the places i come from : part iii


goth_back.pngMost of my childhood —

Has burned or shaken away. Forget mudslides. Which everyone pretends is an aberration, not a regular thing.


I remember kids taking pieces –– small pieces because it was rubble — of the roof away from a grammar school I attended. The whole administration building went down during a quake so rubble was all that was left. That was a four story building too, solid, tall –– before we picked up souvenir rubble.


I remember lying with my pillow on the windowsill watching fires coming over a mountain. One of many mountains — all burning. Mountains and mountains in the night’s dark, crawling in miles of fire.


I remember passing where I once lived. It had been a big elegant Victorian house. That place is now a parking lot. I guess after a house that big gets knocked down, everyone is too tired to put something back up.


This place I live, this place I was born, it is always burning, always shaking, always sliding, away.



where the art work comes from :
i can tell you where i found the image
there is a small problem with deciphering

0 Responses to the places i come from : part iii

  1. Faig M

    I really loved “I guess after a house that big gets knocked down, everyone is too tired to put something back up.” And so, they go and make a parking lot, eh?

    This line asks for a short-story, Max; nay, it’s a very short story in itself. You write short-stories?

  2. Much as we want to, much as we try, we just cannot go back. Perhaps that is why storytellers are so important in all societies. They give us a past we can live with.

  3. D. Jordan Knight

    Sounds like you’re at a place where you’re looking for something solid to stand on. A sure thing. I wish I could tell you that sure things exist, but they don’t, you know … and that’s okay, really. Remember that memories are more than bookmarks of our past, they are turning points in our own character development — and they are lessons upon which we can build a future. So take heart — in time, the energy will be found to build something even more wonderful and grand on that empty lot, and it will be stronger and more stable. I promise.

  4. max

    I am one of the story tellers though. And I can tell you, I will not give you a past you can live with. Only the non-story tellers can twist our past hard enough to make it a past you can accept.

  5. max

    D, please do not try to, what, comfort me? With mediocre platitudes? I hope you know they are crap. I sure do.

  6. Faig M

    Don’t let’s be comforted. Bollocks to comfort. The stiffs in your local morgue are probably the most comforted people in the world. And?

    Sitting at the back of (the world) a caravan with the wheels off, a plate of possum meatballs and a rusty can of beer that tastes of horse urine – this is all that comfort is about.

    Living, hoping, hating, writing, all – come from a conflict. A problem. The rage that comes from it; gives you adrenaline, the human’s fuel. To rephrase Sir Paul McCartney, “In conflict our features will appear.”

  7. D. Jordan Knight

    LOL. Fair enough – no more comforting Max with mediocre platitudes. It’s true. Shit falls down. Memories burn. And maybe in your experience they don’t come back stronger, but in mine, they always have — and I have seen some pretty damned big buildings fall on my life. So no — I while I do “know” that the platitudes were mediocre, I do not “know” that the truth (and the hope) behind them is crap. I sure as hell hope not, in any event.

  8. Kym

    Max, I’m mostly with D on this one–In my life, shit falls down but new life squirms up through the rubble–it may not be better or stronger but its worth hanging around to see what blooms on its vines.

  9. max

    Well I am not going anywhere. I hope. [Knock wood.] I am still here.

  10. Great post. Reminds me of Mike Davis’s Ecology of Fear: Los Angeles and the Imagination of Disaster? Fascinating reading if you don’t mind things that are a bit … uh … downbeat.

  11. One of the houses I grew up in burnt down. Another got moved to another location. The one I spent the most time in had a hundred plus year old oak in the yard that provided shade over the entire house. I used to stand on the roots of that thing when I was too little to see what was in the mailbox.
    My mom still lives there but the oak fell about ten years ago. the property doesn’t even look the same in it’s absence. Or feel the same, it’s a lot hotter in the house. And when it rains there are no acorns to fall on the tin roof.

  12. a bit late to the conversation. I seemed to have missed part ii?

    I visited the past recently–ghosts of the living, ghosts of the dead. There is no way to right the wrongs that others do. The only fires we can put out are the ones within us, only sometimes, the scars don’t exactly heal. They can, but they don’t always.

    Some people are vested in not healing. It is the fight that has gotten them through the hard times, and without that many feel they won’t make it through the hard times to come. So they stoke fires to keep themselves going. I understand this from my own life, in the past, anyway.

    I think, having met death so many times, I became at peace with the transition that he/she represents; that everything is constantly evolving and changing. Nature sees to it. Out of fetid decay comes new life, and that pattern exists everywhere. What makes a ghost a ghost is a person’s unwillingness to move on, and accept transition.

    I just wish people would recognize the cries and screams of Mother Nature, but when she calls out and warns us, or tries to right our wrongs, people don’t listen. California is a symptom of a much wider disease.

    I guess that’s all I have to say.

  13. max

    I wondered if anyone would notice there was no part ii. When I went back and looked at part ii I did not like it so I skipped it.

  14. Ben

    Well Max… I just have to chip in that it is a two story parking lot.

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