Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

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Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

Paradise doesn’t exist as a place

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

I’ve been “blessed” to visit the Hawaiian Islands more than a dozen times; Kauai was almost always part of these visits. In truth, I hate ALL the Islands! In a so-called tropical paradise, you spend most of your time sitting on a beach or driving around in a small circle nursing a sunburn and waiting for a tsunami to come crashing over you and wipe you off the face of the fuckin’ earth. Paradise my ass. Mahalo motherfuckers.

After wrestling with online Covid restrictions/applications to go to Kauai in two weeks, I’m pretty suicidal.

First world, old (elderly) white people problems? Geez, ya think? Shut-up and just hide my fuckin’ gun!

Paradise Worse Than Lost

Starting Tuesday morning I’ll be in Kauai on “vacation” — (I hate vacations).

As mentioned above, I’ve been to Hawaii a dozen times. I wouldn’t be going again now if the trip wasn’t being paid for by a wealthy friend. I always looked at the lives of famous writers etc. and imagined that they had rich benefactors and there’s a little bit of that in this trip. But it’s still not worth it. We’re going because our friend wants our company and this trip has been postponed twice over Covid in the last two years. So, we’re going. And, yeah, I know and am aware that escaping cold, snowy, Spokane Wa., (90 miles south of Canada) for a free vacation in a sunny paradise should be a wonderful thing and is clearly a rich, white, grumpy old fucks type of problem and I wish it were something I wanted to do; but, again, it ain’t, at least not for me. I like sitting home writing. I was on the road travelling around bragging about my books and myself for a decade plus. It got very old. Even before that, I never enjoyed vacations. If you like your life, why the fuck do you want to escape from it? We hope life will turn out in a certain way and if we’re unlucky enough for that to happen we are forced to face the unbridgeable chasm between our fantasies and reality: When I see a big fat overblown Harley-Davidson on the road, being ridden by some recent retiree with a snow-white goatee, who’s “Livin’ the dream” because every hour of every day he sold away from his life on an assembly line so he could have a “comfortable retirement” and live his dream of buying a $45K HD and hitting the open road with the soundtrack of Born to Be Wild playing between his ears — What I see is the moment just before he assumes that the guy at the STOP sign fifty feet ahead, must see him — (ALL guys who start riding motorcycles in their 60’s lack the rather critical info that cars never see you on your motorcycle, just as surely as the truth that unloaded guns are always loaded) I watch them happily cruise by me passing on my right side, I always recall that Dreams die first, and everybody knows this, but they also kill and die last. So, Ride Fast and Live Forever! And, mahalo, motherfuckers.

Antifa Poets Never Take Vacations

But if you’re in a pacific paradise, it’s okay to notice it

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise
But paradise does have its positives. No filters, no tricks, just sunrise on Kauai this morning.

…with Patti and her brother and sis-in-law.

We stay at this gorgeous Marriot-manufactured paradise. It’s the kind of place that in my rebellious youth I’d have rejected as a Disneyland for oldsters; too perfect, too well-groomed, too self-satisfied with everything, a litter-free, graffiti-free not a palm frond out of place world.

There are smiling Hawaiian natives working to make it wonderful: dark skin and eyes, “Aloha” “Mahalo” around every corner. For most of my life I’d have felt somehow out of place in this rich white people’s place. But I’m not quite as deeply rebellious as that anarchistic youth any longer. And Karl Marx, white-bearded scowl and furrowed brow would look wildly out of place on the beach or walking under the tall perfect trees. Now, back home I treasure my memory, single malt Scotch

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

in hand, and I must thank you Wal and Kath for last week in paradise.

So please, despite your knowledge of my penchant for sarcasm, believe that I’m as sincere as I am grateful and joyful at remembering our time with you in Kauai.

Allerton Garden Kauai

What great wealth can do when properly applied

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

Looking up through the canopy of jungle, much of it planted by men of great wealth and love, for one another and their world.

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise
Sunrise, almost every morning Sunset, almost every night Mermaid admiration in Allerton Garden A toast to being (still) alive.

Now we tourists walk along under this shade hearing their story and the story of their world.

Kauai 2022, A Last Hurrah?

Everything is so much better and so much more difficult than ever before. 

As a poet, I’ve always hated the phrase “a picture’s worth a thousand words.” Oh yeah, tell it to Bukowski, tell it to Billy Collins tell it to ME! After all many times a thousand pictures can’t keep up with a few perfect words… but I digress. This adventurous trip, at age 74 where simply pulling myself up off a beach towel damn near requires Emergency Medical assistance — Well, you know, how much more of this do I have in me? Nonetheless, the sights, sounds, smells of this adventure will linger for me, and you’ll see why below:

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

Patti on the beach IN FEBRUARY!!

So, yeah, despite all the challenges (or maybe BECAUSE of them), as last hurrah’s go this one was pretty grand. Flying back to our frozen home tomorrow where hopefully we can get back to complaining about regular old life.

The Chickens of Kauai Are NOT Cowards

In many ways they resemble their human observers only they’re a bit better than us

The Chickens of Kauai Are NOT Cowards

I just saw a cock, not especially large, but full of zest and energy chasing a nervous but game hen across the grassy, well-fertilized lawn lying between our hotel unit and the ocean. This space belongs to them and they share it well, but not out of fear so much as from an acceptance of the plenty it provides. It makes them bold. It gives them dignity. When they wish to crow loudly, they do so, without constraint. Cocks and hens everywhere but not a chicken-butt amongst them. Can any gathering of humans make such a claim? None that I’ve ever found.

By the Quieter Swimming Pool in Kauai —1

75 degrees, sunny, light ocean breeze

Can’t see my screen worth a damn, so this will be a far shorter whine than normal. Most intense memory so far, hours and hours on a plane with a pair of literally screaming babies behind us: 6 months old and maybe 2 years. I resisted, for six tortured hours asking the 30 something year old parents if they felt confident that their infants were going to build memories of a lifetime by this trip? Un-fuckin’-believable.

I’ve Whined and Whimpered Plenty

When it comes to “Vacations”

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

We are part of whatever place we’re at and that place makes-up part of us. This dance has always been true and will never change. Shakespeare’s line about the human capacity to make heaven of hell and vice versa is always looking over our shoulder and into our hearts and minds. Paradise is not a place, it’s a state of one’s soul — but astonishing beauty, noted on the search, never hurts.



What Never Hurts But Is Hard to Recall on Vacations Not a big fan of vacations, but...

Kauai: Haunted Anti-Paradise

Sunrise, again a glorious reminder that we are part of whatever place we’re at and that place makes-up part of us in that moment and for as much of forever as we’re ever gonna get. This dance has always been true and will never change. Shakespeare’s line about the human capacity to make heaven of hell and vice versa is always watching over our shoulder and into our hearts and minds.

Paradise is not a place, it’s a state of one’s soul — Astonishing beauty, noted on the search, never hurts.

Just Weighing Separator

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