Mister Chu

Much luck to you if not at all impossible

For some the comfort of routine brings the idea of freedom. For others, death.

-Nanny Chu


—Theme for Chu (15 Bars)


I see him always as a small man
rushing slowly with a sheaf of papers.

Tonight in Texas


I live in Texas now
and it’s true, about the guns
and the cowboys who carry them.
The rights that get roped or electrocuted
and their women who have none
unless the money’s well colored.
The men who sweep our leaves
and the others, in trucks and lizard boots.
Steaks for breakfast,
along with the narrow sense of a vast self
and hair in undue proportion.
Bullets on the shelf.
But when the light dies
it mostly like everywhere else can be.
The darkness making it into a place
of simple scuttling and dry rot,
the noise of silent children.
The sound of that stench.
Civilization on the brink and hot,
waiting, for shame.


Never have I lived anywhere
as I do in this modernizing Austin
that felt so temporary.
The day paints an illusion
of man abroad and in charge
but at night the real world slithers back.
As it has always done
and will do too
long after y’all.


To be truthful it bothers me
more than I can put up with and just then
a pecan tree limb the size of three men
(and the weight of four) falls down without warning
like a leg that detaches itself
or an arm come off while standing still.
Misses the house by accident
and lays there upended
not going anywhere.
Out there still in the soft night
I can sense the raccoons close by
evaluating this new opportunity,
while those of us who survive until morning
will only believe life to be more manageable
when the men finally come and haul off the carcass.

The Cider House Rules

(Source: sakuranamida, via andreii-tarkovsky)

One of the great luxuries of civilization is solitude, as opposed to loneliness.

-Ian McEwan


Alligators, crocodiles
music lovers, cinefiles

men who work at night for money
every kind of endless honey

when to crawl across the road
how to gut the common toad

all these things and others too
are now available to you

so much so that the normal glutton
barely looks beyond the button

nor needs to rise up from his bed
if he should wish to fill his head

yet still the heart remains unknown
and thus can humans die alone

for without the other to understand
bloodless data is the bane of man.


Icelandic bani (“bane, death”).

-A cause of misery or death; an affliction or curse
-Poison, especially any of several poisonous plants
-A killer, murderer, slayer
-Destruction; death
-A disease of sheep; the rot.


Where are Don DeLillo and Emily Dickinson now? The second in a week-long series of illustrations by Jason Novak, captioned by Eric Jarosinski.

Mister Chu:
I believe this.


Where are Don DeLillo and Emily Dickinson now? The second in a week-long series of illustrations by Jason Novak, captioned by Eric Jarosinski.

Mister Chu:

I believe this.

Only in extinction does the collector comprehend.
-Walter Benjamin

Young man, young man
your arm’s too short to box with God.

-James Weldon Johnson

East from here

Somewhere east from here
-and her also
because we are mostly
in the same location-
a gun and a dog both start barking
at a moment that is too closely the same
as to make it possible
as regards deciding which noise
began beginning first.

The dog barked and got shot?
Or did the shooter
concentrating on another and separate business
cause the dog to start in
as a result of the sudden banging?

If we were to gamble on it
-she and I sat here
so very close as to be touching-
I would back the dog first
and then the bullet
about the precise destination of which
we could then agree to wager upon
quite separately
and one kiss at a time.

It’s gone quiet
and awfully hot
and there’s so little to do
here west of her
and it comes to me she’s a center
a pole by which measurements are made
when in fact her people
came to begin with from Bavaria
where the German Shepherds
also got their start.

I really wondered why people were always doing what they didn’t like doing. It seemed like life was a sort of narrowing tunnel. Right when you were born, the tunnel was huge. You could be anything. Then, like, the absolute second after you were born, the tunnel narrowed down to about half that size. You were a boy, and already it was certain you wouldn’t be a mother and it was likely you wouldn’t become a manicurist or a kindergarten teacher. Then you started to grow up and everything you did closed the tunnel in some more. You broke your arm climbing a tree and you ruled out being a baseball pitcher. You failed everyday math test you ever took and you canceled any hope of ever being a scientist. Like that. On and on through the years until you were stuck. You’d become a baker or a librarian or a bartender. Or an accountant. And there you were. I figured that on the day you died, the tunnel would be so narrow, you’d have squeezed yourself in with so many choices, that you just got squashed.

—Carol Rifka Brunt, Tell the Wolves I’m Home (via ohteenscanrelate)

(via 566359)

The cost of learning is but a slight humility.

-Nanny Chu

I need a crowd of people
but I can’t face them day to day.

-Neil Young

When despair for the world grows in me and I wake in the night at the least sound in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. I come into the peace of wild things who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief. I come into the presence of still water. And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light. For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Wendell Berry (via sunrec)

Mister Chu:

Leaving Maine early this year.
It always feels early to me.
Back to Austin in the morning.
The 101 degrees and the cowboys.
This quote from Mister Berry is the sum
of all I miss when I’m not here.

The ability to argue directly confuses the ability to understand.

-Nanny Chu