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 cafĂ© 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.