Square eyes, January 2009.

(photos from the Bulb)

Septembe 2008. Went out to the Bulb today with Siddhartha, Sky, Keith, and Tony and took a few pictures of the characters described in this post.  The photos inserted below are from today’s visit. I’ll add more as time goes on. Enjoy. JIGs

There’s a piece of land out in the San Pablo bay called the Albany bulb. A friend showed it to me last week, at dusk, and nearly every night since, I have dreamed of what I have seen there. Of course, the dreams are littered with references of my friend, but I don’t think that’s why i’m dreaming of that place. We went back on Sunday and I felt as though I’d been there a hundred nights before, returning a hundred days inbetween. So, tonight, i jotted down some of my dreams and thoughts I’ve had when I am there— silly, I suppose, but here they are:


The Bulb dreams

I dream of bonfires,
water gods with their backs to the waves,
Sparks becoming fireflies, and 
a painted desk that scoops up vibrant green algae
to fuel the flames.

Standing next to Icarus, shivering,
I wonder if he knew his beauty earlier,
at dusk as the sun set before him.
And how Icarus became a man, speaking softly beside me
telling me the water woman was really a man
and how and I watched his eyes dance.
Tomorrow, I wonder if he, returned to rust and wood, will recall
that I’d pleaded with him to leave his flight til a foggy day.
And how he only smiled, turning back to the bonfire’s light.

Found objects, delighting me in daylight
dance now in shadow.
Some are lurking, hiding, waiting to pounce, and I wonder
how hard I’ll have to run tonight.
Before the chase, there’s a few chores to be done.
The rose needs oiled and the dog wants dinner.

The thinking man with his shovel has not moved from his post;
he sits giving counsel to the characters (paintings, sculptures, and men alike)
who wait to plead their case.
I bring him sweet tea and am careful
not to spill on the tarplant (it is sticky enough).
He turns and nods thanks.

I am free.
I run towards, then away from the bonfire,
the fireflies lighting the path and
see me back to the shack
above the crashing waves.

Down the cemented path, I sprint, hoping
I haven’t missed the show. Bare bulb lights
strung up beacon me inside. Dropping down,
I meet a friend on the curved staircase.
His square cut eyes twinkle like the lights
as he tells me the water woman is out on the
terrace, singing lullabyes,
And not too badly for a woman with such a strong chin

At dawn, the mural characters return to their weathered boards
and no longer chase each other, and me
through the coyote brush, up and down the slopes,
across the slippery rocks— always exposed as if low tide.

The wind whips,
and all are returned and rooted to their spots.
Some took up new residence over there, anxious
to have an ocean view. I hear snippets, those who balance
rigidity and submission.
We all will return to the bay.

As I walk the paths, I talk to a companion, and watch
the dogs run here and there, chasing errant messengers
back into their holes. I am listening.
I wonder what they’ll say when they see me by the fire.

The friend with square cut eyes, leaning against the tree,
last night was playing banjo and taping his foot to the moon.
Later, he took me home to his perch under that tree
and screwed until the big bad wolves too had gone off to couple,
leaving the cowering pigs to reconstruction.

Among the rubble, the spray paint, the incomplete mosiacs,
I explore, along side the wind and the waves, the tried and true,
I pause. May I retire here too? A grand place to dwell.
Maybe I’ll ask the sitting man sometime.

But it’s time to wander home; I nod to him,
pat his dog, and pay my dues to the water goddess
before heading up the hill, to the beach
where I toss parts of Icarus back to the bay…
Postscript 08.15.10: Square eyes is gone. Looks like he just packed up and headed out from his post behind the thinking man. I stood for a long time starring at his spot. I toured the Bulb with Stitches, down from Seattle for a few hours. It was a bittersweet trip—seeing an old friend from college for the first time in a decade and saying goodbye to a scultpure that was much more than a sculpture.
I’ll miss you, square eyes. You’re the closest I’ve come to Hatch. Tell him hello for me. Safe travels.