I'm standing on one foot at the top of a hundred foot pole, arms out, balancing. I've got obligations nudging me here, life-goals nudging me there. I've got deadlines blowing from this way, addictions blowing from that way. I stand here, counterbalancing against it all, trying to get these projects done. I just want to be the best I can be. I just want to please my shepherd. I'm a failing sheep. I'm looking down at the distance. I'm anticipating a fall, and trying to discern if I can survive it. I'm wondering who I will let down as the wind picks up. I'm asking my network for help, and they are offering advice. The pole keeps growing taller, I keep getting higher. My legs and feet are getting sore. I can't hold this pose for much longer. I want to sit. I want to rest.
She was looking professional, but barely so—like she'd forgotten about her presentation until just moments ago, and slapped on her socially acceptable attire. She spoke at the prospect with resolve and confidence and a little color flip book, each page moving the prospect further and further down her sales funnel, closer to the core. Closer to the close. Closer to payment for her commerce product. She pointed a finger and waved it to emphasize a point. The prospect nodded here-and-there. He had no need for her purchasable thing, but he wanted to encourage her, so he nodded, and acted interested.
We were looking through the void for a better method of document delivery. A system to get our forms to their targets. A message-launcher, or something to that effect. But what we found blew our minds. Deep into our research we realized that banality needs equipment to be transferred from one person to another. Inconsequential data is dependent on the mechanisms of man, the tools of technologically savvy people. Banality thrives on information systems and populates in the minds of misguided seekers. It infests those who are greedy for more information, who are looking to be one rung higher on the knowledge ladder so that they can look down on whomever they are seeking to look down upon. They are looking for a better view, but their sad accumulation of information blocks their vision, until, in their highly elevated misery, they climb right off the top rung and plummet to their doom.
Maybe he was unwinding from his day of of doubt. Maybe he was re-thinking his pursuit. Whatever it was, his heart hurt and he knew he was stressing about silly things. Life. What is it but a playground with birds and trash cans. What is life but randomness and chance, where ignorant middle-class bystanders talk of such ridiculous things as “Luck” and “Karma,” with totally serious expressions on their faces. A queen could fall in the mud, and a hobo could steal a piece of meat… it means nothing. It says nothing about either of them. What makes them different? Chaos. Neurons. And psychological inertia, or lack thereof. They are both the victims of unseen agendas of spiritual forces. What is life but a platform for spiritual warfare. What is life other than a chess board for greater spiritual beings? Traps for fools, I say. And if we stress about the randomness and meaningless placement of the pieces, we will find ourselves trapped.
I'm creaky and ached, dragging limbs
in the sunshine bake.
It's not really a walk, or a dance, but a fight
—just to live another day
the way I want in the light.
Stuff keeps piling up.
Useless shit I shouldn't have.
Project fragments tumbling over all my shelves and all my desks.
There's a temptation to twirl
in the center of the room,
with a kerosine can in my hand,
showering everything, before dropping
a match on it all as I drag my limbs
out to the front yard to watch it all expand in anger,
then contract in shame.
Down to dry ash, to be fondled by a breeze.
Down to dimensions past, behind doors without keys.
Down to nothing, leaving just an open space
for a brand new canvas.
What could I do then?
The dream started fine. I was on a vacation by the ocean. But then this rocket, intended for some Elon Musk mission, exploded over the sky somewhere North. Then, this big passenger plane landed on a deserted road right near me and I could see inside and I could see terrorists taking over the plane. Nobody else was around. I knew I had to try to stop it from taking off. I was looking for things I could throw into the jet engine. Then I woke up. On the couch. Slept too long. But I was still tired. And it was Sunday. I wanted to write. But how can I write in such a scary world, where things explode, and the things that don't are stolen? I'm getting old. The things I used to care about, I don't anymore. I feel more comfortable in my own skin, now, even as it ages, and itches. Time may heal, but time also wounds.
It’s dull and boring, but it’s homeostatic. It’s in the cellar. It’s in the attic. Wishing will never make it better. "Want" is the first rain drop of coming destruction. It is the "Indian Summer" of our impending doom. It is a "Garbage-Truck Holiday" with overflowing trash-bins in our room. Frugality is the first step towards freedom. Frugality is a type of inverted wealth. Frugality is sweet fragrance to the Lord’s disciples; the specter of fear to greedy corporations. Frugality is the death bullet to stockholders and their hillside-mansion dreams. It is the antidote to the disease of world domination schemes. It is a wrecking ball rolling through the halls of crystal statues; sculptures of glass crash in its path.
The sweetness dissipates. There are druids in the train station, witches in the bus depot. There is enchantment luring away the gatekeepers of the sacred seminaries of our most sacred religion. There are wind tunnels with words that trap the clever minded and the movie-maker wannabes. (Nobody is guarding the streets. Nobody is watching the wisdom children.) With a sweep of a hand, the conductor shifts the tone. With the nod of his head, the admiral orders the troops. With the squint of her eye, the romance addict puffs up the narcissistic scholar, just to deflate him with her cold steel lance. The sweetness dissipates. The plates are on fire and there is no food in your pantry. And now the sweetness is gone, the tone has shifted, the troops go marching by.
I never thought I would be where I am: on the shores under the night sky with nothing on my mind. I never thought I’d have time to ponder things like “love” and “mercy.” I guess I’ve always been pre-occupied with the grains of sand hurling and tumbling down the hourglass. And I want to be a slow-motion sand grain (the very last one to slide through that narrow passage from what was above to what is below). And when I pounce on the pile, from my inevitable and reverent fall, the celebration will begin and all my lovers and all my companions and all my mentors and all my antagonists converge at a shore, under the sky, by the bonfire, and then begins real fellowship. Soon. I never thought I’d be here, pondering these simple things.
fires burn throughout the parallel dimensions of our lives. what is a person other than a temporary contraction of matter, that waddles through the burning world trying to become something transcendent? it's metaphysical jazz and nobody knows how it will go. we try not to think about it, but we poked by a divide, a wide wide variety of possibilities. years... we might get 30 more, we might get 5. we start epic projects without knowing if we will have anywhere near the time necessary to complete them. we push the boulder and manage the crop. we plan out things, schedule our time. the world is on fire while we scamper to transcend. "we're running out of time!" metaphysical jazz bullies us, and we've no choice but to dance.
I’m not trying to be circular, I’m trying to learn. We’ve all wandered through these realms of academia, and we've all bounced off these pillars of skepticism. We’ve seen 'proofs' destroy 'doubts,' then seen objections rise from the ashes to deconstruct those very same proofs. And all we want is to be loved, and to maybe have one good laugh every day. To eat something sweet. To see something grand. But before our epistemic eyes, hooligans rise from their oppression-pits to sour our sweets and darken our grand thing that we’re trying to view. And they are the ones who get the good laugh. And it is just really unfair. So we retreat to our books. We retreat to our academic caverns. We challenge smaller foes and eat subtler foods. We know we can’t get what we want. We mope, briefly, then we are on our way again. Back on the trail. Back down the path.
The snow flakes fell like pom-poms. The people in the streets were cheering. The snowflakes covered the sidewalks like perpetual redemption, smoting every stain with specks of pure whiteness. The sinners in the streets were cheering. But you know those snowflakes. The snowflakes kept their distance from each other, as if they were surrounded by little rebellion bubbles, encapsulating every idiosyncratic ice sculpture that fluttered to the earth’s floor. And when they landed softly on the ground, the rebellion bubbles dissipated back into the heavens, or sank deeply into the earth. And where the snowflakes landed, that ‘s where they landed. The snowflake that landed on Lincoln street will never find itself on Clinton avenue. It is here now and that is the way it will have to be.
Why is everyone so afraid of blame? We avoid blame, and clammer for credit. We take the blame, and give the credit. We depricate and inflate. We're little balloon people. One day we're slipping through the grate, the next day we can't fit through the door. Depression is a nemesis, it's not a biochemical flaw. It's garbage you forgot to take out. It's a dentist appointment when you haven't seen a dentist in a decade. If we take the blame, eventually we can take the credit. If we credit the blame we'll give the credit. Fuck. That makes no sense. It's confusing. But it's not my fault. I have Confusion. It's not my fault. Confusion is an illness. It's genetic. My parents were confused, too. Both of them. I give them credit, though. They didn't blame me for their confusion. They gave me credit for blaming the disease. But, now, that makes no sense, either.
I don't even know where to start. It's still morning and I am trying my damndest to get started. The stupid sun keeps moving without procrastination. Without distraction. It was here, now it's there. These silly people flood thru my ambiance. Public speakers... who needs them? Every preacher says "there's my ADHD acting up again." Punk, you don't even know what that means. You think it's a chemical imbalance rattling your brain? Please! Your the pawn of a cosmic spiritual game. Invisible beasts from a parallel dimension are pushing you around. They pushed you here, then they will push you there. I'm looking outside at a blue sky. There's not a cloud in sight. I'm going to sit here all day watching that damn sun. I'm going to study her like a goddam scientist, and uncover her secrets. I'm going to discern what makes her tick. Discover all her tricks. Then I'm really going to get this list of projects done!
I'm holding out my hand for apocalypse drippings. I'm reeling in eucalyptus aromas. I'm wandering through perpetual summer, and the streets are overpopulated with loose thinking burnouts, skinny and unwashed. Pseudo-zombies holding out their hands for fragments. Fatigued souls with shitty parents and downward mentors. Unhappy laughers, overdosing on summer. Shallow lovers holding out their hands in the darkness of sunshine, asking me for change. Me. A drifter from the north; a vagabond blowing through the overcrowded streets; a child of God, abundant in winter, overflowing with snow and cold, holding out my hands for a little extra summer.