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BY Michael

02/01 Direct Link

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.

02/02 Direct Link

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.

02/03 Direct Link

Blue-50

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.

02/04 Direct Link

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.

02/05 Direct Link

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 there?††

02/06 Direct Link

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.

02/07 Direct Link

Blue-51

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.

02/08 Direct Link

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.

02/09 Direct Link

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.

02/10 Direct Link

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.

02/11 Direct Link

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

02/12 Direct Link

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 right.

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

02/13 Direct Link

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.

02/14 Direct Link

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.

02/15 Direct Link

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.

02/16 Direct Link

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.††

02/17 Direct Link

Easy Reading

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,

avoiding delight,

to not hear the tender

skin's swarming.

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.

02/18 Direct Link

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.

02/19 Direct Link

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.

02/20 Direct Link

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.††

02/21 Direct Link

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.

02/22 Direct Link

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?

02/23 Direct Link

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...

02/24 Direct Link

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.†

02/25 Direct Link

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.

02/26 Direct Link

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 mundane place.†

02/27 Direct Link

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.

02/28 Direct Link

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