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Tuesday, November 27, 2012

tryst

My mind electric
My heart lush.
Empty hands but
Passport and toothbrush.

Out the back
At light of dawn,
Hopscotch the fence,
Down the neighbor's lawn.

Running, scuttling
On the slippery grass
I tumble, impatient
To see you at last.

Plenty of time,
But my feet go go go,
For I can't wait to see you
And my heart races so.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

not widsom and lore


Don't think words
Fall ´to a void.
They are heard,
First by one,
Then a second,
Then a third.

Paper and pen
Have struck down
The worst of men.
Not scoundrels mere,
But men of war,
Agents of death,
Merchants of fear.
Men who take
The good of tomorrow,
For whom  
Truths are lies,
Pain a prize,
And all history past,
A game of sorrow.

When we have
Great honor again,
In action,
Not wisdom and lore, 
Then only, such men
Will be no more.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

tree poles


Quiet day. Nothing out of the ordinary. I'm on a street corner downtown. The sun fucked off weeks ago, fired for incompetence and dereliction of duty. It's seasonal work, so there's nothing you can do.

Shoppers stroll, babies wail, mothers lug bags and corral kids in and out of department stores.

Out on the street, big screens advertise cough drops and undergarments for bosomed girls under twenty, and there are pedestrians and short trees strapped to wooden poles.

Ahead of me on the pavement a wreck of a man sells magazines. A user, a 12-year veteran. He shakes all over, but his right hand - his work hand -  is steady. Five years ago he sucker-punched his dad for the family China which he pawned for a few grams. He has since found gainful employment and has never missed a day's work. His dog Charlie has seen two continents and eight months on a freight barge bound for the Philippines. Mange, conjunctivitis and a limp, but otherwise a happy mutt with a good wag in his tail.

The sun makes a fifteen second cameo appearance. A glorious goddamn burst of light. The street stops in its tracks and everyone looks up as though visited by an apparition from above. Men gape and women drop their children's hand.

Soon the clouds return. And all is peaceful again.

I enter a cafe. My usual. I flail my hand for a Grande. The 37-year-old who takes my order speaks fluent English, but if you listen close you'll  hear an accent, something Balkan. And if you get to know her, if you spend months getting her to open up, if you never judge, never pry, never get "curious", if you just keep your piehole shut and listen, she might tell you about the three year siege she endured in her home country, age fifteen, and the men with "visitation rights". She might tell you. Or she might tell you to fuck off just the same.

"Black or white today, Lui?"

"Black."

There is fine coffee in this establishment. There are families and  friends, and dogs, and people who come to work on their laptops. There are lawyers, like the balding fellow on the corner table (three kids force-medicated under "child protection" policies, locked in a rampaging lawsuit: the State against Ibrahim X).   He comes here to listen to innocent chatter. To daydream. To do nothing. To look out the window at passersby and those trees strapped to wooden poles, steadied in the wind. 

Me, I wait for you. 



Saturday, October 27, 2012

animal spirit


Like a cat caught
Inside your ribs
Clawing  
Heart and lung,
A frantic, restless
Haste
To jump 
To scratch
To run

Your legs
Are like two boars
Dashing
Sightless through
The brush,
A muddy,
Maddening,
Moonlit
Rush.

And in your mind,
This errant device,
The treadmill
Turns,
The scurry of
A thousand
Mice.

There is no place
Within
That is not wild,
No place but
One:
The gentle flame,
The blazing sun.

The animals
you tame, 
But let this light
Shine through.
For this light
This warmth 
This fire
Is you

Thursday, October 11, 2012

games


A long time ago we were all just points of light – call it whatever you want – zipping from star to star. Things were simple. There were many of us, but the games were simple.

Then all this boundless space got boring, so we narrowed it down. We put in delineation and sharpened the rules.

Weary of forever knowing everything and being able to be everywhere instantaneously, we gave ourselves some arms and legs to move around with, and a set of eyeballs to goggle at the infinite. This enormously reduced the scope of anyone’s knowledge and mobility, and so entered the need for analysis and computation. How else were we going to know what the other might or might not do.

Prediction was now the name of the game, and, well, some were just better at it than others. Entire social hierarchies were erected based on one’s ability to predict. From the elite and visionary at the top, down to the numskull and schlemiel on the street, prediction was everything. So in essence, what had become out-of-fashion and boring many eons earlier was now once again the only thing that mattered.

But all these bodies roaming around had to get by one way or another, and single-handed prediction just wasn't good enough in this complex game. And so they worked it out that in groups they had a much better chance of making it. Within such groups there was a distribution of skills that could never exist singly in one human being. Thus entered economics, industry and war, and thus we had the interplay of large forces that guided whole societies up or down. Generally down.

In balanced conditions it worked out pretty well, and the game remained “fun”, so to speak. But soon “prediction” came to be simply imposed by authority, and so it was no prediction at all; it was just brute force and mechanics. And eventually, like everything mechanical, it got boring.

But beyond these very large groups, there were also smaller groups that formed around the need to preserve the race by procreation. A family would often emerge (and much pleasure could be derived from one) but not always, because soon sex itself became a vector all on its own, used widely and at every level of society to enthrall, entrance, entertain, titillate, amuse, coerce, sway or otherwise persuade the elite and the moron alike. A force like magnetism, or old school psychokenesis, it had the power to make an elite into a moron, but no power to turn a moron into an elite. Hence the widespread propagation of pretty-faced morons.

From there on down, interpersonal games reached levels of complexity never imagined, overlain with a spectrum of emotion and a register of human behavior so vast as to be nearly unpredictable – nearly, but not completely. What seemed like a game of chance to the many who lost, was not so for the very few who won. But most of them employed no prediction at all, but treachery, trickery and deceit, passed off as prediction. 

So there we were, dragging around a hundred and fifty pounds of flesh, plus or minus, including the various appendages meant to facilitate the functions of living. But at long length, all this began to feel like a drag, and much nostalgia and sentiment was expressed for the old zipping-around days. And thus began the effort to be points of light once again, to be in one place and everywhere at the same time, to know everything at the press of a button. And so we had the internet and so we had emails whizzing around furiously and so we had a hundred gadgets to finger and goggle at, and all these things did a decent job of it, and often had a similar effect, but - let's face it - they never quite cut it.   

Saturday, June 9, 2012

the people


There are gentle people who inspire, who raise your spirits. They can reach into you and touch you where you are hurt. They have no fear of contact, they look you straight in the eye and if you let them, they will look right inside you, but never with a desire to “take”. In such an instance you could ask yourself if they are not seeing the same as you; you could ask yourself if they are not being you. There are very few of these people. I can count them on one hand. To me they are magicians, they are like Houdinis, but grander and more universal, not merely fiddling with knots and padlocks.

Of other types of people there are many more. Such people look at you with interest, perhaps they will exchange ideas with you peaceably and propose alternatives to your points of view. These are interesting people, mostly interested too, and they are good, sometimes even great, but they are not god-like. I like these people and when I am sitting in a train next to such a person I readily talk to him or her, and it may even be that I regret having taken a so called “bullet train” and not the slower kind, knowing the conversation will soon end. There are more of such people than the previous type, but far fewer than the following:

The following are precisely that, they follow: they look at you in expectation, they look at your “face” as a general thing –  that is, when they are not looking away –  and they do not really have anything to propose besides what is already at hand. On many occasions I have sat besides such an individual and felt quite comfortable. Generally it is preferable to sit quietly and converse moderately about moderate things and not look at them too interestedly or too engagingly especially if the individual is a woman; in such a case the conversation could suddenly take an abrupt turn one way or the other because of ideas lodged in the woman’s mind about what a man of my age might or ought to do (the latter case is the more dangerous).  But overall they are harmless and I can readily sit besides such a person and feel quite comfortable. However, I am then also satisfied that the train I am sitting in is not a slow one but a so called “bullet train”.

Finally, there are people who sit beside you – they may actually initiate this – but not to do any of the above, rather you will find yourself used as a kind of lever or foot piece to raise themselves up, compressing you in the process. You will feel sitting beside such an individual, suddenly and without any provocation, reduced or compressed in some fashion inexplicable to you, and you will ask yourself how it can be that only a moment ago, alone in your thoughts, you felt like an air balloon, and now, out of nowhere,  you are compact and pressed to the ground like a clump of dirt. Staring such a person in the face for explanation will be futile because such a person will ably wear a smile of any coloration while he is grinding his heal into your genitalia, or whatever else will improve his foothold. It is even possible that such a person will ask you if  “everything is ok?” Needless to say, you need not answer such a question in earnest. 

From there on down we have all manner of miscreants, molesters, pedofiles and so forth. I will not go into the whole cast of sub-characters or this piece will turn dark and become mired in language that would not pass muster. 

But these, in brief, are the people.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

type 4 Homo sapiens: defier of deities


type 123456, 7


Throw me a firestorm Master of the Universe; face me down with a devil army; sick upon me your hyenas and from the sky your carrion birds. I will not budge for any overlord, potentate, president or hog-boss. And I will not budge for you. Look me in the eye and you will see. I am no baboon or lowly form from your cast of creatures. You may throw me up thirty thousand feet; roll me through the muck at the bottom of the ocean; defy me, Gentleman of All Times. You may bare your universal teeth, your sharpened fangs; you may do with me as you wish. I stand unperturbed. I revere you, but I stand as I stand, where I stand. If you are dismayed, if you are indignant, if you think me just another recalcitrant ape, Oh Masterful One, chastise me, cast me into distant space and I shall join the orbital debris without a whimper. I am a little man, but I am my own little man, Oh Great One, and I will not be constantly reminded how devastatingly immense you are and I comparatively microscopic. I did not tail my way past a million competitors, I did not inch my way to that glowing ovum against all odds to be constantly told what to do, to be demeaned by invisible forces, and to be subjected to undue scrutiny by an infinite and omniscient being.
Please remember that little men are forced to be smart in this vast world of mystery and deception. Our powers are faint, so they must be acute and accurate instead. Though we are all entranced by your game of mirrors and mystifications, we are also all just human beings. I know you are omniscient, but perhaps you have not always been paying attention, so let me make you aware of something we all share: we accept to be toyed with, we accept deprivation and indignity of all kind, and we all stand in awe before your Infinite Universe, but the fact remains, everyone here has his limits.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

2012

If you watched five seasons of 24 in a single sitting and it made you proud, get out. If a day’s work, in your book, is filling out government forms, get out. If you need permission or approval to hold an opinion or make an original statement, get out.

This year is not for the piss-ant, the pansy, the pushover. If you are any one or a combination of the above, get out. You will be just another jackass tripping over himself and you will waste twelve months of everybody’s time.

To a grizzly I would recommend extended hibernation. But if you are not of the hibernating class, just get out.

This is the year it all comes together. The dilettante and the doorknob have had their time. This is the year of the professional, the perfectionist, the “perseverer”, the artisan, the artist.

War looms in the Middle East. The dollar and the euro wobble in the ring. The Mayans predicted… what they predicted.

But I digress because I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about you.

If you want to participate, if you want to be more than a twiddling little figurine in a landscape of like-minded figurines. If you’re tired of being a a paper-pusher or a peon, if you want to rise up and do something, and if you want it badly, then sit up straight, get your hand out of your pants, switch off your phone and begin.

Begin by observing what you have bottled up in your heart. Observe it. Then take it out and lay it on the table and observe it some more. That’s the first thing you do.

But if you are not prepared to take this thing with both hands and wrap you fingers around it like you fully own it, like it’s the only thing you have in the world – that and the clothes on your back– if you are not prepared to do that as a minimum, soldier... get out.