no you can't; yes i can by Kaley Morlock

Maybe it's a little late to feel removedly sentimental; a displaced nostalgia, if you will. I've been reading Tom Wolfe's Electric Kool-Aid... for sometime now; no, not because I went to school in Oklahoma, more because I only peruse his tattered half-price-bookstore-bought pages at the beer hall where I lean and sit and absentmindedly ignore loud jawed regulars. The cover is unattached, leaving Wolfe to post against his big pink font letters in between the binding, rather than proudly promenading his white monkey suit publicly (and I wonder if he'd care anyhow). So as I said, I've been slowly rambling with the Pranksters through manila, moldy pages; visiting and revisiting towns, trees, waters and references that have squirmed their way into my vocabulary. Like phantom square-Wolfe puts it, talkin' Californian.

And I think about how plagiarizing concepts is an inevitable atrocity; neither old nor new nor ephemeral. And how the street posts remain and the pocket climates change, and the trees still tower in Muir proportions, all the while leaving a musky, sticky, unmanageable residue.

It's the way I feel walking down Haight and scanning the Muir shoreline for seaglass, and when I see the clouds bashfully brush Mount Tam, and when we turn at the Bolinas mile marker, and when I think about the University with all the ruckus there.

Harry Nilsson (who is Harry Nilsson?) just said it through my speaker,  “...signs that say no dogs allowed.”

Like the time we were in Ocean Beach... the air was salty, fishy and full of youthful hooliganism. The way the twinkle lights loomed over the courtyard promisingly hopeful, smiling and grinning at the pots framing the sea. And the streets were alive and moving like our heads as we played pool and smoked on the sidewalk. But the morning came along with sand bulldozers and signs:

No Dogs on the Dock,
No Dogs on the Paths
and No Overnight Camping,
No Parking,
No Glass Bottles,
No Smoking,
and No Skateboarding,

No Trespassing,
No Loitering,
No Collecting of Rocks or other Natural Inhabitants,

No Campfires,
and No Food or Beverages.

You know when you stare at a word for so indeterminately long until the letters rearrange themselves nonsensical? And you squint and wink, gawk and grunt, sigh frustrated and ponder how a mere elementary word could interrupt your cognitive plans for that afternoon? When I see those signs at Muir Beach, or the Golden Gate Recreation Area, or at the Coffee Shop or on alleged for the people by the people this land is your land, this land is my landland founded on utilitarian principles and biophilic frenzyI want a full fledged explanation next to the negating sign; to expound on why horses are allowed and not dogs or why five o'clock is a better time to close than ten? I wonder why common and fun loving sense cannot override the real deviants, vandals and ecological harm-do-ers so that I might be able to camp on the beach with my lover and two monsters, have a perky campfire, cop a friendly buzz, only to recycle my bottles (despite the deeply embedded urge to break them for seaglass connoisseurs across the land), and leave like new by morn?

Maybe the anonymous 'they' wouldn't mind. Or know.

Maybe it's like Foucault's Panopticon. So you wind up doing nothing nothing nothing but sitting in your cubicle or automobile or suburb home, or just going to the movies instead.

'They': who is to say or know the actual name? Something so distressingly omniscient surely must have a more personal epithet. Perhaps it's never been shown a good old night on the town, poor chapthose moments you know in the now will be your favorites; with the smells and eyes, tastes and hums, where the wind makes you feel timeless and satiable decadent.

So it goes...

Old Wolfe watching the pack of Pranksters and I wonder how the Acid Test at Muir was possible, along with all of the other flamboyant tales of shenanigans, debauchery, and proclivities described. One world, one life, one view I suppose: I imagine fear is, at times more debilitating than consequence.

No you can't. Yes, I can.

Kaley Morlock currently resides in Oklahoma City, where her typewriter overlooks the stucco streets of the art district. After studying philosophy in Illinois, and rambling along the west coast, she returned to the red dirt land to study horticulture and contemplate environmental law school. More of her writings can be found on