What they had to do was have the new alien baby, which was the
progeny of Sigourney Weaverís Ripley and the Alien Queen and make it a scary
motherfucker.† The design team was
meeting for the first time. They had all been sitting in the room for five
minutes now, with the lights out, and no one had said anything.† ďWell?Ē It was a female voice from the
northwest corner of the table, loaded with sarcasm.†† ďWeíre fucked, replied a male voice from the
northeast end.Ē† ďLetís go to the bar,Ē
came two voices in unison from the west side.
I was harping on at the end of last month about realizing that,
although I was always the "good girl" and believed that because of
that I was always the one that behaved well and was treated badly, I was really
hurting people without really knowing it.†
I realize now that that was crap.† I am not a ďgood girlĒ† Iím not even a girl.† So much for behaving well and being treated
badly. Well, actually, I do behave well.†
I think I do.† I donít think I am
treated very badly, very often. Hurting people is not a specialty of mine.
Blue slid back into the city early in the morning, into a paisley
print brown house on a corner with a porch, a roommate who never came out of
his room, and he put up a bench swing on the porch.† Blue got a job at the local hospital as a
pharmacy technician.† He walked to work,
and found he didnít need a car, or very much money.† It was summer and cool in the valley. Blue
liked to read and play with his motorcycle. On weekends he would go for rides
along the river with friends from work.
I want to write about Egypt and what we're seeing on television.† I donít have television.† But I do get news about Egypt on the internet.
It seems there are many citizens in Egypt who are upset about the
government.† Perhaps they would like to
see less repressive government.† I found
fascinating the governmentís move to shut down the internet. Perhaps it did not
occur to them that governments have been getting overthrown long before there
was an internet, and that the internet was, in fact, a good way to stay in
touch with what was going on out there.
I kept waking up this morning from a dream that I was
swimming. What happened to the flying dreams? There was something else. There
was some kind of warning. Each time before I woke up I would be saying
something like, ďThis is how it will be.Ē†
I cannot, of course, remember what I was referring to, or exactly what I
was saying. I just remember waking up repeatedly in the middle of the same
dream, standing on the corner. Was I standing on the corner of South and East U
in Ann Arbor?† Was I swimming to get
Hell yes Iím scared.†
Iíve got reason to be scared.† Iím
out of bread. Someone threw out my last half loaf because it had green mold all
over the bottom.† I have bologna in the refrigerator
and no bread to eat it with. Hell yes Iím scared. It is snowing sideways. My
body feels tired and sleepy.† This is a bad
sign, given what I want to do today. Hell yes Iím scared. The space bar on my
laptop doesnít work unless I really pound it. I have to keep going back and
putting in spaces. Hell yes Iím scared.
Suicide visits Blue to make a sales pitch.† Blue is not sure. He was alone one day when
suddenly he was not alone.† Suicide was
there with him. Suicide is a fast talker and wants Blue decide before he
leaves. He does not want Blue to call a friend or consult the studio audience.
Suicide wants to make a sale now. It is now or never.† Blue begins to understand the fallacy in
Suicideís backward logic.† If he chooses
to defer the purchase, he must choose again every day of his life. If he buys,
he loses his choice.
It's not enough to reach, to drive, to
climb.† Not enough to perform, to listen,
to lay in the morning with your head on the lawn, covered with dew, dirt, and
glisten.† It's not enough to write.† I can't stop believing in these things, trying
to pry the cover off this life.† I have
to continue pushing for a clear state of mind.†
I have to continue pushing for expression of experience.† I have to keep pushing for
transcendence.† It's not enough to be
here.† It's not enough to put words down
on the page.† Poetry is no longer enough.
Somewhere.† Out there.†
Out buried in the fog, tripping over the rocks.† Stammering through the swamps with creepers
catching at your feet.† Somewhere out
there is my voice, my life.† Somewhere my
mind opens cool and clear enough that I finally see.†
But now, here I remain, where I
stutter, I slobber, where I donít really want to write.† I want to murder art and smear the poetry
page with its blood.† Life has pounded us
into a corner and has pronounced us mean, unrealized, and unworthy.† There is nothing we can do in return but
continue to live it.
I am convinced that this casing that I
live inside is the same casing that everyone else lives inside, that this
numbness I experience is the same numbness that everyone else experiences.† If, in more lucid moments of my life I have
been able to break free, to break through, to force myself outside of this
impermeable cell wall, it was not periods of me joining the human race.† It was, instead, times I had left the rest of
the human race.† And, if I have a true
vocation, a true home, that place of solitude is where it is.
It's getting darker now, and I can feel
drops of rain. The sky is so heavy, like a belly, a bladder full of liquid and
it's so heavy that drops are starting to bleed out and saturate the air, my
clothing, and my skin.†
But in all this, my mind wanders from
its task: the penetration of the secrets.†
I must stay on point.† I have to
push.† I have to push into, and onto the
point of knowledge.† Sneaking into the
lodge while the fellows are out.† Falling
on the stake, feeling the green splinter slide through my belly
Here, the ideas come, the stars
flow.† Here, I bend, struggle, plunder,
and whine and crab.† Here I grind my
hopes into lean ground beef, masturbate freely, and fantasize.† Here I kneel and thank all the gods I have
The traffic is hideous tonight as it presses onward.† I walk the road slowly and the automobiles
beat by me in endless stream.† The
exhaust and fuel mist rises in the air--a fog of holy water, above the trees,
spreading out across the state.† We
inhale and suck in the oily sweat, once, twice, and begin to cough
Out of one cough flies words, shrieking
words, smoldering words, words of fire, and lust.† The final first cough out of a human mind
asleep, poisoned awake, receiving cosmic awareness in one brilliant flash of
inspiration just as the gasoline mist ignites.
Until then, we continue to rest, to
walk in our sleep.† Somnambulators, we
are all fucking zombies, portraits of zombies.†
We have had our portrait taken and we like the portrait better than the
real thing, so we embrace the portrait, put it on the mantle, and adore the
portrait, and we refuse to live out real lives.
On Sunday morning, on my way to church,
I see a man in the vestibule who is not too much older than me.† His grandson has just died.† His grandson has been run over by a school bus
and I have a vision of this man in my mind and I see this man as a small dark
experience of pain, and I see the man sitting next to him as another small dark
experience of pain, and I see the woman in the pew in front of him as another
dark experience of pain.† The church
fills with pain.
The church fills with shadows
of people and the shadows are portraits of pain sitting in the pews with life
flowing out of their mouths like a noble hymn.†
All humanity is just one assembled mass of portraits of pain which
resonate with one another, and the resonance flows and vibrates against this
cast metal cross which begins to vibrate and loosen the nails holding it to the
wall.† Where will you be when it flies
free?† When it begins its final
descent?† When it welds itself to the
true savior, propped against the shopping mall.†
Bring me your pain.
And I see this man who's just
a small man and he's just a highly concentrated packet of pain.† And I'm large.† I am too large.† I need to be a lumber jack, a furniture
mover, a World Fucking Federation Wrestler.††
I am too large to be a carpenter.†
Why is it I feel large?† Why is it
I feel large is a bad thing?† Large is a
thing associated with pain and numbness and absence of meaning.† There is a mythology that shows the female as
something large and fertile.† That is not
the mythology that informs my brain.††
Restraint is such work
that I write by hand to keep my eye
on the whisp of every word,
pinging each syllable
into the hollow of a tender ear.
Exercising past my bedtime
pushing tired muscles into the dark.
Worn wet neurons
past their tense
sleepwalking into the bright.
It is partner to refrain.
to return to the
absence of touch,
to not hear the tender
Or cousin to discipline.
To remain unlived light,
a temporary weeping particle
soon to be swallowed:
The standard price for admission
to the brightest star in the sky.
The mythology that informs my brain says that the male is something large, loping, and something foggy, while the female is small and perfect.† The male is large, sordid, sterile, and associated with pain.† What the fuck force has driven that through the fuses of my brain?† The answer may be Freudian. It may be associated with my father; may even be associated with my mother.† My father was something large, loping, and somehow foggy, while my mother came off as small sharp. My mother inflicted pain, while my father absorbed it. Well, reality is never quite all that simple.
The way to get beyond these perceptions and out into the ocean of reality is to ask what would be happening to cause this.† If I am dreaming, what is happening to my body to cause me to dream this particular dream?†† What did I do in the daylight to make me NEED this dream?† And then ignore the obvious.† Ignore the heartburn and the tired muscles.† Ignore the children howling in the next room.† Ignore the television, the furnace, the throb of the helicopters from the National Guard, and the knurled grunt of Howard Stern dying on the radio.
Home from the walk, I'm turning off lights.† I can feel the switch burning the ball of my thumb, the switch plate on the backs of my fingers.† I can hear the washing machine and I can see a flash of someone playing basketball under a street lamp down the road.† It's the bother of the evening.† This is taking me places where even now in my boldness I cannot go.† I'm already a cripple here because of a paragraph I left out three sheets ago.
Three men sit around a table in a sub street apartment in Ann Arbor.††
So what is it you're writing?† What is it you're working for?† What is it you're working toward?† What is it you're trying to find?† It's obvious. It should be obvious.† It's always the same thing.† It's always the same.† You're trying to find God.† You're trying to poke through that curtain of mortality.† You want to see the face of God.† You have this memory and you see certain things.† You see things. You know certain things.† You know what it is.† You remember what it is.†† Well, somewhere in your brain, you have a hint of a memory.
I remember hearing the adage that man comes out of the womb and spends the rest of his life trying to get back in.† The joke's even more brutal than that.† Man is a god who's confined himself in a bottle.† He's confined himself in a bottle for the joy of the experience, and he spends all his time trying to get back out of the bottle.† Like a man going on a vacation who spends the time locked in a motel room longing to be home with his books and his records.† Who would do a thing like that?
See, the purpose of man is not to find God.† The purpose of man is to be live, to go do the dance.† The purpose of man is to believe in God, if he chooses to.† The purpose of God is to find man.† The whole human race has got it wrong.† The only thing we're here for is to do it, to dig it, to live it, love it.† That is all.†
Three men gather about a table in a sub street apartment in East Ann Arbor.
Three men, under dim light, over a rusted chrome and Formica table...
Tonight, again, I'm hitting the streets with the pooch. The dog knew we were leaving.† As I was sitting in the bedroom, putting on my walking shoes, she started getting excited, following me down the stairs, leaping at my legs.† She knew.† She knew it was time to go for a walk.† Thrashing into the dark, down the driveway, holding onto the leather leash.†† Off to the right as I come close to the road, I see a lightening bug hovering about ten, twelve, feet off the ground.† It's darker tonight.† It's darker than it has been for several nights.†
I found The Complete Works of
Vivekannanda at a used Ann Arbor bookstore, and I cherished those books.† On reading them, it became clear to me that
the thing to do was to give them away.†
That was the purpose of the message.†
How necessary was that?† If I read
a book advocating murder, would it be necessary for me to run out with an axe
and slaughter the first person I met?†
No, not unless the work struck me as unique truth.† And thatís the affect Vivekannanda had on me.† I felt I was being met with unique truth.
I remember Vivekannanda
talking about meditating on smell, on sights, and how if you forced yourself to
clear your mind and focused on the tip of your nose, eventually you would smell
the most wonderful smell. It seems that all meditation works that way.† Itís as if there is something that is hiding
from you, something that surrounds you and permeates being, but which provides
endless distractions so you will not notice it.†
You clear your mind, and then greater and finer things come to you until
you're forced back into consciousness, back into distraction to your proper
And so I clear my mind.† I clear my mind of what I'm thinking, and in this brief span of nothing, in this great window of nothing that hovers over my head, suddenly there's this large scarlet dragon dropping down from the skies, claws extended, feet arching, ripe with hunger.† Violence lunging at me out of the dark.† I see I have made God angry.
So, that's the other possibility, we keep thinking, we keep talking, we keep seeing, we keep experiencing, because that keeps the dragons away. Our life is a desirable distraction, because the alternative is unbearable.
I'm living out this myth, this dark pattern, of an initiation rite.† I have to secure this knowledge.† It's not enough to find it, to take it, to have it.† I have to tie it down so it can't fall overboard during the storms to come.† Like baking bread, I learn to do it correctly.† Itís not enough to mix the ingredients.† I have to knead the dough through many cycles, to use knowledge I have to best advantage.† It's not enough to know the ingredients. I have know the order to blend them; I have to prepare my mind