Leaving Aus-town

Actually, my knee is aching, and so is my back.  I’ve been packing things.  Got up at 4:34.  The garbage truck.  Did you hear it?  Banging mechanical arm, squealing brakes, beeping as it backs up.  That’s the last time I’ll ever hear it.  I’m drinking some iced coffee.  Ate a slice of toast with peanut butter.  Have showered, taken the pizza box to the trash, updated my blog.  Wow, I’m nearly ready to start drinkin’ again though it’s only 8:50.

Bad heartburn, though.  Need to get some meds for that, pepto or Immodium, Tagamet?  Don’t think I’ve ever had Tagamet.  Drinking some water.  Was not dehydrated this morning although I rinsed out four cans of Guinness, a bottle of pinot grigio, a couple Red Hook IPAs, a Bud Light, a big Lagunitas IPA, and our highball glasses...

The short story continues...



I walked from one end of
this city to the other and saw
sidewalk after sidewalk with
Maufrais etched into it.

Maufrais the maker of concrete,
Maufrais the master of sand
and aligning right corners.


Rick from Travis Heights,
Rick of Vietnam and Austin High,
Rick the one-man mowing company,
made of cords, engines, and gasoline.
I said, “Rick, do you know Maufrais?”
He offered me a cigarette but
my bus was on its way.

At home it is late and quiet.
I am not sleeping, just lying here.
I can hear the low rumble of trucks but it
doesn’t bother me, in want of sleep.


I awake the next morning
to the gleeful bleats
of a garage sale across the street.
Timid myself, I send Lenore over.
It’s just a bunch of junk, she says.

We decide to talk about baby names.
I offer one up and she shoots it down.
No, that name is ruined forever, she says.
In her lap is someone’s baby-book.
Mmm-hm-hm-hm! Look at them
in their dresses and their
cute little shoes.

I remember now that it poured
this morning at 4 a.m. but
I missed it, awake enough only
for an instant, only
enough to realize it was raining.


I offer up another one: Maufrais.
She does not reject it outright saying,
I have no doubts about it myself but
I wonder if the Italians would accept it.

All day I drank coffee,
eventually got so high my
hands were shaking and
I had to eat the leftover casserole.


Outside, Rick is lurking.
When he fires up the lawnmower
lines of poetry
gather on my skin,
like beads of sweat.

For more on Maufrais, try this.

A day off from nothing

Is it June, or am I
just in Austin, Texas?

Today, Labor Day, is for
all of the people who work
nine to five (or more).

Anyone normally working
nine to five (or more)
who has neglected
to take this day off to:

get drunk
sleep around the house
take his kid to the beach
write a haiku
stock up on toilet paper

should be committed.
Not myself among the
nine to five throng
I don’t deserve this
wheelbarrow loaded with
twenty-four golden bricks.

No meaning in any of them.

Message to Ray at 12:43 a.m.

Ahoy hoy, Ray
it doesn't matter, Ray
I'll just, I'll just go in the jungle awhile, Ray
It doesn't matter

He didn't, he didn't walk this way, Ray
we was at Port A, Ray
It doesn't matter
I danced in some waves, Ray
It doesn't matter
I'm married, Ray
But it doesn't matter, I'm married
Come walk on the sidewalk, Ray
I mean, this this calls, Ray
It doesn't matter
I see trucks, Ray
it doesn't matter
I see a sting Ray, Ray
I smoke some smokes, Ray
it doesn't matter
I just keep walkin, Ray
if you were here, Ray, you'd try the same thing
[beep beep beep]
you'd do the same thing, Ray
that's the dumptruck, Ray
Fuck the dumptruck, Ray!
fight the air,
fuck the dumptruck, Ray
[a compacting sound]...

Full poem here...

Record High Temperatures in Austin

The temperature climbed as high as 106 degrees Fahrenheit today in Austin, TX. This was a record high for a September 26 in Austin. The previous record was 99 degrees, set in 1923. The record temperatures are partially a result of Austin's position in the wake of Rita. There is "return flow" from the gulf that is swamping Austin in what I figure is more or less "old air."

This continues the tease that Hurricane Rita has proven herself to be, at least in Austin, TX. I mean no flippancy to those who suffered from Rita. But 106 degrees on September 26 is unfathomably hot. It was 91% humidity at 7:24 this morning. I recorded a low temperature of 69 degrees, this morning around seven. The highest low for Austin on a September 26 is 79 degrees, in 1977.

For a chart of these records, check out the NOAA page.

The special weather statement for Austin is listed on Austin's K-EYE news wesbite, a CBS outlet.

I also want to point out that it hasn't rained but once in Austin since I moved back down here on August 27, 2005. People who went to the Austin City Limits Music Festival this last weekend said it was like the dust bowl. One guy said he couldn't sleep, for the dust in his nose wouldn't let him breathe. He was waking up at 3 in the morning to shoot dustballs out of his nose. Nasty.