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Texas is twice as large as Germany and has more dirt and disorder in its cities than two Germanys would have. But I'm guessing that it also has more warmth in the character of its people, certainly less SS uniforms in attics - will us Americans ever let those poor bastards off the hook for what happened sixty years ago?
We damn sure ought to; we have had our own turn in this country, have destroyed the better part of a race of people and forced those left to spend their lives eking out a living in casinos.
It is another gray day, but this one features rain and also of course the sounds of rain.
I start this run at the keys fortified by those novelist essentials: A two hour nap and a fresh latte. Also, I made and ate a salad, and a good one, organic goodies, and took a vitamin also - this almost assures me of a place in the pantheon of writerly greatness, acclaim, and the fellowship of other scribes also, their neurotic eyes gleaming in the dim glow of their laptop screen, their souls atwitter, their feet shuffling in their worn brown shoes.
Because of the person that I was at the time, for me to be able to make love with her constituted a commitment for life. I had to let down some of the cool, though I didn't let it down very much. I had to trust her completely with my heart; she'd have the keys in her small freckled hands. We were children, but we began to talk about a life together, and we began to hold to one another in a different way, and to touch even her hand began to take on an entirely different meaning.
It became a holy thing to me, and to her also. When I tried to discount it, the fire flared, burned me inside, and thats how I became aware of it; many of the foundation stones were set without my knowing, slid softly and pleasantly into place as in a fast moving dream, words were said and eyes were met and hands were touched and hearts beat fast and as one and the roots wrapped silently and firmly, and from them branched other roots and from them others.
When we made love, every circling root turned inward and ran deep.
Is this depression, or is this mania, or is this mixed states, where both mania and depression are going on simultaneously, thoughts streaming faster than you can possibly keep up with and irritability and restlessness from the manic side, and lethargy, poor memory, suicidal ideation, self-loathing and self-pity coming in from the depressive side, and insomnia and panic and despair coming from either or both!
Wow, what fun this is!
And this is the really fun part - I have never been able to find any medication that works well for me.
Isn't that just great?
I'm so glad that my first time was with someone I loved, cared about, cared for, who cared for me. I've been with whores and had my share of one night stands and one week stands and I don't know what all, I've trivialized the beauty of sex many times in many ways since, but one thing that I got right was being with someone important in my life the first time out.
In that close warm hold there was nothing to hide.
It was perfectly safe and warm and wonderful in her arms, and seeing her and being seen.
The land of alcoholism, a strange land, and not one you'll want to enter, but one I'd entered and showed no interest in leaving. It was the land I'd accepted as the land to be in; my most powerful role models drank heavily.
Old saying - Man takes drink, drink takes man.
It took me.
At the age of sixteen my favorite high was drinking, smoking pot, eating cheap speed - you'd drink to get big and loud and free, smoke pot to make your head big, do as much speed as you needed to keep the whole thing going.
Emergency psych clinics all have the same feel.
Scuffed walls, painted in soothing, dead tones, flouresent light.
Wire mesh in the windows, electronic locks on the doors, gray tile floors.
Is there a special psych ward chair manufactoring company, tens of thousands of board feet of oak, durable, depressing naugahyde, a braindead design team?
The chatter of the manics, the mumblings of the psychotics, the eyes of the deeply depressed pinched in pain, and that pain the only life in them.
The smell of despair, defeat, hollowed humanity.
In the eyes of the staff: compassion, intelligence, experience.
The front line.
The Lamar street bridge is a very pretty architecture, a series of concrete arches spanning the river. When you look at the bridge and the river and the trees on the shoreline and at the colors of the sky, take the time to look at the beauty of the scene laid before you.
Of particular interest to me is the play of the light on the water as it comes through the arches, the shimmering reflections and the interplay of shadow from the trees and from the bridge itself upon those reflections turn that scene into one of rare beauty.
I've lived in this town ten years and I am still amazed at the purity of the art to be found here.
You really should be here right now.
Joe is absolutely driving this room now, the band tight as hell, another cut off of his new cd, playing it flat out, slide guitar.
I don't give a fuck what music you are seeing / hearing tonight, it may be as high of quality but it's not better - it does not get better than this.
Cannot write well here, total stream of consciousness, one bit after the next, hard work.
Almost certainly the interface between you and Creative Intelligence is blocked by fears and angers and resentments and worries, all of them completely unsubstantial except we can never see it when we're in it, always it overruns us and leaves us in the mud, grit in our teeth and gritting our teeth.
And all to no avail and all for no cause, because this motherfucker is perfect and it is beautiful, all is well, you are connected to the whole mass of beauty, and so were the poor fools who died pointlessly, who we the living commemorate on this day.
I missed writing in this thing yesterday for the first time this month, though by my clock it really is still Tuesday to me, given my skewed days and nights, and under Tuesday this is to be considered, for all legal reasons, and for any other reason also.
If you are legalistic about dates and days and times and this bothers you, go read something else, buy a fucking Tom Clancy novel, get the fuck out of my words.
I'm not going to write a lot tonight. Tired, worn out - up all night again last night, a busy day today.
You have to know that Hank knew it when he wrote the song - that fucker felt everything. And how many times I have heard that song, and have loved it so, and sort of hurt about it but in a good way - maybe that is how night prayers are supposed to feel. It comforts me to think of them as night prayers, those who by choice or by circumstance do not have a window to crack to catch the sound of the call with clarity - may god bless them every one, may they feel some warmth and comfort in their souls.
Not so long ago and not so far away was The Land of Long Forks.
In this land were two poeples; one starveling, one robust.
In the Camp of Pride, all were emaciated, unable with the long forks to get food to their mouths. Some mystics fared better, able to endure the humiliation of shoving their face into the pot. But many were the burns on their face, and the shame hollowed their eyes.
In the Camp of Humility, all were happy - there was often singing and laughing. At mealtime, they sat smiling around the tables and fed one another.
But I'm not going to allow it to burn the page.
I will use it to fire me and not to fire the paper, I will use it to burn me in the writing, use me up in the words, but the words will be one remove away, and clean, and clear.
The part of me that wants to burn the page is the part that wants to hurt and I know, both intellectually and experientially, that I am the one who will get hurt the worst if I start that game, I am the one who will get burned.
The Virgin candle is glowing at her appointed post in the john, flickering Virginally.
I'm sure some feminist dope could dream up something about me keeping a virgin in the john, but if they can get a host of ball-cutting bullshit music plastered all over the airwaves, I can have The Virgin watching me hop in and out of the shower.
And, because I care deeply about what these feminist twits think, when the Virgin flickers her last, I'll put a Jesus candle in her stead, in a bold assertion of my willingness to tolerate, nay, embrace, their whining stupidity.
It tells the story, tells it honestly, written so beautifully that when reading I often had to stop, marveling at the art. I believe Ruth totally, if I could find her I would marry her, so I could be with a holy person.
I've seen it many times - those who suffer total devastation become holy, if they make it through the night. Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom - I see it every day. If people don't become embittered after complete devastation, or, most likely, stay embittered, they become the salt of the earth.
Jesus H. Christ.
Six foot one, redheaded beauty, the prettiest woman I have seen in maybe forever, probably longer. The best dancer in the place, stunningly beautiful, total abandon.
Beyond a doubt the loveliest woman I've touched in years, the prettiest maybe that I have seen, damn sure the prettiest that I've danced with in years and years, and me wooden like an indian, frozen like fish.
I cannot let her go without doing everything I can to be able to contact her, where does she live, what does she do.
I mean, aside from knocking people dead.
I'm of the opinion any more that love ought to be conducted from a distance, and can give you chapter and verse real-life historical examples as to why this should be so - just ask. Across town is good, another city might be better. I'm all for the space program; maybe you'd just be able to check in with each other on the holidays, get you a birthday card, a Christmas kiss, and a hummer, then send her on back to fucking pluto so's you can paint in peace.
Her name was Debbie - I'll not tell you her last name.
I'm gonna repaint this fucker, and then maybe work over the corpse once again, chase down its beauty till it comes clear once more, though maybe not - it's hard work, and sad to watch the wreck of your darling disappear under the waves, and I may just keep it, as a what if:
'What if I hadn't tried to fix that one dishonesty?'
'What if I'd have not further stepped on it while rushing to try to fix what I'd hurt, thus ruining it?'
'What if I wasnt such a goddamn jerk and just had somehow learned this hard lesson?'
Perfect timing -I no sooner set down than that reliable call of the nocturn sounded, a train moving through the Austin night.
There is blue all over these words, black and blue, and not just from a candle either.
It has all fallen down once again.
Tattered. Scattered. Battered, for sure. Not shattered but not far, either.
The only reason I am writing is because I have committed to this daily. I am exhausted, and can give you more detail about the chairs in the emergency psych ward, cuz I have been there again, and I'm going again tomorrow.
Thank god for friendships - without the understanding of fellow bipolar alcoholics and addicts the pain would be doubled, trebled, more; maybe squared or cubed.
Patrick saved my ass, talked to me last night as far as I'd let him in, and then tonight told his story at the local tacky AA club; he is another bipolar alcoholic, nineteen years clean and sober, his is a great story, one of the funniest stories I've ever heard in AA, and that is saying one hell of a lot.
The thing that we have is a camaraderie that can't be matched; an understanding.
It is the best wreck I have had in months, maybe all year - I'm sore as hell.
Not too long ago, I didn't count it as a bike ride if I didn't come home bleeding, but now I'd rather not, though it doesn't keep me off the good trails. But tonight was nuts; not on any kind of technical challenge at all.
In any case, I couldn't kick free of the bike, my left foot clipped in, it happened too fast, everything went left-handed and I was in a pile of dust and grit in the middle of the trail.
We meet again.
The conditions are perfect.
The light is right - one candle praying in this room, directly in my line of vision.
I just got on my knees and asked Creative Intelligence to bless these words tonight, my effort at communication, asked that it bring me strength and honesty. I prefer prayer on my knees, a way to cut some of the bonds of ego, a step toward humility.
And I know that some say that its a gesture, once you understand the psychology behind it you'll no longer experience the humility.
But they don't live in my body.
This town has far more than its fair share of clean art, if not clean artists. I miss what yankee winters give me, the order they enforce upon my soul, the strictures put upon me by the cold, the need to prepare for the seasons, which somehow help give me a bit of structure I lack no matter where I am but especially in the south and most especially in Texas - I don't know that Texas is especially good for my soul, I get very lazy here. But where the fuck else do I get these pure blasts of art?
I wrote a lot today, and hard writing it was, too - you dig around in your psyche and root out resentments and fears and then find out what it is inside you that gets you to hold on to all of these things, just exactly why in the fuck do you hold on to things which bring nothing but grief and isolation, cut off from peace.
It is always a good thing to do but always a painful thing and I can always find fifteen things to do instead of digging in and exposing the roots of the pain.
But I do hope that this thing continues on afterwards, and if it does I want desperately to see Kathy, and though I know that there are not knees in souls I'd be on mine anyhow, asking could I please help her, how is it that I could help carry what it was that pained her so, once again ask her forgiveness but maybe be heard this time; once that pain got crystallized inside her no one could get close to it, and I am afraid that I had a hand in sealing it in there, preventing her from ease.
I am grateful that Marcus Aurelius kept that notebook; it was he that sparked my spirit, gave me a glimmer that god might not be just a fools game, showed me much of what it is that a human being can be, should be, if not the way to get there.
I am glad that he lived, I sit in front of a bust of him in the museum in San Antone and ache to talk with him, how much fun if I could spend just one afternoon, maybe in the courtyard under the live oaks just outside the museum.
I have a muse.
I don't believe I've told you that, and I thought maybe it'd be time to let you know that I don't do this on my own.
Actually, I thought nothing of the kind - this, like most everything else that I do, is completely off the top of my head.
I like to think I'm spontaneous, but likely it's just thoughtless. Or manic. Or lazy, or all of the above.
The nocturn call is sounding; once again the timing is great. It's a bit cold here tonight but I just opened the door to hear its call.
The paintings from last night - this morning, really - are great, I especially love the one on linen, dark and heavy and honest as I could make it; it sings. The one I returned to and worked til damn near sunup this morning Im still not too sure of, and it may just be a flop, or maybe Ill step on it, step further into it - Im going to just sit with it for a while, and feel it out. I never could find a center to it, or so it seemed, chased it around, then gave out.
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