Declaration of War.

Just an animal
domesticated by culture,
itching for justification
to live free from restraint.
There is something we need
that the force of the herd
strives to bury in us.

An inner self,
divided.

Fist to the wall in the way,
watch it crack,
watch it bleed,
see a dark flower
blossoming.

No more fear
of insanity,
as there was never
any sane, just alien madness
and the crazy
we are all accustomed
to, and why
should I step in line?

Fuck your gods,
fuck your government.
Narrow and shortsighted,
your world is suffocating,
claustrophobic,
relentless in its oppression.

I find a safe place,
build my cocoon
of weirdness and warmth.
Conjure the inner warrior,
time to break out,
time to stand firm
and fight the war.

Be the change
I’m fighting for.

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Heckles & Seafood.

You’re in the ring
ready to go
but I’m just sitting, thinking,
tossing notes.

You’re armed to the teeth,
executing play after play.
I just want to chew,
put this seafood on display
because I feel alone
and cannot seem to connect
any other way.

So fucking kill me.

Walk up to my soap box,
just another ape
chucking shit.

Do you have a purpose here?
Are you just heckling me
for the hell of it?

You feel like the cancer
infecting everything.
You are a roaming
storm cloud determined
to rain on every parade.

What an honorable role to play.
Really.

Just turn around.
Just walk away.
I’m too sensitive
and you always seem so
bitter, cold.

What do you really want?
What are you trying to prove?
Does it even matter
what I say?

Or would you seek
to tear me down
no matter what I offer,
paint me
as a fool
and faker anyway?

No Life.

Left alone, freedom takes care of itself.

Every person is an island
unto themselves,
bearing life that in time breeds variety,
showing its true colors
if only left to develop
along its own path,

secure from a ceaseless
onslaught, an ongoing contamination
of The Same
which, left unrestrained,
would impose itself on everything.

No self.
No choice.
All responsibility.
No life.

Diversity is the fundamental
survival strategy
of life in general,
of the glow of the whole,
the spark in its most abstract form.
Live and let live —
despite all the death.

The Same for all is live and let die.
It is the morbid drive to absolute suicide.
When one falls,
all go down.
The same strives to oppress all,
tugging strings with roots
deep in the core.

They are felt as the tight
reins of control
held in the hands of the powers that be.

Is not all punishment
double jeopardy
when it pertains to someone
doing something that is unlawful
because of the dangerous, all-natural,
homegrown consequences
of doing it,
after all?

Justifying the punishment
on the grounds that it will “set an example”
or “send a message” to others,
perhaps serving to prevent
them from committing this behavior
“for their own good,”
only places emphasis
on their true motivation:

their control,
your unquestioning
obedience.

They are the cancer of The Same,
enemy of life, cosmic suicide.
Yet you casually
let them infect
your minds…
Before you know it,
you’ll be dying inside.

Any way you slice it, this is a fight.
Know yourself, know your enemy.
Know your side.

Life on the Fence.

On I strive
as I have for over
half my life
to nail you down,
peel back the veil,
try and understand
how all
this could be real —
and it is.

I’m not alone.

As I dissect
this circumstance
what I find inside
is not at all comfortable.

Condemned to life paralysis.
What am I waiting for?
Fight it or say fuck it
and just live it up till
it all comes crashing down.

Just wait
until the day
they show their faces
and tables turn.
If the day never comes,
just as well.

On the fence
I shall die, either way
having lived a lie.

If I could only earn
a smile somehow,
despite it all…

Ocular Singularities.

We meet eyes and its as if I zoom in towards her pupil, then zoom out again. Did that just happen? I look at her and let go. It happens again. Each time with the pupil zooming I catch glimpses of emotions, images in my inner eye that encapsulate me, saturate me. Why is this happening again with such intensity? It has never happened with her before. Its interesting, I only wish I could understand it, control it…

Way of a Wary Moth.

Just a moth
drawn to the porch light
again. Such mad fluttering,
narrowed tunnel vision.

Saw the light
though it blinded him.
Still maintaining the frantic rhythm
of his violent, vain attempts at surrender,
slamming his body against the bulb
until, at last, it will consume him.

Not one moth made it.
None have been able to break it
and in a rain of powder and glass
to tango with the filaments
that would send them sizzling
away anyway.

Even success here is failure.
He cannot play this stupid game.
Still, he plays with the idea
and that is much the same thing.

Orbiting the bulb again,
seduced, entranced and closing in.
He feels so warm and wanted,
so stops,

keeps his fucking distance.

Cold & Haunted.

Every winter, more or less, it happens again — I feel flashes of what it was like living in that skin, living that life where I died at a Florida mall while living out of my car in the parking lot. I understand that I’m thinking about how horrible it would be during this season to be out in the streets, but I have no specific recollection of being in the cold in that life.

In that life I appeared to be born in Little Rock, Arkansas. I remember a trip to New York and maybe a short period in Vietnam, but then it was just Florida — Miami Beach and Palm Beach. Florida, I feel certain, is where I died running in that mall — that recurring dream as a kid.

Why the reaction to the cold, the Ohio snow, in the state I’ve lived in since I was last spat out 36 years ago? Just hating the weather would be one thing, but always the associations with that life, the fear of homelessness and the guilt for having a warm place to sleep at night jab at my insides.

It would be so nice to simply recall it all, to face that life as a whole, to know what unseen memories are influencing me — to get a full name, to be able to search for who I was and confirm or falsify it all. To move forward.

To not be haunted by myself.

Marinating the Meat Machine.

“Drugs may have spoiled us by the ease with which they deliver us to particular states of consciousness, making us less apt to develop natural techniques to achieve those same states,” Larry began. “We text rather than talk now because it is in many instances easier, more convenient, and considerably less threatening than talking over the phone or even that archaic face to face stuff. And talking isn’t really difficult in and of itself — changing your mind most certainly is. Drugs? Drugs are easy. A pill here, a toke there.”

“Perhaps in that sense drugs have spoiled us, but then drugs have also enslaved us,” Brian said, “like our natural neurochemistry, as an easy example.”

“What?” Larry barked. “Are you high?”

“Irrelevant!” He shouted back defensively, slapping his hands to his chest. “I did not order this meat from some existential menu, nor the state of the ground-up burger marinating in my beefy gourd. By utilizing drugs we are tinkering with the chemistry set already in our skulls — which did not come equipped with all the chemicals to serve our needs.”

“By that you mean escape?”

“Careful. Saying it in such a way might appear to suggest we are living in a prison,” he said. “We only do to our bodies what our bodies do to us. In doing so, we contribute to the shaping our identity and experience. It’s not an escape — at the most intimate level it is participatory. A step towards metaprogramming. We help guide the hand that molds us. We can learn to customize mind and identity. We can summon states, however bound that magick may be to chemicals provided by sources other than our oven-baked meat sacks. Alchemy for our fleshy temple means we forge the very mould of our souls!”

Fate of Progress.

We pretend progress
is inevitable.
We have infinite aims
and finite resources,
though, so how
can that be sustainable?

All our eggs in one basket,
our looming extinction.
All of us deafened
to the dirge song
being sung as we happily
dig our graves.

A chorus of orphans
and their cautionary tales
serve as the soundtrack,
a maelstrom
of morbid melodies,
and now perhaps us,
a candidate voice
to join the echoes,
to stretch
out throughout time
and space, another vault
sealed in the cosmic
catacomb,

or you think
we could maybe dodge
the blade,
cut down to size
but survive?

Shit Chat.

I’m cleaning the fryers in the back kitchen when an alarm inside goes off. I know I can’t hold it off for any longer. I try and let it go slowly, softly, easily — and then immediate terror sweeps over me.

Do. Not. Push.

This? This is not gas. This is poo. Grabbing the roll of paper towels, I head to the bathroom stall.

After I place paper towels over the toilet seat and sit down, I’m maybe two squirts in when I hear someone come in the restroom door. I sniff and clear my throat so he knows I’m there. He never knocks, just goes straight to the urinal, so that’s good. I only hope he hurries. Slow release cannot happen right now, and stealth is equally impossible, so I feel obligated to await his departure before resuming.

He must be talking on his cell phone, though, because he’s having what seems to be a conversation — a one-sided conversation, judging by the vibe of it. He seems to regard the person he’s talking to as rude, though, as if they aren’t answering him.

“Hey,” he says, louder. “Hey, dude in the stall!”

No. No way. This is not happening.

“Uh, yeah?”

“Where are you from?”

A shit chat? Is this really happening right now? I consider not answering. I do, I tell him where I’m from, but it comes out like a reluctant question.

Then he asks another question.

“Which way you headed?”

Horror movies have made us wary of hitchhikers, but Hollywood did not prepare me for this. I have literally been caught with my pants down.

Please don’t stick your thumb out from under the door.

“Dude,” I tell him, “I work here.”

“Yeah, I need a ride….”

I should throw poo at him like an angry simian.

“Well, there’s the bus system up town…”

“Yeah, I know that,” he said dismissively. He is no longer asking me for a ride. He has moved on to more pressing matters than transportation, evidently, though he still feels the need to drag me, The Dude In The Stall, into it. “Dude, did you see the sink?”

“Not yet, no.” I’m in the stall. Shitting. The sink comes after I wipe my ass.

“Looks like someone was bleeding into it. Its fucking disgusting. I’m going,” he suddenly feels the need to assure me, “but you should see it. Its gross, man.”

After he left, I flushed and went to wash my hands. A bloody loogie lay splattered in the sink, reeking of booze even from a considerable distance. It was indeed disgusting.

Almost as disgusting as talking to a stranger behind a stall door as he’s pushing a turd eel out his bunghole.