The Operating System

FIELDNOTES: Jacob Perkins : From the Cannery, pt 1

Field Notes: From the Inlet                                                       
June 5th, 11 pm
Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, NY
For starters:
Talk of caliopes. Caliopes. Stray cats mewling on stoopfronts and dumpsters, borne into alleys panting. The incoming exodus of pushcarts and their ices, spokes pumped with Mets cards, their winter quarters unknown. Hydrants relieved and their fittings revealed. New streams clearing out trashjams on the G line. Someone saying “someone painted something on some building and did you know?” Big talk about how soon and how bad and how long and how hot. Flat tops and tattoos and everything cut sharp for sweating. Piedmont creeping up from the south and backsweats drickling down.
If you haven’t heard enough of this garbage, just wait. All sorts of things are said about summer in the city and frankly, I will not have it. Whatever intrigue maintained the attention of your Alaskas, your Seattles, your Portlands and Minnesotas has surely dried up by the time you hit June, and if you’re one of them, and you’re lucky, it’s time to hit the road for a few months.
Myself, I am Alaskan born. Summer is the season of the sockeye. For others it is re-shingling, re-siding, decking, painting, some kind of hometown gig you begrudge seasonally, out of that season. For me it is sockeye, and a gillnet, and a boat.
Whether or not you’re leaving your medium; the palette, the sound equipment, the studio, the computer; or if you’re lucky enough to bring them along, one thing is clear: summer is time to get down to some hard work, psychologically, ideologically, literally.
Q: What is Field Notes not about?
A: Field Notes is not about how low your armholes will be cut and how high are your jorts and how prone is this dress to drafts and so what.
Q: Where are Field Notes from?
A: Field Notes are generally from a boat in southeast Alaska, or a cannery yard or a bonfire. Notes will tell you where it is at.
Q: Is Notes poetry, or?
A: Notes will take on the form best fit for the content. It records. It won’t try to outtalk you or outwit you or sell you vegan yeast free cupcakes in cute little flower pots. Notes lives in Bed-Stuy, just not right now. If you find yourself at a desk or pit-stained in the coffee shop, feel free to use Notes as an urban getaway. Notes’ heart is with its Brooklyn compadres and knows damn well they’ll need a half side of salmon over an Alaskan Bloody Mary to make it through allergy season.
My name is Jacob and I am Notes.
Over the course of the next three months I intend to dishearten romantics to the point of wisdom. NO. You don’t “Wanna just get a ticket to Alaska and work on a boat”. I don’t know you, though. But you probably don’t. As a return deckhand many times over to the F/V Grouper, manned by myself and my dad, hardened skipper and pilot of his home, I’d like to share my summer as so many others do. And if I complain, so be it, but I won’t be doing it in jorts.
READ MORE: Part II of Jacob Perkins’ “From the Cannery” Field Notes >>
Editor’s Note: Jacob previously contributed to our 30/30/30 series, in collaboration with his frequent partner in prose and other such hooliganism, Matthew Nelson, in this terrific post on Paul Legault. His poetry tumblr can be found here, and his art website here. We can say without a hint of sarcasm that we are jealous of his summer fishing in Alaska and hope he brings us next year.

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