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DP Thanatos – Aug./Sept.

Aug 26

     It is well to have those who laugh on one’s side

And, sometimes, to face defeat.
Raiders on fast ponies.
Swords and short re-curved bows

    Dunhuang,       in a dream.

Monks hiding sutras, scrolls in caves.
Silk Road. Singing-Sand Mountains. Lakes dry for a thousand years.
Sliver moon rising in the pre-dawn east.

Others keep faith
That the wheel will turn.

Justice may be empty
But I would still feel joy

     if that sick and cowardly man
Choked on his own tongue


Trump pardons Arpaio
Payback – for Sheriff Joe’s assistance in his racist agenda questioning Obama’s birth certificate.
And Sheriff Joe sadistic coward, with his prison camps and institutionalized brutality.
It’s not that they deserve death, but that they’ve done nothing to deserve life.

29 August
One half dropper every hour midnight to 9:30
On Sheriff Joe
By their silence on President Trump’s pardon of Joe Arpaio, the Republicans have declared that racism, along with tax cuts for the rich, are enough of a coalition to form a winning strategy.
For the Democrats winning strategies have not been their strong point in the last half century.

30 August
Darren came to fix the hot tub – the sensor got too far out of whack. He’s heading off to June Lake Loop for vacation.

Afternoon, Wendy B. came by. She was leading some specimen collection for the Yuba Watershed Institute, and I asked her if she’d be interested in seeing my collection: the Kuksu Herbarium—a thousand pressed specimens covering forty-five years. She said yes.

A wonderful afternoon. A real botanist! Knew almost every plant she looked at. And she says she will help find a home for them. Yes! And help clean up the damaged specimens. Yes!

Trump is the symptom, not the disease

31 August
I must have hurt something moving boxes with Heather. Lower back pain is at a whole new level.

Why should the government interfere with American Business by setting arbitrary standards and regulations? Why not let the MARKET decide?
Fire escapes, health and safety regulations
More government meddling and micro-management of PRIVATE ENTERPRISE.

(Let the buyer beware, as we love to quip in Latin.
Is that STUPID or WHAT?)

An even bigger challenge that speaking truth to power is just to speak truth at all – free from self-delusion or reality-delusion.

– a painful day – took more pain meds but just got spacey and would nod out trying to read

1 September Friday
Restless last night maybe because I took a late dropper around 10pm but not bad, just frequent wake ups, this am, in one hour naps, through the morning. Very sore in lower back. So, twelve hours between morphine drops, still didn’t have BM until 10:30 – must have been really loaded yesterday

In The Age of Earth Denial

The earth keeps trying to send us messages
The quieter angels are taken for granted, or missed entirely. The beautiful angels are put in boxes, cages, or jars, or sold like slaves on the block.
Only the more terrible angels seem to grab our attention – and even then, are attacked or denied by those who find their gospel inconvenient.

The game is to monetize nature.

Here is what the plants and animals that would be destroyed by this mountain top removal strip mine are worth in dollars and here is the value of the coal in dollars clearly it makes sense to go ahead with the coal mine –


A concept that thoroughly stumped a team of planetary archeologists who visited Earth a million years later. Some said that “money” was a heavy metal, some said it was fossilize plants, others said it was just an ever shifting social ranking system of the dominant bipedal species.
Some said it must have been a neuro-toxic substance emitted, under certain conditions, by the brains of the humans on the planet. No one could guess how it worked or why it led the planet’s human inhabitants to destroy all that was beautiful there.

Today’s prices. Yesterday’s prices. Prices from the Rio Negro. Prices from Shangri-La.
Or Paleolithic.



The Denier Mind Set
So much goes back to Ayn Rand.
Just amazing.
That brainless, right-wing anarchism.

Earth denial. Mother denial.

September 2
Mornings are a little rocky. So much lower back pain. Trying to get my guts moving.

September 3
One dropper every hour midnight until 8


Looking back, disengaged.
	Even into late historical times,
I realize that most of my life I have lived in a deep trace-like 
Totally encompassing, overwhelmingly thorough, and over-the-top state of 

And that I lived in such state utterly without perspective
(No different from a lot of men.
Or even most men.)
But if so, how does any man maintain even a modicum of decorum.

[I’m almost nodding out again]

It had all the power of a fetish – over spans of years would be general – or what to me seemed general

I once set up an elaborate scene just for a chance to look down a woman’s blouse as she bent over.

And that, that Dionysian madness, is our HOPE!

4 September
[lists of pills, times, dosages, blah, two pages, blah]
Pain level was fairly severe this am, pain level +7 or 7.5

5 September
Rocky am by around 8:30 I’m noticing a lot of pain this am 5, 6, to 7 on the “10 scale”
Heather came and worked 12 to 2:30 we made one pass through the mail room corner

6 September
Scrip didn’t come
I always seem to be behind the pain curve
Took pills and droppers
Back pain seems to have notched up a couple of points
We are quick to say no but then too obedient not to comply.

& (shame attack age 14):
Dale in San Diego
how I would prove to my parents that I was serious about summer school begging them to let me go that I would meditate outside their bedroom all night but, obediently, after an hour, I went to bed.

7 September
[calculations of dosages and meds]

8 September
[list of meds and dosages]
Shame attack #5673
With Jane Klimes and her parents
Bragging how I taught myself how to read

9 September
[Meds, dosages, pain levels]

10 September
Saw Andrew in Berkeley
Mostly a fog
Doctor’s appointments

11 September
Monday at the Stanyan Park in San Francisco.
PET machine is broken, so we’ll have to stay two extra days.
Lots of pills, lots of extra droppers

Walking from Telegraph four blocks to Andrew’s car yesterday reminded me how weak I am
Today – walked about 4 blocks down Haight to gelato shop and over on Cole and back
Losing weight. Try snacking every 2 hours.

12 September
[med lists, snacks]
[doctors, nutritionists, pain management]

13 September
Going for PET/CT
Laura did all the driving
A man in the PET/CT – youngish, scared and nervous – I wasn’t strong enough to buck regulations (“No Talking”) and ask him what kind of cancer they were checking for – he did say

“It’s all happening so quickly”

I’ll do better next time.

Looked at my herbarium data base code – first program was in PASCAL – later I rewrote it in C – a little over 1300 lines of code. I can read it, but a project like that … how did I do it? I was still in school with gobs and gobs of homework.
Hard boiled eggs: cold water bit of salt boil 10 minutes pour off water let cool

How To Deal with Whipper Snappers

Best way: ask your grandfather.
Too late now.
Maybe 50 years too late – that’s why old farts still haven’t solved

     the “How to Deal with Whipper Snappers” problem.

Nurse Nancy says: maybe have something to divert you while you eat, instead of having to focus on chewing each bite.

14 September
Pretty good night. Pain never above 5.
To Do Today:
Replacement check to Marici
Poems to Gwyllm

The Practice of Poetry:
the discipline is to wait.
as in ambush hunting: waiting to be given a poem.
Thus we develop the “haiku eye.”

Gonna bake bread.
Thought of Rexroth:

15 September
Got my PET/CT results:
it’s two pages, technical.

The good news is that my brain is “unremarkable.”

16 September
Getting harder to find comfortable positions.
I’m scaring Laura too much – with pain outbursts, full body tremor at night

17 September Sunday
The medicine men came. This morning read poems. Jacob recorded it.

18 September
To Do:
Finish will.
Put contracts on stick.
[meds lists meds lists … ]

19 September
Lots of back pain – lower back pain 4-6 all day despite lots of morphine

20 September
Sometimes the morphine doesn’t touch it
Hard to mail off a letter
Working on the will

21 September
Bad night, lots of pain, no good position.
Breakthough pain 6-7

(the overdose scare)

22 September
Slept and rested all day – still tired from yesterday
Nancy, my pain management nurse, on vacation – her stand in totally freaked that I had diluted my drops with some whiskey.

Oh! No! no! no! “Maybe it’s degrading it.”

Then said “no more roxanol.” Said the doctor wouldn’t prescribe for me if I were mixing it with whiskey.
I said “no more phone calls.”
I said “I don’t want to talk to a doctor who has never heard of laudanum.”
Woke up at 7:30 with lower back pain 6-7
This is a scene from hell. A bizarre war-on-drugs hell.

23 September
1:15 am: very sore
3:00 am: super sore
Took 18 pills/droppers/doses in 24 hours

26 September
[more of the same]
I managed to put in several hours at the computer to lay out Jeremy & The Mantis

27 September
21 various doses but in pain all day and all night

28 September
Much the same

29 September
Around the same: 18 doses

Let’s just say, a bad ending to a bad month.


  1. Robin writes:

    feeling for you….from a far distance.

    November 6th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

  2. john mabey writes:

    love you dale .

    January 14th, 2018 at 10:44 am

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