It’s been almost a year since Antonio and I biked up Nob Hill and howled at the full moon with all those 200 or so San Franciscans and here is a spoken word recording of the grand borderline fiction it inspired. Marshall Deerfield, front and center with Antonio Bandalini making an appearance, facing the stagnant contrasts of Skid Row in midst of the Tech Boomed-out streets of San Francisco. Here in its entirety is “Howling At The Moon!”, a fraction of a novel about all those wayward zig zags across the west coast last year, but definitely one of my favorite tales to tell.
This was filmed back in April by Andrew Galati at the Random Tea Room in Philadelphia at the book release party for my collection of psychedelic erotica, Fire. Sun. Salutation. It took me a few more weeks to talk out all the tongue ties and stutters of the narrative, but this night in particular still has my heart hanging heavy. Thanks to Becky Goldschmidt for hosting, the other performers for setting the stage, and to everyone who attended. That night we became a bunch of wild wolves hooting and hollering at the muse above. Also thanks to my parents for giving me a quiet place to write these beginnings to a novel that’ll hopefully soon be finished. Without that brief pause from the 9-5 all this material would still be stuck up in my head or randomly notated throughout several journals on some dusty bookshelf.
Anyway, enjoy the lofty imagery and dream-inspired beauty above!
A crusty on Haight Street asks me if I need any trees. I tell him “Yes, please! Give me the Douglas Firs. Give me some redwoods. Give me some relief. Some humble giants. That’s what I’m working towards. That’s what I live for.”
Another one a few blocks down asks if I want weed. I tell him about the scrub they cut down in the lot that they’re “turning into a farm” next door to me. Right now it looks like a giant mud pile compared to the subtle greenery it once was. I tell him I was worried, but the scrub jay still visits me. I hear his excited call first thing in the morning even before the engine of the bulldozer starts. I tell him about the other song bird I’ve noticed but not spotted yet who rises with the sun and continues throughout the morning singing it’s salutation to the new day happily and hopeful, sounding like a nightingale but displaced maybe not only from it’s normal scrub home into the tree in my neighbors yard but also from night and moon worship into day and the grand melody of being reborn.
An old hippy in a tie-dyed t-shirt asks me for some change. He’s got half a sandwich and a bunch of trash lying next to his bare feet. I give him what I’ve got but tell him I’m feeling pretty grounded. I’m feeling as steady as a mountainside with a glacier cliff face. All that alpine mind of a high yogi. There’s still change, but not as quickly. I got a couple dimes to my name, but that’s all you need when your dream is to soar like the red-tailed hawk of last week in Mendo county.
Ain’t nothing like meditating with the step of your feet. Place one foot in front of the other. All the other stuff follows.
Finished reading Big Sur last night. How! Hoo! What a trip! Here speaks the perils of a psychedelic mind delving too deep off the mystic edge without the proper grounding, and by darn, way too much alcohol. Kerouac writing it at something like 37. Me reading it at something like 27. The super moon waxing high above in the night time air. Woo! What reflection! A healthy reminder to keep at least one foot on solid ground and not get too far out lost in dream. But instead stay mindful and relaxed and sometimes flow but sometimes stand your ground and always listen deeply to your heart, and when you get the fear, which should be something like almost every day if you’re a depressive like myself, just make sure you put aside some time to be with it sober and see where it comes from. It usually will come down to the basest of fears, which is the whole deathly fear, the fear of mortality, or some such other egocentric downfall like feeling unloveable or imperfect or not beautiful, the type of fear that takes a whole lifetime to get down with and there’s no rushing it in the meantime. It’s why it’s good to every now and then just get high up on a mountain and see all those pretty bright stars twinkling back at you reminding you you’re free and though you are tiny and small and there’s no chance you or even this planet will matter all that much when it comes right down to it, you very well have the power to craft the person you want to be and have positive effects on those around you in this life and whatever next follows.
Sure, there’s times to be a paranoiac and truly hate that we’ve all been put here, or just sit and feel the utter sadness of it all, what with all those emotions being healthy for your heart when it comes to having feeling at all, but geez louise it feels so good to love and be loved. And sure as hell, not blindly, but with all the lights turned on. If nothing else, you’ve always got yourself. And who loves you more than that inner muse that’s just waiting to be made love to more?
Happy summer friends. This zen lunatic, dream laborer, casual wanderer is looking forward to this Springing into Fall. Excited to see you all along the humble drive.