Seung Sahn's Dropping Ashes on the Buddha

Dottie on koans.

Good morning

A man came into the Zen center and dropped ashes on the Buddha.

One hundred and fifty years ago men started burning fuel in earnest and filled the atmosphere with ash.

These men claim “Buddha is everything.” They are very strong, and will hit you if you say otherwise. How do you fix their minds?

In a stroke of brilliance, it’s quite silly though I waited so long, I (finally) piped the morning meditation’s Zoom call audio through the Sonos. Clifford’s Morning Bell Chant wailed now. Pausing the onslaught on my geriatric iPhone’s speakers eliminated the rheumatic gargles and burps.

Good evening

There was a moment yesterday, around the routine crepuscular slide, when Seraph mentions how the diaspora broke us. We broke, to assimilate. We discontinued mentions of the moon cycle’s importance in our rituals. My chest balled up. I felt like I was going to cry. It had been a tough Sunday already in one of those classic disorientations of the weekend escaping too fast, just as a week or two of life pressures edged to the pinnacle for a breath and place to lookout with a panoramic view. (I’m thinking of the top of Bernal hill.)

I don’t love the language of broken and fixed because it’s kinda hard. It makes me think of split wood. But my own notional machine of my own mind body conjures gushier platelets. Like a pre-cum immured into being across a white plane with a left-to-right, slightly downward stroke of a palette knife making a wave of paint. So like the way paint breaks. Those air bubbles and even spread that create a torn moon surface across the paint wave. In that manner perhaps I’m dabs and waves, uneven, partial, preparation for art, art substance, also a soothing transitioning item from globular mound to wave. So that’s why it’s hard to feel broke, or unbroke like wood or rebar. But the near-tears I felt at the invocation of brokenness are a clear indication that the door has been shut on joy before.

How to read A Hacker Manifesto

McKenzie Warks' A Hacker Manifesto is so bergizi (trans from indonesian: nutrient-stuffed) so I skipped to the end notes. Reading ass backwards might be the trick here. (Or spin the bottle to choose an entry point.) Then reprint and scatter the individuated sections affixed to posts on Triton’s surface.

“A free yet not merely random productivity” which has me thinking about open source collaborations.

End note on Gregory Bateson from McKenzie Warks' A Hacker Manifesto

The kind of extro

Being around people Benching just outside the coffee shop Heads pointing down Talking Tap clink Passersby entering and exiting Entering and exiting is the point


From Amy Kurzweil at The Ruby in San Francisco on February 29th, 2024

The room was cold. The light a little caustic. Acoustics wan. From the back row I had to squirm to the side to see Kurzweil’s full face. Like 17 people there, maybe? Intimate, secret, and in on it. Rugged cool!

“Paper is pleasurable.”

“My life for a while was in pages.”

“My visual secret is that all my characters look like me.”

Two drinks max or else

The bartender at Berreta is asking if I like bitterness and I answer yes. At this point I’m open to interpretation and open to interpretations. I get Cynar, a hefty portmanteau that smoothes out my technologies of resistance across the bar plane. An incubation space for monsters. To the right of my glass, an open challah bag is a gaping hole.

Sunday Prayer before heading to altitude

Saying no to Lucy Ives everywhere and hitchhiking Leather Blvd. sipping cool aid

Kita anak-anak keren


Can you eat here
Can you get food here
I can get food here
I will get food here
This place is too expensive for you
I will eat at this place
There is another food for you over there

Relationships in this economy

“I didn’t realize what we had.”

He couldn’t see from the view within his stomach. Nerves are too high.

Well, you work full-time, overtime frequently because it’s only a five-day work week. Your hands are full cutting a path through what the racists made today.

Your Yeezies are barely scuffing the stacked monomers, my guy! Where did you come from? There are dicks the size of city blocks clouding your view. Same-day tsukumogami are drilled into the soil and rock and you trip on them.

You weren’t taught to realize her/they from the muscles between your shoulder blades, reaching behind you to turn it around, reaching in all four directions with the somaticists. Need I remind you that we only had one chance to spin the title track. (Ascenseur pour l’échafaud). You barely heard the record pops. The time that remained didn’t leave us one breath to talk about the sound before the rich were on the ballot again.

Written at the kitchen counter. My overcooked omelette lays on the cutting board. The sangha relaxing down into the sunrise and into memory.

Modern cities are inhuman: Vol 1

A post shared by Samantha Sophia (@raisingself)

Le Guin on write what you know

I slept pretty well last night

Book review: Event Factory

Event factory renee gladman

I’m not sure how far Gladman’s fantastic Ravickian worlding has spread betond smaller literary, artistic, critical conclaves. She reached me by way of Lucy Ives' article on the “weak novel” (after listening to Ives on a BISR’s podcast paneling the same topic). (I’ve since bought almost every book Ives mentions in this article; I’m on a rapid tour of postmodern anti-novels.)

I’m curious who would fancy this book. I loved it. But I love a good ontological drift through space-time. Are we meant to be reading the artifactual record of the protagonist’s survey? Nope. Maybe? This isn’t the same kind of world-inhabiting, context-laden ethnography that frequents the beginnings of book parts and chapters in sci-fi and fantasy volumes. Well, perhaps it is a long opener as the first of many books.

What feels most real is that Gladman’s text is constantly in question.

Dorothy (the publisher) leaves far too much margin.

The story can hardly get going since getting past “Hello” is nearly impossible. It’s some kind of language issue. But also architectural, since the built world is in some kind of crisis or revolution. Something really bad is happening on Ravicka, and we don’t get enough for a complete analysis. What’s maddening is that the locals seem to brush it off. But it’s not a total wash in the yellow. There are wonderfully concrete and vivid moments of the Ravickian world. It’s not simply abstract for abstract’s fancy. There are stakes here for Gladman. That’s what makes this anti-novel of sorts hard to dismiss. We oscillate between a strong foothold and floatation. Personally I find it seductive-enough.

Is Ravicka even a faraway planet at all? Could other worlds be close, not worlds away?

There are also gestures that feel fresh and exciting, partly because they are given so much room. Is this record incomplete? Were parts intentionally left out? Were they lost? Did they never happen? Sex with strangers. Music is important. Underground civilizations. Dancing is important to speak. Writhing to speak. Unlikely inter-species/cultural collaborations. Going to and waking from sleep. Sleep is important. Obvious love lost, longing. A book that de-centers the written and spoken word, somehow, while concerned with it and the slippage of translation; including awkward encounters with native speakers and their disinterest. Gladman’s person is put through tenderness and saddening separation with every encounter.

This is a small book that you cannot breeze through. But it is pleasure book bound.

Reproduced from Bookwyrm

Book review: The Hospital Ship

The hospital ship cover

Bax evades a typically satisfying narrative arc for recondite reprints of medical texts and war-time dispatches/memoir peppered among a minor smatter of pro forma obligations to a novel about people surviving large-scale tragedy. But readers should consider this as a book at play with the conventional. Albeit a spirited one. All aboard.

I suspect this is will be either a quick read for you, or you’ll drop it quickly into the gift bin. When the story pokes through the fog of secondary material, you enjoin the nerved doings of hospital staff aboard a large vessel skirting the edge of some broad-spectrum of disaster. The healing process for the ship’s patients, the interpersonal affairs of the staff, an encounter with counter-cultural politicos that attempt to take the ship as a commune.

Aspects of this world on the verge will feel familiar to the overwhelm of our the early 21st century. This makes the Hospital Ship more timeless than not. It’s impossible to determine if the catastrophe(s) are manmade or other, viral, psychological, climate, war, …. A world in crises, multiple, unknowable crises converging – autism in children, mass crucifixions, general depopulation.

Scenes of sex and sexuality are numbered in this book. The fleshiness, cigarette smoking, feels well-situated to the 70s. Some second wave feminism woven through; although I felt it was oddly (perhaps lazily) retrofitted in the form of Sheila’s brief, monochromatic biography. Kinda shoved in there. I’m not convinced Bax was pushing the subject of women’s lib radically, at least any more radically than mainstream Leftism of the time. But maybe that’s part of the play – what is the correct rousing politics in the face of amorphous, multi-faced threat.

The fleshiness ages ok, although a bit trite and verging on cringey because the character perspective is always cis-dude. Was the narration of a Vietnamese prostitute healing, with literal sex, a former Wall St. banker stuck in a psychological malaise a refreshing take? prosaic? satire? for the times? I’m not enough of a comp lit scholar to understand the context. How, Euan, the main character, erratically responds to the process of intimacy and sex working it’s magic is fun. Especially as the book explores his difficulty with achieving lasting, satisfying sex and love with Sheila.

Overall enough intrigue as an example of early postmodern sci-fi, still-relevant themes, certainly a romp of prose. But not for everyone, I suppose.

Reproduced from Bookwyrm

Collected turns of phrase

“wish embroidering” - Eugene Lim, Dear Cyborgs

“the air quicken before rain” - Robert Glück, Margery Kempe

“His ears and tongue felt carbonated” - Samuel Delaney, Troble on Triton

I watched Eastern Promises last night and this morning
And Donnie Brasco
And The Departed

City Pop (Vibes) Immaculate Delusions

Richard mayhew delusions

It’s a bizarre aesthetic (and rhetorical) leap from Richard Mayhew’s Delusions to the similar strong chromas, hues, and deep values of Japanese City Pop album art. But how many colors are there in the world. Every visit to SFMOMA I drift to Mayhew. Into his drives, spirals, through landscape that “reclaims the wilderness for the dispossessed” for indigenous and Black planetary citizens, family. Paint over the prospector. Disrupted manifest linerality, letting the land announce itself. It’s wild how this painting ushers your gaze forward and back.

But onward to Just Enough™️ aesthetic relativity for my mental leap and a drift through space-time.

Kimiko kasai butterflyMasaki ueda huskyTaeko ohnuki adventureTaeko ohnuki copineTaeko ohnuki drawingTaeko ohnuki mignonneTaeko ohnuki romantiqueTaeko ohnuki sunshowerKikuchi momoko adventureKikuchi momoko tropic of capricornTakako mamiya love tripTomoko aran fuyu kukan

Jazz Vol. 1

Album art for Ptah The El Dauoud by Alice ColtraneAlbum art for Nala Sinephro SpaceAlbum art for Pharoah Sanders PharaohAlbum art for Sun Ra Haverford College 1980 Solo Rhodes PianoAlbum art for Thelonius Monk Brilliant Corners

What other optimisms lie in wait on the Enterprise NCC-1701-D?

Just discovered Sun Ra’s recording at Haverford College, 1980. The story of this record is bonkers.

Students running concert series book jazz after previous acts flop - the Talking Heads! (Elvis Costello was also booked but cancelled after said flop) 🤦.

Ra appears suddenly after cancelling two weeks prior. The only available piano is an electric Fender Rhodes. Ra fiddles around on the spot backstage.

Resulting performance is mesmerizing, chill, masterful.…


Abolish The Family by Sophie Lewis

But uh oh those summer nights. Right on the heels of a transformative family weekend! When Theo laughs, the world is a single flower. What is your family’s pronoun? Are the flower and Theo the same or different?

The other day I played the dérive along Valencia after a salad with a colossal heft of blue cheese. I found my way to Dog Eared Books. I always end up there. However, this time I grazed through atypical sections; like the politically charged cabinet below the register with the latest thunder for white supremacy; the sale rack; a quick glance for sci-fi, but nothing more this time.

Under philosophy I found Han’s Burnout Society. These pocket-sized books are almost irresistible for the busy post-modern man. Give me all the deep thoughts in the space between meetings. Be my vade mecum while I traverse the network.

Well, apropos.

Over the weekend Taylor whisked me off to the Botanical Gardens to see the magnolia blooms. It was in the context of that blooming that I unfolded Han’s slice of philosophy under the redwood grove canopy. The tree bath reworking my nervous system.

So very apropos as I’m diving into the book and having a meta moment reflecting on what Han calls an “excess positivity,” a “neuronal power,” “violence,” “Same.” (Baudrillard is invited.) A new category of oppression in our post immunological world that has supplanted the viral. Is this my contemporary affliction; why I get the Sunday Scaries? Loss of boredom, as Han goes on to claim. The human is animal again, too busy multitasking to survive the onslaught of information, activity, to find steady ground, to manage and also smile through the (filthy, positive) filter…

This strange new world where “Big Data never forgets anything at all” – from Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and the New Technologies of Power, then from Mackenzie Wark’s Verso piece; more on that later).

The “outsourcing of memory to technics” (Wark again).

Big Data’s promise forcing us into a new relationship with anything. Be like Big Data. Be in the frenetic stream.

And I’m only like 15 pages in.

Taylor comes over and interrupts my Hanish stupor. She recounts a moment just before where a middle-aged couple snapping photos of [which bird?] with telephoto lenses were acting very nonplus. They said (some version of): “it’s not remarkable, he’s always here.” Were they bored? Rather, were they bored enough? What was this small-talk play-acting wrenched out? Why were they so disappointed by this encounter? I’m imagining Donna Haraway sighing at the missed opportunity here to mix, to mingle, to get messy across species. Not shocked, though, like she felt toward Derrida’s failure:

Derrida failed a simple obligation of companion species; he did not become curious about what the cat might actually be doing, feeling, thinking, or perhaps making available to him in looking back at him that morning…

What happened that morning was, to me, shocking because of what know this philosopher can do. Incurious, he missed a possible invitation, a possible introduction to other-worlding.

He couldn’t cross the Great Divide between culture (human) and nature (animals, etc…). Did our photographers similarly fail? Does this couple’s mastery of photogenic capture leave them also captured, immobile, behind the (reaching, never arriving) lens? The speed of their automatic shutters; the hyperattention, the multitudes of frames they produce, threaded into the positivity stream; it has exhausted them. Are their semi-automatic shutters warring survivalism of cacophony to the birds' own musicircus. Riffing (rifling along): capture without contemplation. Does this couple ever breathe into a contemplation of the being at the other end of the lens? Dropping into a contemplation that might lead to an inter-mingling. An invitation.

The irony, too, of the lush saturation of plants. Was that weighing on them, as well? “He’s always there.”

But maybe…fuck Han? I so appreciate you Mackenzie Wark. I can’t remember what I typed, but Google led me to Wark’s piece on Han from 2019: Byung-Chul Han: Shanzhai Theory. The Burnout Society is not explicitly mentioned. In fact, the piece seems to read through Psychopolitics: Neoliberalism and the New Technologies of Power despite the title referencing another of Han’s books. I’m not sure, the notes counting/referencing is a bit confusing.

I’m glad I found the article. Han’s terseness, density, and improbable accessibility, carries a seductive authority. Wark sets up their opposition to Han at the start of the piece, before juicier bits later:

The success and limitation of Han’s writing is that it universalizes the experiences of people like me, what I call the hacker class: people whose job is making new information.

Ah, maybe Han’s collecting up of “human beings” and this time, age, period of history or whatever is actually a simplistic contour around a privileged class. This hacker class, who are sneakily conscripted into this contemporary capitalist stream to produce new information. What’s more, Wark finds in Han a nostalgia for Foucauldian disciplinary society. Or more, a discreet Sovereignty to control, constrain, restrain, silence speech. Hard boundaries (feels masculine). Geographical. Not a confusing dilution of “social media shitstorms,” “flattened hierarchies.” Wark goes on to level a barb at Han for parading into media theory too clumsily. He makes amateur mistakes, psyched himself out by his own fears of Big Data and loss of solid ground:

Like many amateurs who stray into media theory, Han mistakes surface appearances for forms. Effects are taken as given and routed through permutations on concepts from the philosophical canon. It is simply not the case that social media is a world without intermediaries or unilateral forms of communication and control, as Alex Galloway demonstrated long ago with his study of protocol. Its networks are distributed but protocol can still be non-reciprocal.

Right, like is it all a messy soup? And from an optimistic POV: What about the very real power flip in social media spaces? Influence achieved without financial power. What about Black Twitter’s new protocol?

Bringing back sweet memories. Atmospheric pressure. La lluvia frames colored paint.

The real miracle is how long Chevron kept the oil burning. Rise Judea.

Upcycled hellenism is my streetwear idolatry. Labneh and cacao soda; another probiotic day with a credit score!

It's A Wonderful Life - smashing records

Summer lewks leaked. Sunscreen is a conspiracy, cover up with a shirt or heavy layer of clay. I want to be a bird.

Humans have become meh.

Go lay down.

I want to read space operas with shopping and hair braiding and tea.

Life is maintenance. If you live with others make sure to balance the house contributions equitably. Make a plan! Index cards can help.

With each new day it doesn’t rain I lose hope about the future of our species. I have a good performance review this week. Adding some lemon juice and gojuchang to this breakfast soup was CORRECT.

The slap heard round the world is LAPD riot cops descending on climate scientists in battle armor. Fuck the police. We must stop them.

Coding adapters for payment gateways is also not so easy! I’m in love with programming books that have a smooth narrative arch. Describe the problem in all its complexity, with many dash of subjectivity. There’s not right way! Only what’s CORRECT.