Sunday, October 08, 2006

Khoshekh

You fucking rich loathing
Bastards--you know me.
I'm the man in the glow ring,
Who laughs at your posing.
(I will expose thee)

Your confident knowing,
Constantly bores me.
Your sickened-bitch moaning,
Constantly annoys me.
(Annoys me…annoys me)

What is that creeping on
Shoulders and screaming?
If I even told you,
Would you believe me?

What is that creeping with
Shadows and weeping?
If I even told you
Could you believe me?

(Me…me…me)

Those lovely sick cronies,
Outcasts, and holies,
Are possessed by their drinking
Of the lotus' sweet honey
(You shall go free)

Your fucking lips clothed me,
In heaven above me,
But it just doesn't suit me--
It's time to undress me
(Just trust me…trust in me)

What is that creeping on
Shoulders and screaming?
If I even told you,
Would you believe me?

What is that creeping with
Shadows and weeping?
If I even told you
Could you believe me?

(Me…me…me)

I'm fucking stripped, here's me!
Bare--naked--nothing.
Standing alone, empty and lonely.
(Lonely…lonely)

After years of searching,
Wishing, and trying, (But to no avail…)
I'm still just fucking floating
And crying!

The darkness it's growing,
Its power is flowing.
The darkness it's growing,
Its power is flowing.

I take my place Khoshekh,
It's for you I’m screaming!
So this is me world,
Now do you believe me?

I take my place Khoshekh
It's for you I’m screaming!
So this is me Lord,
Just try to oppose me…

What is that creeping on
Shoulders and screaming?
If I even told you,
Would you believe me?

What is that creeping with
Shadows and weeping?
If I even told you
Could you believe me?

(Me…me…me)

Building with Ink (Late night ramble 8/08)

The saddest thing I can tell you
My love is that it’s not you, but this
Feeling that I’ll miss more.

Your presence erased my
Rambling pen bleeding morose
Existential trappings and filled
That empty nothing with pudgy
Mindless nothing, for which I
Thank you.

Yet, now you stray leaving
Me to wallow in empty
Nothing, for which I hate
You, which is why love can
Never produce friendship—

Love lost reaps disdain.

In you I tried to hide, but
God (or random fate) will
Not allow me solace. I’m here
To burn and I know this. And
So I’ve run.

You were my final shade.

Burning in ink I’ll find you again
In the words of ghosts screaming
To breathe once more.

I am exceptionally empty, you
See, I was only ever meant to be a
Channel and never received.

I am no more a shadow than drying ink.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Abyss

Even stars die
So when dreams fade
Who has reason to
Cry--We shared a
Beautiful shadow,
But the day has come
And we must
Go--Forgive my
Translucence
I do not mean to
Run from this--I
Simply have no
Choice--In light of
Things I do not
Rejoice, instead I
Burn into oblivion--And
Vanish.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Dizzy

Bloody Toes

My pain dripped down my
Abdomen. From my breasts
The trickles of blood rivered
To my toes where, in between,
Little puddles grew. I walked
To the shower—leaving crimson
Feet print stalking paths. In the
Mirror my dissected image dripped
Seduction. In the shower
My blood swirled down the drain.

Embrace

Beauty, I’ve learned
To never hold you
And just let you
Be. Beauty, you’re
Nothing if you’re
Not free.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Disconnected

I ran my finger down
The cold, brittle plastic shell
Of my phone; it
Still didn't ring. That night
It never did. It sat silent
While I waited for its ring
To bring me the warmth of your
Voice. Then, I realized, holding
My phone is not that different
From holding you.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Ghost (Faceless)

Lying beside you I
Feel your breath—your
Body familiar, comfortable
Safe—my finger draws
Along the contour of
Your arm, as it has so many
Times—strands of chestnut hair
Rest tangled upon my face—I
Think in rhythm to your heartbeat,
That pours onto me from your back,
But, on the other side, lies your
Face—everything about it hidden
From me amongst your endless maze
Of words and walls—a million
Flickers of you parade across my
Mind, which of them, I wonder,
Is real.

(Who are you my love, who?)

I know only your silhouette,
Only your ghost.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Pasiel's Key

Warning: this poem is about images and not about message. Do not try to understand it, there is nothing to understand. It exists solely to invoke mental sensations. So, just see it...

I write because I am the mutated whoreson of that dastardly trinity of whose DNA runs through me: slang, literary mystique, and the surrealistic hallucinations of the opium poets mad. I do not write to convey some message.

I write because I can't paint. The brush didn't flow with my hand so I tap these keys like Mozart's requiem in D. I want anybody to read whatever neon scribbles I elucidate onto paper and watch what I've written come to new life. Think of me as the cryptic image-maker, lips spittin' tracers of metaphors streaking the consciousness of horizons arising. I'm a warrior like Orion but I grip quills and smite those denying the beauty of this language that's dying.

So instead of making films for you to see only that which it was that I saw I lace these parchments with a secret code—a programming syntax if you will. Now, do not read the words for what they are, but rather allow your eyeballs to soak up the little black symbols into a glossy lather like a brand new sponge in a pool of batter.

Next, just let the words bloom into plaid violet sights and chirping sounds like chickadee symphonies of bursting mad violent rounds. Let the temptations of connotations cascade, that is to say ripple, spill, pour, spurt, course, jet, spring, teem, crawl about the lands untouched and unplowed and forgotten that smell of sweet residue dandelion field lily aroma mystique.

Look, do not read these lines as if a hidden speaker was droning some dreary voice throughout your dead empty skull—this isn’t a book on tape. Think Fantasia! Watch the words metamorphosize inside your psychedelic imaginary creatures roaming maze blocks about the limitless space of your brain caves.

Be a god to rebel mornings dawning on you realizing it all radiates from within you that is the universal venue so let go and roll on visions Zen and true. So will you bohemians swill in those rich globs of syrup hues and cool jazz colors and obsidian pools, flowing downstream that Jungian sub-conscious river. It's simple just think of pastels and lavenders, and copper brass fluorescents, just peel back the essence.

But do not read the words, repeat, do not read just the words—but translate the code. For if I was to point you to the heavens above you wouldn’t look at my finger, but at the dappled sheets of a thousand dead suns.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Back Porch Sunday Café (Adoration)

Lightly shuffling and rocking
I tap my fingers to the
Rolling notes of this countryside
French music bouncing
In the plumes of smoke
Swimming in air
Like phantom blue dragons
Born of my cigar.
The bubbled water
Tickles my cheeks
From the inside
I read Williams
Pause, smile
Anchor myself to the couch
Abandon the clouds
Nestled above the trees
And watch the rustling waves
Of invisible snakes
Careening throughout the grass—
Delight.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Appetites

There was no food
Today. I did not
Eat. My empty stomach
Growls. I decide to sleep.
And welcome the blackness
That will silence my hunger.

A Simple Goodbye

His hand already feels cold, but his heart hasn’t stopped beating just yet. He’s always been stubborn. The old fuck never did know when to let go. Some of that lives in me. He knows it too. Maybe that’s why he asked to see me even though it’s been six years since our last fight—since the last time our eyes met.

Now, here I am holding his dying hand. I’ve always been a pushover for melodrama. That must have come from my mother. She always did love soap operas. Regardless of the reason, I’m here as requested. However, I’m silent. I swore I’d never speak another word to him so long as he was alive. The sight of death won’t change that; I won’t break my word. He knows that too. This reticent, brazen face gives him joy. He sees himself in my stubbornness. It’s his immortality and revenge.

A thin smile blossoms on his wrinkled gray face. He knows my future. I’m looking into its coldness. Such a bitter fondness he has for me and I for him. Our hearts are bound by contempt and pity. Most children would seize this moment to express their gratitude for having been given life and say their final, “I love you,” but not me. Deep down, I despise this world. I don’t care if it’s beautiful at times. I feel the same contempt and maladjusted affection for it that I do for him. And that he knows as well.

He can see it firm and unyielding in my eyes. His smile grows into a smirk. He’s injected his hate into the world and in that won a victory. An unfamiliar darkness pools in his eyes. His pupils expand—drowning in the same light that his pickled brain will mistake for heaven. It’s here. His crusted eyelids fall. The black of his eye is hushed. I release his hand. “What a bastard,” I whisper to his corpse. My stubbornness had also defeated death, but also sealed my fate. I saw it, there, in the dark puddles of his eyes—my silent iron reflection staring back at me from the depths of nothingness. “At least,” I thought, “he was finally open with me.” I left his bedroom.

My mother, sipping a cup of coffee, looks up at me from her chair in the dining room. “He’s dead,” I said.

She nods. “Well, happy birthday,” she says. Her eyes turn back down to the silk and plastic flower centerpiece. That would be the last I ever saw of her. I walked outside to my car. It was a clear blue day with a crisp breeze. The sun tickled my face.

Duty

Frank casts his eyes down the long, winding street. There were hundreds of workers, like ants, busily constructing house after house. However, right now they weren’t houses at all—only shells. The air could still sweep through the open structures. This is how they all are in the beginning, but soon they would be caked with layers, with insulation, with plasterboard, with paint, with rooftops and shingles and decorative siding, and with storm windows and then screen doors. Impenetrable is what they become—except when, by some whimsy, the owner decides they want some fresh air, or maybe some sunlight. A feeling of childhood overcomes Frank, which sends a tear to embrace his eye. He stares, with wonder, at the pure and simple work of carpenters. Mollified, he looks forward to the day’s work.

Fate

I’ve walked across a
Desert of heat and
Ghosts. Decades rolled
Into nothingness alongside
Of night. At last I came upon
A door. Your smile welcomed
My knock, but the door
Remained shut. I have no
Choice, but to sit firm and
Wait. The time of walking has
Passed. Until your door
Opens, I’ll linger in this
Desert, burning with
Patience.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Routine

I know you’re unhappy. Responsibility has overtaken you and joy has been replaced by routine. I feel the same emptiness you do. A taunting cold wind swirls inside of me and mocks whatever I thought I have built. Each day unfolds like permanent pressed slacks from the cleaner folded exactly the same stiff at every seam and pleat.

The alarm whistles and shatters our peaceful sleep; our backs pop and crackle fighting against our efforts to sit up; the mouth is coated in muck and foul smell; a sharp pain pulses in our sides because we have to urinate so badly; we blindly stumble to the bathroom to relieve ourselves; then we dress, maybe eat breakfast, watch the news, drive through traffic to get to work, punch in, and steal a cigarette and some coffee; plop our tired fat asses in a chair and shovel through a Michigan snow drift of paperwork; meanwhile our phone is ringing off the hook with people wanting to ask stupid questions.

Some new kid at work is driving us crazy with his enthusiastic rigor; you try to send an email but your inbox is cluttered with electronic chain letters, bad jokes, and porn links; lunch break is a treat but it’s raining so you can’t enjoy that walk through the park, that is that line of trees the department of beautification planted in the strip mall where you go for another coffee and a deli sandwich; the hour passes quicker than sex since you’ve gotten old and prematurely reach orgasms; work ends with another whistle; that drive in rush hour traffic seems like a day on the cross so it’s off to the pub; two hours of ESPN golf and hockey highlights and five or six vodka Collins, or on a rough night scotch and soda.

Finally make it home and she wants to know why you didn’t call and why you’re late and why the store-bought chicken alfredo is sitting cold and rubbery on her country-living dining table; your kids who were so amazing and beautiful wrapped like Christmas presents in alabaster sheets –everyone and everything so sterile and sanitized…that smell…that feeling like everything mattered as your emotions boiled inside of you whirling around like Eliot’s little fingers in finger paint, well they’re just loud and dirty now and you don’t understand why they can’t show Daddy how much they care by being quiet.

Then the evening news and a snifter of brandy and your last two smokes as you watch the daily dose of fires, shootings, and carjacks; you stumble into bed and nestle your once steel toned abdomen next to your wife’s hefty, sloping ass that used to be so hot in those summer dresses she wore in college. This is it; every day until you die, minus those 2 weeks a year in Florida playing golf and taking the tikes to Disney World.

Imprisonment.

And all we have is our dreams.

Committed

Love compels me to Love you with so much love.
Love inspires duty. Love begs forgiveness. Love
ignores this pain. Love is deaf to your lies. Love
searches for the tiniest good. Love accepts the
greatest bad. Love holds me when you refuse.
Love smiles at excuses. Love is endless. Love
is troubling. Love comes before me. Love puts
you before me. Love questions me. Love is
insecure. Love apologizes for me in the name
of Love, though i have done no wrong and Love
knows so, but Love is Love and Love is so arrogant
and selfish that Love always gets its way. Love makes
me ignore the uneasiness in my stomach when
you cancel our plans out of nowhere, with that
weird tremble in your voice. Love remembers
your ex-Love is back in your life as just a friend.
Love won’t let me see the brutal truth. Love
still lets me feel brutalized by this ruse. Love
you throw in my face when you attack my suspicion
with guilt, because real Love isn’t a skeptic. real
Love doesn’t doubt the security of our Love. real
Love has faith. real Love trusts your Love even
though i first Loved you my beLoved when you
were still entrusted to your now ex-Lover. and
Love is what makes me say ok to anything Love
wants. Love makes me say hun’ when i want to
scream cun…(biTch). it’s Love that turns that
i hate you into i Love you, i’ll always Love you, and
Love conquers all, except –Love.

Requiem

Decorate my grave with dead roses when I’m gone
Bless my funeral with the saddest of songs
And if you find my eternal flame
Then blow out the spark
I guess I am insane,
But I prefer the dark.

The Coffee is Free

Marshy wet Wednesday March morning
At the hostel in Cedar Crest
Up in the New Mexico Mountains
On my spring break sabbatical 2000.

The ground is soft because the February snow
Melted two days ago when the
Renegade sun attacked the clouded landscape.

I laced my Adidas up and
Boiled the tap water in the
Tarnished pot and poured a cup
Of Folgers coffee and snatched up
My Newports before heading out to
The porch to gaze at the thick pine trees.

Terry is at work and that Patrick
Guy is off somewhere doing his Zen
Meditation and eating Herve’s Wheat tortillas with
Globs of Honey Bear honey.

I tried to strum the Gibson acoustic
But Fred the donkey shuffled his
Furry hide my way and started eating
The soggy cigarette butts out of the old coffee
Can –I cringed in disgust and the
Jackass licked my bare right arm and
Left a trail of crud, tobacco sediment, and saliva and gave me an
Affectionate donkey smile.

I threw on my wool coat and
Trounced down East 16th street to
Lunar coffeehouse where that guy Jack
I met, who owns it, plays free concerts
On Sunday evenings in the dusty corner
Illuminated by bars of moonlight.

The cellist is off at the community
Symphony and Sarah,
Is working the counter. She makes my
Cappuccino and croissant stuffed with
Prosciutto ham and sharp cheddar chunks.

I fingered through the news rack and
Grabbed Psychology Today and checked out
The new Feng Shui corporate solutions
For low productivity and yoga mantra
Relief for painful childhood memories.

The thick old purple armchair swallowed me
And time reminded me why I had come,
My eyes snuck out the
Window into the noontime horizon so
Vast like soft blue ivy climbing out forever on
A wall of the universe.

The sunbeams had particles of dust dancing a falling waltz –a man
In a gray suit came in for an espresso and
Sarah gave me a cup of leftover
Colombian coffee, “It’s free she said.”
Smiled and traipsed away.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Word of the Day

estrange

One entry found for estrange.
Main Entry: es·trange
Pronunciation: i-'strAnj
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): es·tranged; es·trang·ing
Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French estrangir, estranger, from Medieval Latin extraneare, from Latin extraneus strange -- more at STRANGE
1 : to remove from customary environment or associations
2 : to arouse especially mutual enmity or indifference in where there had formerly been love, affection, or friendliness : ALIENATE
- es·trange·ment /-m&nt/ noun
- es·trang·er noun
synonyms ESTRANGE, ALIENATE, DISAFFECT mean to cause one to break a bond of affection or loyalty. ESTRANGE implies the development of indifference or hostility with consequent separation or divorcement . ALIENATE may or may not suggest separation but always implies loss of affection or interest . DISAFFECT refers especially to those from whom loyalty is expected and stresses the effects (as rebellion or discontent) of alienation without actual separation .

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Beautiful, Shallow, & Fleeting

We stand eating
on the ground we
walk. Consuming the
very time we
are. We have no
room for God, but
we've had our fill
of honesty.

Web MD

Crump: You’re not schizophrenic; you’re a hypochondriac.

Mayhan: What’s that supposed to mean?

Crump: It means you’re not really sick; you’re just imagining it.

Mayhan: Ha, don’t you think that’s proof that I really am crazy? How in your right mind can you tell someone that imagines they’re going crazy that they're sane? I mean that’s obviously delusional.

Crump: You’re not delusional.

Mayhan: You just said I was delusional…that I was imagining I’m schizophrenic.

Crump: Look, you’re delusional about being delusional, but you’re not delusional.

Mayhan: What the fuck does that mean? Maybe you’re insane too. Did I mention that rambling, incoherent speech is a symptom? That’d be sweet--we can be crazy together.

Crump: Oh god, just shut up.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Factotum in Fall

I woke up at 3 in the afternoon. My screenplay had been keeping me up late. Act three felt flat. Everything seemed sparse and random. The scenes were so extended that the narrative seemed lost. I wasn’t sure how to bring it all together.

Of main concern was my lead character’s suicide. I needed to find a trigger. His childhood was rough. His teenager years were chaotic, but nothing so bad that it seemed to warrant suicide. I needed something particularly fucked up that would make people believe—and more so to understand—his suicide. I was at a lost. It had been keeping me awake at nights. I noticed that time goes much slower when the sun is down. 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. can easily feel like a week. Conversely, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. flashes in a blink. However long time feels at night, it’s also emptier. That one night may feel like a week, but it feels like a week in a jail cell. That feeling helped. It’s how my script felt too. Maybe in this sprawling landscape of time I could find something in it that would help me see what’s needed to finish my story.

It wasn’t working, but I had finally gotten a decent idea that allowed me to sneak some sleep in. After rising off my couch, I went in my room and plopped down at the desk. The computer screen stared me down. It was blank. I was blank. I decided to leave.

I called my friend Timothy from school. He was a tall, lanky fellow writer with a messy plume of hair that a dean had suggested I talked too. Before being dean she ran the honors writing program. She felt his and my mind somehow meshed.

This was actually the first time I called to speak to him outside of campus. The conversation was stuttered. Timothy was, “socially awkward,” as he put it. Yet, his patient searching for words and rigid energy were somehow charming. And if you were to look into my eyes you were more likely to see a distant cosmos than you were anything that resembled a personality. Our conversation had as much energy as drying cement. After, a few pauses and moments of confusion we agreed to meet up at a coffee house in the pseudo-avant-garde artist radical district of the city.

I took the train. Most of the time flashes of fear struck me in the gut when I leave my apartment. A lot of the times I hold my keys in my pocket like a weapon in case some tries to mug me. Then it slowly dawns on me that I’m paranoid and I forget about it.

People are simulacrums of what I read in books or see on television; I’ve realized that I spend so much time absorbed into myself that I’ve created a world that doesn’t truly exist.

It’s wandering around the city that always awakens me. People on the street surprise me. The way people act, the places that are dangerous, the things that are beautiful, people’s ideas, their insecurities, their courtesies are all distorted on my map. It is as if I have a felt tip marker that I am using to trace a picture from memory on a sheet of clear cellophane. Then when I place it on top of the real picture the lines and shapes don’t match up. My eyes too—the clear cellophane gel of my eyes imbued by the projections of my mind look out onto the world and see the distortions the difference in line. Today wasn’t so bad. The train ride was peaceful. My thoughts had eaten up most of the time it took to get there. When I arrived I scuttled away from the station. Paranoid or not there are some shady people lurching around that place.

Before heading in to the coffee house, I opted for a bookstore a few doors down. It was a pleasant independent place with a lot of used books. They even have a section for counter-culture. I breezed through its shelves. Charles Bukowski. Lots of him. I imagined that this had to be just about everything he had ever written. Realizing, I had never read anything he had written I decided it was time to start. His reputation had always enticed my interest. Dark, brutal, and morose was right up my library isle.

I chose a novel—Factotum. It seemed appropriate to my cause. With my purchase in hand I headed back to the bookstore. Timothy had already shown up. He was sitting penitently at a sidewalk table. If it wasn’t for his threadbare sweaters and second-hand pants scribbled with marker he’d look like conservative librarian—the black rimmed glasses and bowtie type. He was prim, but not stern. His presence on that chair reminded me of an origami crane—tautly defined, but easily crushed.

We spoke briefly. He knew the area more. A Thai café had opened up recently. It appealed to his vegan diet. Up the road a few block we marched off towards it. Almost the entire building was a window. It was like going inside a display case. Everything was sanitized. Perfect and crisp. It felt like a display case. The deco was very posh. The easy listening music in the speakers squashed most of my appetite.

Our waiter was dainty. He had a slim build, topped with delicate Asian features and feminine cheek bones that pointed to his small obsidian eyes. His hair was flat and shiny. I always wondered what would have happened if Charlie Chaplin and a porcelain doll had had a child. Again, the conversation did not come easy. It picked up speed like a bowling ball rolling uphill—looks like it might go somewhere but after a brief struggle comes down twice as fast.

“What’d you buy?”

“Bukowski’s book Factotum.”

Timothy picked the book up. “I haven’t read this one. Post Office was good.” He scrutinized the cover for a few moments before flipping to a random page.

“I sat around in the bus station for a while but the people depressed me,” he read aloud. Timothy broke into a contained laughter. “That’s awesome.” That was perfect I thought. I know the feeling first hand from my excursions on buses around the country. But more than that—he meant life. This sojourn is one nasty smelly bus stop. It’s a boring stop between nothing and nowhere. And the people are depressing.

The food arrived. My beef steak strips were buried in a mess of vegetation. I felt like crocodile hunting in marsh. Adorning the plate was a large silver spoon. The purpose for its existence escaped me. I set it aside.

“I actually went in looking to buy The Tunnel.”

“William Gass has amazing prose. The way he describes the inconsequential elements of scenery is amazing.”

“Yeah, Gass was kinda’ fucked up.”

“Maybe that’s why he doesn’t use plots.”

I chuckled. “Possibly, I enjoy that sort of linguistic tapestry. It’s like eating cake icing with my eyes.”

“Nice.”

“That’s my problem with the script right now. It started out with a thread, but now it’s extended in so many directions. The whole damn thing is disjointed.”

“I know what you mean. I find myself there often.”

“Do you have any new projects?”

“Just some short, short stories, not like short-short, but short.”

“What?”

“Well not flash fiction, but nothing substantial, I don’t know I can’t talk too much about something until it’s finished.”

“How come?”

“I feel as if I can’t write it once I’ve said it. I did it—it’s gone—it’s lost some vital essence so there’s no point in writing it.”

“That makes sense, but hold on I need another soda.”

“Oh they don’t have refills here.”

“What?”

“Yeah no refills on soda.”

“What in the fucking middle ages is that about?”

“The whole area has changed. They’re catering to a more upscale crowd. Watch the streets you’ll see a tie every ten feet as compared to every ten months back in the day.”

“Good god, does everything and everywhere have to have a pleasant shopping potential for these fucks.”

“The other day I tried crossing the street in slow traffic. Some guy rolled down his window and started calling me a faggot. Nice car. Nice suit. That would have never happened five years ago.”

“I hate that one place up the street. Pineapple Mountain—the douche bags make you order French fries as a side dish when you get a hamburger. That’s immoral.”

“It’d be like a Thai place charging you for your rice.”

“What this rice costs money.”

“No, I was joking by analogy.”

“Oh.”

“You done?”

“Yeah.”

“Me too.”

We paid the check. There was no real plan. He had to meet a girl at seven, which left three hours. Nothing else had been discussed. We simply walked around until he saw someone go into the coffee shop where we met.

“I have to talk to him,” he informed me. We went inside. The guy he talked to was tall and lanky like him. He too had a fig of scruffy hair on top. While the chatted I ordered an iced cinnamon coffee. I heard stuttering. This guy talked just as forced as Timothy. It was like watching a mirror have a conversation. They were done talking before my coffee arrived. We were back on the sidewalk heading towards the used record store.

Some young artistic types had flocked on the ledge of a parking garage’s roof. Their noses were scarred with fresh paper cuts having just left the delusional melodies of a Kerouac novel. “Hey down there,” they screamed, “come on up.” I looked up, slightly blinded by the bleeding colors amuck in the sky. The sunset tickled their silhouettes. My feet had already decided for me stepping away in the opposite direction.

Timothy decided otherwise. He yanked me aside. “I’m going to go take a closer look. Don’t make any noise and give me away. I want to make sure they’re cool enough before I allow them my presence.” He was a smart-ass more than he was pretentious, but the line was blurred. Even so, his gentle demeanor diffused what ego he did have. I paused in the stairwell. Part of me has always been afraid of jumping into a social setting with any degree of spontaneity. People scared me—another result of the delusions stemming from my solitude. I always imagine them ridiculing me for trying to join their world. Deep down it was the isolation itself projecting fears into my mind so that it could continue to live.

Part of me just hated people. They are disappointing. During those footsteps that carry you closer to a new person, one’s mind floods with adventure. This might be my future wife. This is that guy who will join me for a motorcycle adventure that begins and ends in Prague. Inevitably they turn out to be some idiot waiting around for the same mythic person to come into their life. “Why do we always look for others to save us,” I thought. Maybe my character was doomed for the same reason.

While Timothy ran his reconnaissance mission I rested against the banister. The gray paint was chipping off the rail. It reminded me of my dandruff. Sooner or later everything flakes off and dies. I took a big gasping suck of my coffee. A cool, cinnamon river careened down my throat. “Such a simple pleasure,” I mused, “Perhaps I’m not complicated at all. The nuances of Berkeley’s metaphysics have never brought me delight. Whenever I do understand something, whether him or another member of the old dead man dais it feels more like completing a marathon—fulfilling but utterly pointless.”

Drinking coffee, in all its splendid forms, was more akin to listening to a song. It just felt damn good.

It seemed like a good time to pull out the Bukowski. I wondered if I’d have the same luck as Timothy did turning to a random quote. Fate took over. “For each Joan of Arc there is a Hitler perched at the other end of the teeter-totter,” enough to make me chuckle, but not so full of the revelation I felt from Timothy’s find. I gave it another shot. “How’d you like a blow job?” Yes. But, I didn’t need Bukowski to tell me that.

I gave it another flip. “People don’t need love. What they need is success in one form or another. It can be love but it needn’t be.” Finally I found one. So much for fate. Though, how I arrived at it wasn’t important. I had arrived at it. That sentence cut through the thickets of Hallmark garbage and right down to a brutal truth about this world—about people. It’s appeasement we need—not sublimity. Timothy bounced back down the stairs. “Nah, they looked fucking stupid.”

We moved on. Success. I needed to succeed with my screenplay. That would give me my love. Maybe that’s it. Not only did my character never find love. He never found success. “What can trigger him realizing that,” I wondered, “what makes someone realize they are a total failure.”

Store policy dictated that I had to leave my bag at the counter. Timothy wandered off while I waited to check my book with a clerk. The people in the store were a mixture of caricatures and mavericks. There were those who went their own way. These people had their own style. They emitted a vibe. Then there were the shadows. The people tired of being themselves trying to emulate the others. I’m not sure where I was.

Timothy was his own. He had the presence of a black hole. Not in some angst or gothic sense, either. He was not a void of light, but a hub. Everything that came within the reach of his preceptors was pulled into his mind. It was fondled, examined, analyzed, and loved before being spit back out through the filter of his unique dimension just as black holes swallow the light from one side of the universe and shoot it out on the other side—recycling the illumination for a parallel world. That’s him. His subsequent musings were a quaff amalgam of aristocracy and anti-establishment bedlam. It was the new demeanor of elegance in our hybrid world.

I couldn’t decide about myself so I started buying. Whatever looked different or sounded obscure fell prey to my credit card. Perhaps I could find inspiration in a world to which I’ve never traveled. Maybe I could figure out what my character longed for thus seeing what he does have and how that corrodes him from the inside out. In truth I grew tired with the entire project; I wanted to just throw it away and start over. Listlessness overcame me. My eyes dulled. When we left the store I had adopted an air of sedation. Timothy noticed but didn’t say anything except that he wanted to carouse the comic book store.

Graphic novels as they’re often called are not my thing. The art work is incredible, but I never could click with their world. I felt alienated in the pages of their dimension. Perhaps my character felt the world to be a comic book and him an uninterested reader. As Timothy chatted with a clerk about water-color art I plopped onto a couch the store had in a reading area. It gave me the chance to people watch. The window was tinted by the gleam of a neon sign. I felt like I was in an aquarium.

There was an intersection outside the window. People walked up then stopped. They waited. Traffic went. It stopped. It waited. They bounced back and forth as if dancing some mechanical ballet. I fashioned myself standing atop a high rise looking down—seeing it all as beautiful patterns of movement. You go. You stop. Life moves in irregular pulses. It’s never static. I decided to truly kill my character. The project had run out of energy.

It felt like time to go home. Timothy walked with me back to the train. Sunset had fallen like a dying fire leaving only piles of soot across the entire sky.

“I’m killing the project,” I said.

“Why?”

“I’ve barely slept all week. I can’t find a trigger. I give up. There’s no justifiable reason why he’d kill himself—nothing to explain it.”

“Maybe that’s why he kills himself.”

“What do you mean?”

“There’s no meaning in anything. It’s just a bunch of unexplainable events—his life included. Maybe he just says fuck it simply to say fuck it.”

I felt undressed. We said our goodbyes and I boarded the train. Sitting in my chair I noticed that the night was heavy. I couldn’t see anything except blackness outside the window. It was as if they were painted. The train barreled ahead.

I glanced around at the people sharing this ride home. Some of them looked beaten. They were exhausted after a day of work at some temporary, shit job. Nobody wanted to be where they were all day, but they had no choice. Poor bastards were too tired to even enjoy the fact they were going home. Myself included.

I finished the screenplay that night. In the end my problem wasn’t finding a trigger for my character’s suicide; it was figuring out what sparked his salvation. The one was a true fiction—a myth. There is no one, divine saving moment. It bounces around. Sometimes you’re happy. Sometimes you’re not. There is no total failure. People always have a few good moments. Sometimes it doesn’t even take a major failure to ruin one’s life or a lot of them. It could just be a simple fuck up that you can’t see beyond for whatever reason. Sometimes people just kill themselves. Period. Sooner or later everything flakes off and dies.

Nowhere

Moonlit city night strolling
I saw a chance with
Two beautiful young women
With copper
Silk thighs
Teased-covered knee-high
Leather boots, but got
Nowhere so I moseyed
To the corner neon bar
Nihilism missing last call
Winded up nowhere
Which I embraced
Chin UP eyes gazing
Soft into midnight nothing
Hands buried in my
Pockets still walking nowhere
When a voice called,
“Hey man I like that!”
Turned to see a
Shopping bag homeless trying
To hitch a ride calling,
“You out here walking like you ain’t got a care in the god damn world—just strolling—not giving a fuck about anything...I like that.”
Paused smiled nodded did I
And
Wandered into nowhere

My Waking Hours: The Leeches

Blackness.

V.O.
I couldn't move my leg last night.

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

A shoulder's POV looks down at two feet frozen at the end of the couch.

V.O.
My doctor called it sleep paralysis. In the moments before sleep or upon waking an individual can find themselves frozen--unable to speak, move, or cry out.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN -- MORNING

V.O.
But, then I wake up.

The golden lights of a ceiling fan reflect in a cup of coffee.

V.O.
Night comes.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT

V.O.
Frozen.

A shoulder's POV looks down at a body bundled under a comforter.

V.O.
My doctor told me that often times sleep paralysis is accompanied by hallucinations and many experts view the condition as the likely source of people reporting alien abductions, alternative realities, and imaginary creatures.

A candle near the bed flickers.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN -- MORNING

V.O.
However, today it invaded my waking hours.

A hand lays flat on a glass table next to a black coffee mug.

V.O.
My hand would not move. It just sat there. Wouldn't Listen. Blackness.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT

A shoulder's POV looks down at a body fully dressed, laying on its side.

V.O.
The condition also causes the presence. That is people report feeling something in the room, an intruder, and along with them sensations of dread and terror. Sometimes the presence will attack--strangling the person or crushing their chest and at times leading to an out-of-body experience...
(beat)
But they haven't done that yet.

Two men, late twenties, stern-looking and in suits stand in the corner of the room.

CUT TO:

EXT. SUBWAY STAIRWELL -- MORNING

V.O.
The next thing I remember is my breath.

POV looking down sees its own breath in the morning air.

V.O.
It was cold. I felt beside myself.

The two men in black suites appear across the street.

V.O.
Then they too invaded my waking hours. Perhaps I didn't sleep well and I was nodding out. That could explain this dizzy feeling I have...as if floating.

POV turns to the sky, spins, and falls. Sidewalk.

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM -- NIGHT

V.O.
I blinked. I felt frozen.

POV looks down at feet scrawled on the couch.

V.O.
The presence had returned.

Both men walk into the room.

V.O.
I wanted to scream. Nothing came out.

One of the men reaches into his jacket for something.

V.O.
I blinked.

CUT TO:

INT. KITCHEN -- MORNING

The whirling blades of a ceiling fan reflect in a cup of coffee.

V.O.
Things changed today...today my hand moved without permission.

A hand darts to grab something and knocks the coffee over.

V.O.
I stood for a towel. They were in the mirror.

Over the shoulder of a man, in a nearby mirror, stand the two men in a suit. As the man goes into the kitchen for a towel we see a pair of feet sticking out from underneath the table.

V.O.
I blink.

Blackness.

CUT TO:

EXT. STATION -- DAY

A train whizzes by. When it passes the two men in suits are standing in a field on the other side.

V.O.
Again I blinked.

CUT TO:

INT. CHURCH -- DAY

A pair of hands are resting upon a pew clasped in prayer.

V.O.
I wake up.

POV looks down at its knees.

V.O.
Why am I here? I don't believe. Maybe, it will help rid the presence.

A long shot of the chapel sees a single figure deep in prayer--alone.

V.O.
Why do I bow before this shrine? My legs are beyond control.

A shrine.

Blackness.

V.O.
They move and freeze as they see fit.

CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT

V.O.
I blink.

POV looks down at two bodies cuddled in bed.

V.O.
I awake. There is a stranger. But it feels good. I can't remember the last time I held someone.

The two men walk in.

V.O.
I wanted to run.

They approach the bed.

V.O.
I felt choked.

A pair of hands strangle the POV.

V.O.
Helpless, I forgot the girl. Blinked.

Blackness.

CUT TO:

EXT. STREET -- MORNING

V.O.
Breath.

POV looks down to see its breath.

V.O.
Again, I felt lost, dizzy. I looked down and saw nothing.

POV looks down. There is breath, but no feet.

V.O.
Where were my legs? Was I dreaming.

POV spins panicked.

V.O.
I use to dream, or say have a nightmare that I'd be stuck in place while desperately trying to run from something. Was I awake.

Running in form the distance are the two men in suits.

V.O.
Run I told myself.

Nothing moves.

V.O.
Run.

The two men get closer.

V.O.
I must be dreaming if I'm stuck.

Nothing moves.

V.O.
I can only watch.

POV darts around.

V.O.
Again, I blinked.

FADE OUT:

V.O.
And again, I'm frozen.

CUT TO:

INT. AUDITORIUM -- UNKNOWN

The auditorium is fashioned like a small movie theater. On the screen is television snow. One man sits alone in the dim, flickering light.

V.O.
Where was I?

The back doors swing open. Light pours in and the two men in suits follow.

V.O.
I could not feel my body.

The men approach.

V.O.
Scream I told myself.

Silence.

V.O.
Nothing would resonate.

The men are standing directly in the POV. Behind them the static ripples on screen.

V.O.
Fear engulfed me. I froze. I blinked. Blackness.

FADE OUT:

FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM -- NIGHT

POV looks down at body, legs bare, slightly drawn one on top of the other.

V.O.
Was it over?

The two men walked in.

V.O.
Lord help me I thought.

They paused.

V.O.
Then they spoke.

V.O. 2
Gabriel, it is time to go.

V.O.
My name, how long since I've heard it.

One of the men reaches into his jacket and removes a long black cloth.

V.O. 2
We can let no one linger.

V.O.
I wanted to wake. But, my body was dead still. Frozen.

V.O. 2
It's okay. There are many like you.

Both men are still.

V.O.
His lips did not move.

V.O. 2
It's hard to let go when one perishes. Many souls refuse to come back. They leech onto bodies and convince themselves it is their own.

V.O.
I tried to blink. I did not awake.

V.O. 2
Our job is to bring you home. You've perished Gabriel. That is not your body in this bed.

POV pulls out to reveal a man sitting on the side of a bed next to the man asleep.

V.O. 2
It's time.

Gabriel buries his head into his knees and sobs.

The man with the cloth walks over and drapes it upon his shoulder. He gently holds his shoulder and helps him up.

The other man turns his back to them and faces the door.

V.O. 2
We can let no one linger. The soul leeches must be gathered...I'm sorry.

Gabriel, and his guide exit the room first. The other suited man walks to the desk and extinguishes the candle.

Blackness.

GABRIEL
I blink. Frozen. Blackness. Forever.

The end.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Moon Travel

Ever landed somewhere new
And just feel like it’s home
Some long lost mythic you
That makes you say,
“Yeah, I like it here, fits snug.”
When city street strolling
Catching grandma’s laundry
Dancing in a breeze from
Street signs and family
Thanksgiving wafting from
Mid-town restaurant chimneys
And street lids puffing cotton balls
Like papa’s cherry oak pipe
On your way to those
Pantheons resting across
Reflecting basins sitting calm
Like Nordic legends
Halls of paradise towering straight
Up like Babel
With a blinking red Illuminati eye
Linked by water
Rivers of life
Refreshing great-grandfather whistling
Bronze hymns upon still
Rocking chair as you
Shuffle the wheat fields
Of ebony memory
Where big brother fallen football hero
Stands forever a man
Remembered though lost like
Summer days of baseball
From dawn to the settling blanket of night
Where no alley scares you
Every corner unfolds those secret spots
Like games of hidden base and space man
Where moon travel is safe
Because you never really leave home

Sunset

With the sun above me
Falling, there was no
Reflection in the pond. Feeling
Mocked, I threw in a heavy
Stone. The water erupted into
The sky and fell. I watched
Its echo ripple, ring after
Ring until the still
Silence returned, but,
For a moment, the sunlight
Glittered as the water
Trembled.

Bluebird

Night. Pavement. Alone walking.
Dead bird flattened. Wings spread.
No more flight.

Amazing Quotes

Those who know that they are profound strive for clarity. Those who would like to seem profound to the crowd strive for obscurity. For the crowd believes that if it cannot see to the bottom of something it must be profound. It is so timid and dislikes going into the water.
~Nietzsche

You never conquer a mountain.You stand on the summit a few moments; then the wind blows your footprints way
~Arlene Blum

I am inclined to think that the far greater part, if not all of those difficulties which have hitherto amused philosophers, and blocked up the way to knowledge, are entirely owing to ourselves. That we have first raised a dust, and then complain, we cannot see.
~George Berkeley

For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way. Something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.
~Fr. Alfred D'Souza

But this task is a laborious one, and insensibly a certain lassitude leads me into the course of my ordinary life. And just as a captive who in sleep enjoys an imaginary liberty, when he begins to suspect that his liberty is but a dream, fears to awaken, and conspires with these agreeable illusions that the deception may be prolonged, so insensibly of my own accord I fall back into my former opinions, and I dread awakening from this slumber, lest the laborious wakefulness which would follow the tranquillity of this repose should have to be spent not in daylight, but in the excessive darkness of the difficulties which have just been discussed.
~Rene Descartes

Friday, August 11, 2006

Penance

Journal dated August 8th, 2003

Phillip struggled to forget a past that at every instant became his future. The swans dipped low onto the lake beside him stopping to drink from their reflection. Their beaks pierced the soft warped mirage. Noonday clouds hushed across the sky in slow step towards vanishing. He reached to the sky and grabbed a puff of cloud and held it timidly in his hand. Outstretched towards the birds for food, this young man sought to find god with his offering. A young duck that lacked the beauty of the swans waddled to his bench. It was too late. The piece of cloud vanished into nothing and its hunger would not be forgotten…

…A day ago I took my hand inside my pocket for warmth on my way to the church. How could I forget it all? I only needed to forgive it, but I did not see how the two were any different. Their repugnance mortified me at first thought. I cannot fathom how I could ever forgive these transgressions without erasing them from my memory; they were enough to hold me from leaping across the divide. For I knew I’d never be the person I wanted if I carried them with me. Unfortunately that is the only way. It is destined for me to forget; yet it is not my past that will drown in the waters of Lethe, but the future that I have always dreamed of finding. Room must be made for the other destiny that I have always dreaded.

Goodnight

Tucking under twilight beams of forgotten dreams
from when childhood seemed
the first stop to everywhere
but wound up the last block of nowhere
as we all cement faded
spray painted tombstones
train track grated
pathways home

I AM

Journal entry dated Jan 5th, 2004

I have to admit that I am a writer. Everything I do revolves and originates from the identity. Everything I do, think, and say. Even when I talk I’m practicing my writing. That’s why I sound dramatic and talk funny. I’m not insane, well maybe a little, but that’s only a misperception because I don’t accept the world as it is. It’s all possibility to me. Anything can happen. I’m writing the whole messy thing as I go. Nothing is off limits. You look at the world and see what is. I look and see what could be. Everything inspires me, because it’s all clay. Gorgeous, fantastic, organic, mushy yellow heart-beating clay. I have to write, to think, to ponder, and create, but not really create just speculate. Wildly. This is who I am and this is who I will always be. I cannot change that because it comes as easy as breath—as natural as blinking my eye in a dusty room. This is me. I am a writer.

Credit equal$ Credibility

I read and read all that I could. I surrounded myself with beautiful ideas like stones from a prison wall. All the chaos of my childhood stemmed from ignorance, impatience, myopia, and unjustified assurance of opinion. I would not make the same mistakes; I would lift myself from the gutter my family wallowed in. Yet, the paper cuts still found me. At times, I filled with guilt and shame. This path created feelings I did not expect to encounter. I felt like a sham, a fraud, a faker—a little voice always screaming to me in the back of my mind—a gaudy, vulgar, low-class loser eager to show me the reflection of my pretense—a voice willing to bring me back to the jeers, beer, and filth of my heritage. I would never be cultured, dignified, or evolved; it would always be the same—a working class chum feigning decorum. Deep down that voice screamed for satisfaction—for cheap whiskey, dirty sluts, pro wrestling, fart jokes, burping contests, loud cursing rambles, generic coffee, stale cigarettes, donuts, pizza, and sitcoms. But there was another I, the cultivated me, that despised this profane counterpart and in turn read more and more in the hopes it would finally silence his hooting. Damn this education! Instead of enlightenment I have self-reproach. It has left me alone. My deluded, pompous ranting and philosophizing irritates my old friends. They think I’m full of shit. They have no taste for idealism. They know work, stress, and numb. And I don’t help the numb—I only stir things in them they want unstirred lest they end up where I am. Those above me won’t accept me. It doesn’t matter what I’ve learned. My mannerisms and idiosyncrasies reveal me like the mark of Cain. They know where I come from and that’s enough to justify my banishment. I’ve read myself into limbo. I read more so I can paint the ever-stretching walls of limbo with imagined life. I linger and waltz among the darkness carrying the phantom objects of Maugham, Plato, Lyotard, Whitman, Descartes, Baudrillard, Gide, Sartre, Camus, Kafka, Tolstoy, Byron, Keats, Hegel, Kant, Marx, Dante, Eliot, Shakespeare, Voltaire, Beckett, Joyce and the others. I force myself to learn French and developed a taste for espresso. I’ve lost track of what I enjoyed, believed, and was moved by and became lost in another identity game. Sometimes I feel like a hidden sales representative is nestled in the nooks of my brain feeding my neurons marketing plans and buying strategies. So now that I’ve become cultured I know what to buy, what to drink, eat, think, read, watch, and listen in order to truly be cultured, because the culture is no longer in the action, but in the product. I can be cultured, but unless I can buy culture, then I, and not it, is the true simulacrum. Consequently, until I can possess a posh decorated loft near downtown in an affluent, artsy corner of the metropolitan area, the Lexus sedan, a diversified portfolio, the proper wardrobe bought from the proper stores, and, most importantly, an established line of remarkable credit; I am only the imitation of culture—a faker trying to sneak in the back door—a faker who thinks thoughts, ideas, and beauty are still real; a faker drowning miserably in my own inadequacy; a faker whose broke…and has no credit.

On Filmmaking

I wanted to make a film that struggled to find a linear narrative within its structure, but at times felt, and was, random and non-linear. To me that’s realism—not so much the story or scenes itself, but that feeling of struggle. Nothing is more universal than that feeling. We all know what it feels like to oscillate between the experiences of our life as a random, disjointed, meaningless shuffle and that of a fabulously crafted and meaningful play. That’s what I wanted to create in my viewers—that feeling!

Winter on the Beach’s Edge

The old man sat quietly looking out his window. Winter was his favorite season. He found something peaceful, yet vibrant about the way the snow floated down wildly. A drift of heat from the fireplace hugged his arm. It sent warm chills across his tired, wrinkled skin.

His eyes reverted to a book about the ancient origins of philosophy, which was sitting on the café table he kept next to his reading chair. A thought tickled him. “People near the end are silly,” he mused, “always interested in learning about the beginning hoping for one last insight that might reveal what’s next. Of course it won’t come. Still, there’s my book.”

He had concluded years earlier, before retiring from his lectures that life was not meant to be understood. Reality was simply beyond our comprehension. Trickery was not to blame. No, he attributed the fault to the nature of our construction.

Our minds interpret the way things are, translating them into something compact and comprehensible. The truth, however, the real face of life, far exceeded anything we could envision.

For one to think that our percepts are identical to the face of life equates to Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa suddenly becoming conscious of its self and subsequently thinking itself to be the actual wife of Francesco del Giocondo—in all the dazzling complexities of that self.

Oddly enough, the old man had never wanted the study of philosophy to be his life’s work. He began to study it in his early days of college in order to attract those women attracted to intellectuals since he lacked that look some men had—that something, which automatically enticed women.

The attention he encountered captured him as well. Professors soon acknowledged and praised his work’s potential. As someone who had often been slighted by people he took this very favorably, indulging in his supposed talent. Though he often felt his work lacked sincerity—that he was placating to their expectations.

Before he knew what happened he was halfway through the studies for his master’s degree. At that point, the other paths, which were once opened to him had vanished. The funding for him to start over simple did not exist.

Nor could he simply drop out to work. What was a man in his late twenties who could speak volumes on the existential quandaries of man (but little else) going to do for a living. Retail or labor would certainly not be able to hold dominion over his thoughts long enough to enable him to complete a day’s work.

So, he decided that even though his heart laid elsewhere he would continue upon his chosen path like a man who suddenly awakes to discover he does not truly love his wife the way he should and reserves himself to a life-long act of affection. The days proceeding, he knew, would be polite, quiet, and dispassionate, but of dignity.

And here he sits quiet and alone staring out at the snow speckled beach wondering about the possibilities life held. His mistress, though now retired, lingered—his thoughts and books haunting him. In them he saw the wife whom he knew never loved him as a wife should love her husband. In them he saw the lie of affection to which he consented every day for over forty years. In them he saw his daughter.

His telephone rang.

Ghost in the Machine

Despite its unquestionable realness, the dream was just too bright and obviously fragile, like an antique vase sitting high, forgotten on some shelf barely out of reach. As much as you were flooded with an urge to snatch the marvelous pot from the shelf and stuff it full of thick green stems and crisp violet flowers some innate sense of caution froze you. It felt off limits like all the beautiful, old things at a grandparent’s house. Suddenly, you were merely a child who was not allowed to risk breaking such a priceless, irreplaceable artifact with cheap fondling; we were left alone to stare hopelessly at that vase, in a crippling state of yearning, while the fields outside overflowed with blossoming spring flowers.