by the house, her name is Sohaila and I got into the habit of making us a breakfast of berries and a boiled egg. I’ll post some of her artwork up later.  The next day we were going to visit Ken Babbs at his farm. The countryside was so beautiful, I understand why people want to live there. Babbs (for anyone who doesn’t know) is a famous Merry Prankster who wrote the book Last Go Round with Ken Kesey, among a whole lot of other things. Babbs took part in the Acid Tests and he also helped fly and found the infamous bus Further. Babbs is incredibly funny, he’s sharp, not in it for approval and he has little time for negativity. When he laughs he could be any age and the man is fit and strong and seizing it. It was inspiring and fun to hang out with him. He made us burritos with his super cool wife (who I had a great chat with — she’s a writer as well) and his amazing daughter Elizabeth, between them they offered us a wee bit of home for the day. Ken took us over to his good friend Ken Kesey’s place and it made me think for the first time about how cool it would be to share the page with someone, to understand and respect someone else’s intellect and artistry enough to go on that journey together. I think there’s was a one-off kind of friendship and life, extraordinary, challenging and yet still with that position of being outsiders and understanding sometimes that is the best space for an artist to maintain, whether it be through politics or being a rube or a revolutionary, I don’t say that lightly either, my upbringing made me other without my consent and I have mostly kept that path and all the interesting artists I know have too, but also, friendship, community, conversation, laughter, argument, anarchy, sadness, fear, loss, beauty — those are the human things we need to share on the road. Ken made the kind of jokes and told the kind of stories that made me laugh so hard due to their wit, unexpectedness and deadpan dark humour too. I won’t repeat them because I don’t think its polite to quote someone who has invited you into their home and I will only post a few photos of us out in the yard on the way to the bus. I felt like we’d joined Ken on the bus, that he was still on the bus, that we are all of us on the bus, that sometimes we hitch a lift on someone else’s and they offer us a different view and when we get back on our own the way we see things has changed. I’ve always known about the Merry Pranksters, or since I was a teenager at least, they were a counter culture force in a time of great motion and change and we need that image of those amazing poets, thinkers, trippers, stoners, dressed up in all their finery and strange and brilliance, all the little kids that watched that bus fly through their town, all the people that heard about it, talked about it. I loved seeing the bus. Both of them actually. They are iconic designs and the history of the original bus is palpable, it is truly a thing of beauty and I’m so glad it wasn’t all restored and shiny, that would not have even true to its soul at all. History begins and somewhere out there in the cosmiverse two young men are still sat side-by-side, one scribbling, one typing. In the fall of 1958, Babbs took a writing class at Stanford with a young Ken Kesey. Babbs didn’t take a straight route to freedom. He was a marine. He was in the Vietnam war. He has lived. He struck me as archetypically American, tough, a bit lawless, seeking and writing the narrative anew. This is a man who is living! He has nine kids. He is vital. He’s still very much in motion. Babbs and Kesey formed the Merry Pranksters together. It was described as a Happening something that just occurs!  The most famous happening was when they saw a “revamped school bus” in San Francisco, pooled their money, bought it, and named it Furthur. Babbs was the engineer and he also did the sound systems for the Trips Festival. Babbs’ sorted out the the sound systems that usually distorted when cranked to high levels because of cement floors at Longshoreman’s Union Hall (where the Trips Festival was). He made sound amplifiers that would not create distorted sounds when turned up to high sound levels. How many of us are thankful for that in clubbing days. The Happening linked the psychedelic tribes from west and the east. The east tribe had Timothy Leary. Babbs still plays music when he feels like it, Bonnie Jo met him at one of her readings, he is a man who spiralled out into the universe at some point and who may always have that little sheen of stardust on him. He made us burritos. They were mighty lovely. We swapped books and stories and it was a highlight of this road trip for me, its funny, outwith the landscapes there are so many great people on the road, extraordinary,  I feel like I was meant to meet them along the way, it all makes sense somehow. Babes has been quoted saying he wants younger and future generations to carry on “love, peace, and happiness; extended in practicality to the simple act of helping one another out, being kind and generous.” Babbs is promoting Ken Kesey’s book Kesey’s Jail Journal. He recently had a showing at an art gallery in Oregon to display his friends artwork. Viking Press brought his jail journal last November. The exhibit consists of all Kesey’s artwork during his lifetime. Babbs hopes that “this exhibit will tour the country and the rest of the world.” Babbs is also founder and leader of the Sky Pilot Club. He also recently published a novel based on his life in the armed forces during the first years of the Vietnam War, Who Shot the Water Buffalo? It was great listening to Ken and Bonnie-Jo talk about horses, the land, working it and maintaining it. We went to see the calf and their beautiful cow, she was great, had attitude to spare. We fed some old goats that are seeing out their days in a field nearby. Ken built his home and I loved that, the act of creating something — where before there was nothing — of making a home and filling it with people to love, and argue with, and hope for, those we want to travel through time with, to be sick with, to dance alongside. He made me my first blueberry buttermilk pancakes. They were lush. He’s a gent, with a wicked sense of humour, self and a sharp mind. I’m glad to have got on the bus and as I continue on this crazy journey across America, all around is motion, endeavour, trials, tribulations, and those particular moments that let us know we are living. We found out later that Ken Kesey’s grave is at the home farm where all those great hippies, characters, kids, lovers, and wanderers lived together in a unique time. We didn’t go to see it and only found out later that it was there. I lost my best friend five years ago, and she is never far from my heart or mind so I get it, why visit the soil when the things our friends have given us, like the art and literature and friendship of Ken Kesey to his buddy and partner in troubadour wandering are still very much a vital, present and important part of life. I want to keep looking into Ken Kesey’s later artwork. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest influenced me so much when I read it, I was only a kid and I read it again later and as a girl raised in care it spoke to me and in some ways (alongside A Clockwork Orange and The Color Purple) helped inform the first novel I would publish. Here’s some photographs. The star is in Ken Kesey’s living-room and the outside barn type building with the star is where he lived on the farm as well. We had to roll under the electric fence because we couldn’t remember the gate code, it added a tiny touch of danger to a day of blue skies.

 

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Truth no. 3

Share the road. Get off. Get someone else off. Walk along beside the road. Rollerblade it. Only travel a road it if takes you to the ocean. The truth has much to say. In San Francisco I see a man with a shopping trolley and no shoes, he has a huge white shaggy dog riding up in that trolley with big black eyes like Cleopatra. I meet a man who tells me I might get shot in LA. I meet a man in a bar who says he killed his wife. His parole officer would like his photo. I ask him without blinking what time the bands are on, it’s all I wanted to know comrade. When the truth makes eye contact I never look away. End your detour. The truth is Black Lives Matter. I arrive on 62nd and the sign above me reads — The Devil’s Here. The truth is gasoline. It’s a vestal lady. It’s raw. The truth is not penetrating. The truth is strapping itself on. It’s procrastination. The truth is vital. It’s controversial. The truth is not destroyed by madness. It’s angry. It has not even the vaguest time for hipsters. Where’s your manifesto? There’s no angels in Idaho. It’s time to Lay Down Your Arms. The tsunami is coming. Fuck Hate. One of these days will always be one of these days. These are the good old days. I tell the man who is irritated by my composure that it’s not my generations fault we were brought up as capitalist children, raised to think each interaction had a value based transaction, and despite that, this era is full of youth and venom and underrated genius’s or bastions of kindness – and all of them are extraordinary. I tell him to take his bitter pill and mix it with his tea. Don’t tell me what I am stranger. Truth is something you can’t tell on sight. Truth is not bone deep. The truth is having its 91st birthday. There’s so many homeless here I am dizzied. The truth is I see all of them as  children with eyes open and hopeful and haunting, I see them with long socks or brightly coloured balls, ignored or misunderstood by those who should love them. I see them unable. I see them vulnerable. I see them afraid. I see them defiant. I see them weary. I see them hungry. I see them with dignity and without dignity. I see their children selves in dirty old clothes. That man jumping on the sidewalk, kung-fu kicking the air. I want to bake him a cake and hold him and tell him a story but I’m a prickly person and the truth is I too know what it is to spend nights on streets — it’s a truth I don’t talk about but that doesn’t make it untrue. The truth is still Fuck Hate. Don’t divide me from other people with your ideas of division. My neighbour is me. My neighbour was hurt by my great, great, great grandfather and I am crying on the side of the street. The truth is golden. The truth is women. The truth is women writing. It’s not the truth that is writing women out of history — it’s something else señor. The truth is clitoral. The truth is a banned book. The truth is I don’t miss beatniks. The truth is naked. It steals time. The truth is literary. The truth is fearful. It is words. It is one thousand years-old today. It’s mono. It is a city of light. The truth is my camera is gone. I am the truth. The truth is sleeping on a sidewalk. If you find my truth, run it a bath and put it to bed, please.The truth is Underwoods. The truth is Redwoods. The truth is I went to the oldest trees on earth and they knew I was there and I spoke to them and they tolerated me but the truth is they’ve been walking so long and growing so tall and we humanoids to them are still so very disappointing. The truth is Miwi. The truth is I wasn’t in the room when he dedicated me a song. I’ll meet you in truth. It’s the only place I know. They say that Jesus was a beatnik but they also say he rose from the dead and we should drink his blood and eat his flesh. It’s disgusting. The truth is white people are not white, I’m reading about this truth in a book by Ta-Nehisi Coates. The truth is on the radio but the station is obscure. You seek it out. You go through the fuzz and hum and warble until it declares itself clear as the first call of a sparrow to dawn. The truth is ripped. It’s CND. It’s foggy. It’s debatable. It’s 20% of Americans believing we are being controlled by chem trails. It might not be 20% but the thought of it still pleases me. The truth is mind control. We are raised in institutions that teach us what to think and what to believe and we work in jobs that leave little time for thinking and loving and creating and being — the truth is human trafficking, it’s child abuse, it is domestic violence, it is poverty — there is nothing more truthful than poverty. The truth ignores me. I go to its door and hammer until it shouts out the fucking window at me. It’s a wage. It’s systemic, generational violence inflicted on the psyche and body and opportunities of people of colour. The truth is all colours are equal but some are more equal than others. The truth is that was an idea brought about by psychopaths. The truth is every child. The truth is  being surly. Every parent raising kids hans solo is the truth. The truth is lonely. Nobody’s defending it with guns or armies. The truth did not go to school. The truth does not endorse brainwashing, institutionalisation of any kind, or the taming of potential. The truth is emotional. The truth won’t make amends. The truth must be spoken. The truth is at the foundation and core of every building. The truth is we can’t take the truth. The truth knows what you did wrong. It’s a brake check area. The truth is divided. It’s a concrete washout. It’s shoulder is closed. The truth is calling. The truth is speeding but the cops won’t pull it over. The truth got pulled over and it gave a fake ID. The truth is somewhere in San Francisco there lays my camera but it is not with me. The truth brought my monsters flowers and invited them to love me. The truth is our earliest consciousness. The truth is shame. We’d figured it all out by 10.16. The truth is in your pocket. The truth is every day. The truth is psychic. The truth is upstairs. The truth is reading. The truth is vesuvio. The truth is the best girl in town. It’s a stinking rose. It’s a basque hotel. It’s a cold beer. It’s a floor show. It’s rats in the walls. It’s being unable to say to a stranger — I’m frightened — please hold me. The truth is desolation. It has never been to heaven. They put the truth in a museum but it’s only open from 1-3. The truth is you are magic. The truth is you are stardust. Your bones, your eyes, your cartilage, DNA, hair, pubic, facial, your tongue, your kiss, your touch, your slip and slide, your dreams, the low moan, the electrical charge of communication all around us every fucking day — this universe made us and we can’t fucking take it. The truth is gay. The truth is straight. The truth is trans. The truth has a femme daddy with tattoos of Israel. The truth is people of all faiths. The truth is  humans are a migrant race. The truth is welcome here. The truth is quiet but be certain you can get it here. The truth is local. The truth is strange. The truth is open Thursday – Sunday. The truth will see you by appointment. The truth transacts its business and leaves promptly. The truth delivers mood swings at ten minute intervals. The truth is my bones separated so I could deliver my baby. The truth is rats are not doing the fan dango. The truth is leopard sharks dying off in San Francisco bay. The truth is a young boy on the Bart with a tune to play, a tune to be heard, why can’t you hear him world, why can’t you see? The truth cannot park parallel. Neither can I. Except I can. The truth is bi-coastal. The truth is queer. I am queer as I am free, liking penises never changed that in me. The truth has currents. The truth is drowning. The truth is MNK 713 is the Cadillac for me. I couldn’t drive a gold Cadillac, are you shitting me? You’d have to paint it black and hang rosary’s from the mirror and even then I’d feel too exposed. The truth is demanding exposure. The truth has things to tell me. I dreamt of that big ear — I’m listening. The truth is a hauler. The truth has a sharp crest ahead and trucks are not advised. The truth is rain. The truth is great breaking waves. The truth is sharks with meningitis all over the bay. The truth is at a sidewalk sale. The truth is Balboa. The truth is simple. The truth is being gruel. The truth has priority mail. Live fast, the truth says, but it won’t come round to pick you up later. The truth is cops don’t trust me. The truth is they do. The truth is they drop by the apartment and they are so young and cute and I hope for them safety of some kind out there. The truth is bitter-strange. The truth is ugly-scared. The truth is anger. The truth is perversion. The truth is I need to like my lesser self a whole lot more. The truth is I am learning to not judge my imperfections, I salute my flaws on the crow road, I leave out whiskey for the demons, I draw them a beautiful banner to welcome them home, we waltz together on Mondays and knit together Tuesdays. The truth is Marlin Creek. It taught me how to shoot a Marlin. Everyone’s truth is more road than railway. The truth is 359 miles away. I’ll know the truth in San Francisco but it won’t know me until San Jose. Dorothy is waiting. She’s the bastard out of North Carolina. She’s the only kind of woman you really need to know. The truth won’t face the demon but it will bring you underwear. The truth is kids in care have few decent pyjamas. The truth is I left care with four black bin bags and a thimbleful of hope. The truth is razors in my brain. The truth is I’d rather see a whale than a forest. The truth is radar enforced. The truth is not a team player. The truth is a cathedral tree. The truth is interpretive. The truth is skunk cabbage. It’s ladybird Johnson. It’s my terror, it’s my tired. The truth is edebees. The truth is not for sale. The truth is cavernous. It is too big, too wide. Don’t forget the magic. The truth is beet. The truth is petuloma adobe. It’s mitochondrial. It’s seven sisters we came from. It’s speed enforced. It’s cigarettes afters sex. It’s the giants. It is he and it is she. It’s uterine. It’s a fox dog. It’s a tiny house. It’s racist room allocation. It’s a no stars motel with confusable geometry. It’s that I’m 7% British. I’m 27% Spanish/French. I’m a whole lot Northern Irish. I am in the world and I am being mostly me. A guy tells me he is only 50% my sexual preference and where will that get him. I tell him he is not my preference at all because he’s stupid. I am looking for a 100% soul mate. I’m not really looking. I really must kiss more toads. Bump up against more toads. I am so toad averse. I am a soul gone to seed. It’s olampali. It’s San Marin. It’s how I always head downtown to find my conversation. The truth is waiting. The truth sells haggis burritos. It’s a minor crash, no fatalities. It’s a husband who won’t come home tonight, or for all of time, it is a loss, a gaping, howling wind inside you and me. It’s nave drive. It’s the 2nd exit. It’s trailers and campers. It’s a gusty wind area. It’s Golden Gate bridge where a boy jumped to follow his mother, it’s knowing they will have to drag me from this earth kicking. As long as I can be here to love my son I will be and I will be and I will be and I will be. Even death won’t stop me because like the soul — love travels — outwith our mortal form. The truth has gone to the fairground. It rides the carousel all day. Wave to it, baby. It’s shining for you. It’s posing for a picture. It’s all around us. It’s linked to us as universe-is-to-universe. The truth is we are crazy islanders and the earth is our island and all of us feel abandoned here. The truth is we were always going to make up deities. We tried out capitalism but lately that’s been failing. The truth is fascism didn’t work out so good before. The truth is the least of our capabilities. The truth is at war. There is blood on all our fingernails. We try to scrub it off. The truth is men should never be a thing to be afraid of. The truth is some of my best friends have biological penises. The truth runs really fast. The truth is men need to stand by women on the long road home and say — ownership, via fear, of women and children, of boys and men, of all the utterly miraculous bodies that came here to house our souls — it has to stop. The truth is many of them already do but we need the whole fucking lot. The truth is belvedere. It’s tiburon. It’s mist on the mountain. It’s seminary drive. It’s Sausalito city. It’s exit 455a. It’s tired. It’s weary. We need to bring it home again. The truth is holding my hand. It doesn’t want to be so lonely. I followed the truth across the sea and like an old friend, it welcomed me.

Marijuana Social Lounge

On our way to visit a Merry Prankster we stopped off at several places for gifts. One of those was a high-end pot bar. I would rather have visited a low-end pot bar, just to see the difference. I think it is sensible that cannabis is legalised for all kinds of reasons. People don’t have to go to dealers. There could be a more open discussion about the potency of new hybrids, which often appear (I don’t smoke anymore) at least as strong as Class A’s and should come with appropriate information about what that can mean for smokers who suffer from anxiety, or depression. I wouldn’t smoke pot if you paid me now but I used to when I was younger and I think there is far too little open dialogue around the subject, especially in the UK. There are 420 marijuana lounges in Portland, Eugene and Oregon. You can also get marijuana on prescription, which I advocate even more. I have a good friend who has MND right now and cannabis oil has been invaluable in helping his body to cope with the pain and spasms brought about by this illness. It was a curious thing for me to see this on the road so I thought I would pass it around.

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I Fell in Love With Chicago, I’m Moving There in The Fall

So I went Chicago. The train on the way in from Michigan was so dramatic. The big iron/steel industrial wastelands outside the window were inspiring and told the story of people who lived and worked there. I was staying in the most amazing place (Bonnie-Jo’s lovely friend Sheryl was so sweet, left me a fridge full of treats and a killer view) and I was looking forward to meeting a very cool and interesting writer the next morning. Don De Grazia and his partner picked me up in their car and we headed downtown. Don is a gracious man, funny, smart, a real literary wordsmith and a proper Chicago native. He showed me around Northside, Southside and all the edges. We took the architectural tour on a boat and I really fell in love with Chicago out there on the water. There is something about the space, the streets, it feels very European. Each district is distinctively different. When the great fire happened most of Chicago burned down, there is a rumour the fire was started by some woman’s cow but quite frankly it’s slanderous and nobody can prove it. It is the largest city of the American Midwest, founded in 1830 and (as Carl Sandburg’s 1916 poem put it, “Hog Butcher, Tool Maker, Stacker of Wheat, Player with Railroads and Freight Handler to the Nation.”) A water transit hub, Chicago evolved into an industrial metropolis, processing and transporting raw materials from the sprawling hinterland. Originally the Miami, Sauk, Fox and Potawatomi tribes all lived in the area. I love hearing all the names that originate from the Native American people and I can’t help but hate modern America for what it took from the wisdom of the indigenous peoples and how much it could learn from that today were it only able to open it’s pulsing, forward moving, relentless, young and ferocious heart. This is a country in the process of becoming. It is inventing itself each day. Buildings are often not designed to last more than thirty years without needing re-roofed, or a lot of work done, the idea of forever seems absent. I’m not sure if it is in their dictionary. The truth is being elusive. I feel an instantaneous energy and I have met good, good people everywhere. I’m currently in a tiny town called Crescent City, very industrial, working-class, fishing town with seals and sea-lions and redwood trees and the locals say hello when you walk by them, I hold a lot of value in that, more of this later. In October 1871, a fire destroyed one-third of Chicago and left more than 100,000 homeless. They still don’t know what started it (this Mrs. O’Leary’s lantern-kicking cow story is sketchy but entertaining), but the fire was probably always going to happen, fuelled by drought, high winds and wooden buildings. The factories and railroads were mostly okay, and the city rebuilt with astonishing speed. By the late 1800s Chicago grew as a national retail centre and produced a crop of brand-name business tycoons, including Philip Armour, George Pullman, Potter Palmer and Marshall Field. In 1885 Chicago gave the world its first skyscraper, the 10-story Home Insurance Building. In later years architects Louis Sullivan, Mies van der Rohe and Walter Gropius all added to the city skyline. In 1893 Chicago hosted the World’s Columbian Exposition, which drew over 20 million visitors to its “White City” of plaster Gilded Age buildings built on former bogland beside Chicago’s south lakefront. A huge Trump building dominates on the riverfront. I continue to wonder about this emperor with his love of shiny things and this persistent feeling that he spends his mornings chopping off the heads of reason, decency and intellect. I went along to Lumpen Radio and had such a great chat with the guys there. One of them works for a local library and among other things they put on punk gigs (in the library) and tarot readings. I love how much the libraries over here are fighting to keep communities together. I will post a link to the show later. It goes out to a lot of the areas of Chicago with projects and poverty. This city has so many communities on the periphery of all this wealth and potential. So, I spoke really openly about my own background in care, time in homeless hostels, how the word for me has been weapon, saviour, tool, solace, entertainment, evolution and reason. How lately I feel I have to be more open about that than I ever have done before. If people like me cannot fight the machine — if I cannot use my space to say — it is possible to reclaim the narrative of who you are, it is possible to be both a kid from the streets, a poet, an academic, an intellectual and a punk and none of those things have to be exclusive, and they all have space to enhance each other — if I cannot stand up and do that now, then what does that say about where I come from and how much love I have for anyone who stands up for what they believe in especially when it feels (and is often the case) that the whole system is against them? The system is at peak glutton, bloodthirsty for further devastation of communities rich with human life and potential and sparkle and promise. The extreme periphery is where I come from. I stand alongside those communities, fist raised, pen poised, heart open. So, I digress. I fell a little in love with Chicago. I’ve been on the road since then, Portland, crossed into California, I will do 359 miles over the next two days (by road) to hit San Francisco. Bonnie Jo and I went to Ken Babb’s place the other day. We  had a Merry Pranksters vacation from the strain and it was funny, real, true, inspiring. I’ll try and get to that blog tomorrow, if not I’ll catch up with you, the good people of the revolution, in San Francisco. One last thought — I was standing on a logging road with a dog that had been found wandering in LA (Jude & I were soul troubadours) and a cat called Freeloader, also an artist who I know I’ll keep in touch with and stars, there was a bus that made myths and five goats and all of it was good and righteous. The truth is out there. It is waiting to be explored. The town I am in just now has grifters. I said hey to a few of them. Averted my gaze to one getting changed by the side of the road. On the way in and out of cities you can see homeless people in motion. Trying to get somewhere warmer, safer or with more opportunity. I worry about them. I am going to keep trying to grasp the wild heart of this extraordinary country. I can see three lighthouses right now. The fridge is playing that same old tune. I better pack up for the morn.

The Truth Is — No.4

The truth is love me. The truth is in building no.4 but the mail goes to little Italy. The truth is that New York’s finest needs all of New York’s finest. The truth is the road narrows. The truth is a steeple. A cockerel is crowing. It’s the animal kingdom. The truth is dollar tree. It’s Marshall’s fish point factory. The truth is smokey. The truth is conch shell umbrellas. The truth is I can’t spell umberella. The truth is Brooklyn Queens. The truth is chaos leads our orders. The truth is baby grew a back spine. The truth is thermal imaging. It’s an old lady being x-rayed with her hands above her head. It’s the flowers on her dress. It’s the way her skin is soft and falling. It’s — you need to step in line, Miss. I’t the pain in my ears and head. The truth is skull and crossbones. The truth is a filter. The truth is $2.50. The truth is cloudy. The truth is thru traffic keep right. The truth is my taxi driver can’t understand me. It’s not his fault, I’m complicated. The truth is Delancey St. The truth is on the church bus and it’s driving through the valley. It’s Joe’s fabric and pigeons flying. The truth is entry is forbidden. The truth is the Amtrak guard from Kalamazoo to Chicago is someone to dream of later. The truth is red movers and van lines. The truth is DTX. The truth is the man from Kalamazoo in his uniform is my husband in another life, one where I was actually the marrying kind. The truth is DDTX. The truth is DDTX76529. It is deception creek. Klamath. The truth is the trees are green. The truth is her yurt was somewhere I should have slept more. The truth is I never slept there. The truth is being a certain way. It allows us to focus. The truth is you cannot measure the outline of land except you fucking can. He loves her because she’s beautiful and be assured by that he means she’s thin. She is beautiful and true and real. Real is beautiful. So is barbecue. It’s easy to think life is great when you’ve had generations of people who liked what you had to say and how you said it and listened to you say it and said it then to each other. The truth is shady. It’s a gap between your teeth. The truth has a view point and it is underlined by snow. Snow is dirty and it was dirty and I like dirty things and if the Spring was not to come I would not mind at all. The low world spirits absorb those above them. Oral stories passed down as science are the very first tonal kind of truth. The truth is pumice. It’s ash. The truth is 300 feet deep. It’s the centre of the blast rock. It is the interior. The truth is disappearing. It is tranquil. It is blue. It was once a mighty mountain. It’s 44 feet of snow at crater lake. It is the Milky Way above us for millions of years. It is my child’s voice reading me a story late at night from far across the sea. It’s my want to take a plane and see him right away. The truth is in the water. It keeps life on earth alive. The truth is self-sustainable. The truth is not a number. It is a number but I won’t tell you what it is. If you rang truth’s number you’d only get the answer machine. The answer machine would lie to you. It’s protective of the truth. The truth is the caldera. Caldera is the truth. The truth is astounding. The truth is clarity. The truth is puffy eyes in the morning of endless nights. The truth wants to go home. Home is the truth but so too is all of elsewhere. The truth is my child asking me what his eyes are and I tell him in his eyes is all of the sea. Whenever he goes to the ocean now he finds his eyes and too he finds mine. It’s him telling me the blood in his veins is my blood and the veins in my blood are his hope and the fears I transgress are the least he deserves and I will be a better person before the crescent moon descends. The truth is in Umpque. The truth has subalpine habitats. The truth is wild. It is flowers. It goes to seed and passes things onto the next generation. The truth is untouched by human development. The truth is I do love some yellow. Gorse flowers, sunlight, mustard pots and halos. The truth is a schoolboy or so the story goes. That story is hidden in a conch shell. Tip up your ears little wolf and hear it. The truth is I’ve been waiting to hear wolves howl my whole life. The truth is energy. It is a sense of wonder but too it is mundane. The truth is a myth. The truth is a Merry Prankster. It is the bus of inordinate wisdom. It drives itself. There are children on top of the bus, teenagers, topless in bell bottoms with flowers in their hair and one throws a brightly coloured ball to a little boy as they fly by him in a tiny American town. The truth is not on wizard island. The truth is on wizard island but if you meet the wizard he’ll deny it then he’ll turn you into a toad. The truth has visitor information. The truth won’t accept visitors but it won’t reject them either. The truth studies you whilst you’re sleeping but it rarely wastes time dreaming. The truth is dreaming. You are the truth I dream. The truth is fire. The truth is a prospect. It’s turn left in 1/4 of a mile. It’s being told in an untold way that my work is worthless by a woman bitter as a bomb. It’s getting shit from a certain type of person despite every accolade because my class defies me but I won’t hide it on the page. It’s a working class intellectual being the thing that is most feared. It’s being a thing. It’s being. Thing. Like. The truth is a rogue river. The truth is that Pat likes to hand tie flies. It’s lawlessness on the highway, in the hearts and souls of poets and soldiers. The truth is camping. Shady Kaye is in shady cove. I’m in the Valley of the rogue. I’m going to our lady of the river because I really need to heal. Speed enforced by primal. It’s a satanical trail. It has good news. Jesus is alive! It says it to the dirt road whilst I’m pissing on the tracks. My piss is golden. It’s holy. I keep seeing homeless kids on the road. Adults. In betweens. They are in between the places where safety meets security. America you are beautiful, why don’t you tuck them in? The truth is some kind of goldilocks environment. It’s aridian. The truth is I don’t hear so well. The truth keeps interrupting. The truth is so well turned out, it has shiny shoes and a starched shirt and a gift of freshly picked flowers and you still won’t let it come to your party? Your party is the worst one in the entire fucking world. The truth can come to my house. I keep a door open for it all the time. The truth is woman are demeaned but they’re still fucking heroes. You force them to beg for ownership of your future but the recently deleted know they have had the truest power for all of time. The truth is I’m in a strange town. I met the sea lion and the ranger. I’m going to see Dorothy Allison. Hit the road. Open your eyes.