538> Indulge us w/ textiloma: purging to reinhabit Palo Alto, 1986

9 AUG 2017 | DC> Got to thinking that we needed to read more Thomas Bernhard + reflecting back on what we'd already read of his (the resourceful beauty of 5cense... as a searchable archive) + reminded ourselves that we read Correction on the plane to Doha (en route to Nepal) + during a long layover + as we speak our bedder-½ is laying over in Doha en route to Nepal (guess Qatar airlines is the only reasonable way to get to Nepal from eastern US). We had vaguely set out to start writing 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' but didn't know where to begin + reading Correction helped us think about framing devices (beyond The Odyssey > Ulysses recapitulation). Back then we wrote: «The question is, how do we inhabit, or get under his skin, to tell his story? How do you occupy one's 'thought chamber' without becoming possessed by their thoughts?» + we expressed our reluctance to delve too deep into our brother's rehab journals for fear of getting sucked into his world of addiction. And when we got to that part of the book, exactly mid-way (chapter 13 of 24) we had to stop, or take a break, for this very reason. We published just vol 0 (chs 0-3) + vol 1 (chs 4-11) together, leaving vol 2 (chs 12-23) for later... well that rainy day has come. Not today, tho we have been getting crazy amounts of rain + it's been unseasonably cool. And we are drawn to reading Thomas Bernhard (this time, The Loser ... which we ordered). This week we read Stanley Crawford's Intimacy, about a guy reflecting back on his life + contemplating suicide... can't honestly say we dug it as much as his other stuff... seemed too, well, intimate, for our tastes. And knowing him personally makes it sorta weird.

Intimacy airing out w/ our dirty laundry
(would've shown it in our sock drawer but we don't have 1)

10 AUG> On pg. 206 of A Raft Manifest (in the chapter we posted on Sleepingfish) we menshun textiloma + gossypiboma, and sorta became obsessed w/ these words to the x-tent we considered titling vol 3 of West of Kingdom Come "Textiloma" before we even begin writing it. In A Raft Manifest we had the luckshorey of sayin' such nonsense out of context without knowin' what we were saying, in a state of unconchus conchusnest. Well now as we transition back to a lucid state, before we embark on our next project, perhaps we need to get more into the habit of x-planing ourselves. Per Wikipedia:

Gossypiboma is the official name for a retained sponge/towel after surgery. This word comes from the Latin word for cotton, gossypium, combined with the Swahili word for place of concealment, boma. It is also commonly referred to as textiloma. This word combines textile, meaning cloth, and the suffix –oma, which means growth or tumor.

We ended the 1° volume of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' on the "Heliotropism" story, wherein doctors discover our father embedded somehow inside our brother Chaulky + he has to have him surgically removed. The final line delivered before intermission:

[... to be continued in volume 2 of 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY'The Homecoming—wherein we capitulate this story 1 step further by embedding our brother-½ (w/ the ghost of our father embedded inside him) inside us ...]

... + now here we are. Intermission's over, ready for act II. We're no longer Int.remission. In-tree-mission. After a 2-year break to log A Raft Manifest. Part of why we dint go w/ our bedder-½ to Nepal is our self-imposed travel ban (still haven't travelled intl since renewing our passport 6+ months ago) + also cuz we get A Raft Manifest back from the printer (due tomorrow actually) so need to be here to receive + then stuff them in envelopes to send out for review (contact us (or rather, our editor Cal) if you're interested in an ARC).

Before we jump back to 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY' + while we have 3 weeks in the doghouse during these dog days of summer (tho doesn't feel like August, we haven't needed to turn on AC for weeks), figured we'd take the opportunity to do a little housecleaning. Purging. We've been limpin' along on our main machine (still runnin' a feline-named OS) for fear that updgrading will muck w/ our software + dint want to switch bots mid-stream (writing as we do in InDesign... CS6). In order to upgrade to Adobe CC we 1st need to upgrade our OS from its mountain lion or snow leopard state. But before that, we need to back everything up to our laptop (that we blog on, already runnin' Adobe CC) in case all hell breaks loose... which seems highly probable since that mothership of a computer is over a dozen years old. Which might prompt us to get a new machine altogether, or maybe just a big monitor to dock our laptop to, still not sure, wheel cross that bridge when we get to it. Maybe wheel rigress back to typewriters + hand-written journals + letters sent snail-mail like we've been threatening to. This recent spat of 80s archiving ties in with that, goin' thru photos + whatnot, removing redundancies, etc. + also goin' thru recent book projects + deleting unused images, intermediate drafts etc. Managed to delete some 10 GB worth of crap (our current life amounts to 231.5 GB... last time we went thru such a an archival purging (between NYC + DC) we had ~175 GB, so have managed to amass 56.5 GB since then).

11 AUG> Speaking of purging + cleansing, we've also entered a drying out period... don't want to jinx ourselves as it's only been a few days, but then again by stating it here it becomes a resolution we can hold ourselves to. About a week ago we feasted omakase-style at our favorite sushi place (Ogawa), downed with beer + "unfiltered" (read: high octane) sake, which we normally dont drink. And then it started to pour so we were stuck there, so had another bottle of sake while we waited the downpour out. Then on the way home we stopped in at our new favorite local bar (Bier Baron) + had 1 too many sour ales. Usually when we're hungover we go for a run + sweat it out + feel better by mid-morning. So we hopped on the spin bike + cranked for 45 minutes, but when we got off the bike we felt worse + ended up puking... for the first time in like 10 years. So we decided to stop drinking for a while... besides a bottle of prosecco we shared w/ our bedder-½ before she left on her trip we haven't had a drop since.

This is not the first time we've gone on the wagon. After a bout of vertigo in 2012 we detoxed for a few weeks (lookin' back now, that was right after we finished Ark Codex, so maybe every time we finish a book (a purging process in itself) we feel a need to cleanse, to exorcise the demons that inhabited us during the writing process). Every so often we need to remind ourselves how much it fucks w/ your sleep + dreaming. After remembering only 1-2 vague dreams so far in 2017, we logged this after the first dry night.

I was sitting on the ground writing on a piece of paper + 2 agents/investigators started grilling me about what i was writing + i said nothing, just crazy nonsense. I showed them + it was a long list of summations, calculated out by hand. They asked what it meant + why + i said i just liked to calculate out infinite series for something to do, because they had no end to them + went on forever. They asked how i was able to make a living doing this, to live like i do (showing me bank statements w/ travel expenses, etc.) + i told them my wife was a professor, but they still grilled me, demanded to know how much she made, etc... how we were able to afford X, Y + Z.
      Then it was like i was part of the investigative team + we were in a rowboat on the ocean. Every so often something would bump the boat + they would freak out + yell shark! + flip the rowboat over on purpose to hide under it, which baffled me. So the 3rd time this happened i asked if anyone bothered to open their eyes underwater. I opened mine + what we had bumped into looked like a dead shark. I started swimming into the open ocean + my FBI colleagues shrugged, then followed suit. I looked back + there was a bunch of whales headed right for them, but the whales all had big comical grins on their faces. Then it was like i was in this underwater world, a self-contained crater like Ngorongoro. There were all these animals but they were like miniature comical versions of animals + were all happy, goofing around, playing together. Tigers + apes slid down this mountainside, elephants + giraffes rough-housed + fooled around, unrestricted by their size (since we were underwater). I just sat there mesmerized, watching. Then I realized it was a museum exhibit called “Miru”. My investigative colleagues had moved on so i was on my own now.

Weird that it was called Miru, because 2 nights ago we came across the climbing movie Meru + watched it. I hate all that macho + suicidal climbing vanity, but the movie was made by Jimmy Chin, same guy who documented Alex Honnold's recent free-soloing of El Cap. We're more fascinated by Chin's role (as documentarian) then the climbers ... + then u got to ask yourself, who's filming Chin? Does a 3rd party have to repel down El Cap in order to capture Jimmy capturing Alex? Anyways... back to bandwagon banter. Not that climbing isn't related... we were attracted to climbing (in the 90s) for the same junkied reason our brother was attracted to drugs. For the escape, for the rush. But we were never much interested in high-altitude mountaineering, too much risk beyond our control. And we abandoned climbing when we met our bedder-½... not a sport for those w/ loved ones in our opinion.

Especially w/ us, drinking seems to be at odds w/ running .. the more u run, the more u feel the fx of a night drinking. And the older u get... u youngins dont got to worry til u hit 40. Don't get us wrong, we enjoy drinkin' + a good meal is oh so much better w/ wine, but more + more we don't like how we feel the next morning, even if it's just 1-2 drinks. Call us control freaks, but we dig this idea of burnin' clean + being in control of our senses. U also tend to eat more when u drink (not to mention the extra calories from drinking)... not that we're overweight, but we carry an extra 5-10 lbs of beer belly we can afford to lose (already lost a few pounds this week). Not that we're gonna become that annoying sober person, or self-righteous squeaky clean straight-edger, just want to get out of the habit. And if we do drink, no more than 2. Ok, maybe 3.

On this note, we'll get back to our archiving now, flashing back to 1986, when we were straight-edge. Last we left off, it was 1985, we had just graduated from Mountain View High. Sometime around 1986 we moved to Palo Alto, into a house our mother bought (tho she charged us rent + again, she was usually off in Mexico). We took random classes at Foothill College, a bit lost career-wise. Tho our life was nothing like James Franco's Palo Alto. Our girlfriend S went to Gunn High School + lived w/ her parents way up on the mountain off Skyline Blvd, not far from Neil Young. We started spending more time there then we did at "home"... our way of coping w/ our dysfunctional family, by adopting a "normal" family. Meanwhile, Chaulky was off at UCLA. He went there hoping to run track + field, but wasn't quite good enough + by then became more focused on art, so he transferred to the ArtCenter in Pasadena. We haven't converged yet to 1990, where we left off in 'SSES" 'SSES" "SSEY', we're just mining our journals to bridge the gap, preparing to reinhabit Chaulky, or have Chaulky (w/ father surgically embedded) possess us so we can exorcise his demons (another motivation to dry out).

Chaulky (left) + Anon I'm Us (right) at our house in Palo Alto

Chaulky selfie

We still didn't keep a regular journal during this time (nor did Chaulky, far as we know), just scattered notes, usually in the forms of lyrics, or juvenile stream of consciousness blabberings.

Anon I'm Us self-portrait (not even ½ the artist Chaulky is)

+ some more transcribed lyrics/bad poetry from circa 1986:

Hole of light in the dark sky
it pulls me up, pulls the words
down, running down
slips through grasping hands
darkness to greedy eyes
tortures us so
find an excuse for everything
justified left
my voice sucked into the socket
all turns white, I don't know why
but it burns my eyes
flooding, pouring pure light.

Forgotten memories, beaches gone
crawling wounded on the horizon
the never ending shoreline
begs at my feet
as my head gets bigger
the world expands with it
perspective stays the same
blinded for we cannot  see in circles
a world within a world
within a whirl
if we could just set the electron free
suddenly oblivious to the endless array.


fear commands
the movement of sentence
the waiting, scrambled
repressed futuristic feelings
of to be, or not,
don't let it ruin it.

Beautiful to ugly eyes
don't you see?
keeps the past embedded
to haunt
the shrouded blanket,
explain the original cold
from experience
how far will they follow
in between and out between
like a jigsaw puzzle
but why these words,
why rushed, abbreviated falls
and non-comprehensibility
half monotone, cant be too
far off, they have to
understand, even though
you slowed to the speed limit.

Feel like falling concrete
you hurt yourself
screams cut you out premature, finish
from his molding, scabs pouring
from the lump, bulging
from his Adam's apple.


For u to relate the importance
of hurting.
Sounds right, deep into your cavern
a psychotic dream with no escape hatch,
to sleep is to die
we inflict it on ourselves
to suffer.
You fall in dreams
to excuse yourself from the table
the change is perfect
considering we get lost in the mask.


like a movie to another generation
the power of antiquity
searching, scared, the ugly hollows
of the past, for sound
desperate, you lost, fear of humor
kill a part of yourself when you laugh
decode the miserable domes
art through ignorance
too sick to finish the sequence
suffer for expression
suffer for art


Words to future eyes
even through darkness
it just demonstrates the difference
an integral part of experience
it alleviates thought
only 'cause you thought it before

the words come barreling behind the thoughts

Dreams-cum-stories from this era that found their way into Poste Restante include: "Aligned in the Ranks of Amoebic Ancestry," "Pelt Exchange in the A-Frame" + "Leaving an Imprint of Banded Poseurs".

Unkel Fester had sort of broken up by this point, cuz the main lesbian couple in the band broke up + they had serious drug problems anyway (speak of the devil)... i got tired of driving up to Berkeley only to have them be too strung out on dope to practice (which served to reinforce my straight-edge ways). I still jammed some w/ the drummer B (who by this point moved to San Fran + joined a more serious band, Clown Alley, w/ the daughter of Shirley Temple (who also lived up on Skyline)) + various other folks, moving beyond hardcore punk to other types of music:

B (drums), some death rock guy (bass) + me (guitar)—"Sleeping on the Floor" (1986)

me (guitar) + 2 goth/surfer kids from Los Gatos—"Sergio's Dilemma" (1986)

Then we started playing w/ these 2 goth/industrial guys, L + P, 1 of whom ended up living w/ us. These projects usually dissolved once talk of playing live came up, something that didn't appeal to us in the least.

P (bass), L (drums) + me (percussion + guitar (w/drumsticks)—"Blackline" (1986)

The place we moved to in Palo Alto had a garage/storage shed out back that we didn't use, so we got a bunch of egg cartons, foam + carpeting + tried to insulate it best we could (...tho we remember 1 incident in particular where cops banged on the door w/ billy clubs + we couldn't hear them we were playing so loud... the cop said they took a reading from the street + we registered 100 dB). Around this time we also started to collect instruments from flea markets (drums, dulcimers, old guitars that we'd file the frets on, etc.) + found objects (springs, saws, oil drums, etc.). Oh, besides community college, we also decided to study sound engineering, at some place called California Professional Music Business Academy in Sunnyvale. We had done all our coursework + were doing our final project/internship at some studio in Los Gatos. Just weeks before we were to get our degree/certificate, the cokehead couple that managed the place (who looked + acted just like the blond couple (David + Jeanine) in Spinal Tap) just up + walked out, filing chapter 11 + we showed up to an empty stripmall office. $3000 bucks down the drain... tho we'd already decided we didn't want to work in a nightclub (what most sound engineers do), inhaling cigarette smoke all our life. At least we learned something about recording (not these recordings show it, still w/ a Tascam 4-track).

P (bass/percussion), L (drums) + me (guitar/perc.) "Naked to the Wolves" (1986)

solo (vox, guitars, drums, band saw, etc.)—"Rain Shakes" (1986)

solo (fret-less guitar, dulcimer, drum machine, metal grate on oil drum, found tapes, etc.—"Vivisection of Silence" (1986)

Input-wise—when we think back to 1986 in Palo Alto—we were listening (on vinyl) to a lot of Swans, Sonic Youth, Pyschic TV, Joy Division + Jesus + Mary Chain. We didn't read so much in those days, besides Maximum Rock'N'Roll + other punk zines, tho we do remember reading The Fountainhead laying fully clothed in a lawn chair in our backyard in Palo Alto. And John Cage's Silence was on our bedside table most of this year. And it was around this time we read Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, in public places laughing out loud. We still drove th '66 Mustang, tho it got stolen from right in front of our house. Not only did the door-locks not work, but neither did the gas gauge + even tho we were runnin' on empty the gauge said full (we always just kept track of mileage so we knew when to fill up) so whoever stole it only got like 50 miles away before runnin' out of gas + abandoning it on the freeway. We got a call from the cops telling us we needed to come get it + the fucked thing is that we had to pay for towing, which was more than the car was worth. When we got in the car, we had a strange sensation of being violated. We had a mexican puppet hanging from the rear view mirror that the thieves ripped down + threw in the back-seat... maybe cuz they didn't want to be reminded of anything personal. And they ejected the tape that was playing. When we pushed it back in, it was toward the end of "The Joke Isn't Funny Anymore" by The Smiths (we listened to them a lot too): I've seen this happen in other people's lives and now it's happening in mine.

altered photo Chaulky took of us playing our custom drum kit (w/ garbage can on our head)

[9/1/2019 addendum: after discovering negatives + photos we'd never scanned in... here's a few more shots from this time period in Palo Alto:

Granny w/ shotgun


modeling a dress in front of our '67 Mustang


+ sum additional art shots here. Chronological continuation—Mexico 1986]

 537 <( )> 539 > Zoologic in my luggage: foiled swindles + a turtle caper codex (comp book from Mexico 1986)

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