A somewhat automatic writing experiment that shall, on occasion, produce random word scraps of substance.
The Joy Of Having No Say —
The day-to-week-to-month-to-year press of time scatters its blown-to-bits through filters of various preoccupations, coming out honed, experienced, a touch of grey indicating something of wisdom. Here could be the point where all laws governing our being should be upheld and we could rejoice in knowing that we had no say. . . . But no. We are not geared for such. We intend to beat the thing senseless, and beat ourselves senseless in the process. We will have our say and will eat our words as we do. We will serve up full portions of hat / crow and dig our gastronomic moment as if gathered about the Thanksgiving Day table: thanking the animals who died to feed us, the vegetable matter that went under the knife to feed us, this spread of food having endured the oven of our voracious appetites—our relentless need to vent our peace. We will have our words and eat them too, a bit-scatter casserole treading the years and the month-to-week-to-day-hour-minute-second. It is a rat race we are urged (as if we had a choice?) to master, pulling up to the high-caloric table of riches and devouring our insatiable desire to be heard. We will celebrate this unattainable delusion of control. We will shake out our bunting, parade about beneath high-flying rhetorical gasconade. For there are no holidays to mark the antithesis of our burn-through desires. We will not lift up those cynical voices sputtering on in indifference to the unknowable now. “Cynics, all,” we will proclaim. For we are not designed to celebrate our reality, only our delusions. There is but space for the later. It is all that our DNA can suffer.
The Silvering —
A low soft halide glow, this is how it would go. The dull senescent sparkles blown from the palm of hand, a dusting spread atop the late-lateness (i.e. early-earlyness). The light of the decaying (i.e. waning) moon frames the frieze of landscaped layers atop mothering earth-tones running their cutlery-grey to black-on-black gamut of quiet down seconds—slumbering, at peace. The moon, slow walking clouds, obsidian darkness. Reemerging from the windless breath, again the low cast glow: the step by step by step of the silver satellite’s prose upon the land a light verse in need of no words, in need of nothing aside this supernal tint then dusting the slumbering beast.
Here was a gargantuan tale of violence and redemption, of insurrection and impotency, of the powerful and powerless both vying for truths (and fictions) in one rigid freewheeling epic. The draining inspiration of its shrill silent bearing, how it blew through town like a whisper. It would be remembered for this—if at all—if ever (—if not at all—ever). For there was no real end point. There was no real point. There was only the dull-ache sense that it would not be going away any time soon: the back and forth push-pull of its light-dark controverting having set up shop at the cellular level, something that would stick with us as lead hiding in the folds of our brains.
From First To Last —
To thrive is a state of mind. It is eloquent. It is nuanced. It is raw naked ambition. It is the first thing you see when you wake up. It is the last thing you see before sleep pulls its cowl tight. It is the first encounter upon your birth. It is the last hurrah, an adieu (a polite one) on your way into the great unknown. . . . And it is unknown for a reason, a place that has no construct or contracts or guidelines nor road signs, but only the high sting of its perpetually ringing tone—the long call of a not quite distant church steeple tolling the hours, calmly. . . . Therein would be the first and last offering of normal we should expect to receive. And if only because its occurrence here was pure happenstance. Normal is not in any way / shape / form the responsibility of the world at large. Here, standing before the chaos spread before us is the state we should all come to expect. And this, if only to screw up our courage in anticipation, to lay the groundwork and settle our hungry minds for the first and last things we will ever need.
Coming And Going —
There was a place that once held residence in my brain, to the left and behind my ear lobe. It was a space reserved for those things we cannot clearly discern: the mysterious, the odd. I once had an active calendar across that space. I would drop in and visit for hours at a time, running it all through at pace. There were the comings and goings of the fantastically odd, the mysteriously strange, all of it filing in and out as some commuter portal: a bustling station run with efficiency, purpose, and zeal. It was no mystery in and of itself: the run-along schedule of careen-through thoughts, alert observations spinning turnstiles in a free-for-all of perceptions and ponderings and thinkings-over. It would stream by in a time-lapse sped up kind of way. Coming, going. It left no hint that it would ever cease, that it would ever slow. Into that corner of my brain it would flow, a spot of grey matter firing constantly, alight always and akin to flying over a thunderstorm: the lightning popping off 1000-and-one bulbs as a cloud quilt orchestra. It was just like that. . . . But that space, to the left and behind my ear, it having dimmed of late. And not for lack of the odd, the strange, the mysterious workings of imagination and perception sprinting through my mind. But for my having been lulled into a nonchalant care about whether they come and go at all.
Take Your Shot —
The delirium of distant sound waves was known far and wide for the exhibitionist that it was. A resonant catalyst for “what will be,” its keen knack for blasting holes in the wall separating what is from what is not was, more often than not, on full display. A talented marksman, it would take its shot only after all requisite conditions had been met: patient, calculated, hanging fire until all boxes were checked, all lights a go go green. Only in the sublime elation of that emerald glow, that rarified all-world knowing having consumed its fill of the rolling ecstasy and digesting said vital victuals with a rollercoaster envy . . . only then . . . POW! . . . Reeling, struck by the sense that things had never before been (and perhaps would never again be) so clear. . . . Sometimes, reality just does not much care for what you think you see. Peddling in a crystalline clarity, why would it? Dealing in the illicit trade of dream-day clusters there for the taking, why should it? And if such were true (and how could it not be true?), then it would fall to us: the restless search for that primeval moment when it all comes clear, when you may confide in the mirror with confidence: Now, now I may take my shot.
A Little Death —
Knock, knock, knocking to gain entry, that most mysterious of strangers: the high-lift charisma, flattering, charming (if also cunning), steep in its courage (if a confidence unearned). It does not escape notice that this could all be deflection. An overcorrection overcompensating for a lacking so clear, so painfully clear; what in a more pointed moment could (should?) be labeled pathetic, but that we are not (at the moment) in a judgmental mood. That we, the committee, are at this moment not feeling the need to impose any steeper penalty than that which is being self-levied: the side-stitch embarrassment, the acute humiliation. If only we (the committee) had it within our power to deliver this poor soul to the mental oasis, the savanna of calming conjecture required to cure such overt insecurity, more time spent wandering the supine plane of calm, less pumping up the bonafides of empty rhetoric—these cringe-worthy displays. If only this lost soul could see as we do: an individual trying so so hard, trying far too hard. If only he could see the slow-turn middle as a refuge, where life is truly lived; that for all the show-boat feats of look-at-me, all acts and all words will, in good time, be rated (for all to see) for their authenticity. . . . And so, in the spirit of said yardstick, it is by decree that we—the committee—recommend the nuclear option. And this, if only to break the ritual of dying over and again these lonely little deaths.
A Whole New Mystery —
It dawned on her that we (re: human race) must be done with the past if we are to get at that inferred future: all works of imagination awaiting the fullness of life, a reality not skewed by the distorting comforts of memory. This she could sense was as true as what she had been told was not true. All the lies, all the unfettered lying and fibs and the whole-cloth homespun having been designed not to upset, but to coddle; to not challenge, but crown hardly-earned champions. The clear as day ruse was proving long in the tooth; but for that the days and decades would not be wont for honesty when they (eventually) sailed in round the bend, broadsides booming as they tacked into port. It was the geography of our days that she had unwittingly tapped into, an awful grin-and-bear-it hinge of history sourced of a liturgy frowning, drowning, its firing of synapses akin to the lazy barrel-roll of fireflies stammering about the post-storm humidity. To not question the shuttle-along lies had been presented as logic, reason; though it had set up as the aimless amidst the mindless attempting (poorly) to predict the course of things: that silly game we (re: humans) play. . . . All of this—the pin drop high-wire act that it seemed to be, the ledge-daring pirouette that it most definitely was—defined where she was at. And even if no one else was willing to admit that the mysterious and unknown in all its terrifying magnificence sat just beyond the edge of things, she was not afraid to leap . . . consequences be damned.
The Cup Runneth Over —
The cup runneth over, spilling down onto the table. A spigot left on, overflowing sink and tub and shower-stall, pouring down onto the floor, flooding the hallways, flooding rooms and the basements beneath followed by the rooms above those rooms and basements. It is a water main break, hydrants uncapped, overflow drains gushing rivers of the cup having runneth over to mill-race strength. Steps are roaring waterfalls, the mighty currents a storm-swollen surge irreversible—thirty days and thirty nights like. Flooding front yards and back: streets, avenues, back-alleys now canals. Submerging first floor, second floor, a water table engulfing rooftops and treetops and building tops, the peaks of mountains disappearing. This liquid blue marble, spinning off through the galaxy . . . its inhabitants having drowned in their own excess.
A Prefacing —
In the exceptional sunlit ether, from within the grand doubting fibers of being, emerged gravity’s whim: the core essence of serenity’s electro-magnetism charged of a sedate calm. Floating off, tacking wildly, as a mass balloon release on a windy day: freed from the repressive hand to steal away on convectors charting each manifest with a benevolent omnipotent sincerity—the serenity of release and surrender. With side-winding velocity, stealing away on whim after whim after vertical whim, they drifted (as with purpose) to all corners, unawares of the omnipotence that was key to the venture—an afterthought prefacing the very logic vibrating within that day’s daring to dream.
This Now, In Passing —
There they stood: woman, man, neither, other, united in their un-utterable defiance, a silent laser-eye reflection stabbing the din. Its flash-bang (if silent) repose embossed the very air. It deserved all the laudation, all the hall of fame honors and sparkle-glint reverence one could toss its way. Yes, this is the view that might have won out but—but—for the off-screen vehicle of ruptured intent struggling to hold the whole enterprise aloft. There could be no question. Unquestioned, it was a scene of rapture, of inspiration, a rung (or two) beneath awe. But in passing—as I was (my investment momentary and fleeting)—it could be seen as scripted for effect only. Only in passing could it come off as such. This woman, man, neither, other, their mind-melt moment of memory-rattle run out along an arc of grace as it was, was of a piece with this most basic need: to believe despite the falsehoods, to believe despite the clanging bell calling us all to an empty dinner table. The sparkling scene before me, so suddenly pedestrian, its once starstruck sinew vibrating as banality, sans greatness. For the smoke had cleared, traipsing aloft on belts of capable wind, lids that had but moments before clanged uniquely—otherworldly?—among the distant boulders of what was possible, all coming to a sizzling rest. . . . And in that clean pass-by instant, that was where the ceaseless roil recycling this nation of anxious wanting pioneers steered itself towards a course bound for some kind of elsewhere: weightless, sailing through the troubles untouched—a beautiful (if pedestrian) moment pouring passion into the mold if only to see what might set up. My money was on a banal greatness, to once again hold in-palm the moon rocks of desire.
Blasting Through To You —
The grin, such a predictable barometer of mood. The kind that you feel, that you know without empirical proof. The kind that sparks to life in the base of your belly, that reminds you: you live, still. It will (it must) roll with the punches when smothered in the low-hanging clouds of self-doubt. It will (must?) do so in the face of those claiming this here and now: “the best of times!” And this, despite clear empirical evidence that it is anything but; at best: a mantle of moderated mayhem, something to hang onto, a truism tapping the ability to lift up one’s heads when smothered; to know that all you need to do is breath. . . . But I can already hear the naysayers sharpening blades. Yes, there will be the low hover clouds. There will be many a down-turn day having its way. But if we are to be anything other than miserable little sluts of melancholy, we must tend to our little half-acres of optimism. And we should do so with all the flash-bulb sparkle and willing blindness required to whittle away at that stingy fraudulent present. The horizon, it is drifting, listing, caterwauling for us still. . . . And I will reach you. I will take to heart this sage advice, this down-low rumination. I will keep my powder dry. I will not allow sleight-of-hand or a crow-like fascination with shiny objects to detract from my registering that most necessary of grins, taking it in like a full drowning breath at the surface of the sea. I will deprive the hucksters their oxygen, proclaim detente on all that distracts. I will let nothing stand in the way of predicting your love for me, still.
The steam billowing, the whistle braying, its ecstatic luster buffeting, calling up, setting loose the speed of the day. Watching on, dumbfounded, amazed (a certain awe?) as it rose, spread its metaphorical wings, and then plunged to the water line. The wraith’s greedy light was being cast from beyond, a race to the bottom in which the world’s malevolent tonnage would break spirits, suck lifeblood, and . . . but . . . but . . . for one individual voice left yelling into the cyclone wind. That simple resolute voice, relaying an observation so basic that it escaped notice, so basic and so common-sensical as to defy the pretzeled logic of the malevolent without ever mentioning them or their beady-eye game. It was so certain that it spun its own foundational bedrock as an alternative to the meritocratic body-wrack soul-dredging sludge. That voice, staring down the abyss and stating—clearly—that we do have a say, that we do have agency coursing through our fade-away pulse. The disorienting swirling of this life, unpredictable, random, greed-strapped, and . . . yet . . . yet . . . within our ability: our reaction to the (no doubt) surprise ending that awaits, our ability to moderate the instinct to lurch and lunge. That voice, that disembodied sage resolve, asking of us one simple question: “What will be the memory of you having been brought into existence? What will that mean to the continuum? What will you be to that future?” The answer to that one question to provide all the answers one would need. Finis.
A Brief History of Passion —
It is the wheel of random collisions that will teach us, will learn us but good that similarity is, in reality, not certainty—that it is, simply, in our heads. This, even though the rhythm of similarity rings honest, bounding in and about the rock-bed boulders on which we found things. A sprinkle of glass shards scatters in wake of the rhythmic tickling of ivories having called its tune, calling out with authority, a recursive and beautiful density that will grind down the hype—this slur-step society of spectacle—down, down, until we are left with nothing but substance, fragments of an honest dead-pan passion. It will do this mercilessly. It will hammer away. It will squeeze out the last lively drops of blood money from the stone, doing this as it runs our thoughts—from first to last, final, finis—running them through with an incisive sabre-wielding honesty. . . . For here is where regular dictation, our normal usual click-clack-clicking along, will mumble and stumble into some rambling dot-dash slur, an arcane Morse code left sputtering between your ears. This hallowed journey, carved of space-thin air, its pistons firing the pounding flames that will—someday soon—consume your heart-of-hearts.
Ease On In —
Here it is: a great collective time out. It is a deft pivot-point between extremes. It says little, and yet says it clearly. An easing, talking us off ledges of our own making and of other’s making and of random slipshod circumstances discarded like so many 3D glasses following the big cinematic spectacle. Here, within that more mellow swale of contemplative peace, the goals and the dreams that inspire the conscious dreamers among us, that imprison the conscious fools among us, those having lost their way within the velvet rope jungle of status and envy, unconscious of gravity’s indifferent—if girder-dense—ability. (Oh, that irresistible leveler.) For the vengeful heart may yet catalyze its own powerful narcotic disruptions, leading us back into temptation and our tap dance along ledges of our own making and of other’s making, etc. etc. It may yet have its day. . . . But then, what of the easing? Did its teachable moment make any impression at all? Were we not paying attention? Those points ringing out their clear economy of uttered words and phrases and exhortations, pleading with us to zero-in on the present moment in all its totality, knowing it is right, if not yet knowing how to fully commit. . . . And yet we do know. We already know. Look up. Look into the sky above, a cerulean atmospheric trick subsidizing said totality, said peace, easing us all in under the spell of nostalgic glee.
When I Walk —
When I walk I scan the all of what falls before me, from my feet to the deep tip-top pinnacle of sky . . . and see nothing. The void: an atonal mass of vague chemistry, an impenetrable gaseous being. It lives. It breathes. It loves as it hates. I am dumbfounded by the completeness of its cloud-curtain dim, its countenance grim as it wavers on a careless inertia enveloping all. It is shape-shifting, a myriad of contradictory explanations competing to convince, goad, badger, annoy . . . and enthrall. . . . But this exhilaration, it will prove fleeting: a terminal disease ambling through as some micro-pathogen unseen (if infecting us all). I stare, we all stare at the murky void between our feet and high-up sky fulminating a fog pulsating of a million-plus-one airborne pathogens. Carcinogens mutating, dividing cells irregularly. The void hammers away silently, its acid raining a torrent of magnitudes that, in turn, shall eat away at our best preserved facades. To attempt escape is a fool’s errand. To survive its blows a remote hope. Still, hope remains. It may yet survive the void’s best shot. . . . Hope, man, what a player.