Friday, June 30

The Sword of Mars

autumn brings out the red sword of mars
under a harvest moon cuts raw meat
like an animated corpse-
when the magic is gone,
the body collapses and is reclaimed by the ground.

i hope you can keep yourself together until spring
until spring, until that sun
rises over behind the shed again
and paints all the world with all its pretty flowers;
i hope you can keep yourself together until
the green arms of life arrive.

Thursday, June 29

Another time

When do your memories start?

How far back do you remember? Surely you remember being 10. Most likely you remember being 5 - at least a few events. Farther than that? 3? I have some impressions that I think are memories from that age.

Things start to get murky here though because it's hard to be sure you aren't transcoding what people have told you later in life about that time into pseudo-memories. It's been shown people can be made to "remember" things that never happened, by hypnosis, by psychotherapy, even by leading questions asked by researchers.

So when does long-term memory actually begin? More to the point, why don't we remember back all the way to birth? Is there some advantage in forgetting those first few years?

Of course, we forget millions of things every minute - only a tiny contingent of the vast armada of information assaulting our senses makes it into consciousness, and then only a small fraction of that gets transfered into long term memory.

Even long term memory goes away for one reason or another. But what I'm talking about is the seeming wall that exists before which we remember nothing. Is there a reason for this?

Wednesday, June 28

For you

green eyes, blonde hair
a smile that can melt a heart away
makes me want you here
every day.

it doesn't have to be ordinary
doesn't have to be extraordinary
it's just two people
with one heart to share.

For you, too

I want to do good in the world but I don't want to be a zealot
Want to push you to be your best without nagging you
I want to push myself without getting down on myself
Want to give you all the love you need without smothering you
I want to take care of you without mothering you
Want to protect you from harm without eliminating risk
I want to be playful without ever hurting your feelings
Want to show you I have class without being boring
I want to give you your space without ignoring you
Want to appreciate your beauty without trivializing
I want to follow my heart without leaving you behind
And I want to make your life as wonderful as you've made mine.

(picture is not mine; unsure of origin)


Sunburns feel good, because they hurt. They feel dry and tight and you gain sensation all over the affected areas. No more drifting - you hurt and you are aware of it. Maybe you feel hot or cold, or even both at the same time. But you're alive with discomfort. Pain is good in that way. It forces you into the now. We're not supposed to expose our skin to the terrible rays of the sun for fear of developing cancer. The whole educated world is against it. That's why I like getting a dark tan, venturing into the red, to feel alive again, and be put in my place. Nature is infinitely more powerful than we are, it's good to remember that from time to time.

Life begins and ends within the earth

It does and it's a struggle. But it's worth it, if you let it be. Some people may find it strange for me to be saying that, as the issue of "worth living" is one that has been plaguing me for years. But I'm not trying to tackle anything on the scale of Life. Just small-letter life as it is lived from day to day, even moment to moment.

When I see the sun high in the sky unfettered by clouds, I cherish all the things it does for us. Maybe it's too hot and I can't stay to gawk long, maybe its rays are coming in at angles and it's too cold. But the fact that it provides heat and light enough to support and nourish us and not so much that it kills us is reason for a small smile.

The moon - a jewel in the night that doesn't have to be there. We'd survive just fine without the moon. But would night be nearly as interesting?

Most of all, the earth. The solid two-dimensional plane undulating beneath our sandals, which turns out to be three-dimensional when you dig! I remember the awe I felt as a kid at the beach, excavating sand to build a castle, idly wondering just how far I could dig if I had all the time in the world.

Our big playground Earth has its limits, but they are completely beyond the scope of a single being. Collectively we can harm the planet, individually we are nothing. I'm grateful for that.

Monday, June 26


you think you're headed
wild where trees bend in close
and the smells are of rose
so much to rewind
so much unallocated time
but freedom plays with your mind
the doors can close so quickly
you might lose your opportunity
that dead weight of trying too hard
monkey grabs your shoulder
in an instant the feeling is gone
and it's black, blind, subterranean,
outside all conceivable range of
fun and games until
the flat end of all things.


I had a dream about you
you were pale white and standing in a nightgown,
downstairs amidst the baby toys and looking up at the sky
through the sliding-glass window.

You thought the few stars you could see seemed redundant,
having been there all your life and yet new to you here.
You felt bored because you see telescopes and computer-
enhanced images of them all day long, politely.

In my dream you were holding a bundle of yellow flowers
and you thought for a second about stepping outside,
outracing this feeling of being anchored to your new home;
You wondered if you could break the rope.

You thought the cut flowers would be nice for some old woman
whose life was shattered when her husband died
or whose grip finally slipped and all her memories flew away,
and you thought about the things you could change in this world,

all the small differences in those lives, if you could wake up
with the same utopian urges. The shadows here don't scare you,
you know them all by name. Your old life is fading slowly,
like a pleasant dream marred by tiny jolts of sadness.

You were in my dream and I was only present in mind
but inside you there were colors and questions, and
great big smiles and a few forced ones, and a heart on fire
beneath a glowing mind that asked but could not answer.

Your world is so large on the inside, there are
creatures crawling on its skin. Some are pastoral caretakers,
others crude consumers, and some are wistful watchers
and dreamers, and some people are lost from the start.

But your eyes are too big, too round, too kind and too smart
for any of that old nonsense. You forget the window and
get another half-glass of wine from the refrigerator.
The baby is sleeping, the husband dreaming, and you

are alone at the center of the universe again.

Sunday, June 25

GONE is META spelled backwards

Dear black and white divinity, save me. I seem to be haunted by a past I can barely remember. God or anyone else, I beg of thee, help me in my time of need. I only ever wanted to do right.

(dead christ by giovanni bellini)

Saturday, June 24


Is it better to feel, but almost always feel only hurt and loneliness, or to have no feelings, and in this supreme insensitivity hurt other people? This seems to be the decision given to me to make. One is unbearable, the other unconscionable.

And there is more. Like this, I am nothing. No ambition, no special skill or insight, no passion. Lacking condfidence, I feel cheated by time even as I dread the passage of hours. Yet too much piqued, too medicated, and I am an irate fireball of charm and terror ablaze in the other direction.

If only some systematic amount of such curatives could be released with my veins, the amount or timing over which I had absolutely no control, then perhaps I could find a balance, a thirst for life and the confidence to face it, without the accompaniment of amnesiatic madness.

Born in torrents

Life is hard. I feel bad for everyone who has to go through it. I know people spend endless amounts of energy staying positive and thinking the glass is half full and all of that, but that's generally because they're too scared to think it all might be pointless (yes, I'm simplifying). Pious people tend to think of atheists as afraid to commit, afraid to have faith and give yourself up to God, but I think religious people are the cowards who need a God they can serve to make their existence meaningful. Believing that there probably isn't any meaning to anything is rather frightening, deadening, confusing. It doesn't bear to think about too much. But the people who go this route, either by choice or because they simply can't accept the easy answers that institutionalized religions provide, are the real heroes in my book.

Because deep in my heart, I do wish there were meaning and it all made sense and there was someone I could mindlessly serve and make happy. And that such a being would then take care of me, like a parent, would answer all my questions and tuck me in at night. But it doesn't feel to me that this is way things actually are. It may be, but until I have evidence of it, I'll think of it as no more likely than seeing dinosaurs walking around outside my window. And yet I go on, feeding myself and sleeping and trying to move toward some inexorable fate, lastly marching on to death itself. Walking on in complete and utter darkness, and in the face of sheer terror, is a courageous act all its own, and should never be diminished. I feel sorry for those souls who travel the same path, and this is why I'll never make more children.

Learned helplessness

Good things go fast,
Bad things take forever.
Good things don't last,
Bad things are far too clever
To slip into the past.
They catch you trying to escape,
Drape themselves all over your back
Like a monkey,
Like the weight of the world.
Like money,
They turn all your dreams into trash.

หยิน หยาง

Two opposites:
Each rests upon the other
Each precedes and yet follows
Each contains a bit of the other
Each is incomplete without the other
Each is defined by a contrast to the other
Together they are whole
The ten thousand things are enfolded in them
And there is still room for infinitely more
This is the wellspring of what we call life
And the wading pool for life that is failing
Turn it around, look at it any way you like
It's symmetrical and strong
It doesn't need anything else.

Web 2.0

Friday, June 23

Narcissa Redux

Riding a white horse

crashing through
the earth's atmosphere
austere and unique
like everybody else
I'm on zyprexa and benadryl
venlafaxine and daffodils
mother of pearl, zen, and windmills
chasing a lion down a long steep path
with a dragon in the aft
I'm steering toward a horizon
or a cliff
and I'm so scared I stay silent
shrug my shoulders
say it's all I ever do.

Thursday, June 22

An Inconvenient Truth

Went and saw An Inconvenient Truth this evening. It's a movie in which Al Gore tries to sincerely describe the climate change - née global warming - problem that is facing the world, ostensibly without motive. It works and doesn't work, and let me tell you why.

In favor of the movie, it addresses the issue of global warming, makes you feel that something should be done, and does so in an entertaining enough way that you won't fall asleep.

Opposed, the interlude cuts between the main material seem a little too eager to establish Mr. Gore as a "regular guy" and are just the sort of nonsense you'd expect from a politician. Also, while there are lots of graphs shown and statistics quoted, these are rarely attributed to real scientists, much less mouthed by them. Instead they arrive on a PowerPoint screen voiced by Mr. Environmentalist, and seem suspect in that way, even though they are indeed valid.

This may sound, on balance, like a condemnation of the movie. It would be, except that the subject matter is too serious to be a flaky critic about it. At least Al Gore is talking about the problem, not pretending it doesn't exist like the current administration. In the end, it's the seriousness of the issue that recommends this movie more than anything else.

On the other hand, if you are interested and have a little resourcefulness, check out David Attenborough's recent 3-part series on climate change or the documentary called The Selfish Green, which presents a filmed debate between Richard Dawkins, Attenborough, Jade Goodall, and Richard Leakey. The latter program is one of the best ways to spend an hour of your life, in my opinion. There is some theorizing from on high, but also down-to-earth suggestions which anyone can follow to do their part to minimize damage to the global ecology.

And, most importantly, it imparts an urgency that something must be done, in any case. That is the strength of all these films - simple awareness of the issues. Some such film should be required viewing for every citizen of this planet - if we want to leave it usable for our kids and grandkids, that is.

(picture courtesy of NASA, used without permission)


The figure is debatable, but it seems reasonable to assume that something like 100 billion people have ever lived on Earth, if by "people" we mean Homo sapiens sapiens, our little twig on the evolutionary tree after its most recent separation from some other line of hominid creatures that we define as nonhuman. This happened something like 5 million years ago, though again, the actual figure is in debate. Nevertheless it must be something over 2 million years and less than 8 million years, since we have strong fossil evidence in both directions from those dates.

Think about that for a second. There have been 100 billion human beings ever in the history of time, and 6 billion of them are alive right now. If we only count people who've lived in historical times (since the invention of writing), that 6% figure might jump to something like 35%. It's astonishing to realize that a huge chunk of human history is happening in this span of years that is so puny on a geological and even biological scale.

The human population has exploded. We were condensed into a relatively small are - the arboreal highlands of eastern Africa most likely - for most of our past. Something (climate change, perhaps) caused us to come down from the trees and adapt to life on the savannah, and from there things started to snowball and people spread all over the earth. The actual population size was still small, though; perhaps a few tens of thousands, certainly less than a million.

Then we learned to farm and herd. It's debated when this happened and why, and which came first (certainly herding in my estimation), but these technologies enabled humans to stop wandering after game and put down roots. Cities were born, and with them, division of labor. Soon there were kings, priests, soldiers, farmers, craftsmen, civil servants, artists, and so on. The fact that society could now support some portion of itself not tied to manual labor in pursuit of food or shelter meant that lots of esoteric things could be thought about and produced.

That led to smelting, tanning, writing, astronomy, and the rest of it, and soon enough Rome became the first city in history to have 1 million residents. Things hit a bit of a bump in the road with Rome's fall (though not nearly so much as you might have been taught in school), but soon enough London emerged with 2, and then 3 million inhabitants, and more importantly, was the site of the industrial revolution, where people began to mechanize labor. This produced an enormous surplus of available resources, and, predictably, human population exploded.

And what an explosion. When I was born in the 70s, there were 3.5 billion people. We've practically doubled now to 6 billion. The 60s and 70s brought fears of a Malthusian-type explosion leading to mass starvation, but the population growth rate seems to be declining so that the next 30 years likely won't see another doubling but rather a more modest increase. That is, unless fossil fuels are replaced with some even more readily available energy source. Cheap fusion, for example, could cause another population explosion. Such an explosion would necessarily mean a push into space, to the moon or mars or beyond, since the Earth's viability as a habitat would be jeopardized by so many people.

There is lots more to think about and talk about when it comes to population growth and control. I've only just brushed the surface here, and it is a fascinating field, if you're of a mind to be fascinated by such things (exponential growth, limiting factors, and so on). I believe a basic knowledge of ecology in all its subdisciplines must be learned by everyone who shares this planet, or we risk bringing about our own destruction through ignorance.

And it still blows me away that something between 5% and 10% of all people who have ever lived, are living right now.

Wednesday, June 21

the dance

dance with me now
and let the rain fall
there is a quiet inside our moment together
which could give us shelter
and your arms tracing circles and all
the flashing desires in your eyes
drift away in silence
when you've let go of the sound
preceding this whirl
that I entangle you in now
and blur your vision with colors
of the permanent.

(painting is dance of life by edvard munch)

Tuesday, June 20


I'm not looking for a miracle drug
Your voice is miracle enough
As far as I can tell
The only reason to be alive is to make things that are beautiful
And to surround oneself with things of beauty
What other purpose could there be?

But it's not love of beauty that
Has torn my orderly garden to shreds.
It's more like the rooted earthen palms that pull one against
The skyward tug of Heaven
Are the only truth left in this World
Worth believing in.

(painting is van gogh's stairway at auvers)

I.E., Don't use

It just occurred to me to check how my blog appears in Internet Explorer. I only ever use Firefox to browse but as part of my feeling selfish and egotistical in the last post I suddenly remembered that there are those who still use that other browser. So I checked, and guess what? It looks terrible. The font sizes are not consistent from post to post for some bizarre reason, nor are the size of the line breaks between photos and such.

I am not here to tell you what to do; that's what mothers are for. But if you want an optimal experience viewing this particular blog, please avoid IE. Firefox is what I use to create it, so that's gonna be your best bet. As for even more obscure browsers like Opera, I cannot say. I'd be interested in hearing anything enlightening in that regard, though. Thanks.

Leggo my ego

When I think about what I want and expect from life, it makes me seem really selfish. I want to be comfortable - to avoid things that are unpleasant. I want people to like me. I want something elusive called happiness that seems to be an amalgamation of passion, contentedness, and security. I want to make people who are nice to me happy. I don't want to be nice to people who are not nice to me. I want to eat, to be safe, to be kept within reasonable temperature limits. I don't want to have to work too hard for all this. I want to express myself, not merely exist. In a world of six billion people, I want my voice to be heard and to be taken seriously. When I think about it, it makes me seem really selfish.

The Sound

And wide are your delusions,
Deep red is the space behind your eyes.
Closed forever is the door to your room,
But inside there lives the sound.

You despise,
But I love...
You despise,
What I love...
You despise,
I love...

Mother, I was wrong.
I was wrong.
I am wrong.

(m. gira)

(picture is of unknown origin)

Almost midnight

How to make good on an evening. Never spend it alone. But whatever you do, don't share it with anyone else. To make good on an evening, retreat into yourself and then let it all go. But don't do that, absorb what others are all about instead. Sleep inside the mosquito nets thinking, with the three-quarter moon overhead. Try it sometime. In the morning you will feel interested and challenged, not hoping the sun will somehow travel faster, not hoping that life will leave you behind in its wake, not shaky. When we include other people in our dreams, out dreams turn out richer. No matter what we logically think.

Sunday, June 18

Best. Lyrics. Evar.


Overhead the albatross hangs motionless upon the air
And deep beneath the rolling waves
In labyrinths of coral caves
The echo of a distant time
Comes willowing across the sand
And everything is green and submarine

And no one showed us to the land
And no one knows the wheres or whys
But something stirs and something tries
And starts to climb toward the light

Strangers passing in the street
By chance two separate glances meet
And I am you and what I see is me
And do I take you by the hand
And lead you through the land
And help me understand the best I can

And no one calls us to move on
And no one forces down our eyes
And no one speaks and no one tries
And no one flies around the sun

Cloudless everyday you fall upon my waking eyes
Inviting and inciting me to rise
And through the window in the wall
Comes streaming in on sunlight wings
A million bright ambassadors of morning

And no one sings me lullabies
And no one makes me close my eyes
And so I throw the windows wide
And call to you across the sky.

Saturday, June 17

VoIP, brah!

Let me tell you, the telecoms are really ripping us normal folks off. But what I'm here to tell you today is THERE IS A WAY TO BEAT THEM AT THEIR OWN GAME. Oh shit, sorry about that, the caps-lock key got stuck. Anyways, you get the idea. Let's all band together to use the ample bandwidth of the Internet to provide geeks like ourselves with free, yes FREE phonecalls, anywhere in the world. We'll call it Voice over IP so it sounds sorta descriptive-yet-tech, but can also be shortened into an acronym, VoIP, that will make star wars and buffy fans will go nuts. VOOIIPP!

Of course, all this will take some money to run. I mean, the software switchers have to sit on servers, which must be upgraded and maintained continually. Techs will have to do that. Those techs are gonna need a layer of management above them to ensure they aren't just sitting around blowing smoke rings of the sticky icky. And then there's the top tier staff who have to have porsches, legal advisors, military advisors - wait, forget that last one - the people we'd have to contract with to give us a marketable "brand" and handle all our press contacts, customer support, and a myriad of other things.

So no, of course it's not gonna be free. We'll pass along some minimal cost-per-minute to the users so we can stay afloat and not actually LOSE money. That would suck for customers too, right? And it's not like you all - I mean we - have to have physical telephone sets anymore, so that's an even bigger savings! If you do have one, you can always ship it to those kids with huge stomachs in Africa, making them so happy and giving you a little more karma in the bank. Back to the phones, though; See, instead one of those clunky dedicated phones, you have a crappy sounding headset and a mic that makes any sniffle or throat clearing sound like the storm that that brought down the Edmund Fitzgerald. You'll have to pay a bit for this starter kit too, and maybe even more if you want to actually hear words on the other end rather than the vague sound of bears chewing on onions.

Ok. Ok. We admit it. The cost saving aren't going to amount to much if you're a moron who stays in his mental box all day thinking his simple neolithic thoughts. But the hip crowd is gonna be all over this, because check this out: You can use it anywhere!!! You don't have to stay in a room with a phone jack. You're FREE baby!! (there's that word again). Yes, you'll have to find a hotspot to have service, but people are throwing those up all over the place, right? Although...I heard many are now charging small subscription fees of their own. Hey... Maybe we should see if we can get a piece of that pie as well. [editor: do not print last sentence]

So, to summarize.

Pros: It makes you look cool. It makes it possible to not take a cellphone with you on your business trips, since you've got that big hunking laptop you can talk with. Two, you're sticking it to The Man (who, to be fair, also owns us, but he doesn't OWN us, if you get my drift. We call the shots here, not those pricks in their boiler suits). And lastly, but possibly most importantly, it makes you look cool.

Cons: Our lawyer says we must disclose these. Customer service will vary wildly from bad to horrific, lines will drop off and cut out every time someone three streets down sends an email to your daughter, the equipment is all proprietry and will need uprgrading periodically to keep you in with the hip crowd and give you the biggest pipe on the block. Yes, those phones from the 40s still look clasy and work like a charm, but... um... well anyways like I was saying VoIP (*tingles*) is the wave of the future, and if were you, buddy, I'd grab my malibu pronto and dawn-patrol straight into the green room rather than waiting and having to baby ramp into someone else's curl like a barney.

"Voice over IP - I'm Lovin' It!"


If a boy is crying wolf
Maybe it's because
There really is a wolf.

Hulme's finest

"Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me"

Last night I dreamt
That somebody loved me;
No hope, no harm—
Just another false alarm.

Last night I felt
Real arms around me;
No hope, no harm—
Just another false alarm.

So tell me how long?
Before the Last one.
And tell me how long?
Before the Bright one.

This story is old—I KNOW
But it goes on.
This story is old—
But it goes on.

Goes on....
Goes on........
Goes on............

Wednesday, June 14


As you get better looking, take better care of yourself, find happiness and love, and begin to achieve true independence, the people in your life who purported to care about you become increasingly hostile. They feel less and less needed.

So now I wear black every day. Nothing but black. I've seen the godawful true face of human nature and there is nothing else for it but to reflect the absence of anything good that greets my eyes. When they send me back the way I came, cold and finally uncaring, it will seem somehow appropriate.


I cried all night
When I needed someone
No one was there
In my room of shadows
Barely able to stand,
Barely able to breathe

And you lied
Said you would call me
I waited all night
I had to remind myself
Even then it was like pulling teeth
Your grief got in the way of mine

When all I've ever been was kind.

Tuesday, June 13

Monday, June 12

I've lived my life in the valleys
I've lived my life in the hills
I've lived my life on alcohol
I've lived my life on pills

Sunday, June 11

Friday, June 9


Put the pieces back together. One octogon (how strange) there,
Arrange this bullet shape an tiny saucer brown inside polyethelene
Dark so the sun cannot feel guilty for neutering them.
Circumstance and the fight inside my stomach between ancient rivals
Convinces me the effort may not justify the end result.
I take two brown and suit up, air is free to flow and handsigns flash
The dark water holds the key to all fears of our original home.

Fear of Christians

I think Christians are a confused bunch. Shouldn't I have the fear of THE DEVIL in me, not the fear of God? What's that about? I thought I was supposed to love the dude upstairs. Apparently 'love' in this context means slavish worship and mindless obedience.

OH WAIT, he's the one who rains destruction upon entire towns because some of its citizens are sinners, and sets plagues upon the peasantry and infant population of Egypt because of the Pharoah's misdeeds. Almost forgot those are accepted parts of the literal bible. Ok, nevermind about the loving part.

Now that I think about it, The Devil doesn't set about demanding anything of the human race. Sure, he's there to gobble up the sinners, but that's their bad. And yes he tempts them, but you could argue he's testing their faith (as God has been known to do, think Abraham and Isaac), or probing for weaknesses already there. At any rate he is not pitting his authority directly against mankind's, roaring like some preternatural Steve Ballmer at the top of his lungs how humanity MUST obey him or be destroyed. He's always pretty low key about the whole thing, and it's the mortal who succumbs of their own free will (hence it being a sin) rather than capitulating to irresistible might.

Can anyone not read this short piece, or better yet the Holy Bible itself, and not draw some pretty strong parallels between the bullying, elitist, arrogant, privileged MEN on the one side of the chalk line (and the progeny carrying on their ways into present times), and the diverse, individualistic, skeptical, colorful party animals filling the ranks that oppose them? I'll leave it as an exercise to the reader to guess which side represents whom, and why this is one of the most damning blows to organized Western monotheology of all. And also black holes.

Flowy motions

Why are all these animals on this earth and all these people who are posing probing questions like these and the plants and the trees and all the living systems at all size scales from cells to organisms to superorganisms and beyond and the worlds revolving around the sun operating according to a set of laws that supposedly no one devised makes me wonder how it is they're even there at all and if someone did create it all then it only pushes back the problem without solving it because then what created the creator if you say nothing then you might as well have said that about the universe in the first place and skipped the need for a god at all but what about the idea that we are in a sense all god or in other words that everything is part of a whole does this really have any meaning to it or does it just sound nice what does it mean for something to be individual anyway isn't it just as valid to look at the entire volume of space as being a continuum a vast three dimensional array of on-bits and null-bits that creates interesting patterns but gives none of those patterns the right to call themselves individual after all there are fuzzy boundaries between self and other and between life and nonlife and we don't even know how to define what being alive means in any fundamental sense anyway it's all just theoretical postulating and posturing and such searches for truth from within the system seems to me akin to juggling on a moving train or trying to write down everything you've ever done including what you're writing right now in other words it's impossible because some tiny piece of you must remain included within the definition and it all becomes circular and regressing to infinity or strange looped or self referential like this sentence is false so i think we can presume that science will never know all the answers nor be able to define everything including itself completely and if this is the case then of what use is science to philosophy i maintain that it is of no use and that in fact philosophy is of no use because either there is nothing to be understood or else if there is then we can never understand it either way we lose in expending the effort and benefit from refraining from such speculation if you are the kind of person or robot who cannot function without meaning then you'd might as well freeze up now on the other hand if you can somehow put that out of your mind and you are content to operate on the surface of things for apparently no end except what occurs from moment to moment on a continual basis a kind of one second philosophy then you can just go ahead and keep your head down and keep plowing along you're not missing anything and those around us who never think this way who do not need to know why who are content to thrust their legs into cold streams scream from the top of a mountain or bake bread in the dead of winter these people are the kings and queens of the human race and i would donate half my brain and one of each set of redundant organs to science if i could but join them.

Lost in NJ

So you wonder
And you wander
And people seem to scatter
One way or the other
Some seem cocky
Must know what they are doing
But what they are doing is lying
Some seem scared
Afraid to commit to one thing
Or another
You feel no pity for them
You still miss your father
And the world's hard
Crazies look at you every day
You know too much of what
Lives in their eyes
I know too much of what
Lies within their minds
Mindlessly turning around
I am haunted by this place too
But I've made my peace
Words won't always do it
I just push my way through
I've been stumbling around
I've been lost for seven days
Trying to find what matters most
If you're not
One in a million these days
You don't matter
You don't belong
But one in a million are wrong
If I'm not
The master of every situation
I may have been there
Thought what you are thinking now
I decided one way or another
And I learned
Something about the human race
And I earned my stripes
Without falling on my face
I'm lost but I keep getting up
Reaching for the impossible
I know I can never achieve it
I also know I have to try
This world isn't kind
People are not generally good-natured
They are wild animals
And the setting in which we live out our lives
Is savage and horrible
But we can find the borders
Map every extreme
Reach down and take a handful of dirt
Feel the grass beneath our fingertips
And resolve to go on despite the absurdity
Yes, it is sad
But things that are sad
Are beautiful, too
I'm not going anywhere without you.

Les yeux sans visage

In this orange van, not remotely the danger silent movies would have you believe. Humboldt told me for one my days were numbered, dear God, and I don't know how I ever felt so happy. Though her colorless legs... Her unfertile eggs. In a sense, my own time distortion, I had tragic words but I won't say with whom. I was far too young having only a preponderance of knowledge and some useless extrapolations slash disconnects between events and place, not to mention the necessity I lie extradimensionally earnest, hair askew or flattened, I spy 'freeze' first tenth-second against the voluminous fragmentary documentation of mundane telltale deeds existing essentially dead in a state of primeval chaos. I have been a pack rat when the choice was mine, proud that I could swell and die, but conditions imposed by the rough sea world outside took hold and left gaps in these works and compromised the truths of others. It may be art, buy battle-mark c, outranks all in lander aggressions, a true loss is the one clear the pity. All will be clear when you see what I've we no you them I got. *static*

I would like to get a comprehensive academic-level life-story carved into semi-soft stone before entertaining any inevitable reductions that surely make the present more compelling reading to the layman. I'm afraid such gargantuan efforts outstrip my capacities in a very gross sense, as well as compromising the work's tantalizing jerks fantasizing berserking, but remarkable residue shaped chiefly in hyperinflated vats seems impossibly lossily contemporary. It would take Raymonde, and his proletariat colleague assistant, cooked to coney-potato cast iron dreary denizens vibe. Black, white, indigenous freaks who want the lower effort grinds an aside seeketh escorts of the "way out" belly dancing and leave-it-to-your imagination. Swank superlative Silicon Valley soared through two timeouts, challenged by Raymonde and a vassal of camrades.

Is it too much to ask to keep it beautiful?

You shouldn't try to control your life too much
It's really not possible anyway
Just buckle yourself in and be authentic to your feelings
Gently guide yourself along, nudging one way or the other
To avoid obstacles, restrain damaging words,
Or seize golden opportunities
But the vast massive weight of living
Cannot be substantially altered; It's written
In your brain and inside your genes before you are born
It's written in the stars or on the subway walls
Or in ancient books or inside the leaves of plants
No use trying to swim upstream
Just enjoy the life you do have and don't
Ache for someone else's.

Thursday, June 8

Don't break my heart


(Mark Sandman)

You're the night, Lilah
a little girl lost in the woods
you're a folktale
the unexplainable.
you're a bedtime story
the one that keeps the curtains closed
and I hope you're waiting for me
'cause I can't make it on my own.

It's too dark to see the landmarks
and I don't want your good luck charms
I hope you're waiting for me
across your carpet of stars.
you're the night, Lilah
you're everything that we can't see
you're the possibility.

Unknown the unlit world of old
you're the sounds I've never heard before
off the map where the wild things grow
another world outside my door
here I stand I'm all alone
driving down a pitch black road
Lilah you're my only home
and I can't make it on my own.

Wednesday, June 7


It's a musical life
Painters feel blind, words die
Photographs wait silent

But I can course alive
Deep in the middle of the night
I can shine

Until that dark star rises
Covers me with her maddening light
Until time

Slows to nothing
And I feel that pull upon strings
Bowtying closed my mind.

Tuesday, June 6

Wu wei

The closest thing I've ever found to God is the Tao. Taoism isn't a religion, although it will be seen as one by many people. If it is a religion it is a holistic religion of Nature, without deities. It is a way of viewing existence itself as the divine force, a repudiation of the dualism of Western thought. When you spend a day fishing, listening to water lap against the shore and sea-birds hanging on an air current, this is the Tao. When you lay atop the peak staring at the blue and white sky, this is the Tao. When lysergic suggestion frees your brain to perceive the fractally geometric essence underpinning all complexity, this too is the Tao. Time does not seem to flow from past to future as physics would have it. When you really know a thing, it feels permanent and now. Past, present, and future come together in a single spell which is all there is. You can think of time as flowing in a circle or you can just abandon the idea altogether and let the cycles of the seasons and the struggle of life be what they are without description.

If Buddhism is a prescription for personal tranquility, a way out for the mind, then observence of and respect for the Tao is the prescription for the soul. It provides an abstract existential justification where Buddhism leaves a profoundly empty hole. If Buddhism's foundations lead as easily to nihilism as to humanism, the Tao provides a positive focus around which to organize one's life. There isn't meaning per se, but there are the facts of existence, motion, and change. A de facto reality that is right simply because it is there, and it works. Really the concept is no more than an elaboration of the Buddhist's universal unity and transference of the importance from the cosmic to the mundane. That is, it removes the sense of belonging from the insular world of the meditating mind and places it squarely in nature, in the relationship between stone and water, between man and beast.

I believe in the Tao. Whatever you call it, the organizing principles are there to be seen and felt. I don't believe in Taoism, insofar as it's a codified doctrine made by human beings which threatens to replace the personal immediacy of experiencing the Tao first hand with a filter of arbitrary rules to be followed. I find Buddhism, especially Zen Buddhism, an extremely useful tool for the upkeep of the mind; for stripping away layer by layer the old paint of the past; for staying away from objectification and staying focused on the present moment, the authentic experience of the senses. Likewise, I find Taoism useful when it comes to thinking in the long-term, something which Buddhism discourages but which most of us rather naturally do anyway. The Tao is always there, flowing when water flows, blowing when the wind blows. Scientists call it natural selection, emergence, chaos, structure. Mathematicians call it mathematics. Mystics call it God. I don't call it anything at all, I just listen, and remain silent.

Monday, June 5


The stars are impossibly bright
Through dark curtains blazing
Stitched patterns burning
Otherworldly light
A hunter has lost his secret
A heron tilts her long,
Lithe neck to the ground
A woman calls his name in earnest
There is no reply
Her face is mirrored by water
That murmurs like laughter
Under a clear midwinter sky
I lie dreaming of beautiful things
Bygone days
Tales of beginning and end.


I get so tired living on the edge of doubt, pessimism, self-loathing. It's one thing to sit back and sneer at the world. It's not nice, but for the person doing it there is some measure of comfort. A psychologist would tell him he's compensating for an insecurity. But who cares, most of us aren't psychologists. On the other hand, it's much different when the one you're sneering at is you. No shrink needed for this one; You feel the thorns of that cruelty every day dig into your flesh, depriving you of peace. Making sure everything you do ends in failure.

Meanwhile, water still trickles over the granite bones of the mountain, building to a white cascade. Trees still curl their toes in their favorite soil. Water vapor still rises from the lake. Ducks still rear their young, returning to this spot every spring. Clouds still pile snow over the dead bodies, and flowers replace them. The hungry solitary wolf still roams the peaks beneath the moon, trying to find his way, and all about him the crisp morning air is full of noisy silence.

Saturday, June 3


The heart has reasons
Which reason knows nothing of;

I'm a very weird mix of wise and childlike
People who understand me are the ones I want to be with
I don't have time for the rest,
Though I wish them well in their own journeys;

I'm not interested how many times you've been around the sun
I'm interested in how your mind reacts to situations
And how your heart responds;

I'm not interested in playing games. Playfulness is one thing.
But to pull when I pull then push when I push
At opposite ends of the same rope will never accomplish anything;

We were born at different times in different lands
There's no way we could come from the same world
Quite similar worlds? Yes;

I don't smile often
But when I do-
When I do,
It's usually for you.

Friday, June 2

Five dreams

I had five dreams last night. My journal records each very briefly. From each I awoke still tired, but hesitant to let myself fall back into sleep, though each time I eventually did.

The first dream I had was about the ocean. I had learnt to breathe water, somehow, and was thrusting about through coral reefs and into sinkholes trailing away to the very deeps of the world. Inside were blue whales, frightening behemoths who could direct all life and swam about slowly in their role as sentinels of the planet. Occasionally they would fight one another, and the percussion waves of this disturbance shook the foundations of the sea. But sea became space...

The second dream I had was about fighter pilots who had taken their vehicles into space. I'd searched the internet to find a school who would put me into such a vehicle, and at last I was involved in the push into extra-earth habitats. But I soon discovered that such vehicles were unlikely to be inhabited solely by the pilot; If one engaged the autopilot and left the cockpit, it could be seen that a large vessel had been comandeered and not a fighter at all. It was a colony ship; present were women and children, gardens, databases of human knowledge. Examples of human artistic achievements. I wondered just how far back the holds of the ship extended...

The third dream I had was about Fidel Castro and the Soviet Union hunting for me, sniffing every source for clues as to my whereabouts. They corrupted my publisher. I followed an evasive route through space, simulataneously directing a human avatar on the ground below to circumvent the now-corrupt United States and traipse the border of Canada to possible salvation beyond. They controlled all the checkpoints and communications. There were hardships and setbacks; I spend a year inside a prison languishing while my real identity remained unknown. At last I reached my ship, upon earth. In space, I'd reached a safe dock...

The fourth dream I had was about finding myself enlisted in the military. I stressed vigorously my pacifist views, but was assured just as vigorously I had volunteered for service and was legally bound to cooperate. As training we were split into teams and one would then assault the other, using live rounds. The survivors were considered to have passed the assignment and moved on to the next challenge. From a pool of thousands of cadets the officers were hopefuly several hundred would survive and prove themselves worthy to uphold national values in times of war. Needless to say I was terrified, given the odds, that I would be a casualty. Especially since I refused to fire on another person, at least at first...

The firth dream I had found me back in space, a refugee from the suicidal training camps and part of mankind's project to reach the stars. My sister, somewhat bizarrely, had cooperated with the Chinese to engineer a system of transportation between the planets (islands) that took only minutes. We found ourselves riding a shuttle to Jupiter which made use of superheated carbon nanotubules to eliminate friction and thus allow unrestricted accleration. But the forces in pursuit of us soon once again closed the gap, and the game was up. The transports were shut down, and the few pods which managed to escape headed for Jupiter's murky atmosphere in desperation.

Finally it was revealed: Jupiter, like other giant worlds throughout the universe, were the blue whales in their true forms. They were not immortal or invincible, but they were stewards of life wherever it occured. Our whale decided it was time to move on, and space trembled as she cleared the region of despots and do-gooders to allow those of us inclined towards harmless exploration to clamber aboard her and set sail for the stars. Another realm awaited us, untouched.

The last aboard

The first aboard is the quick among us
Who claims his life as if it were a quiz
The last aboard is the hopeless savage

The last among us is the child of average
The seers still claim their right to know
Whilst all about us the future converges

And the first thing in us is fear of the unknown
The first aboard rejects this quickly
The middle-man awaits his turn

And waves the first man gone completely
And tides roll up upon understanding
With muse reborn, I am the last on board.

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