Excerpts from upcoming “Absinthe Trinker II – 2014, Nachschatten Verlag. (Gandria, Ticino, Switzerland 2012)October 30th, 2013
Gandria, Ticino – September 14, 2012
Above Gandria the stars are bright. These myriad stars are pulsing a special light power. We look at the stars, and we wonder why all this is here, all these suns and distant solar systems. Hanging in the universe for millennia just like Airolo hangs for the same measure now at the world’s center.
The stars look at us and burn in wonder at human beings that look, walk, and talk at normal temperature. Then, there is Lugano, a paradise, a place beyond what fiction writers could convey.
This is what the stars think of us in wonder. The suns’ feel their heat bounce off ultra violet hearts aflame, beyond the suns, past what our sun’s heat cannot reach is a black matter universe of nothingness, no heat, no life. Then past this point of the universe’s “no return” are the Swiss Alps, and the black face of “Les Diablerets” or “Pizza Nero” and “Pizza Galina.” On top is a point at the end of the Earth, where the universal suns’ power cannot reach; it just bends away the UV rays to the valley.
This is why we climb. This is why we find ourselves at the pinnacle–where the last place remaining to escape to, this endless point of the universe, where humans are not supposed to be.
Throw the discus.
“Knowledge, Silence, Passing By” – Wissen, Schweigen, Voruberghen – 1921
Oil transfer drawing and watercolor on paper cardboard
After five straight days of absinthe and beauty, I have filled my void.
In Gandria just below Lugano, the mind is now finally absorbed all the thujone, and the body has adjusted to the time zone.
At the Hotel Mooseman, all is calm, except for the German tourist who has been talking on his cell phone for thirty-five minutes in loud Deutch from the balcony below me.
I can ignore him since I do not understand German. The crew team just lapped by and covered his telephone conversation to a murmur.
I guess some people do not come here to escape work or relationships, but deal with the “shizzer” back home.
Stillness, quiet, solitude, rest, and beauty are why I am here in Gandria. Just ask these old Roman soldier bones at the bottom of Lago Lugano. They can attest to this peace, if you could ask them.
Everlasting rest, everlasting bliss, eternal tranquility are what I feel now.
Monte Generosa, Ticino – September 2011
It was the previous year when I visited Gandria and made a reunion with this mountain. Twenty years later upon return to Monte Generosa, nothing has changed here, except me, older and wiser like a mountain. I grew taller without measurement, stronger by thought, like a plant growing in all seasons, frayed and browned by winter, then blooming each spring, thriving in summer, and never dying. Same as the wind that blows seeds of thought, my mind can never rest.
I hiked the steep trails and traversed all over with Italy’s Lake Como in view to the south, probably, one of the more majestic panoramas I have experienced in twenty years. The thick, surreal line of clouds divided the mountains to the north while below the valley’s haze blends into a green eternity. As if wine terraces were something the gods on Mount Olympus invented for our enjoyment.
Something about being a young man on Monte Generoso, twenty years ago. To be in the grotto with the salty old Swiss Italian men, who joke and laugh at life and everything.
Now twenty years later at the grotto on Monte Generoso, the old men joke at everything; it’s all funny. Someday, twenty years from today, I will be on this mountain, joking into the sunset as the younger people watch and listen. These quarter centuries are like mist, a tethered dream woven by the invisible rope of jokes and laughter.
“Rememberance Sheet” – Gedenkblatt (am gersthofen) – 1919
Pen, pencil, and watercolor on paper
Gandria – Ticino, September 15, 2012
Each year torn by stress, I need to return to this paradise of Ticino, to the dreams of the young man I was long ago.
Ticino lizards eat insects. Insects eat larvae, and larvae falls in my hair; swans eat tiny fish, and the tiny fish eat algae; I eat a vagina all night. Now that is a perfect food chain!
The German tourists on vacation at Hotel Mooseman in Gandria are very “German.” No, nothing can take the goofy German out of them. Not the vistas, risotto diners, or the swans.
As for Americans, the same thing, but we fake it better on a human line. The Germans take so many vacations each year, it’s like me going to the department store. It’s like sleep for them, nothing special–another vacation in Switzerland, Greece, or Thailand. The Germans cannot really enjoy their vacations like I do because they take so much time off dancing the merengue and saying: “Ya, nein,” all in the same short sentence. I guess they are more relaxed than me. “Automatiche vacation” but the mind is locked.
On the Lago Lugano simplicity is necessary. One can almost imagine Hermann Hesse hiking to Monte Bre, leaning on a railing, gazing down at Gandria.
In permanent repose, I am here at Gandria.
The simplicity translates from the sun streak on the lake shining from Italy, and the mountains. It kissed my face into submission, and the swans below disappear and re-appear. To the south is a mountain range, and above the heavens where we hope to be again–the fictional Gandria of our dreams.
Last night the stars were bright and strong. Opposites became aligned and the North Star hung as low above the southern mountain as it could. Many women who have loved me rode the invisible south star hanging in the north above the Gotthard range.
My head turned north to the star, but I glimpsed a streak of a shooting star. Some blind meteor, same as me, riding the space dust and burning out into the atmosphere. Myself on fire below the heavens. I thought at first my eyes were playing tricks on me. After dinner with much wine, and grappa shots, and even on the Hotel Mooseman’s balcony, a few more kirche.
So I stayed locked on the same area, and waited, waiting for the next shooting star to see if my eyes were true, or just old and worthless.
I witnessed a few more shooting stars, but at least two meteors went lateral, and one shot up toward the heavens for a split second. That is why the North Star is idled in the south above Italy, near Como. So, a shooting star that looked to be going up, instead of down, was actually going down, but the world is a fishbowl, and we are all fish looking out through the looking glass. We wait for the all-knowing and omnipresent feeder to drop flakes of fish food for all of us to eat. Maybe the star was going up to the heavens, and this world on the lake is upside down.
The star shot up and back to where it came, not wanting to die a cold death after such a hot ride. The shooting star screamed: “Ya, nien!” Then shot back up to its lonely, but wild orbit.
To the south, where the North Star hung, I saw two more shooting stars going down this time. This is the sky tonight, illuminated; and every star twinkled and spoke to me.
I made a wish to each of the three stars that died for me to give me the perfect love for the woman who needs the perfect love from this man. This is what life is, waiting a long time for the shooting star to finally show itself when the stars become holy at darkest night.
What can be said when everything has been written, when beauty has saturated into the black that is let into the rivers? The little dipper is now the bigger dipper, and dipping as if the Earth has moved higher into space. The constellations become no more, only space between stars. We are nothing to write about.
In the space of light at dawn in Gandria, over the mountains comes another day in Ticino. Birds screech their squall. The wind vents, air is what it is, and blood flows where blood flows. Chiasso is still filled with street noise. People will be people, and love will always be what love is, invisible trap to be. The swan bobs on the current of life.
In the current of life, we always are swept along. Absinthe is one of those brooms where something is pushing the broom forward, invisible force, same as everyone with all the dust, and particles of life in a swirl.
“Chaotic Cosmic” – Chaotisch Kosmisch – 1920’s
Pencil and black colored pencil on paper