The Sun Comes Up

The sun comes up and the machines reflect the fire that’s been burning these billions of years. They slink about indifferently, unaware of everything it’s done for them, or done at all. Their fine metals vibrate in the heat. Their plastics dream of a flourishing long gone. Their power surges almost imperceptibly, then wanes as a cloud passes by. How many mountains, how many seas, how many revolutions take these atoms into a new body, a new body, a new? The ocean sprays animalcules in every direction. The wind takes a leaf a thousand miles. A bluet blooms in a small patch of green, catching the eye of a small girl who is about to blossom herself. All of time in a cataract. All of mind in a bee. Fire passes through everything, and the sun shines down on thee.

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UPCOMING EVENTS  ::  Another #we coming up on Wednesday, January 29, and this one expands the series to include queer creatives beyond writers. We’ll still have writers, but others as well, including, in January, musicians. Yay! They’ll follow the same format, presenting a talk of their choice about queerness, then performing some of their work. How cool is that? This one will feature Chinese-American vocalist, musician, and composer Sidney Chen and non-binary singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Rybree Tree at ProArts Gallery on Frank Ogawa Plaza in downtown Oakland. I can’t wait! I very much hope that you feel the same, and that we’ll get the same kind of support as our writers have had. These two are marvelous musicians and peops, so if this sounds of interest, please please come check them out. We’ll have beer and wine available, and coffee right around the corner at Awaken Cafe.  🙂  Deets as usual on the Events page.

NEW CHAPBOOK FOR A NEW DECADE  ::  Sometime in December I got the unswerving urge to make a new little chapbook out of my two spiritual pieces from late 2017, “The Ten Thousand Violences” and “The Ten Thousand Nurtures”, which I called an exorcism and a prayer. They were written as a means to temporarily purge the violence of the current administration, and seek a little healing. You can see the resulting book, in which the two pieces start at opposite covers and meet in the middle, on the Books & Chapbooks page. You can also write to get one from me if you’re curious. I’m told it’s intense.

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The sun comes up and eyes open and everything is slightly different. You find this either disconcerting or reassuring, depending on your dreams. Those dreams come from inside your head, or so they say. Those dreams are manifestations, they say. Those dreams were planted there by substitute teachers, they say. What else do they say? A hunchbacked woman comes into your office and removes her hump before sitting down. She speaks to you of beautiful things including the sun. Your day is changed. That night, after several years of marriage and children, she puts her hump back on and climbs into bed with you. The sun comes up and eyes open and everything is tremendously different. You are blind and in a room filled with sharp objects. This doesn’t much bother you, but it bothers everyone else. They keep telling you what to do and all you want is a glass of water. Someone hands you a glass of sand and tells you to shut up. You stand there speechless. You decide it’s time to take matters in hand. You either leave the room and don’t come back, leave the room and go to school, or put on music and start dancing. The sun comes up and everything.

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ANNOUNCING A NEW BUSINESS  ::  I am very very happy to announce a new business venture into what I’m referring to as literary services, called (drumroll): Power Unit 17. Some of you might recognize that name as a group of readers that I hosted for the Alt Beat Poetry Festival right here in Oakland in the fall of ’18. Now I’ll be using it to offer services such as chapbook consultation, development and production, PR for events and series, event booking, editing, spoken performance coaching, and more. I’m putting it all together right now so this is a teaser trailer. By next month I should have a website and FB page with more comprehensive info on my offerings, for which I plan to have reasonable rates. So keep an eye open. And why, you might ask, is it called Power Unit 17? Because there are many power units. Yay and all that.

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The sun comes up and a choir breaks into song, the spectacular crashing of planets that we all learned in school under the stern tutelage of repetition. What a day, what a day, we say, isn’t it going to be another? Meanwhile the grass screams and snakes eat snakes and how are we going to survive? What a blue bird, what a jay, what a wonderful, wonderful kick in the pants and you can’t push a chain, can’t stand in a boat, can’t cook a stone, god willing and the creeks don’t rise. Throw the book at me and see if I catch it. Catch a star and don’t forget to wash your hands. Kill the Buddha and speak the Devil’s name and round and round and round and round we tumble into a meadow on the first spring day, plants filled with dew, the earth soft and ready to bear, the air thrillingly fresh, intoxicating, invigorating, all our lives before us.

Sincerely,
Richard

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