Quality of life

The radiation guy said I should stop working and look to the ‘Quality of life’
The ‘quality of life was working, working was watching the Burmese Roustabouts turn to face the monsoon and following their lead, getting hammered by torential rain with no choise but to stand it thru, then the decks steamed the water and we watched the natural unavoidable move down stream on the Yangon, ‘quality of life’ was the knowlage you could live around things you cannot change.
like the Dick with a bolder between him and a woman he cannot touch and talk to only from a distance. the two of them inspireing in their ability to scale or climb the vertical but helpless to close the short distance on level land. like the Burmese roustabout you have to honor the knowlage your quality of life will be standing thru things you cannot change. Places and people we hate to leave,

Robust to Failure

There is a term in programming called “Robust to failure” it means every system has a breaking point-failure point… the goal is to run the program at its limit just before collapse and then design procedures to explain how to fix it again when it goes tits up. I have spent years thinking I didn’t have years. Tho we crash many times, we run right up to the edge of life because robust is all we know.   -theDick


Out of the blue sometimes I’ll get 28 text messages from Alex. Its a complicated rhythm, something you wouldn’t dance to…you kinda have to sit down to read it. The message was thick yesterday- concern for the sailor, the disappointment of a child who knows she won’t get married in time for her daddy to walk her down the isle. I think we all felt some of that “holy shit I didn’t get to do that yet” feeling when he said Bone Cancer.  Death does have a certain finality to it I don’t care what you profess to believe, turning the page on this life makes one think. Gratitude is what I saw in his face. Soon the mysteries of the universe and the deepest oceans of thought will be his. I am not jealous of his price but I am anxious for the prize- to know ones place in things. Some stride toward death like its a climax to life, others fall and crumble at the door. “Even the way down will be an adventure” he told me. Indeed my friend, breathe it in.


His God is achievement I explained… In-between passings of our attractive server we preamble back into the talk of men. I sit back with the Master Salvor, Master Sculptor, myself a metal worker and another comrade woodworker. I watch him- awestruck at the stories and hearing the word master so often makes you ask yourself have you accomplished anything at all. Mind you not the sort of achievement that depends on others recognition, most of the Salvors accomplishments were underwater and celebrated among a small crew of men who know how. We young men on the threshold of discovery sit at the table of ability and study. The word “Kemo” is said- like a wave it should have darkened the conversation but to him now its just another hiccup between jobs. Even a master of that… fear I think they call it. That achievement does not come from beating others, it comes from living up to your own potential. That poor New York farmer boy became the greatest Salvage Master in the world.
At a wedding party once I met a frenchman who said he was a underwater salver. Our table was full of people and when I asked this gentleman if he knew my friend, his eyes watered up and he told me stories of their friendship and travels together. The rest of the table included my eXwife and her husband, I was proud to have spent my time in the company of greatness. I learned a lot about my friend that night.

The roast beef sandwich is made with extra meat, I don’t know if she charges me extra but its worth it if she does. My Vegan comrade pulls avocado through straw and calls it healthy, id rather use my teeth to cut and tear into life. Have you ever had a woman’s hip on your mouth and it feel so good you cringe in fear you might not know when to stop biting her? You shiver and stop of course just before her yelp. Is that pepperJelly? Its delicious.
He normally has a laptop and an obscure book on the table. His food never lasts long in front of him- he blames it on the army. The lack of evidence of nourishment leaves you to wonder if his powers come from the sea. Soon he will be gone again, like a hound who picked up a scent he vanishes. Here just long enough to charm everyone he talks to, then he is gone again. In the old days I thought his woman ran him off, now I see its just the way of things. The well mannered son closes down the coffee shop. The smoked hens who keep watch on the veranda have gone home to roost.
Another day in paradise.

Cambodian Girl

I spent the day on the beach, the barge was fog bound and could not get underway. I had hot soup in a Cambodian coffee house not far from the dock in Galveston and spent severl hours talking to a Philipino Crew man in the dive team. My mind drifted to the many places in the world you have to go befor you get here. I became aware of how little I care about how I got here, Im here and alive, the soup is good the talk is good and the Cambodian girl is happy.
Im most certin the full ness of life was attained today, Hot soup, good talk and smiling Cambodian Girl and im alive, still living, today
OK then, hope your lunch was equally as condusive to enjoying another day among the living.

I was pleased to view your latest creation, I felt it somehowe worthy of it position, in the middle of a field on an isolated farm. It was good you chose the antiquated tools of so humble a proffesion to express yourself, more fitting the towering arrangment resembled less the structual art of the crafts man iron worker and more a reminder that rock stands tall beyound the famers reach unless aby choise with forged implements left behind he world face the climb i=with nothing but the bare ness of personel streangth and passion to arrive exausted and spent haeing left fo effort behind
You inspire me young frind you “dick” you to create a statement of my own, to mount it in an open field, I think which ever one whom last the longest should build a fire at the others statment and drinking wine scream into the dark sky so that out end of thing s becomes a jorny chased into the darkness by the voices and fire left behind.

life by the season

Eveybody is going to die, we just have a better idea of when. This is a good thing. it allowes us the season. We do not review the season past rather live the season now. I like your box Idea. It is an idea good for any season. My box will be a small one of ashes, I want to feed the plants that feed the earth and all the people to stand around the fire and drink wine, or moon shine. Maybe I should cask my own moon shine, it will be done the day of my fire. Dead guy Booz, I like that.
I think im going to go out and live some life today. Do something in the cold. The cold does not last but for a season it really wakes you up. God I love this life.
exquisite bastard


The woman I date is like me but with a kid so less me more them. When visitors go to Jerusalem and experience the holy land there is a mental illness that attaches to some of the tourists. Its called Jerusalem Syndrome- The person believes they are the new Messiah and that God has chosen them as the coming Savior. There is a wing of the hospital in jerusalem for these people. The best treatment is to introduce them to each other. “I am the Messiah”, “No, I am the Messiah” They get annoyed with each other and somebody snaps out of it. Why do I snap out of love? I wake up as hard as I fell in… its weird and savage. It is not lack of connection, compassion or commitment that makes my heart float on like jetsam. It is fear of the shallow slackwater. I was born to swim in the deep and wide. If I drown it will be tempest, not indifference that takes me. Like a man lost at sea he was not defeated, he was swallowed whole. That doesn’t happen in the shallows, but all the best stories are deep. -theDick

My Hammer

The puddle of breath accumulates in my muscles
affording the cough that might clear the room to build a life.
My cough is my hammer.
My cough is my hammer.
Hammer. Gasp. Hammer, Hammer.
The question is how best to spend your time with bankrupt lungs? The struggle is for efficiency and to slow down your favorite parts of the cycles you find yourself in. How can I stretch time? My body is damned to the speed of trot but my mind fires hot, hotter than trot, faster than death. This lump of fat in my head is responsible for my momentum. It is as important to my progress as the finest medicine. The cure is in me. My mind doesn’t know its limited until my body convinces it otherwise. The sting of “can’t” is swallowed to a bitter stomach. The rage is digested and beaten while hot into a tool i’ll gouge my way out of this hell. If I go it won’t be quiet, it will not be dignified.
Perhaps the biggest contradiction about me is the illusion of freedom. I cannot go one day without meds to help me breathe or enzymes to help break down and absorb the food I eat. For years I try to explain to people what is different about my body. I learned to speak of my lungs as rebellious children who argue and need poisoning from time to time. In a world of pill prophets and sooth-huffers I’m chained to the tools of medicine. Blessed with a compass that always points to life I weigh my stubbornness against the spirit that inspires.
Tomorrow I go into the den of disease to look for life. I hate hospitals- you have to convince a drowning man who wants to live to stop swimming. I’m no good at sitting still and waiting to be saved.