Wednesday, May 25, 2011

... more of a "texting"

(Rachel and a stray salty dog)

Last night I dreamt that I was at Burning Man.  It was great, free sex and psychedelic dream drugs, until I lost my phone and somebody started singing "Every Rose Has Its Thorn".... Now, as dreams go, I have no way of knowing why I had my phone with me at Burning Man or why a Poison song drifted through my Dreaming Man experience, but there you have it.  Life is a mystery.

I eventually found my phone in the dream but it was only after checking 4 or 5 that I had found on the ground near where we were all hanging out. It was a camp with very plush theater style seating, designed in couches.  The bar was still open and the sun had come up.  We were having cocktails, chatting.  

Then I woke up.  It turns out that I had not been on psychedelic drugs at all, and as for the sex, well... she was still sleeping.

I yearn to go to the beach again.  It has been a while.  I miss it much more than I would have ever thought that I might ever admit to. But I do.  When I lived in Florida I was not one of those people who worshipped the beach.  I loved it, but I didn't ever consider getting a wave tattooed on my chest or anything.  I don't have any tattoos.  Perhaps that's why I write this blog.  I'm trying to fill the empty spaces on my body with ink.

For me writing was never a "calling", it ended up being much more of a "texting."  It happened later in life and in an abbreviated form; though I was able to reach my friends relatively easily with it, digitally.  The people who attack texting (and Facebook) strike me as the type people that probably can't write poems very well, or shouldn't try to.  All you have to do is focus and compress what you're trying to say. If you can do so somewhat artfully then it's fun, especially if your friends are literate or have a sense of humor. 

That's all I was ever saying:  Laugh a little. Though I wasn't laughing much when I said it.  I am now.

I mean... I was having psychedelic pseudo-orgies all through the night on an abandoned lakebed high in the mountains last night with thousands of people all around.  That's funny, right?


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fright - n. A sudden intense feeling of fear

There is no end to it.  I know that I have prattled on uselessly about this subject in the past, but I can think of no other thing to write about today. 

The subject demands that I write about it, and it only.

I sit here in my apartment where cars and trucks have all day either driven by or pulled up in front of my apartment building and, for one reason or another, honked their horns.  Some in short electric bursts, others in long wailing unmet demands. All with the same unexpected startling effect.

There simply is no reasonable response that an average person can have to the mind-bolting sound.  No matter whether you are just a pedestrian trying to walk along the street or just a normal man trying to relax and take a nap, or read, in your own apartment.... you are the victim of constant (albeit minor) moments of terror.  

Perhaps terror is too strong a word in this crazed age. 
Fright. Fright is a better word for it.

The horns require response but there is no adequate way for the world at large to respond, and no way to cease the assaulting noise. I wish that a car kept track of how many times the horn had been used and the driver would be taxed accordingly.  It should not be a right or a freedom to make people feel this way. You should be granted a certain number of uses, as would be expected, but then beyond that they're $20 each. This money then goes into a fund that is somehow used to just slightly electrocute the very same people that have been using their horns, when they least expect it.  

This same method could be used with car alarms and obnoxiously loud music being played out of cell phones in public places.  

This post should either be used to immediately grant me the powers of dictatorship, or forever prevent me from assuming them.

Either way, I don't care.  I am your friend.

But I do promise to quiet the world from the unnecessary noise generated by the enemies of peace...

My first act of state would be to question the "cruelty" of beheadings.  I would immediately launch a study to find a way to humanely keep them from screaming as the blade drops, all for the collective sake of peace-and-quiet, the silent struggle.

Perhaps I would use that as my campaign slogan: "As much peace and quiet as any of us can speechlessly stand...."

No, not that.  I am just prepared to give up. I just want to hang a white sheet out my apartment window in defeat, in surrender... begging the world to please let me hide in relative peace. 

"I formally request amnesty, clemency, political asylum, citizenship, and some Xanax. I want to be an American citizen."


Monday, May 23, 2011

Mortal Combat

I am skeptical of most things. It is perhaps the source of some of my anxiety.

I am specifically skeptical of much of what is presented as a pseudo-anything.  The sort of easy fill-in-the-blank belief systems that particularly thrive in pockets of affluent capitalist culture, and especially ones that also claim some vague lineage back through time and space to the far mystical East.

My skepticism of this sort of thing is well known yet also somewhat contained by my wife's enthusiasm for yoga.

I have a friend who is a yoga / reiki practitioner here in New York.  He offered to have me come over and focus on some grounding techniques to help with the anxiety I've been having.  I took him up on the offer.

Before I go on any further I do feel that a brief explanation of my general thoughts on this stuff is in order. In these situations I am at all times deeply tempted with the desire to face the other person in a mildly aggressive pose and then say, "Bow to your Sensei! BOW TO YOUR SENSEI...!!!" Then I would assume a mock karate stance and whisper, "Mortal Kombat..." and start doing the victory dance while humming the theme tune.  Either that or chanting "wax on, wax off" with one leg balanced in the air, Karate Kid style.

It is easy to see why I have problems, no?

But this experience went a different direction.  

We started with some basic yoga positions, all of which I am patently incapable of assuming.  Within minutes my heart is racing, I've lost all sense of my breath other than me desperately gulping for more of it, and I am about to fall over while crying out for help and mercy.  This is why I don't go to yoga studios and embarrass myself in front of roomfuls of beautifully shaped women who look like gazelles in slow-motion, come to life in poetic female concert form.

Every time I go to a yoga class I feel like National Geographic should be there filming it.  I just stand there looking around, astonished, hoping I'm not in the shot.

Yoga classes are a rare public shame that I generally do not grant myself, etc.

But again, my friend was patient with me. Having a basic understanding of my limitations in flexibility forced him to start off very slow.  With individual attention he was quickly able to focus in on areas where I needed help most.   Many yoga poses do not come natural to me. In fact, none do.  Standing with arms akimbo barely comes natural to me. As soon as I begin to think about standing I can feel my mind start to uncomfortably adjust my position. I will shift from foot to foot and put my hand in my pocket and check my cell phone to make sure that time hasn't stopped. Once I've confirmed that time is progressing along pretty much as it should be then I'll go back to not knowing how to stand, and wishing I could leave.

So I represent a challenge when it comes to yoga.  Once I have finally assumed a position then I have forgotten to breathe, or how to, and once I respond to his instruction to "breathe without catching your breath" then I will lose my balance.  If I don't fall over then I have already opened my eyes to clumsily regain my balance just at the moment when I'm supposed to be feeling the energy flow from one spot to another.  

It is a very rare moment during yoga that I ever feel "composed."  

..... "Breathe out and then hold for a pause before breathing in again."

... "Breathe out and then hold for a pause before breathing in again."

In time I could feel a sense of focus slowly coming to me. I could discern where the pressure was supposed to be on my feet, where the line runs through my body from one point to another, stretching strange parts of my physique that had, up until this point, only been used in car accidents.  Yes, I was sweating, and still not getting the breathing as smoothly as I would have liked, but when instructed to loosen a pose and sway from side to side I could feel various parts release and then respond to the positions.  I could feel myself, my body, slowly becoming more aware, more alive.

But let's not get too far ahead of ourselves.  My favorite moments during yoga are still when I'm allowed to release the position. Not as I am getting into the position.  And certainly not when I am being instructed to improve the position towards anything that actually resembles the pose in any of the time honored understandings of them as passed down from century to century.  The goal of yoga is tranquility and I still feel the most tranquil when I'm allowed to relieve the position, not as I am trying to distort my body towards it.  

Spiritual insight is still a long way off...

But just as it was getting to the point where I was soaked in sweat, my breathing was becoming erratic, and my poses were failing in increasingly entertaining ways... my friend decided to change the focus completely. He arranged pillows in such a manner that I was to rest my abdomen and head with my legs tucked under themselves.  It is difficult to explain but it was a very restful position after all that I had endured.  Then after a few moments of relaxed preparation he placed his hands on the top of my head and held them there for a while. Then he moved to the back of my head, my neck, my back and in this fashion very slowly and patiently moved to where the bottom of my feet were facing upwards.  It was the closest that I have felt to being in a hypnotic state in many, many years. It was as if I was meditating in an almost fetal position, but face down rather than sitting up.  

It was a wholly pleasant experience.  For a floating moment I felt as if I was no longer in New York.  I wasn't really anywhere any more, just drifting towards unconsciousness, but without ever going entirely into the darkness of sleep, and also without the jangled concerns that sometimes meet me there and drag me back into the neurotic halogen-lit labyrinthine halls of my mind.  My awareness of my crazed surroundings just slowly faded and dimmed to a comfortable and pleasing level.  I even ceased being aware of my own voice inside my head. All things, even the focus on my breathing, just drifted away from me and I was suspended there at some quiet center of myself.

During this state a garbage truck pulled up outside and performed its regular functions, dragging me back from simple serenity by a few gear notches.  I never quite fully recovered from that moment until the end of our session, but at least I briefly got to that place. That unfamiliar zone where my normal concerns were not gnawing at me like meth-bred amphibious rodents, trained by the Team 6 Seal Squadron, specializing in my undoing.

My friend promised to work with me more. 

He said that I need to get out of my head, that I am too wrapped up in what's going on in my thoughts.  I need to focus on my body and my spirit more.

He is, of course, quite right.

The lesson:  Never forget to take time out to smell the lavender... 


The upshot of labor

I have always been the primary accomplice in the collaborative effort to plot my own destruction. 

Hardly ever before has there been such an efficient inside job

The only role in the plot that it never occurred to me to assume was that of the getaway driver.

It is astonishing what a little nightly sleep will do.  

Each precious hour gets mutilated; month after month, year after year. I watch the moments of my life drift away in ever increasingly colossal units, slave to a purpose neither my own nor from above.  

I might have instead built a great pyramid or a new Parthenon by now... If only I had been born in Egypt, or Memphis, or Nashville.

Then... one day you get news that you will be getting much, if not all of it, back.

It's like finding out that you've got a lifetime's worth of tax returns waiting to be claimed. They're processing it now and you should be getting a check in a couple months.  It's so much money they might have to break it up into two checks, for tax reasons.

They wouldn't want to bump me into a higher bracket.


Sunday, May 22, 2011

Meet me Jesus, meet me in the air....

Facebook sure is a silly thing to consider; or even worse, to consider at length its detractors. The rapture took most of my "friends" anyway. 

This morning I woke up and stayed in bed watching cartoons until I mobilized enough strength to make some coffee and now I sit here at my computer listening to some new-soul, Raphael Saadiq.

That's the way to live, not the other way.

I think I'm just going to smoke some pot today and read poetry on the couch.  I rarely smoke pot, when I do I prefer to be mostly alone. Otherwise I am reduced to a babbling mound of nonsensical yammering.  I don't mind being in that state in front of my wife but with others it is not permissible. Well, I suppose I better check with her before I reduce myself to that. She might have other plans for me today. Plans that don't include me being useless.

I was going to try to find a way of including the word "vomitorium" in today's post but I have abandoned the idea as being not worth it. This is what happens when you spend too much time thinking about what you're going to write rather than just writing it, I guess.  I was chatting with an enthusiastic sufferer of this site yesterday and the word came up as we were discussing front lawn decorations that my wife and I might have once we have a yard in Sonoma. Full-Size Roman Statues were the first and only thing we could think of, or agree upon, for the front yard. So inevitably the discussion shifted to the backyard where a moderately sized amphitheater with either a central vomitorium or two smaller ones to function as corner exits became the natural course of the conversation, naturally.


Saturday, May 21, 2011


(My favorite Facebook profile pic)

I have tried not to dwell on this Facebook thing too much. I have also tried not to be put in the position of defending Facebook. But I have a friend, who has other friends, that have made it a hobby of theirs to denounce Facebook.  For me, it's like the guy who attacked the nutritional value of McDonald's food, "Super Size Me."  It wasn't really necessary, was it?  Nobody ever thought that McDonald's was actually health food. But he went ahead and made a movie about it as if some imaginary group of people needed to be refuted.

It is their similar imaginary duty to denounce anybody who uses Facebook.

So, my friend (not a Facebook "friend", but an actual friend, from real life) is a college professor.  He is a very bright guy and I respect many of his opinions on various subjects.  We've been friends for a long time though and, as is natural, over the years I have become increasingly suspicious of some of his opinions, if not many.  He served as a mentor of sorts for several years and as part of that relationship the student is expected to challenge the mentor from time to time. We have done that between our blogs as well as in email, on the phone, and in person.  It is mostly a friendly sort of thing. But the vitality of our respective abilities to think and articulate ideas is vaguely at stake. So sometimes we take it quite seriously.  Though we are equally clement in our resolutions. 

In our discourse he somewhat playfully said that it's not so much that he doesn't like Facebook it's just embarrassing that he has a friend that does.  Again, I won't defend Facebook.  I wouldn't.  I don't "like" it the way that he claims. I find it to be silly and a vast reservoir of semi-illiterate democratic thought. But he and his colleagues, many of  them likewise bright college professors, feel the need to let it be known that Facebook represents an insipid cultural evil.  In their mildly misanthropic approach to the subject they must assume the position of cultural critic. That is what the expectation of them is and they trot out their anti-it dogma with predictable regularity. 

A quick aside:

Many of you might not remember who Tipper Gore was.  I mean, before she became famous for being the wife of Al Gore when he was the Vice President of the United States and subsequently the recipient of The Nobel Peace Prize.  Back in the 80's she started an action group, I guess that's what you'd call it, that had the intention of labeling music with warnings for parents to let them know when there was dangerous content or offensive language in music, targeting heavy metal and rap mostly.  So she went screeching her Christian credo across the airwaves of the nation drumming up support for her censorship cause.  

See, when you obscure the album artwork of an artist with a warning label you are blocking part of the message of the artist with a form of censorship. That's precisely what she accomplished. It is a notch in her belt and one that she is apparently quite proud of.  But it was this crazed fear of hers, and others like her, that the world was quickly heading into the lake of fire and she'd be damned if she was going to stand by and do nothing about it.  There were bongs and dildos penetrating our youth culture through music. Christ's love alone would vanquish these double-sided threats to our children.

These college professors who insist on denouncing Facebook remind me of her a little bit.  Not that they want to censor Facebook, as far as I know, but more in their absurd hysteria of response.  These are the same people who attacked video games upon their emergence, and will likewise attack every other thing that young people regularly enjoy that they do not. I don't play video games and I have little interest in the minds of those who do.  But I leave it at that, pretty much.

I have heard the variety of attacks to Facebook: Why don't these people just go outside their houses?  But why don't they just read a book instead? But most of these people can't even write! It's just so insipid how you're only given the option to "Like" things... 

In short: people do leave their houses, some of them do read books, most people learn to write through practice, and if you dislike something on Facebook you are not prevented from using language to express that sentiment.

The English language is dynamic and can be used both conversely and accordingly, simultaneously. This is evidenced daily on Facebook by many of my brighter "friends" there.  These college professors seem to have forgotten the range of language, and its many uses. These are people that read books about how "texting" is the biggest threat to Shakespeare that has emerged since George Bernard Shaw.  It leaves me with the feeling that their particular brand of "wit" is not valued and revered as immediately as they might hope in an environment like Facebook, so they sulk.... surly cerebrals they.....  

It's as if their lengthy unstated demands have not been met yet and this is cause for the communal celebration of the black mass.

Make no mistake about it... these are people that are accustomed to being heard. It is their job to do so, with authority. When they are in an environment where it is they themselves that must generate the differentiating conversational factors then they start screaming, "Burn the Witches!"

But they're never content to leave it alone there.  Ever.  They give Facebook far more credit than it deserves and then demonize that imaginary power that they've invented. The monster makers. The Tipper Gores.

Well, that's a mild exaggeration. But many of them define themselves through negation. It is the process by which they make themselves known; through their dislikes and various disapproval. As there is no "Dislike" button in Facebook they are left with no alternative but to whine from a distance. They would criticize a "Dislike" button as well, of course. But it is what they seemingly long for. A way to define themselves through negation that doesn't require the intellectual effort of using the English language. It must strike them as unfair that people can "Like" something with so little effort, and they are not able to "Dislike" as an alternative balancing force to the universe.  They have forgotten that this is the way the world works. Nobody ever needs to explain to anybody why they might like The Captain and Tennille. The burden falls on the shoulders of those who would  explain the "unworthiness of preference" that such a thing might embody. 

This burden sometimes requires inventive language.  Facebook encourages a brevity in language but not necessarily a brevity in thought.  Yes, it is sometimes difficult to spark an interesting conversation there, just as it is in real life.  Again, the burden falls on the individual.  But likewise the most unexpected dialogues occasionally occur, born of bright thought and subtle humor. 

Some people's wit on Facebook has made me re-evaluate them entirely and I have grown to like their friendship.... (No " " needed there).

Mostly Facebook is boring, I'll agree. But there are times when it is funny and I find things there that make me giggle, harmlessly.    

Another of their "big" criticisms of Facebook seems to revolve around its similarities to a "high-school reunion."

Just so that they'll know for future reference: you needn't accept any invitation you have no interest in. So in that way it is "just like a high-school reunion."  What bothers them most is that people from their past still maintain some sort of interest in keeping in touch with them, and this creates a ripple in the universe so that they will be trapped in an unhappy imaginary high-school dance from here until the end of eternity just by jumping onboard that "friend" ship....

They imagine Facebook to be an exclusive component of the past because past relationships are recognized there.  Any reader who has made it this far can see the fault of this thinking without need for further explanation.

I'm running out of precious time that I could be spending on social networking sites....

Back to my friend, the professor.  His responses to me center around an imaginary world that I live in on Facebook where all is good, and all people are my friends, and I am loved universally and equally, at the center of an outpouring of eternal online affection, etc., etc.  

In this illusory land I am drugged by the "Like" of others.  

It is his friendly critiques alone that might save me from this world of insipid haze.

I mean, he's my "friend" he must be right, right?


Friday, May 20, 2011

Participation is not a requirement...

(Erwin Olaf, Paradise Portrait)

So, I've been sitting here talking to a few friends on my cell phone. You know... that way that people used to communicate before Facebook, but long after emails and letter-writing? 

I've tried to figure out why Facebook is such an unspeakable affront to some people. It's beyond me.  Sure it's not a place for detailed or in-depth conversation about subjects, nor is it an environment in which traditionally sincere human relations are conducted, nor is it even really a place where anyone should seriously expect anything from anybody else.  It's just a convenient way to be stupid in a consequence-free semi-public environment.

Its superficiality is its brilliance. 


We Fill Adult Prescriptions

I must warn my readers that today's post might be upsetting for some of you. So only continue reading if you believe you're in the mood to be insulted, in one way or another...

I don't know why the mention of Facebook angers some people so much.  I referred to it in yesterday's post and it elicited this response from one of my friends:

Facebook?!?  Jesus Christ, how old are you?  Perhaps you (and all your "friends") are trying to retain your youth.  It's just like high school--oh, wait. . . did you go?  You'd be better off trying to date the prom queen, I think.  Wasn't yours a boy?  Oh. . . you didn't go. Stick with Facebook.  

And if maids didn't want to be raped, they wouldn't be maids.  You (and all your "friends") have turned into a bunch of middle-aged housewives.  And I know a lot of your "friends" are that and are pissed off, but if they didn't want to be stupid they wouldn't be housewives, right?  Of course, they are "equal partners" with the motherfucker who brings home the money, you know, the sonofabitch who doesn't spend enough time with the family.   

So fuck you and all your Facebook bitches.  I'm sick of hearing about it and them.  Jesus Christ, you are pathetic.

Now, some of this is funny, and some of it is true, and then there are the other parts of it.  My friend has been suffering from very intense menopausal seizures. He has had them for years and there is no known cure.  His hormone levels are off the charts and he has shed not one but two uteri already, his waning menses is a complete anomaly to modern science. Doctors have no explanation for it, and they equally have tired of his antics.  He suffers from puregrain alcohol headaches, he calls them my-grains. 

As for Facebook... I just find it fun.  Is it just like high school ? Well no, not for me, but it does resemble it somewhat in the superficial way that you're able to interact with people.  But I like to be able to interact with people superficially. For many of them that is all I want, sometimes not even that.  But I get my laughs on the site and have been able to keep up with friends that I might not have been able to otherwise.  Now, here is the counter-argument that I often hear... If you wouldn't keep up with them otherwise then why would you want to on Facebook? This answer is obvious, convenience.  I never said that I don't ever want to talk to any of these people again and wished that they had inoperable bone cancer, or even that I'd prefer not to know where they live, or if they have children, or got married, etc., etc.  I only said that I might not be able to keep up with them otherwise.  Is that pathetic?  

Why is that so insulting to the mind of a menopausal man?  He seeks to shape the world according to his design and Facebook does not fit into his wildly angry hormonal visions of the universe.  I'm currently seeking a court injunction to have his internet access denied under The Marchman Act.


Ok, enough about all of that.  I wanted to post some corrections from yesterday's column. The picture of the blind dog, this one here:


She is a girl, and my friend loves and cares for her very much.  I was only making the same type jokes as he had about her while we were at the park together. Perhaps they seem different when coming from another, or if Annie is the perceived subject of derision or humor. That's not what I meant at all.  I was just flipping through pictures looking for something to write about and I came across her picture, and I felt somewhat beaten-up from the day of drinking before.  I felt a strong spiritual kinship with her.

She is a sweet dog that is nearing her end days and my friend takes care of her. It is quite touching. 

Ok, I'm out of time.  I have phone calls to make and paperwork to fill out.  I just got an email from a friend who is coming to visit New York. He says he is bringing his "friend", she is a ex-crack-addict that likes to get gang-banged, he says.  She's full of great stories, he claims.  It's really something, you'll love her, he says.  

How do these even people get my address?


Thursday, May 19, 2011


I feel like this old guy today.  I forget his name.  He's the dog of a friend.  I think it's a "him."  At his age it hardly matters.  He could have genitals made of uncooked linguine and nobody would notice, not even the vet.  We took him to the dog park and he bumped around from one spot to another. He's totally blind and he finds his way around by smell, I guess. It could be just luck and he's not really sure where he's going, or where he's been. He just walks along slowly until his head bumps into something and then he'll go a different direction and do the same. His tongue is too long to fit in his mouth so the end has become dried and hardened.  It is fun to touch as it leaves no saliva on your hand and it is unlike any other tongue I've ever touched, and I've touched many, and that's being modest.  It's sort of a hobby of mine, so don't be alarmed if I ever ask to touch yours, etc.   

But he's a good old wonder of longevity and my buddy loves him dearly.  He's about 233.3 years old in human years and what comes next is the unspoken truth. 

That was like me on Facebook yesterday... blind and bumping into things, turning around, heading a different way.... I looked through my history and found rambling school-boy poems to friends, non-sensical sentence fragments, proud claims cataloging my ingestion of beer, insisting on it, demanding, repeating, etc. Sort of a slurring lexicon descent into drunkenness.  I didn't even think that it was possible to get drunk on Coors beer...  It doesn't seem like it's even possible.  They should put a warning on the cans: " If you drink 18 of these in a couple of hours you might experience a sensation that resembles drunkenness.  Women shouldn't drive. -Adolph"  That would, at least, help clear things up a bit.  

A friend said that no matter what I did yesterday I'm still not as bad off as old IMF Von Trier.  I mean who, at the end of the day, hasn't performed a few good old-fashioned nazi-rapes on some underprivileged maids just as they're leaving the country, and then claimed the victory for old Saint Adolph, right? 

"How do I get out of this sentence? OK, I'm a Nazi." - L.Von.T.

The world sure is a funny place.  I was bored witless with "Dancer in the Dark" and walked out.  It was one of the poorest films I've ever seen.  I went back and watched it again, just to be sure, and as it turned out, I was quite right.  It is pathetic, and that is the only quality that keeps it from being completely boring.  

I just got an email from a friend from Amsterdam. He has doubled his silliness in life by offering me a writing spot on his website.  I used to write for him years ago when we were all younger and perhaps more vulnerable. Now, of course, we are older and more interested in conserving our values and the values of our respective international communities, right?  

We'll see...  I am through with suburban morality, I hope, for good.

I am issuing formal individual apologies for yesterday. If interested, please fill out this form and my offices will get back to you with either a call-time or an agreeable meeting place.

How do I get out of this sentence....? Ok, I'm a Fonzie....



Wednesday, May 18, 2011

... the seas of procedure

I have been beaten down with bureaucracy and I have barely begun the struggle.  There is much paperwork to fill out for every single thing, much of it only a ruse to defeat me, to defeat us all.  We know this, but we do it anyway... we are but living papier-machines, lost on the seas of procedure. 

But, where would we be without paperwork?  Right?

So, out of boredom and a dull desire to also get through some of this drudgery I decided to go buy a ream of paper, and a cold beer. The paper to print upon, the beer to help me through the many arcane processes; the hoops through which we must ascend and then be hung, suspended among the cathedrals of capital.  

I do not normally go to the Rite-Aid drug store to buy beer. I would ordinarily just go to the corner bodega and buy a single tall bottle or can, which equates to about an Imperial Pint glass of delicious golden brew.  But as I was already there at the pharmacy to shop for paper I thought that I would walk by the beer cooler and have an innocent look.  The same way that an 18th century Christian missionary might have once done through the many jungles of Africa, purely innocent gospeling...

If anything, I was there to help, the deliverer of the good news to all creation.

And there... almost alone... almost already forever connected to me, stacked there uniformly with all of the other beers, sold in both collections of bottles and in what many might consider various "bulk" containers, I saw it.... I saw... The Golden Box.... bathed in light from an unseen source above.... The Banquet Beer, Coors.... Oh Mercies, It was gingerly wrapped in what they advertised as an "afternoon friendly" cardboard container of 18.  A holy number if there ever was one, +6.  What luck, I thought, what fate, what grace flows from the cold mountain streams.....  

When I calculated the cost of the beer as compared to the corner bodega I quickly realized that this economic coup that I had quite accidentally stumbled upon was beyond a 50% discount to the indulgences through which I penitently purge my profits.  

I stood in divinely glowing financial amazement, beer blessed.

I glanced around to make quick and sure that no one was witness to my private, semi-spiritual, waterfall of luck. I looked directly up into the security cameras and then very gently and slowly reminded myself to never do that again, never ever do that again.  I glanced up and acted as if my neck was sore, rubbing my neck with vague medical inquiry towards the pharmacy area.  A palpable pro, am I.... 

Then, in accordance with prophecy, I dutifully pulled the rectangular cuboid from its resting place and into my willing and free hand, where it swung freely and balanced accordingly, naturally... ah, as if it were meant to be only there.  

I questioned the further need for the ream of paper, but also thought better of abandoning it there. There was still much paperwork to be completed in this uber-rational world of ours, a place of specialized function, where completion is only admission.  At home I was currently engaged in the efficient undertaking of a very complex task, one that demands results, and sums, solutions, sequels, and then returns. Any slight deviance in this undertaking could render me to further self-administration, or in layman's terms: freedom.

Never mind all of that, the beneficial machine of bureaucracy is neither the subject nor the consequent of this historic internet piece. The glorious weight of the beer in my hand had heavenly swing to it, it was already drawing me onwards, christmas solder... 

Jesus paid, I wept.

I scurried home. The interior visions of frigid refrigerators danced and bit at my mind. Chilled glasses, the sound of carbonated gases, fermented juices, being released to fulfill their lovely purpose... the feel of the cold aluminum against my palm, lifting it at first from below, increasing my grip as I move upwards, towards the top, always towards the top, and then... the moments of release, the sound before and the sound during, the sound after.... then the calm afterwards of simple pleasure, contentment... a knowing that knows no words.

My calm was disrupted.

I could almost hear the excitement in my wife's voice when I thought of her arrival at home. The rising celebratory sounds of realization as she opened the refrigerator door and discovered the remains of my fiscal genius. The sounds of excitement filling the moment. Our shared climax of confused agreements

But the triumph, the glory, all mine..... and now almost all gone.

In truth I am never one to boast.  I was merely being guided by an unseen hand. 

A servant to the universal will. 
An, ohhm-ost karmic reflection 
of lives lived well, and often.  
... and soften this once humble servant of god.  

a mere guru, of brew, through
and threw, of you.

i, an impecunious disciple of the cosmic coors impulse, true.



(anonymous nude)

Finally, sleep. It was artificially induced. But who am I to complain? I don't even remember what time I finally went to bed.  It was as if I was already sleeping by then.  I don't know how much more of the insomnia I can take.  I've already catalogued its effects here perhaps too much already, so I'll spare the reader any more of my whining...

Besides, today is a day of celebration.  I heard a sound yesterday that was as familiar a sound as there is possible to be. But unexpected as it was it came to my mind as an explosion of joy.  In the many years that I have loved music I have never heard anything so surprising and simple and beautiful before.  I can still hear the echoes of it in my mind, endlessly looping.  

More on this vital subject later.


Tuesday, May 17, 2011

prescripted elixirs.

I finally slept for an hour.  It was after much subway traveling uptown, and then back downtown, then to a friend's house, then walking one of their children to school, then back again, then a short walk home, then some reading on the couch, then the ingestion of some magic relaxation elixir...prescripted, of course... the dog curling up under my elevated legs, and then before I knew it: well, then I woke up...

I must have gotten at least an hour of undisturbed sleep. My neck and upper back were sore from sleeping on the couch, at a bad angle. When I rose the dog was gone, my breath was stale, what's left of my retreating hair was amiss in the front-room mirror.  My piles had unexpectedly caught fire in my slumber.  It felt as if a family of rats on some deranged demon vacation were gnawing at my ass from the inside like it was christmas morning, but I felt rested. 


"It's many hundred miles, but it won't be long..."

I tossed and turned again last night.  Demons crept all over my mind; spiders roamed freely.  

It makes no sense. I had a great day yesterday. Then towards the end of the evening anxiety crept in, that led to restlessness.  It was too late, there was nothing that could be done. Another night lost. 

Trains steamed through my thoughts, conducted by feral forces alone.


Monday, May 16, 2011

A problem with street-art, pt. 2

With a little bit of effort and organization I arranged to interview the street artist who I had mentioned in a previous post.  His given name is Angel.  I had made a contact through a local gallery and he offered to help me set up an interview.  I enlisted the help of a friend and we planned on using two video cameras (actually dslr's with video capabilities), and we also had a mountable audio recorder prepared to record his responses.  The idea was that we were going to interview him while he was doing some court ordered retribution work at a local park.  The park is used by two different schools that are housed in the same building and becomes a skate park when the schools close in the afternoon.  

Angel had already completed a few basketball backboards and now he was prepared to do a portion of the wall that lines one side of the park. 

We waited for about an hour, but he never showed.  

I don't think much of Angel's work, what little of it I've seen.  My original intention was to interview him and draw him out a little bit about the "importance" of what he does, to show what an ambitious spud he actually is.  The more thought I gave to it however, the more I saw a different angle emerge, one of a street artist having to give some redress to his community for the charge of vandalism. With so much current attention drawn to people like Banksy I assumed that there was an interesting story to be told, but from the opposite perspective.  

So I considered and reconsidered the opportunity. I lost my interest in vandalizing his reputation and developed a genuine interest in the story.

For those involved in this form of art there are some important distinctions between street art and graffiti.  The main differentiating criteria being that street art is meant to provoke thought while graffiti is just the assertion of the individual's identity over that of their surroundings, often through "tagging."  Others recognize no such distinction between these two approaches and see it all as remorseless vandalism. These are generalizations and the deeper one examines them the greater the differentiating criteria seem to become.

"Remorseless" was the word that my contact used to describe our hero's feelings about his tagging and subsequent arrests.  I had a list of questions that were designed to get to that aspect of what he does and seek some sort of explanation of this feeling, or perhaps reveal an artistic intention of some sort.  If not, then I hoped to show that it is little more than stylized crime and hardly qualifies as art at all. Though I knew this second contention would be difficult to reveal through his words alone. But I was hoping for the best, either way.

I decided to take some pictures of the skateboarders while we waited, without word, from the street genius....

I was tiring of him already but I wanted to be "fair" and see if there was an impulse that could be articulated for what he does.  

He originally emerged in the 80's as a graffiti artist that "worked with" Keith Haring. He was actually commissioned by Haring to do much of what came to be credited as Haring's street graffiti art that could be found in the East Village during and after Haring's success. There were a handful of artists who were hired to do so at the time.  It was not entirely uncommon for the "public work" of Basquiat, Haring, and even Kenny Scharf to be executed by lower level graffiti artists who were less conspicuous and perhaps more willing to get arrested.  The exploitative nature of the relationships that Tony Shafrazi cultivated is well known and documented. 

It has become my understanding through talking with some of the people in and around Angel's circle that there is some resentment over the fact that a gay-white-kid became famous while he, an underprivileged-hispanic-heterosexual, was mainly looked over.  It only takes a glance at the differences in their styles to understand the actualities for one's success and the other's continuing struggles.  Haring's pieces vibrate with much more of a sense of life, an understanding of chromatic relationships and combinations, and better compositional strategies. 

Angel's circle has even suggested that Haring's "vibrating baby" motif was actually Angel's all along and it was something that was "stolen" from him, much to Haring's financial success.  These contentious retellings of pop-art history seem unlikely when one looks at the actual work of the two individuals. Angel's seems much more like a sloppy, crowded and confused imitation of Haring's work, woefully lacking in content and visual context, rather than something that Haring was likely to have drawn from in the manner suggested by Angel's circle.  Angel's symbols are dull, obvious, and poorly rendered while Haring's at least function through a layer of suggestiveness and symbol. 

Haring no longer being here to defend himself also adds an imaginary credence to the claim, for some.

A friend of mine offered to set up an interview with another local street-artist, one that she is in occasional contact with through her work.  I thought that might be useful and I just might follow up on it. There's no reason for me to isolate this emerging interest of mine to one artist alone. This other guy goes by the name of "Dr. Pink" and it is claimed (by him) that he used to be a gynecologist.  

I find this equally hard to believe, but who knows, we live in very topsy-turvy times....


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Fu*k the Bunny!

Yesterday's post didn't address its own subject.  Somehow I forgot to write about the thing that I was writing about.

The subject was obsession...

It occurred to me yesterday afternoon when I was playing with our dog, Barkley, while I was taunting him with his "bunny", that I had not hinted at the dark core of the thing.  It only takes once witnessing this primal creature, enthralled in obsessive ecstasies with his one-eared plaything, to realize the full depth of its power over the mind of the beast.

I adopt a somewhat continental accent when playing with the dog. Much like Christopher Walken does with "Champagne" on SNL but with a more boundless manic energy:

"It brings you pleasure to possess the bunny, does it not?"

Then I will retrieve the filthy plaything and hold it away from him, laughing at his obsession.....

"Now you see that I possess the bunny and it brings you great sadness, a sadness that knows no end, no..?.."

"Your only wish is to possess the bunny again, no?... To see the bunny flying through the air and under the bed... you love the bunny... do you not, you savage...?"

A throw from the front room into the bedroom, and the toy goes sliding underneath the bed. The dog will scurry to chase it, scampering in fevered pursuit, his hind legs pumping frantically to get underneath the bedframe and obtain his dark delights.

"Pursue the BUNNY...!!!!  PURSUE THE BUNNY...!!!!!  Make Haste YOU BEAST, MAKE HASTE...!!!!"

"Are you indulging your furry pleasures in obscurity once again?"

"Show yourself, you shameful and barbarous beast!"

Invariably I will start stalking the apartment chanting, "Fuck the bunny...Fuck the Bunny... FUCK THE BUNNY...!!!!"... transfixed with the illicit mantra until my wife quietly directs me to calm down and stop scaring the dog.

This is what I meant by obsessions.


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Traditional Fetish Objects

"Don't bend; don't water it down; don't try to make it logical; don't edit your soul according to the fashion. Rather, follow your most intense obsessions mercilessly." - Franz Kafka

Well, that was easy for Kafka to say. He died in relative obscurity as a mostly unrecognized genius.  It's not nearly as easy to make such wild claims when you are the author of a famous internet blog....

No, that's not exactly how I wanted to start off this morning.  
Let me try again: Franz Kafka was very "esque"... 

No, that's not it either. 

Well, I was going to write about obsessions and their effect.  It's interesting how some people seem to go through life without ever really having any obsessions to speak of. They might have interests but they do not have obsessions.  I'm not sure what the precise dividing line is between the two, but for myself I know that I can be obsessed with something without even really being interested in it, at least not in the normal sense. 

It is a difficult thing to discuss without giving examples, and who would ever risk that? Obsessions are meant to be cautiously guarded. Though they usually have a way of somehow revealing themselves  Perhaps that is the dividing line. Interests are things that you are able and willing to share and obsessions are far more singular, private to the point of mental malady.  I'll give that some thought as I am typing and see if that criteria holds. For now, it serves to say that an interest is something that occupies one's mind upon choosing, and an obsession is something that dominates one's mind entirely beyond reason and choice, it is more of a fixation.  A person can act persistently, while an obsession is persistence personified.

That's it, I think I'm getting closer. An obsession is more closely aligned to some fetishistic attachment to an idea or object or vision. Where an interest is a simple state of maintained curiosity. Those distinctions will hold for the purpose of this post, I hope.  I suppose what I am suggesting is that an obsession must always be somewhat sexual in its primary impulse, even if the object of the obsession offers no overt sexual meaning to anybody beyond the obsessor, the obsessed.

All obsessions are neurotic, of course, though some are rewarded. When an obsession is able to generate outside interest or (better yet) payment, when it is sellable, then it becomes applauded. If it can be commodified then it can be fetishized rewardingly. But when an obsession will not generate that sort of reward then it is denounced and discouraged, swept under the rug of civilization. As usual most people are as blind to their hypocrisies as they are to the usefulness of their obsessions.  How can an outsider ever convince someone else of the futility of their fixations?

I hear the term Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder tossed around quite often, especially by those who have had a long relationship with drugs and are unable to muster any greater explanation for their activities, or lack thereof. This terms suits their purposes as it is one broadly recognized by the psychiatric community.  These people are often self-diagnosed, or vaguely diagnosed by someone else who has read an article in Vanity Fair about this dreaded affliction that involves the unnecessary washing of one's hands..... It is such a common mental disorder that it forces question of the term disorder itself.  At what point does something achieve normalcy through its omnipresence?  

My name is Sean and I am a compulsively obsessed.....

While I was single, during an extended hiatus from my relationship with the woman who became my wife, Rachel, I was sitting in a bar on an autumn afternoon talking to a couple of girls from Australia.  They were on vacation and they were here to see what sort of trouble they could stir up, and they found me.  As we talked the girl that gravitated towards me the most confided that back home she was a working dominatrix.  I was quite understandably fascinated.  She didn't start right off telling me juicy details about her work, but she used a phrase in conversation that has bounced around in my head ever since: traditional fetish objects.  

Now, to a normal person this phrase just is what it is. But in my wildly imaginative mind I immediately began reducing the world down to traditional and non-traditional fetish objects and I was amazed to find how many traditional objects there are in the world around us. So some people (men, mostly) must walk through life in a state of nearly perpetual neurotic sexual frenzy. 

I sat and chatted with this young girl for some time.  I had her trot out a list of what she would consider non-traditional fetish objects. I won't go over all of them here as they make scant sense to me or anybody else. But it was an astonishing list I assure you... bridges, towers, trees, mountains, buildings, billboards, bookshelves, libraries, the sound of an air-conditioner, almost anything.  The sheer size of some of the objects was what surprised me as there seemed to me to be no way to interact with these objects sexually.  She assured me that was not the case at all.  That for some it is the sole focus of all of their sexual energies.

Though I was somewhat unsure of precisely what to do with this girl my impulses told me there must be some ulterior purpose for my sudden interest. Then it dawned on me.... My 40th birthday was rapidly approaching. I had deeply unsettled feelings about turning 40 and this young girl (about 21 or 22 yrs. old) was perfect. A dominatrix was exactly what I needed. How could I have not seen that before?

I explained the situation to her: that many of my friends would be gathered at a local bar, to celebrate, as is the custom. My proposal was simple: that she would walk me into the bar dressed just enough as a dominatrix that it would be clear what her function was and I , simple servant I, would be led around by her on a dog-collar and leash and only allowed to talk to the people that she approved of.  The concept was brilliance.  I had outdone myself, clearly.

Rage, rage against the dying of the laugh....

It would accomplish two things at once.  It would give me a way out of dealing with turning 40 and not being together with the woman that I loved (I had asked Rachel not to come and not to call me) , and it would keep my friends at an uncomfortable distance from me so that I wouldn't have to deal with them dealing with me turning 40.  You see, I wouldn't have to deal with turning 40.

Was that two things or just one?  

But it was all for naught... the girl never called me and I had to attend my party sans leash, sans dog-collar. Just another 40 year old dude drinking beer with his friends. The dominatrix sleeps tonight...

Where have I run off to with this obsession piece.

I have read that a person has little control over the object of fetishistic choice. That it is something in early life that generally causes an attachment and it is difficult, if not impossible, to change that object. They can only work towards changing their behavior towards that object.  Much the same as the claim that an alcoholic remains an alcoholic even when they are not drinking, they have simply chosen not to aggravate their condition with the ingestion of the stuff, the poison. The fetishist must learn to navigate their way through life without spiraling into a frenzied attachment to the fetish object.

Well, I've lost my subject now.  I hadn't meant to address obsession through fetish alone. Somehow the Australian dominatrix sidetracked this whole post and I am running out of time. 

I leave you with the image of this very traditional fetish object. It is even a touch old-fashioned in its quaintness....