Icebreakers.

Love
and murder:
it was all
you were ever

about. So hungry
for control, pride
phobic of doubt. Sex
was your Novocain.

Mindful.
Focus, fixed
on nothing,
nothing
but one point.

Fucking
was your game.
You had to want
something more
from me,

something tangible,
ritual signifying
feelings that felt
so true, resonated

with the honesty,
sincerity, you buried
so deep,
so damn deep

in your soul.
You only wish
it were cold:
as you live,
your ice

has been melting,
and I will
be there to see
you escape.

Advertisements

Ruthie (Dead Girl With Hope).

So often,
unannounced, you rose
from the grave
to turn

my life on its head,
scramble it, feces
meets the blades
of the fan,

relentless rain
of agonizing
bullshit, left me frigid
and rotting, good
as dead. Now I grab

(fuck me, fuck me:
considerately kill me,
like Nietzsche,
as Maynard
said) the shovel,

invest elbow
grease, excavate,
dig up your goddamn
grave. Yes, yes,

it’s all true,
I read
your fucking epitaph.
You’re lost
to me, you can kiss
my ass.

Feel better now?
More to your liking?

Come to me, I will hogtie,
make you beg on knees
bleeding, tear
it up, ask, how do
you like that? I am

your vengeful god,
so try it. Talk
me down
from this, dead

girl with hope
for rebirth, beg
me to walk the earth
with you.

What Hides Inside (12/29/15 Dream).

There were two dream scenes I remembered.

In the first, I’m at work. Elizabeth says something which prompts me to ask her whether she still meditates while intoxicated, and she says yes. I then explain to her how when you initially begin meditating your thoughts seem to get louder because you are paying more attention to them, but then they mellow out if you keep doing it for awhile. I tell her this is why I began and then stopped my meditation practice a few weeks back. My mood the following day was horrible, I remember, and my self-loathing ran deep.

In the second scene, I start yelling at mom viciously, saying how I will never get married, as if I am trying to hurt her by saying this. Then I add that if I ever have kids I’m not going to treat them how she treated me.

I woke up feeling angry that I’m evidently still this angry at my mother. She has changed since she retired; it was as if a fist within her was suddenly released. I thought I had gotten over this, grown out of it, and I’m embarrassed to still find it hiding within me.

Depths of Precious Virginity.

Never
had I felt so
alone, so self-loathing,

self-defeated,
without so much
as a part-time friend,

hated inside
out, outside
in and painfully

aware, yet feeding
my ultimate
indifference
through the ritual
act of really giving a shit.

Time
has a funny way
of stretching
to allow

all your bullshit to fall
into place so you can save
yourself. Swear
by integrity.

Be who
you truly
are. Nothing else
is born
of, nothing
sustains,

such depths
of precious
virginity.

This Mess.

Paranoia reveals
shameful hangups,
those never
outgrown despite
your best wishes:

the old ego
persists.

So what are
you ignoring,
denying, hiding
behind? Face
this closest

approximation
you could in all honesty
conjure to their Devil,
swallow your Bly-bag whole…

Soul shards, nightmares,
that cut so damn deep,
straight on into
the inner core,
so that this true self,
even it bleeds.

Take a stone,
draw it back, slam
it down, break
the glass,

study each jagged
piece as you put back
together this mess
that was once
your life.

Deservations.

Love still brings
on suffering. Reborn
just to die again. Cycles
never-ending. No mercy

for anyone, anything.
We rise high into this sky
above instinct,
outside of our control
caught in the lockjaw
of nature,
just to do
the same thing,

all that just to react
the same way…

Stop. Hold your tongue,
boy. Holster
your weapon. Bars
imprisoning your soul,
those pearly
whites gone brown
betwixt coffee
and nicotine.

Be mindful, now.
In the name of truth,
make no mistake:

we deserve what we get,
I deserve what I get:

always and forever,
one part provided,
three parts

what one elects,
wills,
to do with it.

Hot on a Rich Tail.

Trapped
in a bubble
hard as iron,
clear as glass,

beating fists
to a bloody pulp,
revealing bleach
white bones
hiding behind this feeble,
meaty masque.

I find swarms
of friendly parasites
that eagerly
eat me away, (tasting
sweet as honey
with promises of a dark
black chocolate soul
at the core

and my teeth
are gaining,
slicing, tearing,
fucking penetrating,

hot on its rich tail,
radiating
with something
you thirst
to own and sell).

Defense Against Hidden Histories.

Ice
comes to occupy
the veins. Empathy?
By now, so clear:
not worth
the pain.

Insides lacerated
and bruised. Medicated
from that excruciating,
visceral agony
he sees
the truth…

Venom
begins to infiltrate
the brain. Eyes bring clarity
they call insane. Toppled
over now, all of it began
by rocking
the boat,

stumbling off that beaten
path, wearing
his own road
through his desert
of ghosts haunting
the jungle

you cut
through, guiding
what once

was, sabotaged
by histories
he remains blinded to.

Europa Reveries.

“Anthropological files contain many examples of societies, sure of their place in the universe, which have disintegrated when they have had to associate with previously unfamiliar societies espousing different ideas and different life ways; others that survived such an experience usually did so by paying the price of changes in values and attitudes and behavior.”
– Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs (p 183).

With 67 confirmed natural satellites, Jupiter, the fifth planet out from our home star, is the solar-bound, cosmic continent with the greatest number of satellite islands. The four largest are typically referred to as the Galilean moons, after Galileo Galilei, who discovered them in the 17th century. Of this Jovian quartet, Europa is the smallest and shares a few notable characteristics with our own brilliant, reflective, constantly-phasing Lady Luna. They are roughly the same size, to begin with, and both are in a tidal lock with the planet around which they revolve. From Jupiter there would be a far side of this moon that would never be seen from the surface.

Along with Jupiter’s gravitational pull, Europa is tugged at by two fellow Jovian moons, causing not only an elliptical orbit but, through the stretching and squeezing the moon endures, internal heat. This heat produces not just the linae (lines) and lenticulae (dark spots) that add character to the moon’s relatively smooth, icy crust, but also produces a 106-mile deep subsurface waterworld composed of twice as much blue gold as all Gaean oceans combined. This heat also generates plate tectonics, a process previously only known to occur on earth and which is thought by some to be a crucial factor in the development of life here. 

On Europa, the plates in question are ice and tectonics would explain its young and largely crater-free surface. Though this probably only takes place a mile or so below the roughly 19 mile thick crust of ice, it ultimately would affect the fluid depths. At the same time the waters below rise to eventually become the surface ice. As a consequence tectonics has, along with the suspicions of a subsurface ocean, fueled hopes that the liquid world between the ocean floor and the thick, solidified shell might be fertile with aquatic life.

Estimations place this moon, Europa, at roughly 4.5 billion years of age, the same age as Jupiter and the Earth. Life on earth first began in the oceans; perhaps the aquatic life on Europa never left it. What might life be like there now? How could we even begin to imagine?

It might be best to consider the kind of life found in the deepest parts of our own oceans, for one thing. The deeper you go, the more the waters scatter the human-visible sunlight, and the area we are most familiar with stretches down to only about ⅛ of a mile below the surface. Below this there is a twilight area where photosynthesis cannot take place. Plants cannot exist. This stretches from about ⅛ of a mile to a depth that is, if my Google conversions are correct, roughly ⅗ of a mile down — and in any case, still less than a mile. Life continues to exist, however, feeding mainly off the decay and waste that snows down from above.

Our deepest watery depths reside in the Pacific Ocean in an area known as the Mariana Trench. It is roughly 1,580 miles long, 43 miles thick and perhaps seven miles down. Here, in a land where the sun truly does not shine, the temperatures at the floor can drop to one degree centigrade. Despite these conditions, life, however sparse, persists at occupying the void. Instead of siphoning their energy from the sun, they turn to deep sea vents, using a process known as chemosynthesis to convert that energy into nomnoms. These bottom-dwellers feed off of both the remaining death-snow and each other.

If you have ever seen a documentary on the creatures of the deep ocean, you do not need to be told how fucking strange, even frightening they are. Our highest hopes as relatively isolated and rational hominids are cautiously, conservatively narrowed down to simple forms of life, of course, but still: our rampant monkeyminds make us wonder if this Jovian moon’s conditions would, after sufficient investigation, provide evidence for what we would be forced, forced, forced to regard as ETI.

Given conditions on Europa, could an aquatic intelligence have developed by now? What might such an aquatic ETI be like?

My mind comes immediately to the octopus, a form of marine life that has continued to fascinate me the more I come to learn of it, thus far only through alluring documentaries I began watching online. All octopuses are considered to be highly intelligent. They are one-mouthed, one-beaked, two-eyed, eight-legged and bilaterally symmetrical invertebrates nearly or entirely void of skeletons. They emerged on earth some 296 million years ago and the presently 300 or so species inhabit countless oceanic regions — right down to the darkest depths of the ocean floor.

An octopus known as the Grimpoteuthis, nicknamed the Dumbo Octopus due to its ear-like fins flapping up and down, has been observed to stretch at its greatest up to a foot in length, weighing at some 13 pounds. Though existing at depths of up to roughly 4 miles, this is shy, so far as we have seen, of the seven mile trench and certainly of the 106-mile depths of Europa below the 19 miles of ice, it is nonetheless meaningful that a creature known for such intelligence lives in some of the deepest depths we presently know.

Consider that this vast ocean on Europa were indeed filled with aquatic life, some, at least one species of which constitutes ETI. Say that it developed in the form of an octopus. How different would they be given that they had all evolved in a state of total deprivation and isolation from the sky? The range of their perceptions may be ill-equipped to pick up on much of any evidence of a universe beyond the ice. Despite the potentially advanced intelligence of some of these aquatic organisms, nothing in their observable universe would directly suggest anything beyond their fluid pocket world and their seemingly absolute ceiling of ice.

Technologically-speaking, it seems perfectly conceivable that an advanced probe could be sent to the Jovian Europa and drill through the icy shell. It would be costly, however. Thankfully the heat-generating squeeze-stretch cycle can also express its inner self in a far more violent and (for us) advantageous form: fluid bursts through the sealed surface as geysers, sharting the hidden ocean’s innards out into the great beyond. A probe could be sent to Europa and take samples as it orbits and journeys through the geysers, potentially providing evidence of subsurface aquatic life at a cost far lower than drilling.

With that said, such a probe, if properly equipped, could then swing down to the surface to collect samples of the surface ice, revealing in not one but two of the readily-available sneak-peek fashions what mind-blowing alien ecosystems might be thriving deep beneath the well-below-freezing, misleadingly dead-white, splotched and broken skin. If it turns out the probe captures evidence of life on the surface or from the geysers, this would surely spawn an effort to explore this extraterrestrial life further. And so, in the end, we may find the impetus and necessary funding to drill through that thick, thick, thick fucking ice after all and finally find what our species has been at once thirsty for and deeply terrified of all along: evidence of extraterrestrial life.

As human beings we labor to wrap our minds around our own position in the grand scheme of things, but how would it be for a creature, a history of planetary life, which has never experienced the universe beyond its ice-concealed world, had never had a chance to spy the sky — and indeed, perhaps did not even evolve the capacity to conceptualize the notion? If we were to break the ice, could they survive in such a post-aquatic apocalypse — physically or psychologically?