Here’s something from Henry Rollins’ column in this week’s LA Weekly:
“I don't do much walking in Los Angeles. I am sure there is a lot to enjoy as a pedestrian in our city, it just never occurs to me to do it. Years ago, when I lived in Silver Lake, I used to walk for miles all the time. As I would make these epic, biped journeys into Hollywood to see shows, I always had the same feeling that I wasn't really going anywhere except deeper into the seemingly endless sprawl of Sargassoid stucco.
“In Washington, D.C., I walk for hours, take a break for food or writing and then set out again. Most of my walks are referential, having to do with music. Places I saw bands, places where bands used to practice, houses I used to hang out in and listen to records. I go to these places over and over again, decade after decade. I know that sounds strange and it probably is, but to me, it's like a Kata or a meditation. The walk, the arrival at the spot. A moment to dwell on the significance and then to walk elsewhere, is to me what it means to be 'poetry in motion.'"
I think any even half-way serious walker would completely agree with what he says in the second paragraph; I think we’re talking psychogeography, or deep topography, or conceivably Proustian remembrance. I’ll drink to that.
But I wonder if I get his point in the first para. “Endless sprawl of Sargassoid stucco” is a nice, if slightly opaque, phrase, and I assume it’s a reference to the Sargasso Sea: a two million square mile gyre (another nice phrase) – i.e. rotating currents - in the middle of the North Atlantic. It’s a seaweed-choked place of mystery, discovered by Columbus, where ships have historically been becalmed and where uncanny things have happened. These days apparently it’s also a vortex of swirling plastic waste, much like the North Atlantic Garbage Patch. So, not much walking to be done there.
Still, be that as it may, I think I’m enthralled by the idea of walking “deeper into the seemingly endless sprawl of Sargassoid stucco,” in fact I think it’s what much what I do it all the time. Here’s a pictures of Henry Rollins, walking (sort of), not in seaweed, but on the red carpet: