Sunday, March 30, 2008

Firing Trust (or Trust 2.0)

Trust was never good enough at its job,
now it's obsolete,
supplanted by a team of spies,
modern and complete.
Electronic eyes and parabolic ears,
they see, hear all both night and day.
None escape their blinkless notice,
all is observed by the state.

Trust is superseded by suspicion
for fear of enemies;
we only fear for your own sake,
all things we must see.
Fear not protection we provide,
for everything we do is just.
Good citizens need nothing hide,
our motives you can trust.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Cold Mountain Ghosts

She was a ghost, but I wanted her anyway.

Being with her was like fucking nothing, as if coming nearer only revealed that her self was an illusion, something you could never quite touch, like the surface of a cloud. The nearer I got to her, the harder it was to make out her outline.

She could not be held, could not be pinned down or defined without causing her to flow elsewhere. To tighten your grip would only serve to let her escape more easily.

I often mused to myself that when she was around I felt even more alone. The lust she inspired in me was something cold, something intricately frozen, beautiful like a snowy sodium-lit night, slick street dangerous to drive. The appearance of brilliance only came when all things were carefully blanketed in frozen white.

The ageless iciness in her exterior, frozen and crystalline, made me feel as if what was inside of me was just an icy reflection of what I saw.

Like it, I was subtly melting.

When she did let me touch her, the heat of our bodies melted us both and we flowed into and upon one another. Inside I thawed for her; outside she for me.

Every time I had her, I knew she was like a force of nature, a mountain, and one day she would be an avalanche; an entirely new fa├žade would be revealed when the dust settled. And every time we fucked--it was too coldly passionate and hard a thing to be called by another name--I was working away at the glaciers, melting them bit by bit at their base.

I always thought of her frigid expression, her smooth, pale exterior in those times, not realizing until later how cold I was inside. Though outwardly acting otherwise, at times I was seen for the cold and bitter wind that I was, like a draft in a crevasse deep in a glacier.

It was a deeper sort of cold than she was ever capable of.

The closer we became, the more gone she seemed to be. Perhaps that was her way of warming up, becoming invisible and gaseous, as if she sublimated directly from solid to vapor, giving the liquid stage a pass and becoming intangible.

She would turn me on until it was too much, then she would not satisfy me, leaving me feeling empty, disappointed.

I think this was what I wanted; I wanted to be pushed toward or away from nihilism, I wanted to feel the ironically amplified loneliness of being with this woman, this spirit, yet feeling no companionship.

When you stare long into the abyss...

I wanted to see the equivalence of pleasure and non-pleasure, being and non-being, and she gave me this. I saw nightly that my satisfaction meant nothing, my desires rendered meaningless and lust rendered impotent.

I sought self-destruction from the inside out and I sought it inside of her, but I proved to be the colder of us.

She caved, she avalanched and what was revealed was changed, was warmed by the sun's rays, was open and majestic, not covered in ice any longer.

In the short time that followed, I saw what she saw. I saw that I had become a monster, and her clarity of vision revealed that her very feeling that had developed for me had changed her, yet because of it she saw now that I was clearly not what she had thought.

The ice over her eyes had melted and the distortion of the world had abated. She had changed but I was the victim; I then seemed to evaporate as she ceased to give me what I wanted. She had become corporeal, and saw me for the insubstantial specter I was.

Soon I drifted away, blown by cold winds, and she saw nothing more of me, myself losing nothing; she had ceased to appeal to me once she began trying to please me.

Buried under the avalanche of her once jagged, icy peaks, I lay smothered, my grave unmarked and unremarkable as my spirit, still dark and cold as the place I was lain under, dissipated.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I Challenge Thee! (and me)

If you're content with the state of the world, you're not paying attention.

Contentment implies satisfaction implies aspirations have been fulfilled. If you think there could be no improvement, you're not aiming very high. If you think too much of it is out of your hands, your underselling yourself. If you think you have everything you need, what about your brother?

There's a lot of work to be done and we are the labor force of all human hopes.

If the prosperous simply amuse themselves, then most of those who can do the most are doing very little.

In other words: if not you, then who?

This isn't something for you to read for entertainment or edification or education, this is a
challenge. It's directed not only at those reading but also to myself.

It's about opening your eyes to things you don't normally think about. Your carbon footprint. How that burger and milk shake you had were produced. Where those diamonds on your fingers came from. Who sewed the stitching on that shirt.

Wake up and give a shit, to use someone else's words.

Look outside of your own hormone-hijacked happiness over love or child, over some fleeting moment of distraction. What do you care about in the world at large? Try to answer with something that's unrelated to your self-absorbed entertainment or enjoyment.

Make it a good answer.

Then realize you have no excuse not to be doing something about it.

Cherry-bright Litter

how did the office follow me here?
to a place beloved for natural beauty, academia.
cherries blossom pinkish-white in spring,
but are outdone by neon orange styrofoam
bearing company logo;
bane of nature, disposable cup,
here where unwelcome, inanimate,
awaits me with its dead brightness,
where growing things of color reign,
far outside office walls.
obliges me to represent, this litter to remove,
like a dog upon a tether I am not free to leave.
pulled back to the nine to five,
my time away is just a loan,
more than forty hours are bought
by those who pay the bills.
exchange work for money, hard to keep up my soul,
but I'm still the five o'clock me inside my clothes
and there's not a piece of my time that they own

memories

memories
like fingertips
only loosely grasp the past

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Leben Trabant

a leg of a route,
a part of a vision,
a fragment of dream
half-remembered on wakin'.
closed in a closet
with a small window out;
only half-seen,
everything that's about.

a blind dead-end corner
or a half-open eye--
even with both wide open,
theres no thing that can't hide.

a shattered ancient vase,
a tatter of lost text,
with but part of the picture,
who could see what comes next?
thru frosted glass
and shrouded in fog,
but a short distance
can be seen in life's bog.

an excerpt of story
of long-forgotten glory,
brought partly to light,
only seen with insight,
can't be known in its whole,
for the soul that composed
has decomposed in a hole.
but body is fleeting
and his mind is what's missing,
tho in part resurrected
after ages neglected.

cities seen through a crack,
a field of no depth photographed,
lack but one thing
and breadth is its name,
existing now but lost to sight
by virtue of just being bright
wide and expansive far too
to be comprehended by you

a cloud hidden moon
or a half-submerged spoon,
the sound of a tree
with nothing living to hear.
xenos: source of fear,
the creator of monsters
and nightmarish dark,
illuminated by spark
for no more than a second,
you blink and it passes
unnoticed in silence
of one unknown moment--

like inspiration that's lost
in a stupor of thoughts
too distracted to know
what's important to think,
unclaimed, left forgotten
ideas gone to waste;
too slow to react to't
drunken minds fail
to grasp at a chance.

a conversation through glass,
seen but unheard,
lips pronouncing each word,
lungs tongues lips without sound
projecting to air
unconnected to watching eyes;
only discerning minds can interpret
else are lost voices, each perfect.
still one who thinks he has all the picture
may err in his culture,
may not understand
though he hold words in his hand.

comprehension may bloom,
grown piece by piece,
harvested woven, as if on a loom,
in the spring of the mind
pushing frigid winter aside,
these new green shoots
emerge, no arrive,
on the sea of a season of being alive

And life's more than a sea,
all connect to an ocean,
seen for a second's commotion;
life is much more,
springing and falling o'er many a season,
always a cycle but seed-to-tree moving,
age the illusion but a showing of movement.
blossoms realized 'long with grooves,
rings of growth that emboss them.
whole of body and mind
feeling youthful, divine,
healthy all times,
there's much more to find
than be found light and easy,
tho fun, distracting it may be,

the diligent seeker
may learn more being meeker,
patient rather than eager
to know deeper truths,
see beyond shrouds of youth and folly,
arrogance temporary
--even so seeing the path is not easy
nor simple to walk;
the difference of knowledge
and action don't balk.

complementarity saves us,
views combined and lives intertwined,
put together display us--
make selves more than single
when many minds mingle,
and true interlock,
leaves more pieces grokked
and wisdom unmocked.
such harmonious sounds
will one day be found
as all our potential as people unlocks:

and in such a day,
heard distant away,
will be sounds to disquiet
all ill or violent
which stands in out way.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Against

Rain through the window like falling stardust.

A voice whispering to itself half-mad, a mantra chanted to comfort itself from the cold.

The cold: not so deep as ice, but deep enough to shiver a spine, to pierce the skin to the bone, with time.

Of wind only a slight breeze, let in through the window, open far too little to allow much wind in. It was much bigger than the crack in the window. Unseen though it was, wind spread vast and far and wide, billowing if you followed a gust into gale force winds over the sea, some great distance from this cold, sad scene.

The voice halted abruptly; a mind crouched behind it listened, struggled for control, then the eyes closed over the mind's sight and the voice took hold once more: comforting. comforting.

Nothing else but the voice could help now. hands had failed already, the eyes could no longer bear to see what they'd accomplished and failed to accomplish; what they'd failed to avoid.

Ears scarcely listened. only alerted when something louder than the voice spoke, tapping branches and an occasional gust of wind pushing cardboard and leaves on the street.

It's not true it's not true it isn't true it's not it's not it's not true--not--it--no!--not true it isn't I didn't no not true not true...true...isn't! didn't happen it's all okay all okay nothing's the matter, where are you baby? I know it's all okay nothing wrong we're good, we're in love I love you! you know it's impossible--I didn't. that was a dream, it's a dream and this is not true...

The mind could not stop the voice because it could not conceive of what its body had done--could not do so. All thought and reason and concreteness must not be, that the self could live another day, live if only withdrawn from the world.

Thought could not be allowed or else the mind would be destroyed: fiberglass insulation, it prevented transmission of real facts into its ken of understanding. Into its warm house where its faculties dwelt.

It could not be breathed through.

Blood already grew cold: fresh, it had been warm, but cold had claimed it and the draft made it sticky. Skin: white. Hair: motionless, dark.

Both bodies clumped involuntarily against the same wall: one because it was an empty vessel, had fallen there. The other waited for change, waited for something to change before it could think about motion. Motor and sight, connecting the two would be impossible: it would contradict inner knowledge--that the hands could not have done it. There was nothing for them to have done, in fact.

Just wait; something deep, pathological, said. Wait. Things will be fine again.

And that was the only thing it knew, now. The only piece of knowledge the voice could draw upon.

Water: creeping, sought the blood, creeping across uneven linoleum to intermingle: seeming to give it fresh life, a cold life and a diluted, but life. It moved now, creeping where it had begun to dry.

From somewhere a flickering light reflected hazily in, strobed vaguely across the scene.

Like the rigid mind, it was faltering. A flitting between on and off stuck it into a limbo dimension, freed it from consequence and from reality, while maintaining the semblance of life.

It sought to preserve, but in fact it was destroying itself.

The thing had failed, and even the sickly smell of blood could not stir it: a scent that butchered animals gradually came to recognize, being then thrown into frenzy to escape the slaughterhouse.

There was never escape: that fact the victims of hamburger dinners and bacon breakfasts had in common with this broken mind, which played like a skipping record, a dying fluorescent light. But there was no recognition of this iron-laden scent, no frenzy. Only flat denial.

Like a thing condemned to slaughter, it may have been in its final moments of life, showing only brief flashes of one trait of life: response to stimuli. The very stimulus it reacted to, it ignored. Its response was non-response, and it had to impair its own operation to allow for its continued operation.

Thus avoiding its breaking, it had forced itself to become broken.

When bright lights finally flashed in the window, many hours later, one body was zipped up, the other treated for exposure.

The exposure of the mind could not be so easily treated.

Forlorn and stuck in its own defense mechanism, there was no way back out. The body was kept alive, the mind in limbo. Though seen by others as a person, there was none: the person had died when it had done the unthinkable, and now it thought no more.

There was but a shell, a shell, and within it a repeating, ghostly voice, heard like the ocean when held close to the ear.

A frozen mantra against life's cold.

Monday, March 17, 2008

On Premonitions

I could smell my misfortune from the next room.
It was a sickly feeling creeping under the door like an odor.

It called to me like a sound calls to an image,
like a craving calls a stomach into painful convulsions.

I felt it like a deaf person feels a loud noise;
Through vibrations in my body, I knew what lay ahead.

At strength of smell and speed of light,
it hit me in the past with the force of prescience.

I opened the door and stepped in,
only to find that my luck had held, after all.

redeye thoughts (taking off)

suffering takes no break.

far down a path I should not have begun,
I step astray.

squalor knows no better.

the straight-edged path is a double-edged sword,
as yet unsheathed.

dilapidation takes no vacation.

premature gotten off, astumble before my destination,
but got to get back on.

a fine line

as if a tightrope,
life takes care,
full balance,
fine lines suspended:
you move & it moves.
fight to stay on,
arms swinging, wild,
looking quite strange,
step by ginger step,
sometimes too much--
cut your losses
and jump back off,
if lucky, to safety
on solid ground.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Lag

the one left in the dust,
I am he who walks behind

neither injured nor blind,
but still lagging to follow

when all have walked on,
later paused and turned:

what they saw was me

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Sinning Genesis

Temptation in your Eden:
let me in the garden gates,
there's a fruit there and I hunger
for the knowledge of its taste;
knowing's all the sweeter
with sweat and toil on your face.

I know the tree's forbidden,
but it appeals to my sense;
let's originate some sin tonight,
blame sly serpent for offense.

To taste is to die and be cast out again,
so forsake me with something intense

Lacking, nothing

Roadside, I ponder naught:
can a lack be pure?
an impure lack is not one,
a lack is the purest thing,
or no-thing: absolute absence

Standing here I see better--
only that a bus isn't yet coming
to save from the cold wind
which bites hands as they write

But in it, when it comes,
a small boy claims not to be there,
then notes the sun now lacks.

The theme repeats outside my mind,
or my mind repeats beyond itself,
or myself repeats beyond its time;
myself regressed, I was that boy, alike:

Lack of a car brought me here.

State Route 520 Car-pool (Blues)

caribbean in color,
crossed by congested cavalcade bridges,
this lake shines reflected sky
taken, turned all upside-down,
azure turquoise, sunsets underground,
under-drowned is undiminished,
city lights complete the vision
dim electric yellow complements
like sun caribbean

Sunday, March 2, 2008

The Box

Somewhere that was once called Europe, in what was once a city, a dirty black box was blaring sounds, remote and quiet sounds of speech and song.

The only ears that had heard it for eons had belonged to birds and beasts, but it had blared almost forever. From time immemorial, this box made its strange sounds without interruption, nigt and day. Could any of these creatures recount ancient knowledge, they would not have been able to recall the time when this box was quiet.

So much time had passed since the humans who built the box had dwelt in that place.

There were few signs left of the millions of individuals that had occupied this space, their bustling construction and ceaseless activity older than memories, barely attested by occasional geometric shapes, out-cropping metal structures that had rusted and crumbled until they were hardly recognizable signs of civilization.

A deer, noticing the box for the first time, approached it warily, ears raised. It regarded it for an alert moment, listening, then it resumed grazing on the lush grass that surrounded the depression in the earth where the box had always sat, so far as anything living knew.

Even the most ancient of trees was not yet a seed when the box had made its first sound.

The grazing deer raised its head awhile later, noticing a nearby scent or sound that was unfamiliar. It looked around, chewing, ears swiveling slightly, until a wooden shaft zipped past its flank.

At this the creature bounded gracefully in the opposite direction from which the shaft had come, narrowly avoiding the next.

A few moments later, a man stepped heavily into the grassy clearing. He regarded the wind, regarded the sound made by the as yet unseen box. It seemed safe to enter the clearing, but such a sound he had never encountered in all his years as a hunter.

Ever careful of the unfamiliar, especially when it could be magic, Eket ventured closer, frightened by this unusual noise, but curious. Something about it seemed human, yet there were no words he could understand, and a strange muted quality pervaded all sounds.

Coming closer, he could see the black box, rectangular in shape, black but caked with dirt. Gingerly, he dared to move closer, listening for a long period. He looked at the knobs and saw a light, realizing that the device was something quite strange.

After a time, the sounds changed: there was still an unfamiliar voice, whic maybe resembled language of tribes far to the south, but there was music. The instruments were unfamiliar, and the way it was played was foreign to his ear, but it was unmistakably music.

Music was only made by men and Gods. This frightened Eket. Had he found a device of the gods? Some magic music box, which played itself at their behest?

Then why was it discarded so? Perhaps Zedhut was testing him, and it was meant only to appear discarded. The God of Temptation surely tested men in such a way, at times. Or perhaps some spirits had been imprisoned within this box for attempting to deceive Pa'Lisi Truthsayer. There were many such tales.

Great magic seemed to surround this object, and Eket, upon realizing what that could mean, quickly left that place. He warned his people of venturing to this distant clearing, and the Shaman's visions soon confirmed that it had indeed been Thyljak the Slayer's doing. It was giants who had displeased him by creating this music box which failed to win him the love of Yila'sa, and he slew them and all their kin under the earth, only to capture their souls in the box.

Their torment was to repeat forever their failure by playing the strange, unskillful music that had disappointed the Slayer.

Eket and his people sometimes told the tale of the box in the years that ensued, but the location of the box was forgotten, and after a time the people had left that land because of a great drought, and the fires that it brought.

The box was again forgotten for many a year after that.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Dormant

trees naked in winter
a girl naked at night
take away the sun and
true colors come to light
seen for what they are,
bare exposed and there,
see them stripped right down
to color of their hair,
leaves for making air,
something sleek and less than seemed
once the truth's laid bare,
but something worth desiring,
something oft unseen,
something sweet that's lingering
all the time between
an after-taste, a hint remains,
one that stings and sings
and brings us joy and brings us pain
a thing that's still the same
a thing that's left unchanged
over ageless eons
it drives instinct insane,
defying all that's rational,
but still they can't be blamed:
The want of spring's renewal
the want for summer days,
is the want to love the color
before the daylight fades

Question and Wonder

why are the waters so vast and calm?
where did this landscape come from?
how did we open the sky?
who was it upthrust the mountains?
what made the streams trickle down?
when was this not part of I?

subsuperimposed

twittering
birds heard over music
rumbling
machine heard under
opening
blue sky over birds
sprawling
green land under
playing
music over reality
bouncing
bus under it