to Port Townsend

They make parking garages into boats.

The cars below do not feel the apparent-wind like us walk-ons do.

A pair passes by me. I hear: “How did those stickers get put on there?”

Orcas, while rarely seen, do swim here in the Sound.

A family passes by me.

“How did those stickers get put on there?” I hear again.

{~}

On the bench to my right, a fellow in a cowboy hat is photographed by a slight and pixie-like gal.

She has a camera. A proper, right aperature. She does not repurpose her cell phone for the task. Perhaps it speaks to the value she places upon her subject and the tools required to properly achieve her artistic desired ends.

On the other side of the water is a Townsend of a port. It is filled with salty sea dogs of the best kind. One of the last bastions in the world of expertise and experience re: wooden sailboats.

It was built in a decidedly Victorian style during the late 1800’s. Elaborate stone buildings that would seem more at home in the UK.

It maintains four independent bookstores, all on the main [sic. high] street.

Always a positive sign. Yet, one that I seldom see.

The song of a pied piper.

The voice of reluctant troubadour.

An outburst from a seagull sounded like a car alarm.

Investments were made here with the intent to create a massive, international shipping port. This place was supposed to be what Seattle became, but the railroads did not lay track here as anticipated. They routed through Seattle.

A hazy cover of clouds lingers. There are immense mountains so close by, yet abiding unseen.

I pass two places that I recall having seen in dreams. Deja v/u/iew.

And, it smells like the Gulf of Mexico does. Destin, AL, just next to the Florida’s panhandle.

Salt. Seaweed. It reeks of things always being wet and never drying out.

It is a town of artisans, artifacts, and craftsmen. As it was explained to me: It is a sailor’s paradise because there are only 24 days of “good” sailing weather here.

I consider that type of sailor. Yup, they are the same sea dogs that still build their vessel from wood and not fiberglass.

There are rigger shops every other block. Schooners, sloops, cutters, ketches: the number of sails and the number of masts varies, but they all require a great deal of properly positioned and tightened rope. It becomes a specialty, like navigational skill.

It sings of waves falling down. It hints at waters ceaselessly lapping rocky shores like relentless thoughts and worries carving canyons in the contents of your confidence.

Seagull shit stained rocks and buildings made of stone. Barnacle blooms come into view on the hulls and the buoys during this time of low tide.

I feel the demands of a restless mind clicking out thought and notion like an antique stock ticker. I cipher telegrams regarding the health of your economy.

Waveform and flows rising and ebbing. Coming like crimson tides in the waters of words flooding my mind’s. Aye.

A hum escapes and vibrates from my throat. A quirk. A noise I make unconsciously when roaming in my mind.

Have you ever surprised yourself by hearing your own voice?

I speak mostly through unspoken scrawls. My loudest voice comes from silence when speech is expected. Fishermen hooking attention.

The vocal manifestation of the underlying punctuation is realized through the intervals.

Rests between notes.

How many beats per minute in the measures of the sentences comprising your composition? Moving as do canvas and a pallete knife conjure acrylics into patterns.

All boats must be houseboats when afloat. They are the sustainable sanctums stopping you from dropping into the briney depths.

While it may keep you from taking the plunge immediately, it does grant you access to the deeper and deeper waters, where both stillness and churning are ever present.

Path-carving the sloshing surface.

There are seagulls cackling out “ha-ha-ha” from all around. It sounds much like the blahyadablah of the “hi. how are ya’s,” or like all adults to Charlie Brown.

There are no speed boats here.

No yachts.

Fast and flashy find no quarter.

How am I?

The shopkeep asks.

Good question.

I know that I am, but how it is that I am, I do not know.

Do you know how you are?

I make. I do, that much I also know to be true.

I smile and say “Oh you know, I’m covering the spread.”

I stop by the independent record shop.

They sell vinyl with a smattering of cassette tapes and other obsolete formats.

They do not sell CD’s. Great curation.

I got the cassettes below for four dollars U.S.

After asking the owner what the price is, I am informed the MD is a mix made years ago by an employee, to be played in the shop. It was given to me for free. The shopkeeper was highly amused at my interest in it.

I mention that seeing three albums by Mott the Hoople made my day.

The shop owner says: started my day with them.

He reaches under the counter and produces the album sleeve for The Hoople.

A sea of faces in hair.

Evidenced.

A child eyeballs me on the ferry ride home. Sliding closer and closer to me.

I say: I’m Casey.

S/he says: I didn’t ask you.

I say: I just thought I’d tell you.

Macy then tells me many things very quickly.

S/he worries deeply about the dangers of sharks when s/he takes the ferry, for instance.

S/he stops speaking briefly and stares at me and says: I think my eyelashes are like yours. We have the same eyelashes.

Cartesian-ism

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

_____________________________________________

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” say the lesser apes.

“You’ll see it when you believe it,” you said.

Cogito, ergo sum.

What René Descartes is remembered as saying.

Je pense, donc je suis.

How Descartes first wrote it.

I think therefore I am.

(tautological?)

“Whatever I have up until now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the senses.” (7:18 Principles)

But Descartes feared a deceptive God or an evil eternal deceiver.

Could he trust the apprehensions of his physical senses?

He could not disprove that his sensations were not the result of deception; so he dove into doubt. How is sensation different from perception?

“We have a true or genuine perception of something if, when we consider it, we cannot doubt it…In the face of genuine clear and distinct perception, our affirmation of it is so firm that it cannot be shaken, even by a concerted effort to call those observed things into doubt. (7:145 Meditations)

Descartes tried to free us from “I’ll believe it when I see it.” He tried to disavow the authority and immediacy of knowing the world through sense and sensations. He did not believe that his five senses could apprehend truth in a way that overcame his doubt.

He found doubt and did not believe.

His belief was not dependent on sensual stimulation.

I’ll see it when I believe it.

I think therefore I am.

Perceptions that I cannot find a scrap of a reason to doubt, may be genuine.

So, we doubt the hell out of everything; and, if we exhaust every doubt of which we may conceive, we firm up our grasp of reality. Through dint of doubt, all doubt is removed. This is intellect.

“I think.” He couldn’t find a doubt about it, so he allowed his capacity for thought and doubt to validate his existence- that he “is.”

His sensations could be virtual reality, so he doubted what he saw.

When he had no doubt that he “thought”, he then believed he truly “was.”

—————————————————-

Empiricism resists and refuses the subjective realm, and is founded on a principle of obtaining information via senses and standardized measurements.

Science, empiricism, and Western culture say, “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

I got a (dumb) cell phone in 2002.

My family got dial up internet in our home around 1998.

Before the mid-1990’s, we could not be in two places at once (physical, say, a restaurant, and cyberspace).

The advent of Facebook, Instagram, selfies, social media and internet culture creates a condition for, “I’m seen therefore I am.” I validate myself and reality by reproducing images of myself digitally which I post to get views online. I act the role of myself in a construction that I calculate. I show what I want when I want to in the hopes others will come to know me as I have shown myself to be.

My sister’s generation operates on “I’m seen therefore I am.”

Little digitally savvy savages.

Groups eating together and everyone has a screen. Silicon is always in hand. Take it away and they sweat.

The viewpoint of this age group: I am capable of being observed by others, this validates that I “am.”

The desire to be seen, get friended, followed, liked, hits is the want of confirming and calculable feedback that digital you has been observed and accepted by others. The cyber persona may be chosen moment to moment, so to speak. Day to day personas are less so chosen.

They’ll believe it when they see it.

Yeah, we’ll cure cancer,

And pigs can fly,

God exists,

Well, that is, I’ll believe it when I see it’s already been done.

The more individuals who say likewise, then the less individuals we have working to solve these problems. Presumably, the people waiting to see it will not be trying to manifest it. Why would they?

To them it is impossible until somebody else says, “I’m going to believe it is a possibility to cure cancer, and then I will find out if I can realize that possibility, perceive it.”

There is a lovely lack of cynicism in “I’ll see when I believe it.” There is a proper dash of humility regarding our own self-awareness.

————————————————————–

“I’ll believe when I see.”

This, however, indicates an inherent incredulity and it absolves the self of accountability.

That which cannot be seen or sensed stands on unbelievable ground.

“I’m seen therefore I am.” I see myself and receive systematic, calculable feedback that others have seen me. This validates that I am. I can show it you, point at it.

Alternatively, “I think so I am” puts the onus of doubt back on any given individual. She talks of what can or cannot be seen/perceived at this time. She does not have to state a belief position. This frees the mind in the sense that here belief follows one’s own perceptions, and, perceptions may be addressed through the process of doubt. I do not choose my beliefs as much as I become aware of them. I do not choose to believe based on what I have or have not perceived.

My beliefs are revealed to me by the things I perceive and then I am unable to doubt them. What I see allows me to come to know my beliefs and tweak them. My belief in the possibility of things does not necessitate their appearance.

I’ll see less things on earth than things I will see in this lifetime. Shall I really constrain myself to such a small set of experiential data?

I’ll see it when I believe it : I think therefore I am.

I’ll believe when I see it : I’m seen therefore I am.

Top Quotes from Foucault’s Pendulum by Umberto Eco

Umberto Eco became like a new Hermann Hesse to me, over the last two years.

I have only read Foucault’s Pendulum and On Literature, but these were undertakings filled with amazing rabbit holes.

I recently reread the pages of notes I took from Foucault’s Pendulum. A very hermetic-y work, at least to my unaffiliated eyes.

Here are my favorites.

Believe there is a secret and you will feel like an initiate. It costs nothing…to live as if there were a Plan.

To dismantle the world into two saraband of anagrams.

Le monde est fait pour aboutir a un livre (faux).

Tout se tient.

Books of diabolicals must not innovate.

Yearning for mystery. Initiation is learning never to stop.

The most powerful secret is a secret without content.

Foucault’s Pendulum

Umberto Eco, Author, Eco, Author, William Weaver, Translator Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (656p) ISBN 978-0-15-132765-2. Trade edition.

Unposted Letters Containing Letters.

I found an old letter

I had

written you.

Unposted despite having postage.

I let it age for you, ewe.

I could no longer read my own hand.

In my cans, no-one speaks, as I scribble this idyll for the popular, un-idle, idol.

Casting pods like fishing nets

sewn by hand.

Longhand and cool-handed.

Nothing in my hands.

A

Little something kept on-hand.

The noon approaches and I remember the rattlers.

Snakes giving fair warning: kindly, don’t tread on me.

Whispers of wisteria wander.

Shouting sprouts ready to be snapped then snatched from stems.

Quiet quilts covering made-up beds.

Panting pansies parched for water to partake.

What’s the plan?: he asks.

Wait and see?: I sheepishly speculate.

Why do you do what you do?: he asks.

Because, I can. The difference between ‘could’ & ‘should’ still alludes, though.: I say.

I walk the aisles of miles between your vines. I share the plants’ oxygen and they rebirth my breath.

Gaseous exchanges of my alveoli.

Nitrogen; Oxygen; Carbon Dioxide.

Periodic tabling with held breath.

Breathe, you; I hold my breath, not for you, dear sorrel,

I hold my breath for naught

other than myself,

for my next step.

I take the rite of alternating left foot/right foot,

Of being pedestrian.

I told him: I’m better on my feet.

The voice came through my cans

and said: I function better with the sun in my eyes.

I misheard it as something filthy and smile in realization of my mistake.

My eyes are moons whence comes all of tomorrow’s noons.

Day-suns.

Ræ-moons

floating in bluə-day skies,

stormy and grəy, like your

Sky-eyəs over a

choppy, white-capped səa.

Hardware Store

I stopped by.

The lady at the register compliments my manners.

“I am from the South,” I say.

“I know that,” she says.

[Shrug]

She says: I don’t believe in tearing down statues.

I intuit that she is okay with the tearing down of statutes.

No one thinks they are the baddies: I proffer.

Ing-pen

The girl said: both these seats are taken.

I said: I see the capped drinks now.

She said: they are smoking.

I said: I can dig that.

A chick karaokes my favorite Little Mermaid song.

Quite well, in fact,

as she did not

make it

quietly.

The other girl I mentioned,

She said: this was my favorite movie as a child.

I say: me too. Hair flowing under water, huh?

The next gal sings

Jolene

/please don’t take him just because you can/

She sings it well,

to boot.

A guy steps up to sing

A love song

that includes a spell

of numbers that I do not recognize.

Then, he says he’s gonna call the po po

<A lyric simply sung>

He did not write/right the song.

And, I move back-sdraw

About nine years.

And, I wonder:

Perhaps it is no love song, after all.

/her hands are never cold/she’s got Betty Davis eyes/

Sings the next gal.

I sit, locked, like a female stag, sweet sorrels, and everything in between.

/prepositional end-

ing intended/

No-one is the Only-one

that knows me here.

Anonymity through close proximity.

And, Some-one yells: I don’t know what Betty Davis…what are Betty Davis eyes?

I think: Howlarious.

The smell of cigarettes drifts in and some fellow howls: set me free.

And, I wonder: can

anyone but you “unchain your heart and set you free?”

The screen reads: musical

break 12 measures.

I count to twelve

In-time

@ least I do in a different

pla(i)ne.

Musical break: 8

measures

He says: check, check,

sixteen times.

On-time.

Quote Like Song Lyrix Stuck in my Head

Eclecticism is self-defeating not because there is only one direction in which it is useful to move, but because there are so many: it is necessary to choose.

THE INTERPRETATION OF CULTURES: Selected Essays. Geertz, Clifford. Basic Books, Inc., Publishers. New York, 1973.