Sunday, July 30, 2006

New Contrition

It's not exactly guilt at sinfulness, and not regrets at life experiences missed. It's something else that emanates from below the floorboards. Rants too influenced by William Burroughs resolving mechanistically a few sentences later into the grand cosmic design or an equivalent guru-esque phrase. Dreams unremembered in the hazy sleep-crud morning methodicaly plodding through the morning ablutions. Erections in congregations where children shimmy under the pews and the arrases on the grand columns sway with the convection isidce the mostrous hopeless tomb.

I guess I'm missing something.

Is it the faculty of Eros? Let's go Jungian on it for a second. But just for a second, because the real analysis comes in a flash of insight: and so the analysis is inextricably linked up to the thing analyzed, which is a hopeless contradiction in terms. But only if you're a square unable to stand on two feet at the hepcat reveries. Reveries in jazz and reveries clothed with second-hand clothes; plucked from the strains of an ABA minuet or constellated in nameless trees on spectral hillsides, cosummated in life-affirming sledding wipeouts where the main factor was body contact, affirmed again in Platonic proto-obscenity with a sister I never had. Reveries farmed out to word-processing windmills in the Dutch countryside, conserving the anandamide shrieks and creaks of the Ancien Regime. And the whole benighted mess comes sluicing down, rendered less viscous by the latest heat wave & heat from human bodies under stress jacking up cortisol and thyroid hormone. The bass line of the universe and the section-marking timpanis have been eaten by termites. (A very Garcia Marquez reverie. No ascensions to heaven, though. Sorry: it didn't hqappen the previous 3,000 times, and it sure as hell won't happen now.)

Who the fuck is Kurt Cobain?

He was aunt Phyllis' main beneficiary. Or was he the incredibly punctual and neat and sexy gardener on her estate? I don't remember? The dude leaning up against a pole repeating the narcotic pusher's catechism: "you need anything?" Or was he that laptop player for the new electro-spazzcore industrial outfit on our small town scene? Or did he stamp my orders at the bank in the late 1960s? Hard to tell. I'll have to think more about this.

Consider: "To clear the mind of its noise then to lose the mind altogether. This is meditation. (Of course some would call this insanity.)"

Monday, July 24, 2006

Bay Window (Part the Last)

My bay window was my first convex lens on the world of downtown student crazy. Leaving it for bigger and more secluded rooms is a sweet'n'sour experience. As such, let us commemorate my time in a house and a window that was above all formative. When the time is ripe, I'll pour some wine into the thirsty earth. But for now, a poem. I'm sorry: a pome. (You'll notice the form is stolen. Apologies to no-one.)

Strange to think of you now as there not here—something that was despite stone pillar permanence,
You who were my carapace thru rainstorm & lightning, carrying the plodding droplets thru the windowscreen,
And now I disappear through the last crook of brick & alley, satchel in hand, and deliver my speeches to you—
Your megafauna skip, jump hopping, swaying in spiral treebranch cobwebs, flutter of fur & tail, claw & snout dreaming of the pure garbage El Dorado of our living room,
Your sheds for acting practice: human emanations lines bouncing off the walls & achieving total internal reflection—cacophony of twenty voices and twenty-five masques shattering,
Mandalas of pillows on living room walls, couches livid with expectancy where we sat talking continuous & inexhaustible & ecstatic in fishbowls in hookas in ping-pong ball elation,
Flickering of downtown fundless ghetto strobe light, vibrations on rusted poles & chin-up madness, triangular waves leaping out of cocoon shells in hopeless pianos,
Fireplaces in the mind, tho there was only a single dejected overworked halogen lamp,
Your aleatory poems scattered in calendars in paper scraps—your stories of great ritualistic suicide dramas, fame & money, music waterfalls & shots of ego centered right in the pituitary,
Pity your libraries, for their aboriginal quaternities house the werewolf screaming of the victims of CAMH—taken to the fence to vomit & beg, to smoking rooms for story time, given metrazol to calm the jimmy-legs,
And your alley too—shadows of Liverpool, vibrations of ossified society illuminated by the warbling of dreary whistling virtuosos,
Their heads will be smeared with laurel & garlic in the oblivion of the garden: trees plucked onto third-floor roofs, moonlight baking the smoke tiles & rolling off blaming nobody but the spirit of the fields,
Your cookies filled with delightful drugs losing their potency in accordance with hummingbird uranium half-lives,
Blocks falling from windows, terrible demanding OM shimmering in the darkness, the all-seeing Odin-eye of spectral laptops, sunny guitar twang in living room shaking the tiles into cracks down to the foundation, books passing from hand to hand instantly felt & known,
Bright eyes & parades of clothes & gestures & bottles & cushions, mounds of dirt tracked in foreboding inevitable earthworm invasions, dark pool-eyes sneaking in the middle of nights, vicious toe-stubs & cowering with bamboo poles clutched to chests,
Memory-wok in rooms with mildew dripping thru ceilings, storied clumsy exposition seven novels’ worth,
Iridium deposits in back-yard piles, meat for the metallurgist vegan thrown in the dumpster,
Honour to your hallucinating night-walks of people behaving badly, sprained ankles & crutches, overdoses & unconsciousness when the burning coals fell to almost crown her head,
Honour to your porch; bike tires hanging therefrom, each a portal too The Other World, attics in negative colours, massless lecture halls, bars with green beers & thin patrons, streetcars of community unity, libraries without weeping, gnome-grottoes with peas in the wheelbarrows, Turkish baths featuring Friedrich Nietzsche, madhouse calliope tents of unimaginable tarpaulin fury, skies of visible constellated archetype ladders which all eventually fall away,
Your vans gleam in frog-song parked sideways & shivering at the sight of the Officer of The Law,
Fridges offering glimpses of early-Earth algal blooms & a time with no humans with mold in red,
Your women with tiny glasses with amused kinds of smirks—subwoofers falling out of my vocal cords,
Fingerpicking the strands of personal teleology, making love in over-tall rooms— cushions & throw-pillows & candles, or sleeping on the couch, running out for nosh or micturition, listening & wondering, secretly solipsistic with headphones on,
Seeing films and arguing apes against backgrounds of crack alleys & hopeless one- mattress filthy basement occupants returning a year later waving his diploma and
button-down shirt,
Hopeless envious Dylan Thomas reverie in a Tim Horton’s,
And in that end call the trumpet blast on the windows and name the name which dares not be spoken, stuck in the walls and fixtures and cobwebs—trumpet of angel choirs, prefiguring inner light by the light of mosquito lamps chattering in thunderstorms which the ground drank,
Madhouse oscillating cathode-ray hallucinations on your 14-foot ceilings,
Here the total diced vegetable soul of the soup—uncalled but ever-present in rattle of windowpanes, nighttime dream falls, paralyzed fearful awakenings heavy with water droplets on the skin,
Cheeks aglow behind carefully parted brown hair trampling the dust-bunny, sleeping in solitude hoping to skip the entire season but finding comfort in your moldings,
Your cages rattle in the clutter as animals scribble their lives away, rabbits dreaming of the games of carnivores & nature shows proclaiming mice & lemurs tracing spectral arabesques from branch to branch—
Crumbs in the hallway, shelves collapsing back to topsoil, ant Maginot lines, the dominions of spiders mobilized to raid the stocks of apples leaving nothing but pellets of pure dung & the guttural australopithecine wail, howl to lonely & buggered in the blue pixels of dawn crazy—
& so you too will be hollow and your jigs will transmute to synaptic echo soft in memory & stuck in the past, the makeshift ladder for a score of generations happening Here and Now.

Consider: "There seem to be magic days once in a while, with some rare quality of light that hold a body spellbound... Then comes the hard part: how to plan a picture so as to give to others what has happened to you. To render in paint an experience, to suggest the sense of light and color, air and space..."

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Urban Ascetic

I'm pretty sure I picked that phrase up from some magazine. But I'll see if I can live it. Ascetics mortify the flesh: they attempt to transcend its fleeting needs. What am I doing? I'm cutting back my sleep. Five hours ought to be enough for anyone. My body does not like lactic acid to build up in its muscles from overexertion: fuck it. Bitter poison of alcohol every night: not to excess, but enough to bend me and leave its mark before I colllapse on my bed. My nerves shatter and startle at the slightest cue these days, these periods of increased mental exertion. So be it. In fact, it is good. My previously softened, oversleeping, chilling demeanour made me a lot less chill on the inside. Exhausting oneself in as many ways as possible and knowing that tomorrow brings in even worse challenges with ever-diinishing energy to meet them causes som strange psychodynamics: an island of calm. A center. But that's just exhaustion. I don't have air conditioning. The heat waves will not longer elicit complaints from me. No more comfort foods: only the severest greens and carbohydrates and nuts. (That'll have to be phased out.) Down with need. Want less, use less. I'll do these things. Get a smaller room. Less air circulation. More muslce pain. More conflict. More confrontation. More challenging the slightest problems (sharpening the wolf's debating teeth). Ascetics seek truth. They are not relativists. They are intolerant, but powerless to stop other strategies of transcendence. (I'm speaking to you, congregations of well-fed satisfied bankers &c., chanting retreats, self-satisfied Buddhists, slovenly "social mores are bullshit" liberals, straight-laced "I need to lace my laces straighter" conservatives, & especially you, "anything goes" libertarians. You are the nihilists, and not in the good way. In the way that high-school ego-inflated pseudo-intellectuals are into the occult. Badly and shallowly.) I'll construct a kindgom of the mind. Reclaim St. Augustine's City of God, but plop down a nice big town square on The Throne of Heaven. Perfuse my brain to get the creative juices flowing and bugger to eveything else. This is my anti-drug, my brain-stimulation reward (BSR). I've reached break point.

Consider: "The pendulum of the mind alternates between sense and nonsense, not between right and wrong."

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Also Sprach

"Yeah, I should probably listen to that elder around the corner. You know, get my life together. Probably should eat more, or better... I don't know. I need to stop stressing so much. Need to stop seeing the negative. Need to learn to accept love. You know? Accept the ministrations of little Florence Nightingales of the soul. Accept my inherent irrationality. Accept that what I see, nobody else sees. What else have I heard? Oh yeah: change you furniture, patch your clothes, call your bank, call the doctor, talk to your mother. Go out and interact with people. I probably do need more iron. Listen: don't walk the streets alone at night; eye contact is not socially acceptable, especially with young children. (Charlatans: the children started it!) Go do some exercise. Eat your greens. Get a job. Shave, or at least trim. That's what they say. That's what the minsters said. That's what my prospective fiancee said. So why this mystery? Life is not that hard. So why the dying pplants in my garden? But their advice is sound: whole people gave this. People with cars and shit. Who would go against it? I would agree with you, except--they missed the poetry of the rust flakes. But anyway, I need to learn what people like to talk about. Because this does not do it for them. Someone actually told me to get a pedicure. A pedicure! Yes, that'll be the first thing I do. Never mind that my very hemoglobin is misshapen. I'll get a nice sheen on my nails!"

Thus spoke Babinski.

Consider: "Duty is heavier than a mountain, death is lighter than a feather."

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Wine (Part XVII)

I don't know if anyone knows the meditation exercise where you envision yourself in the center of a circle of living beings. All the living beings are breathing out black smoke, representing problems, worries, suffering, the whole blasted lot. You're supposed to visualize your indrawn breath as taking in all the smoke and feeding it to your center, where it disappears into some kind of singularity. After a while when you breathe out, you're supposed to visualize your breath as healing rays of brilliant white light. I describe this beacuse of the comparion I want to make to my experience barflying at last call yesterday. Here we finally had a bartender with the air of understanding taking in all our poisonous words and deeds, and reflecting back at us nothing but the transparent glinting white-light glory of glass after glass of booze.

Walking back, I experienced firsthand that if you're on the streets at 4 a.m., it can't be for something wholesome. Crack rock, or hobbling. I didn't take the crack rock. The market is a very different place. It's where the flip side kicks in. During days we have people who walk around in self-satisfaction of something approaching wholeness, but their success is reflected in night-walkers. It is their archetype of the shadow, which I'm taking liberties with, but fuck you. Night-walkers swinging bike locks

Muttering my great confessions and putting the finishing touches on the opera of crazy, taking the hobbled hangnail and dragging it across the city in fruitless learning parabolas. Leaves skitter in newly discovered ghettos. You can almost see terrifying bathtubs through the walls: here the clotheslines of our hard-pressed mothers, there the toy chests of children on welfare, there the cabbage soup of the collective unconscious we have been eating in that time before the dreams even began. Revelry in debauchery not sin. Failure to engineer ecstatic (literally: outside the body) experience. Failure to illuminate the cheeks of rosy child. Failure to see the arabesque in the skittering of dead leaves (how? It's summer after all). There is something missing. Trinity, not quaternity. We all go back to the enveloping bosom of the Great Mother, call it what you will. The mother that births also eats her children. Heat death of the universe? We're quickly approaching nadir. Some time after the alcoholic call to action, and the Wise Old Man, and pointless trials , and the meeting with the Shadow (literally, in Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, the part in the Water Temple where you fight your shadow to get an extended hookshot). Howl half memorized, and through it all I need more willpower. Too much in denial to confront the terrifying passivity. Seasons change; job hunting and constant rejection is change; the writing of a research paper is change; the quivering meat-bag programming its meat computer. Houses collapse into ash and lava. I could go on. I need to collapse into ash and lava and then come out in Apotheosis. Back home though it was all changed. Dave becoming the Star Child. what a boring universe that entails! I'd hate to have the Secrets handed to me like that. It's like living off someone else's money. Totally counter to the only modern myth left: individuation, however hokey (note: the very definition brings together at least three avenues of my disparate interests).

I just need some reassurance I'm not crazy. But I won't get it. God doesn't exist because we've failed to grab the concept. Same goes for sanity.

Consider: "Science is the tool of the Western mind and with it more doors can be opened than with bare hands. It is part and parcel of our knowledge and obscures our insight only when it holds that the understanding given by it is the only kind there is."

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

The Urban Soup (Part XVI)

It could be something different: it might be the urban coffee cup, or the urban rut in sidewalk; it could be the tree that grew in Brooklyn or the holy shade-light on the urban river; it might be hallucination, wish-fulfillment, therapy, denial, imagination, mythopoiesis, bullshit, time-wasting. But it is in my area, in my world: the knobs in the sidewalk where the rocks weren't crushed hard enough, the neighbourhood cats, the sparrow-clouds eating the holy seeds by the coloured see-through glass of black tea colouring the world an optimistic reddish-brown. It is routes: from dumplings to bars to bookstores to rooms to beds and futons and medians and bus shelters to suicide high-rises to tucked-away streets to soccer TV screens to turrets and rotundas and gas mains and u-joints. From complacent walls to deconstructed sheds to drum vibrations to plants captured on third floors to showers to figurines to totems to skinned raccoons. From pushers so rotten wailing down the waking gibbous moon to Buddhist monks caught in a traffic jam on the highway. From hair slicked back to armpit hair braids. Wines and epiphanies and porches and imams swirl around as little cut-out snippets of god knows what. From Dante's four levels of intepretation to a poster with a bird and a cat. From Jungian archetypal theoorizing to a half-worm wriggling in the plowed soil. Meh: I never liked soup all that much anyway, especially not during the summer.

Consider: "Make your ego porous. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything."

Saturday, July 01, 2006


I'll throw the images out and you can accompany me on the djembe. If we luck out, we can get a pan-flute playing in theb ackground softly. Wait, scratch the pan-flute. Get a clarinet's bass warbling to remind us that as fun as this is, it's all make-believe, and although we assure ourselves there is a reason to get up in the morning, there might as well not be. Don't clap when it's done: snap vociferously.

I see soldiers in half-combat fatigues putting up the new billboard for Tetley's Tea: swaying on the branches, the demoniac red squirrel eyes, red orbs in the green maelstrom. Scarves on the utility pole wrapped around in maypole agony. And where are you, my May Queen in drag? Where are the asphalt serenades, electric interference waves on the instinctively vibrating storm sewers--shots ringing out as they are slammed back into the bar bench and into esophaguses across the asphalt plate floating on a dirty snowball around a fusion plant. I write on wilting yellow roses because it gives me a three-second lead on the world and an opportunity to fuck with causality. May Queen is distilling seawater on the seashore cliffs pealing ringing bells across the Indian Ocean, wailing for Davey Jones' locker. Rheumy bums smiling angular smiles with moon-crater faces--overcoming boundaries and wishing well and hunting through dumpsters, just getting enough luck. Wily contractors dance naked on the rooftops before they are shamed off by the great desert fox using his magic carpet. The moon is now a spiral, and the triangles fractal inwards to the land of inner sight--nobody would mistake this for drug imagery. May Queen waves a feather in the Pride march and thirty old queens mind-grope the idea of her. Scary what the domain of the cloud-mind achieves. Scary piles of occluding bullshit. Losing the strumming pattern, and losing the beat of elemental images. Which are endless, which are repertoire, which are the meal tickets, which are humming arcing electricity, which are the windows on the world from a blind alley, fusion problem solved and handed on a silver platter, five minutes to fame and inevitable mental illness. Swiss cheese brain fights much like fencing matches. Don't touch the plush toys or shiny clockwork--you'll get pregnant.

Consider: "I recall and audience member asking Joseph Campbell, that great student of myth. "Do you believe in God?" "Which one?," he responded, "there have been hundreds of thousands, you know." Immediately, we were transported to a different plane. From the questioner's urgency to fix the god, to define the concept and thereby lessen the psychic distress, we had been reminded that not only are the immortal Ones mortal, but that the God-imagos wax and wane like the moon, except their cycles may be more millennial than monthly."