Nocturnal Clock Turns: Thoughts on the other side of 6am

Old-clockI’ve been staying up all night for work this week, doing the overnight shift. That means I start my work day in the late evening and get off just before 6am and drive home (on a sleep-deprived drive I’m convinced no one should be able to do legally).

My mind is some kind of wobbly, a little bit wrecked, but also energized on some kind of reserve adrenaline. It’s a different filter on the neural network up there, that’s for sure.

It’s equally reserved and lost in haze as it is vulnerable and honest.

So, in the name of that odd congregation on the late side of 6am, here are thoughts. (In no particular order or seriousness).

Losing Bowie was tough. Prince was crushing. But I’m going to split my little blue eyes wide open with tears when Dylan dies. I’ve thought about this a lot. And it’s odd because Dylan as Dylan as I see/hear/believe in him is somewhat dead in one way. But the day will be cold and ugly and nothing good could possibly happen.

I can feel myself less happy working this night shift. It’s temporary and so it makes for a very interesting experience, but I oddly seldom feel such a loss of waking joy. I suppose, then, that’s a good thing.

Is this the best ‘Boots of Spanish Leather‘ cover? Unknown. But it’d make for a¬†multiple choice option.

On a podcast I listened to today, Julia Turner (Slate‘s Editor-in-Chief) said she hated the word “longform” when describing journalism. She hated it as a substitute for well-investigated, deeply researched and resonating journalism. Fair point. Short articles, as she points out and I agree with, too can be powerful. Length need not determine all. To which I say, yes, but then what do you call it? How do you differentiate short pieces of shit from short masterpieces? The masterpieces, perhaps not long in length, are long in life and vitality. Maybe that’s it and space (which =time in reading terms, no?) is an irrelevant dimension like time?

Sometimes it feels like everyone is still moving to Seattle.

Here’s a passage, chosen at random, from the book closest to me:

“The circumstances of my life run counter to the coils of my inner mechanism”

it continues

“I recognize this fact and am always conscious of it, in normal conditions. I find it a cause for rejoicing. When I am alone I am left with nothing but these coils. If I succumbed to their action I would be ripped apart the minute I moved.

I mean.


Just from that:

Who says that so, I don’t know, casually?

Boris Pasternak.


And that’s translated from Russian.

(I should write more letters.)

Ripped apart? By the coils of his inner mechanism. So brutal. Mechanical.

(And I see where he intersects Mayakovsky. Loosely remembered: “Love for us is no paradise of arbols. It is a reminder that the stalled motor of the heart is humming.”


A friend asked recently: is “Science the poetry of reality”?

No. Poetry is the poetry of reality. That’s what it’s for.

More fitting might be: science is the poetry of the speechless.


I’ve always thought that the last word of the fourth line of ‘Badlands‘ (Springsteen) ended with the word “gut-span”. I loved that word. That not real word.

“Guts man”. That’s what it is. Disappointed.


Sleep is calling my deli number. The deli of the beckon(er?).

This was fun. Let’s do it again sometime. Yes, let’s. Be careful how deep you go, man. Right, safe word: Sarajevo.