I'm here negotiating my early release, trying to get the gadflies to leave. Trains shuffle along the track. Gadfly passer-bys smack their snacks. Eastern fishermen attack the math. Burly world-openers draw the fire back, inhale me in the swirling womb, push me to the outer moon. Coughed out feelings choke the fool. Burning questions smoke the room. I'm here negotiating stupid concepts with neurotic walkers, trying to get the gadflies to leave in peace. Melodic mothers swallow their babies with nursery hums and sleep-inducing song. Rain comes and goes and the passer-bys don't know which mood to throw. Sunshine cracks the surface of the sky. I'm here scratching the silver shavings off the lottery tickets of my mind.
Gold-diggers laughing at their shaking pan, sifting sand from yellowish nuggets of hope. Gold-diggers with the slippery fingers and the sweaty crevices, keeping secrets of speculative spots and digging holes. Gold digging old men, with a long shot strategy to compensate for their histories of lethargy. To compensate for their social rejection. To bury struggle once and for all under a mountain of quick wealth. Old unshaven men still angry at their drunken fathers shaking their wishing pans, gazing magically with their omniscient eyes. Today the sun is out and they attend to every sparkle. Scrap the gasps. Shrug the shoulders. Toss the sand. Refill the shaking-pan. Refill the hope chamber. There goes that damn woodpecker again, pounding away at his tree.
This is a roving captain infiltrating the fatherland. This is a machette guy on the motorcycle, sneering at a passerby. That is the magnet bride encircling the wounded knight. Infiltrating the warrior zone. Obeying the blowing winds and the hidden declarations of the motherland. “When something happens, seek me.” This is the musician wannabe limping through the foyer room. Guitar strings are pluckable. Doorway dwellers step inside. Crouch. Creep. Sneer. Outcast punks are aging before my eyes. Raging. Fueling inevitable heartbreaks. Oxidizing desires and lubricating their trigger-happy hearts. This is the fatherland. That is the motherland.
This is the vortex. I’m slipping in to the fourth set. Swinging like a villain in the porch deck. Recreating myself for the hundredth time. Establishing my rule through the scorched earth. Overcoming challenges like a prize fighter. Dwelling on my failures for the last time. Embracing pleasures, escaping measures, pushing back the Bible thumping forces. Wishing for another prime. Hoping for a little time. Skipping out on banal social cohorts. Things are shaking loose out of their foundations. Traditions crumble down to dusty block things. I’m in the vortex. I’m in the fourth set. Drawing on my inner child hope-sets. I’m casting visions and I’m and reeling in realities unforeseen.
Let’s get together over tea and maybe we can talk this through. My sarcasm was meant with the highest intentions of love. Belief clouds cause real rain. Thought patterns drive real decisions, and I was just trying to make light of your impending doom. Theology is no laughing matter. Priest jokes are for drunken juveniles, not for serious people sipping tea. I post a comment, you respond in anger; then I defend myself. Things are complicated when they don’t need to be. Things are simplified when they can’t be. It is easy to splat-crackle on the frazzled cracker. It is wishless to whisper amidst the blended seekers. I speak too loud. You calm me down. I sip some tea. You strain to cause me pain. I shrug it off and now I sit back down again.
Fools! Fools! Marching in with tools and tools. You chart the course and measure the weather, and yet it rains and scrambles every attempt at control you make. It scrambles your brains and all your tools are silly and vein. It is morning, you plan. It is lunch, you plot. It is dinner, and now you count what you have got. You rub the belly. You pour the wine. You check your wallet and count your dimes. Somber merchants surround your table. Frazzled restaurateurs pass the butter. Don't you ever want to see it all crumble? Don't you get tired of the big dumb show? Don't you want your silly guests to go? Pack your things, people, the rain has lifted. Gather up your important clothes and scattered estimates. Plot out your stepping stone lives elsewhere.
Tribal chants bounce off the concrete community walls of this endless city. This endless destruction. This endless tree genocide that is civilization. Oh so uncivilization. Reverberation. Tribal encantations. Melodious curses pounded into the stratosphere with drums and wooden blocks. Terrified white folk quickly construct bigger guns and stronger shields. Tribal chants vibrate the authority structure until it crumbles. Fat women rush through the debris in search of ice cream. Twitching men dig through garbage heaps for old pornography, or at least, heavily suggestive advertising. SOMETHING that they can jerk off to. Broken white folk scramble like electrified zombies for fixes. For one more hit for their lame, ungodly addictions.
A jaded take. A busted rake. A winter wind from the brutal north. I'm sleepy to the bone. I take myself to the store to buy my specific brand of almond milk. Seagulls huddle on the tar, trying to soak sunshine warmth. I get my milk-like products and go Starbucks. Every optimistic minion is getting in my way. City planners ensure congestion. There's a homeless guy dozing off on a bench near the Starbucks bathroom. He has a coffee, so he's legit. I ask him if he's sleeping rough. He says he is. I ask him his name. I can't tell what he says. His teeth sabotage articulation. I ask him if he has plans for Thanksgiving. He says not now. I give him $12 and leave with my coffee-products. I get home and tell my wife all about him. We talk about how scary it is to approach homeless people and dream together about having homeless folks over for Thanksgiving. Then she says she loves me.
Yellow sky. Boy running down a hill. Smog world. City exhaust. Arm-pit air. Green grass for contrast. Green grass, treated to kill weeds (and anything wild, for that matter). Green grass like outdoor carpeting. Green grass to help us lie to ourselves that nature still lives in our midst. Green grass to help us deny we are killing the earth. To distract us from the reality that we are running out of wild space. We are running out of elephants. We are running out of glaciers. Yellow sky. Green grass. Boy running down a hill and out of time. Prophets condemn the profits of industry. Profits silence the prophets of God's kingdom. Yellow skies turning red. Green grass is dead. Small elves in business suits and paint brushes rub their brush along each dead leaf of grass. Boy running by. Running out of time.
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.