distance to destination

Bali Travel Blog

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June 5/92

Bali, Indonesia




"distance to destination"







from one thing to another.  sure but how long does it take?  & where am i?  i don't even know where i am going (am = now; go = then.  as in "move it!"  "later."  "gotta   go")


      the  displacement...


i hear your answering machine message over there: "i am displaced.  i am dis-dis...dis-placed..." playing over and over to their/there ears... ears somewhere else.  it renders me speachless.  ...smile.  almost.


it is so quiet here.  last night i met the people with whom i will explore this other.  the OTHER.  the other side of the world.  beneath my feet, something else.  where else?  i don't know...


       like what time it is.



here...there... how can it be all times, just different places?   different faces.


    "holding my aces

      ...up my sleave"


...childhood rhymes come easy.  no one told me about this!


flashback to last (the lost) night:


cathay pacific

"en route

international dateline


(i'm)migration: the map on the devider between first and economy  is projected. not a movie on this screen now, but a moving.  little plane edging away from the alaskan coast towards the islands of japan.  little plane icon representing me.  a sign.  with portent.  & its course keeps shifting as an unknown man (somewhere up there a computerized technoperfect cockpit) sets my course (a controlled destiny, a set course; an end.  something with closure.  "but of course!" as if it were all clear)...


i am not getting anywhere here;  wandering all over the place.  & 747 seats in hospitality are not extraordinarily comfortable.


variously the screen in fornt of me flickers.  navigation charts telling altitude (1900m/39000ft); or the outside temperature(-57c/-70f).  there's my sign again.  my plane.  i have wings.  this is who i am: 


          spec in the speck in the sky

i have a relationship to the cities of Osaka and Nagoya.   see, they lie to the south east of me.  south east, and




     maps are not so flat as they once were. 


& three hours ago it seemed even the stars were down there!? "stars in her eyes again," my mother is sighing somewhere in saskatchewan. 


travelling west, i am going to the far east.  western lies in front of my eyes.  i don't see a city when i look out.  i see white nothing.


            head's really in the clouds this time mom


local time at origin: 1:44 am.  head wind: 109kmph/67/mph.  ground spead: 801kmph/489/mph


              fast . fast.



that was then  / this is now:

sitting outside a cottage.  no stars, except in the sky ...where some people say they belong.  indonesia.  5:00am.  can't sleep.  "cottage" (?)...cheese or industry?   free association. ( pause )  no. it's still my language.  how do you say cottage in indonesia? mixed up signifying nothing: "in-nesia-do  the people say things about us?"


& in-between then and now? 

         a moment in hong kong


they  said lots.  big signs everywhere.  no sky.  the sky in hong kong talks--neon signs a ceiling over every street:  "see ling run, run ling run, see ling run and jump".  "buy"  "come"  hong kong has everything to offer. in full view.  never would i not know where i was.  here. here.  label greets me: you are here.  eat my food.  buy my silk.  you are here.  at my store.  good camera.  take good pictures.  no beat price.  look price--400 american only.  you buy?


    it was not a question




did not know

korea was next to japan.  hong kong north, so far north of bali.  denpasar: are we pas(t) the den of iniquity yet?   very coy...


three nights ago i was somewhere else.  santa cruz, studying sea lion language and cognition.  seems simple now.  elementary. 




cricket chirps.  rooster suggests it's morning, but there's no sun yet.  "it will come" dogs howl--the dogs are our ancsestors speaking, so the people here say.  here-say.  heresy. 


     "morning will come," dogs predict. 

               hot.  hot.


...i'm all out of sinc here.  your tour thru europe is more familiar.  i have studied that map in history class.  i recognise their voices,  chattering away in languages i can't understand, it's true.  but i know an echo when i hear one.


         ...when the hearing here...

   they are singing to the morning now.  a moslem prayer.  to the new day.


& you're no longer over there.  gayle. where you came from.  but here.  where it all started.


              java man


i am sure you knocked them into the twentieth century on your european tour.  sooner or later it was bound to happen with the way you write.  sooner or later.  now and then... past past?  present past?  simple future--never so simple please: anterior or posterior...always liked the ass--bumming around the world


when i find my barings, i'll drop you a card.  & then, zip zap, i'm back.  & your back too.  we will talk about the world.  not a flat map, but a globe:

    "here i am mom, above all their heads, 39,000ft;

        and when i land: 

   here i am, not beneath your fingertips as you walk thru the yellow pages;

      but under your toes each day you get out of bed."


i look forward to having you around, proving with your presence--your gift present-- that you are still part of my universe  everything is upside down here...i've lost my head.  brainless.  topless.  back to front.  breathless or breastless? 


      it's still a man's world. 

              but tomorrow.  (today)

    i will learn how to read their signs... (?)

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photo by: mr_shanet