Brandon Brown

From The Four Seasons
Usually when someone makes a The Four Seasons they start with Spring.
One thing I have learned from my study is there are obviously more than four of them.
David told me he recently looked up the etymology of the word “season.” “Season” is cognate with the verb “to sow” and in ancient Rome the only season properly speaking was the sowing-time, i.e spring.  Pretty shitty for those other seasons.  It’s so “Roman” to sublimate production and reproduction at the expense of any other period of growth or rest.  Periods of decline and death which precede the cyclical re-emergence of growth anathema to them.  Those Romans, ugh, faking their own funerals at parties, that sort of thing.
In Gerard Manley Hopkins’s poem “Spring” the first line is “Nothing is so beautiful as Spring.”
I’ve started fermenting things in my house.  Cabbage with hibiscus, honey wine with hops and thymes, asparagus with mustard seeds.  Hemoglobin beet kvass that burps when I pull off its lid to check its sour.  It’s so “Spring” in my apartment, the windows open, inviting wild spores to constant dinner.  Microscopic reapers wreak havoc on what I plan to lunch on.
I watch someone spit on a tree and think that person has just exhumed their innermost allies.
I hardly ever spit but once I spat on the sidewalk and a wizened hippie chastised me: “spit on the street, people sleep on the sidewalks.”
Nothing is so beautiful as the small intestine, miles of gross organ coiled into a nectarine.
The best holidays in Spring are Easter and 4/20.  The worst holidays in Spring are St. Patrick’s Day and President’s Day.
I walked by a puddle of liquid shit on the sidewalk.  It spread across the brick of a building and pooled below.  My first thought was “chocolate?”  So hopeful, so “spring.”
It looked sort of like this bad milkshake you got from Wendy’s called a “Frosty.”
I went to New York for a week and found it was really not very Spring there.
When I showed up at The Shanty for martinis, slipping on the slush from the Uber to the door, Ben said you are so winter ready.
My friends in New York always ask me if I will move there it is so sweet of them, but no.  When we’re together, we constantly talk about the next time we’ll see each other.  Like discussing what to have for dinner while you’re still eating lunch.
There is nothing so beautiful as taking a week off between jobs to see your friends and drink until late and walk around the Met by yourself looking at erotic drawings on fermentation crocks, and terra cotta plates showing a teenager straddling a rooster, and Thomas Hovenden’s The Last Moments of John Brown and eating goulash on a cold day at the Budapest CafĂ©, drinking Egri Bikaver before coffee.  Nothing is so ugly as whatever is not these things.
Sometimes I think money is wasted on the rich, who mostly live a life of eternal coveting and lamentation.  I hate myself for thinking this and then don’t care.
I was relieved and also dismayed to find out that my phone is just as disoriented at 14th and Broadway as I am in my body there.
14th and Broadway in Oakland is really different. For a while it was pretty “Spring” there.
After church my grandma would take us to Wendy’s to get “Frosties.”  It was sort of our wage for surviving the tedium of church.  Usually she drove my great aunt Eunice, who was medicalized into remote islandness.  The only time I ever saw a flicker through lithium was when she was handed a big icy “Frosty” after church. She would lick the wooden spoon and sort of smile.
Daniel and I ate a little weed caramel and went to see a night of Bach pieces at a church in Berkeley.  During the first movement of the third Brandenburg Concerto, a dog started barking outside, so loudly it became part of the the music.  The dog did okay.
At the break, Daniel said to me, “do you realize you are never going to have glaucoma?”  It’s true, we were stoned.
“Glaucoma” literally means “gray-eyed” it is an epithet Homer uses to describe Athena.
Actually, glaukos is not “gray” exactly.  Plato defines it as white mixed with dark blue to make a light blue.  Homer uses it as an epithet for Athena’s eyes but also the sea.  Typically, when it was used to describe the color of eyes, it meant “not dark.”  Empedocles thought people with glaukos colored eyes saw badly during the day.  Proverbially, men with light eyes were “effeminate” and weak.  Eleanor Irwin, who wrote a whole book about colors in Greek, concludes that “glaukos is indefinite in hue, light in value, and probably carries the association of “gleaming.”
David writes me, “Glaukos is a very mysterious word.  I think of it as the light effect on the fuzz of olives, or the gleam of the moon on the eyes of an owl that's turning its head.  Both at once.”  
So now of course I want to make a list of all the things I think are like glaukos but all  I can think of is the cloud tornado in the middle of a martini.  I write this at six in the morning, martini time in the far distance.
The French guy at the wine shop has a hickey on his neck and it makes me feel squirmy and jealous.  Like I want one.   I mean I don’t, they’re grotesque and horrible.  And beautiful, so “Spring” they are the gruesome token of new lust, reckless and aggressive and shitty and they feel so good to give and get.
It occurs to me that when I look at the seasons change and think about the seasons I am looking for a myth to live by.  A better myth than the available ones.
The other night Fred read and said “brightness, motherfucker.”
I joined the fantasy baseball league at work to be a good colleague.  One guy named his team the “Oaksterdam Trees.”  I see you Danny.
There’s an ad for a gym in Oakland that says “work now, your summer bod will thank you.”  It shows people smiling while putting themselves in great physical stress.  It’s like those horny buds rutting underneath the frost.  Whatever is not summer bod hides behind a bunch of extra skin.
In the last weeks of Parker’s life, which he spent with his mom in the Sunset, on oxygen, watching baseball all day and night, he claimed to have gotten fat.  It’s hard to imagine this being true.  But he wrote me that for the first time in his life he could feel an extra layer of body on top of his own.
It finally rains.  The rain and the wind stir pollen and we all cough and snort.  This is what we pined for all winter, this sweet phlegm.
Lisa Robertson has a line like “we groom for the atmosphere.”  Like today I asked my phone and it said the rain had stopped.  So I left my umbrella lying on the floor, and primped in blue jacket for warmth, relying on the intelligence of my phone.  Later, drenched, I glared at it senselessly.
“The Spring sun will be my best doctor,” Chopin wrote in a letter, a few weeks before he died at 40.
St. Patrick’s Day was also St. Gertrude’s Day, the patron saint of cats.