30 Oct 2010

yggdrasil dream

why do i keep dreaming of you, damnit?
you should be a drop in the bucket
i should be over you
i thought i was

cluttered clusterfuck dream geography
to my left was a tree with little leaves
dark and heavy, drooping like benji
the houseplant, flush with unexpected vitality

an ancient tree, couldn't think back to its youth
seemed as if it had always been there, part of the landscape
seemed as if i'd stopped looking at it, but now i noticed
there were little figs here and there, figs!
when did that happen, figs?
i'd never seen them before and after all this time?
wasn't it fall or early winter in this tree's lifetime
and it had decided to grow figs now? how ridiculous
i hadn’t even known it was a fig tree, and the little green bulbs
looked back at me inscrutably, pathetic fallacies

i looked at the tree and knew the roots went to kansas
in dream geography it seemed plainly logical

so i thought i would send you a letter
in amalgamation of thought and postal service and virtual reality
to ask if you know about the tree, is it true
that the roots really reach to your ground?

blue's clues, silly whimsy
leave it to dreams...

27 Oct 2010

came to believe

dreaming of ayahuasca... dreamed of ayahuasca, rather... no quilt, but some reality... a seasaw... controlled conditions here and there -- even puked the first time, like you're supposed to, but i didn't freak out about it - and it was just the one time... i was at a cabin staying with some friends, some hippie-ish freaky friends that i've never had in real life - we dosed and wandered off separately, around a campground, reconvened at the cabin, compared notes

still within the dream was the context of my new paradigm apathy toward psychedelics - i recognized this, but felt rejuvenated all the same, like hey, there's something to this, after all, you know, something grand and pure and beautiful and terrible, that i took a wide detour around by "graduating" to narcotics - there's something sometimes okay with reverting to a babbling drooling infant in the face of pixies that will sing you iridescent songs while they tear you apart with their jeweled steel jaws

i did it a second time, hoping for even more hallucinations - so they poured me the extra strong tea - and i gulped it all down - and a feeling came over me, a dis-ease, that reminded me of the times, as a child, when i'd be playing with my friends, and we'd be doing something daring, like swimming in the chilly may lakewaters, or adventuring in the snow on the coldest day of january, and we'd be pumped up and hardcore, and egg each other on to do more, and some of my thicker-skinned friends would be going back out to the wilderness for more "fun" after a brief and soothing respite from the elements - and i'd be sitting there on the beach dreading the moment that one of them would call to me, hey you sissy, aren't you coming out with us again? and the inevitable call would come, and i'd say, nah, i'm done, i've had enough fun for now, and then i'd resent my "friends", okay, friends, whatever, operational definitions, and think, christ, didn't i do enough, enduring the cold for as long as i did? doesn't ten minutes for me count for like sixty for normal people? but apparently not

but it was too late to go back, this was the plunge that you take without a parachute - so i tried not to worry too much, utterly failing, and this feedback loop of paranoia seemed to start bringing the trip on way way premature, like the walls were already breathing - and it was then i thought, DAMNIT, why did i scarf down BOTH of those tasty ham and cheese wraps just ten minutes ago? and what else did i eat before that without thinking? i was gonna take AYAHUASCA, which i did, and now i'm gonna be puking up god knows what god knows when? and i didn't even think about the mono amine oxidase inhibitor restrictions that could turn me into hypertension boy for as long as my heart's beating at least, fuck, did i eat any blue cheese? christ, can't remember, can't think, thoughts are moving, moving pictures...

then there was the spinning wheel ride, but i'm too tired to try and recall that right now...

25 Oct 2010

pluck luck

pluck up, buck up
give a fuck about a fuck up
this is as close to heroism as you'll ever get

fake it til you make it
trust you'll make it some day
today pluck is luck, the only way

you're an artist, self-indulgent with your heart on target
and your only chance for greatness is conveying the chaos
(and bonus points for making a way out of that)

i know it's so hard to express when it counts
and you're not much for hard when your energy's low
but a little effort goes a long way, you can't imagine
quasi-battery, just trust me

steel yourself to setbacks now
brace yourself, thicken skin
and get a few licks in before they kick your teeth in
bleed on the floor as you crawl through the door

control won’t end up in a noose
cause you got enough balance to stand on your feet
maybe you didn't wobble well at all
maybe that's not your forte, hey?

it's an artistic crutch to talk to yourself
bloodlet expression through direct messaging
(limp writing might appeal to rehab rubberneckers)

maybe later you'll develop a philosophy
that eschews responsibility
until then, express like it's a duty

sometimes it must be said like a nursery rhyme
sometimes you gotta lull yourself awake
sometimes you gotta march to the beat of that drummer
who created the groove you sang to
that became a song about a revolution
the soundtrack to the daily death-march
down carbon monoxide road, to the youthea camp kosang

there's more horizons than you see, in waking life
so keep the dream journal
if you could only shake off the morning malaise
and rise to the call of the faintest hint of energy
you could put the fakery away, some day

20 Oct 2010

down to a sentence

all my ducks are in a row and i don't give a damn
they couldn't be straighter and i couldn't care less

oh, i shoulda fucked oh what's her name?
should have shagged and tagged her
STD a claim to fame

heaven's little pinwheel spinning mid-air above the sidewalk
up the winding road past warfield, under the gray sky
themes evaporate to dreams
meaning melds into a skeleton key for a fretboard

discipline i out of the system
and streamline ego pistons
stopped engine stepping stone to a sunken passageway

the shadow's mind is chewing
on a problem like the well-intentioned over-corrective
reflex of the immune system, foaming over with excess
a phonebook in a dream, gear i left
in a mountain crevice above trail, candy and money
and a car tangled in a cable

19 Oct 2010

nature of necrophilia

more meaning now than ever in confusion and noise

this sorry state of surreal
patheticism, a state of pitifulality
next to sacredity
low down pettiness
next to cleanliness in its purity of foolishness
something that would seem sublime if connoted
from a system of hypnogogic recall
this sorry state
i'll call my nature

nature means so much now
as a way of distinguishing from artificial
an operational dichotomy, this exhausting jangle of artificial shards
is my nature, there you go, a metric conversion, a sum

let there be more sweat-slathered daysleep
let, nevermind the blood, i won't go there again
just haze it out in delirium shy of disturbance
opaguerated opinions

what the fuck? why won't the page lounge?
i won't put this or that in context, don't feel like playing the blame game
it's okay, i don't expect anyone to throw rocks from their glass trailers

this is such a base haze, but it's got curly-cues that intellectuals
would call pseudo-clever, but they're good enough for me, they're my
style, when i can savor the filth and decay, the kinetic energy of
degeneration, the expansion of diffusion, that's my economy

i need escape, it'll have to be poetry, everything will have to be
this well of bloodless sweaty skin-flakes

narcotized on nothing with no narcotics
not numb to the nothing
i could see a trip in this
could vaguely imagine one
trying to hallucinate hallucinations

weak snap

this is the oldest the universe has ever been
this is the last day of the preceding portion of my life

this would seem more worthy of posting
if i was high, or even low shortly after being high
it would seem to be the fitting denouement following the crescendo
of a well-crafted music video

still, words can be company
even when they’re dead
my sub-hallucinogenic imagination
can sort of animate them

i'm breaking free of context
can't stress enough how confining that's been
goddamn motherfucking crushing context
could barely breathe

how about the donut tree instead?
or instead of instead, in its stead
the donut tree? houses
one of the later blackouts of my botched
return to nelson... my thoughts are necrophilic
even my precious subconscious is living off toxic substrate
the only salvation is in words, sans context, that's all, just gotta write
for no reason, no crowd pleasing

i might kick the rotten wood off a fence post
as per my nature, really, it's in the taxonomy, within the fine print
rarely-expressed rage, the basis of which is... i wouldn't presume to say

when i shut my eyes, and writhe a bit the thoughts will turn to jelly
the neurotransmitters will run out of them, leaving weak soup
the frustrated emotion will remain
leading to another spike of rage, then a long slow descent
to slothful malcontent, then a quarter sleep, then as much as a half-sleep
maybe the hint of unnoticed hypnogogia, void-willing, oh i believe in the void
yes i do, i pray to the void, i think it can help me if anything can

13 Oct 2010

down to a science

blank shooting gallery
shell casings over frozen ground as far as eyes can see
still, it's a thrill, a desolate thrill
echoes far as ears can hear
such ugly echoes from natural beauty, natural
beauty with natural cosmetics
the human animal lenscrafter cast self portrait
my heroine, the image counts as natural i say
seems to feel natural to me
ugly cackling echoes, ruined soul reverb, but it could be worse
yes there's worse things than the ruination of soul, cause
bullshit makes the flowers grow and that's beautiful, princess
play some beautiful dreamy music der prince...

so beautiful you want to kill yourself, just end the torturous frustration
and skip straight to consummation, or death, liberty or fate, either way
but straight, no chaser

gratification down to a science
the climate is under control, calculated, frozen, the optimal temperature
my appliances read my mind while i read theirs, it's a monologue

it hasn't put a dent in the OCD fingers
they still probe for what, i dunno, lost soul?
i never even got a good hit out of whatever that was
just chasing the ideal of a rush that never existed or will exist
it has all become a binge mentality but there are worse things than that
and there might be infinitely better things too, like regular life, except
you're ten feet off the ground, maybe i should buy a pair of stilts
and mustache wax, and rogaine, and then i can do cocaine
and feel alright about it, but until then, tundra beckons
me to the horizon, dragging behind me an ever-growing
array of scientific instruments

7 Oct 2010

The world is everything that is the case.

Gustav Mahler and THC are a good combination but I won't say why. Can't be bothered. You'll just have to take it on faith that I'm right, the same way I take it on faith that when I said that years ago, while pleasantly cannabinated, there was a reason. It was something about the THC freeing me from my thoughts. The thoughts kept me on a low frequency. But there was something under the eyelids, running through the blood, coded in the body, that was beyond thought. The THC trance let me slip behind thoughts, unnoticed, so, sensation. There I could soak in more sensory detail than when consumed with thoughts, and I would trip on that detail with more detailed thoughts, and become consumed with those. Okay, I guess I can be bothered.

This feedback loop did a lot to music, but there was something about Mahler's in particular that was like kindling for a fire. Especially in the case of a freshly cracked-open mind, there was synergy. As I pretend to remember, with the trance in effect I could break through that obnoxious edifice of german romantic affectation - to savour the meta-musical motivations on the other side, the Gustav gravy.

One of the first times I ever got stoned - and it was from two or three pot cookies no less - I was listening to a Mahler symphony, the first maybe, and writing writing writing till my wrist was sore, then writing some more, and actually feeling what I was supposed to feel from it, what I'd felt inadequate about not feeling before, that this music contained a world - and I was living there, not here.

Now my world contains everything, even Mahler's music, neatly digitalized and categorized. Everything's been made case sensitive, it's either this or THAT – it’s just how things are. I can distract myself by thinking of possibilities, states of affairs that should be, that would make the world a nicer place for me, but that grows tiring, and why bother, cause really, there's just this world. Case closed.

The world is everything that is the case. So said Wittgenstein, like it meant anything. Like everything followed from that.

Accordingly, I exist. Well, I'm starting to believe it now, if I remember anything that's real. Wouldn't say I feel it. I feel about as real as a can of Coca Cola Classic. That's about right. But I can believe in things that I can't feel, right? Like electromagnetic fields. Or the suffering that is beyond the spectrum of normal human experience, that presumably happens when circumstances trigger an organism with a highly developed nervous system to alert its central processing unit to mortal danger - danger that is, in this hypothetical circumstance, unavoidable. Too late - C3PO forgot to shut down the garbage mashers on the detention level. So yes, you're being crushed and it hurts beyond all reason, and the only thing that ever came close was the nightmare of eternal tickle torture trap, and yes, we know there's nothing that can be done to escape the garbage masher, so all this pain is redundant information - but we can't re-wire a million years of evolution in 30 seconds. Just be glad that your highly developed, or at least moderately developed nervous system will be shorting out in 30 seconds. If it's not even moderately developed, well god bless you, you probably won't give a damn anyway.

Yes, you, I'm talking to you. I can't go so far as to believe in your suffering, not only have I not felt it, but I think you probably need more than a few million neurons to rub together before suffering like that can be felt. You might as well be clay to me, you're like Gumby, except you're not cute and anthropomorphic, you're Grungy. You're a substance, you're scum. Not that there's anything wrong with that, everything in its right place. Maybe you're spongy grunge, and you'll even survive the garbage compactor, that's a perk of not really feeling much, I figure.

So why do I worry about these creatures I say are "presumably" living on this planet with me, these living creatures, ones I can lose seconds of sleep over killing, because they're pests, or I'm hungry, seconds, but not nights, nowhere close to that - who do I worry? If they don't even have moderately developed nervous systems. Well because... what if they do have that? What if they're developed enough? How the hell would I know? It's worrisome - being complicit in a system that blithely slaughters and tortures anything that's other, if it's convenient to do so - even organisms we wouldn't pronounize with "it", but rather "he", or "she", like animals with genitals that walk and squawk, but don't really feel, presumably.

Basically, if we're picking our nose, or jerking off, or whatever, and there's a creature with eyes, staring at us, and we don't feel embarrassed, or really care that this creature is there, then unless it's our mother, or doctor, or significant other, it's fair game, to be eaten, or experimented on, or whatever. It doesn't really count. By some inscrutable calculation, it's deemed not to be on the complicated neurological level where suffering matters, so why should we burden ourselves with concern? And concern would be a burden too great to even imagine. I mean, if we could start from scratch we'd have a good start at being saints, or at least noble savages, but going from here to there means admitting that business as usual is comfort, and able - and luxury needs and breeds blood.

In this vicinity is also the solution to the problem of solipsism. It actually worked for me! Imagine that - thinking my way out of a philosophical problem with ethical ramifications - well, Sartre helped.

Not that it was really a problem, though it's caused me worry. Cause I always felt that other people were real. It just felt right, like a can of Coca Cola Classic. But I always wondered, on what basis could I believe it was true? I couldn't really think of one. I was stuck in my head, though I'd deal with people as honorary minds, on a pragmatic level. No reason not to.

Then it was explained to me what I'd intuited all the time, which was that it makes sense to extrapolate from my own experience. I can, and do, believe in my own existence, insofar as those words have any meaning. I can feel it. Dasein, I'll say, since I'm quoting existentialists today. So, as I observe myself and feel myself act and re-act to life, I attribute values to things, most crassly in pleasure and pain. I can observe others doing what seems to be the same, more or less. I can observe them with all my senses. But I can't feel them. Not like I feel myself. Still, by extrapolation, it's not hard to imagine them as thinking feeling beings like me, given their behavior, particularly in response to suffering and joy. And I'm not talking about a narrow range of observable behavior like you get with studies of rats and monkeys. I'm talking about a hugely nuanced and sophisticated palate of behavior, colored and shaded and mutated and facilitated by language that I share in. More or less.

That's enough I guess, though unsatisfying in a way that even love can't cure. I have loved, even romantically, and hopefully I will again one day, and back in those glowy glory days, I felt others in a way that still wasn't feeling inside their minds, the dasein of their experience, but I could feel their touch - and their contours, tactile tips stretched out for me and only me, of all the others in the world, that was quite something, enough to make me a believer. Cause I'm not so different. I may have been born on Altair-4 but I'm feeling more human every day, for better or worse, mostly worse, though I haven't died in a car wreck yet. I wasn't born yesterday, I've had at least a week on this planet, enough to learn some of the conventions for fast-moving city traffic. And when I observe the functions of these earthlings, I find that they're mostly consistent with my patterns.

Mostly consistent...

Yes, it's the crack in consistency that's so fascinating! How the deviations in their behavioral patterns, implying still more perverse deviations in their thinking, make me feel like I'm from an alien homeworld. Sometimes I call it Altair-4, a little private joke. In some ways I deviate so radically from everybody that I don't want to consider them real. And sometimes I hurt so much and life seems so hard, that I want to think I'm a special case, and my level of suffering is off the charts, and the rest of the world, they don't really feel as deep as I do, and that's how they can function so well, and be so much better than I am.

But everyone's a little weird to everyone else I guess. Some are a lot weird. And it pains me to think this, but it's probably true, that my suffering is nothing special. I think Rob Wright, or whoever wrote the lines to that Nomeansno song, once felt exactly as I do, when he sang: "It's hard enough - hard enough - just to survive, just to be alive." So often, everything feels so heavy, like someone turned up the gravity, and there's so much I know I should be doing, but what to do first, and the first thing is the hardest thing, and anything is like moving a mountain, and what's the point anyway, what good will come of it? The only good that ever seems to come is accidental and unpredictable and gone before you know what hit you. You can only look back and think, shit, how did that happen? That was awesome, how can I make that happen again? Let's see, I did this, and that, so I'll just try that again, but, fuck, why didn't it work? Goddamn gravity, it's 2010, where's my jetpack? I think somebody did turn up the gravity, and when the gravity's on high, things are so so goddamn serious, and it's not like I want to be a queen, but I'm stuck in this costume drama, they locked the playhouse doors. And when that happens I try to make gallows humour of it, and turn the script into a farce for my own amusement, but I always somehow skip the gleeful cynic stage and bottom out to dry meaninglessness - it meant so so much, too much, a minute ago, then somehow instantly inverted to no meaning at all, that undead feeling like someone scooped out my brain and I'm just sleepwalking through life for no purpose.

But I'm not that special charity case. The world is full of cases. Things that are the case. Is it the case that I would think these same thoughts if I felt differently, physically, and how much differently would I have to be wired neurologically? And what if you took that neurological structure and planted it in a different body, one of these other creatures I presume to be real? What would I feel? What thoughts would that drive me to? how much different would it be? That question fascinates me. But it's not as interesting when I'm "planting my neurological structure" in another body. But I said that cause I'm trying not to be straight up Cartesian, and be dualistic about mind and body, cause that's obsolete so I hear, even if the mind-body problem still exists. But say you just take my experience, my dasein, puree it nice and smooth in a blend-tec blender and funnel it into someone else's brain - what the fuck would that be like? I want to know, not that I ever will. On what grounds can I say to someone, stop your whining, this is nothing, or you know nothing, or all the things I usually don't say, but think instinctively.

I don't know. But it was a whammy for me, to have a reason to believe in others. I had to re-invent the wheel, for myself. I'll re-invent a thousand more wheels before I'm through, surely. So, I make the leap of faith to other humans, as existing, and deserving the rights and privileges of beings on a level of neurological complexity comparable to my own. Complexity = feeling, which seems like a crude calculation, like I must be missing something, but it's the best I'm willing to offer, excepting philosophical asides on these issues - cause I live in a jungle with pests and tasty flesh and I can't be arsed to be a vegan. When I'm licking the MSG-laced residue off a bowl of instant noodles I've just drained, and my cousin bursts through my bedroom door, I feel in that instant that his existence can't be trivialized away. If he was just an illusion, a projection of my mind and nothing else, why would I be embarrassed under his gaze? Even though he's just a kid and gives even less of a shit about etiquette than I do, I still extrapolate to his perception of me, and see myself through an external other's eyes, and feel chagrined at what I must look like, licking up the noodle residue like a pig in a slop bucket. My cousin is on this level, of perceiving that, or at least the potential is there, and the potential of a vast spectrum of experience that we can share in. I know this and feel it.

That's how I get out of the problem of solipsism, and also how, come to think of it, I can live with myself, for being complicit in the global industrial meat-grinder - by that I mean, the system that has such little respect for life, other than narrowly defined conceptions of selectively sanctified human life, that differ from culture to culture. I can't reach out and feel a neurological sophistication that I relate to in the creature that looks back at me before a baffled series of sniffs, what is this thing, will it harm me, does it have food? If it's a cat, I think it's cute and pet it, and imagine it takes comfort in my presence as I indulge pathetic fallacies. What I observe is obviously a neurological structure in the case of most animals, but the level of complexity seems to matter. Gives my moral code some flexibility. A lot actually. But that's so convenient. I get to think cats are cute and cuddly, and thus, more worthy.

Man, I can't believe it took me this many words to get here. And now that I have, the point has slipped out of my grasp, I haven't really solved anything, for me. I relate to humans by extrapolation, generally. I relate to other creatures differently, in ways ranging from cuddling them, to buying their frozen carcasses at the supermarket, to spraying them with raid, to being blissfully unaware of their existence, or perhaps miserably unaware, if there are, say, trans-dimensional beings of energy who would be happy to enlighten me to an exponentially more harmonious existence if only I would be open to their reality. But if I try and extrapolate to the other creatures that I callously write off as non neurologically sophisticated, I arrive at... what exactly? I thought I had an answer to this that would fit into some kind of scheme, but, what do I arrive at? I can only extrapolate in a negative way, well, I'm this, they're not this - a certain amount of common ground can be guessed at, if we both have a nervous system then we both feel pain probably, but how do you perceive pain, etc. etc, fuck, I gotta put this post down.

Anyway, this is nothing like a justification. I'm still not comfortable with my place in the system. It troubles me. I can only come up with post-hoc arguments for intuitions that feed my addictions, to food, fuel, comfort, technology, digital media. The intuitions that don't feed those addictions? Well, at least I have them. I lose seconds of sleep over them, minutes, sometimes hours. Good thing I still have a few hits of trazodone left.

1 Oct 2010

one of us

over caffeinated, under motivated
lying in bed doing nothing

if i just wait
and wait and wait
one of us will do something great
one node in my network
a person i’m allowed to call my peer
will reflect well on me
as a minor participant
in a scene that created greatness

it hasn’t happened yet, but eventually i’ll have known someone
who went on to do great things
and this will fill me with the feeling
that i could do great things too, a statistical certainty

not really, won’t happen to my people
the ones i’m allowed to know
because anyone who’s anyone
is in high society, not my society
not someone i’m allowed to know
even tangentially

so maybe someone who’s someone will make it to semi-greatness
maybe i’ll hear of someone i sort of knew, on the news
who did something noteworthy
and this person will be, at most, an aloof acquaintance

the rich are the good, and the good are the rich
in master morality, the only one that counts
seven figures, that's the new rich
three figures, that's the new poor

bargaining power, that's what determines worth
i'll trade peace of mind for pocket change
you give me your change
and i’ll carry your guilt in return