Art vs Death.

Standing on the outside,
stretching,
breathing free, finally,

looking within with three
alien eyes,
seeing all that could be.

Just beyond the horizon,
a land fertile
for novelty. Not change

for its own sake,
but creative adaptation
to conditions

forever stuck in a state of flux,
yet you misplace value
in what’s been

done before, feeding
your tendency to overestimate
its shelf life and reliability,
reinforcing fragile

illusions of security, ignoring
the fact
that the only constant
is change,

blind to the transience
of the tried and true
traditions that serve to hide

and starve the soul
of the creative play
that revitalizes life.

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Impenetrable.

By and large,
hypersensitivity is a curse.

Contained by fear,
anchored
by anxiety to a narrow place
in life. Well-worn paths
in this confined

space can’t help me escape
the minefield of rage
inside my mind.

Maybe I only cry
out for more empathy
in the world
because I secretly
want strangers
to feel emotionally bloated,
always on the brink
of sensory
overload, just like I do.

Perhaps it’s more out
of malice
and I’m insincere
when I tell
myself its out of my desire
for us all to survive
each other down here…

So envious of thick skin,
of an impenetrable shell,
of those who can’t feel

that they’re cold as hell.

All I Am.

Bursts of agitation,
ascending anger, bouncing
back to clarity
only to be mauled by guilt
and self-loathing.

Why do I care
enough to get so bent
out of shape?
If I value it so highly,
why am I so
quick to turn on myself
in the aftermath?

Incongruent,
inconsistent.
Feeling so far
from integration.

Just
scattered puzzle pieces
on a coffee table
in the dark,
blind to the picture
on the box:

that’s all I am.

This Dissonance.

Silly little dances,
elusive gestures
around the raging

fire of truth,
it’s useless.

Honesty is spoken silently
beneath these superficial
noises we exchange
to sooth or salt the wounds.

Energy interacting,
subliminal conversations
slithering beneath our illusions
of conscious deliberation,

behind our
donned masks
and identifications.

I can feel it,
I can see it:
burning hatred
in your eyes.

Convinced I am the enemy,
so certain I’ve lost my mind.

Our evolving maps
(for which we are so passionate)
do not agree,
and we defend
our contrary trajectories,

calling on one another to check
sources, study the terrain,
proclaiming facts
self-evident,
indisputable,

yet disputing evidence
put forth by the other,
in so doing finding

the wall
between us drives
straight down
to the roots.

So sure
we know we are right far
stronger
than the Other is certain
we are wrong.

Left to bear the pangs.

Lost in this dissonance,
this distance,
this rift.

Words Wedding Umwelten.

Fingers
whisper and eyes

hear the catastrophes
of consciousness
through bloodletting in ink,

sounds inspiring scenery
within the mind,
renditions of memories,
elaborate fantasy,

dialogues and soliloquies,
soundtracks and voiceovers,

or fuel a train of thought
caught in a wide variety
of conceptual complexities
and emotional weather.

Words wedding umwelten,
text entangling minds

distant in spacetime.

Camel With a Severed Spine.

All my efforts
to be friendly,
fun-living,
understanding,
to not be

a confrontational asshole
putting you in your place
and handing
you a well-earned
reality check
has failed.

You’re kind of forcing
my hand here, kid.

Not holding my breath,
biting my tongue
in the hopes
that you get your act
in order
anymore, my coworker.

Everyone else
is working their asses off
and you do nothing,
and without
the slightest sign
of guilt.

Evidently,
teamwork is dead.

All these bullshit
techniques
you use to elicit sympathy,
playing the victim,
this self-fulfilling prophecy generating

“the world is out to get me,
the world is out to get me.”

Patting yourself on the back
for such mediocre
accomplishments.

Playing the victim.
Talking shit.
Had enough of it.

Camel’s on the floor
in a nest of straw
with a severed spine.

Sex, Drugs and Weirdness.

As I’ve been antisocial in general for quite some time and honestly missed the guy, I finally hung out with my friend, Moe. I had just had my profound psilocybin experience the previous night but wasn’t prepared to say too much about it, as I had not had the time to process it to any length, but as we hung out and shot the shit in my apartment much of what we spoke of seemed to resonate with my trip.
I did tell him about taking shrooms, but as he didn’t ask, I failed to dispense with all the details. I told him I had just one more item on my drug bucket list — and I didn’t even have to name the substance.

“DMT,” he said. He didn’t even phrase it as a question.

He still had my book, DMT: The Spirit Molecule, which I desperately wanted to read again, too. My interest in the drug is due to its associations with the pineal gland, which is believed to manufacture DMT, perhaps playing a role in altered states such as dreaming, Near Death Experiences and, so some believe, alien abduction experiences.

Repeatedly over the course of my experiences there has been the repeating theme of Ajna, or the third eye, which corresponds to the pineal gland. I feel pressure there when I’ve meditated, had experiences involving it during my “astral projections,” and it has cropped up continuously in my spontaneous artwork. It is also associated with a sense of direction, which I certainly lack, and sleep cycles, and mine are almost always out of whack — so I’ve occasionally entertained the possibility that I have a malfunctioning pineal. To learn that it might be associated with DMT only served to increase my curiosity, and perhaps the aforementioned hypothesis.

My curiosity is whether the drug would replicate my “astral projection” experiences (which may have been a form of lucid dreaming, for all I know) or even my alien abduction experiences. Though I truly believe the alien experiences were physical ones, experimenting with DMT may prove otherwise. In any case, I need to know.

I also mentioned to Moe how both my acid trip and most recent shroom experience seemed imbued with sexual energy. In my life I’ve noticed a correspondence between sexual energy and certain seemingly paranormal experiences, so perhaps that explains the synchronicities that occurred in the days to follow. One occurred after I’d gotten the shrooms, I believe, but before I had taken them. This was when an article of mine which I’d written some time ago involving shrooms was quoted on another forum. Other coincidences occurred in the days that followed. On Facebook, I saw two posts within a few minutes, one by Anti-Media and one by Cyanide & Happiness, both involving magic mushrooms. Then, at 5 AM on April 10th, as I checked for videos below the porn I was watching, I saw a porno starring a woman going by the name of Lila — a word, meaning “play,” that I had written several times during my trip.

When I mentioned to Moe the sexual nature of the trips, he immediately asked me how long it’s been. I confessed that it has been my longest stretch since I first got laid in October of 1999: seven long, non-fucking years.

“Don’t make it a decade, man.”

Word.

Constantly I circle back to two things I need to do to improve my life. The easiest to confess is needing to get my unambitious ass in a better job by the time I’m forty, which will be this November. I’ve spent most of my life in shit jobs and over fourteen years in the fast food joint in which I am currently wading and wasting my life away in. If I’m going to be miserable, I might as well be making more money in the process.

Needing to get laid is a bit more difficult to admit, though I suspect it is at least as obvious. I kept telling myself I was happy being single and settled on the fact that it should stay that way. I no longer wanted that war of impulses waging in my head: I wouldn’t make a good boyfriend, had no interest in being a husband, and didn’t think I was responsible and mature enough to be a father. I didn’t like how awkward and self-conscious I felt when I began anything approximating an active pursuit of a female of the species, and typically as soon as I get in a relationship I feel trapped and want to be alone again. So given that context, not getting laid made sense: no chance of getting tricked into the delusion of love again, no pain when it ended, no chance of accidentally impregnating a girl. It seemed to be the safest, most logical route.

Despite that, I did find that I missed having a girlfriend. Sex is certainly a big part of it, and that reason alone would certainly not justify any attempt with a girl, but there were other things I missed. The closeness, the intimacy, the way being in a relationship with a girl I truly cared for made me feel more human somehow, more connected to the world, more real, even. It was an entirely different state of consciousness. Indeed, women were in many ways like an addictive drug, at least when I allowed myself to get close.

To me, though, all of that sounded just slightly less shallow and selfish than wanting a girlfriend for the sole purposes of securing sex. Or was I, as my friend Abbey once accused me, merely trying to rationalize away my humanity? Was all this just natural and I was being silly and immature fighting these impulses? It suddenly seemed as if that aforementioned internal war was still raging in me after all…

Though he is likely to debate the point, Moe has always had a way with women — and women had a way of emotionally scarring him. As similar as him and I were, as much as he seemed to be a brother from another mother, he had a degree of confidence and machismo I never really had. Occasionally I was jealous of it; I always admired it. His guidance in this endeavor, should I elect to go forward with it, would certainly be of great benefit.

He said that sometime in the near future we should go to a bar in town and maybe I could pick up a girl; though I said I probably would drink little to nothing at all, I was willing to give it a try.

Long ago I had noticed that when I didn’t get laid, everything became sexualized. It became a default metaphor for things. My jokes often referenced things of a sexual nature. Jung was right: what is repressed rather than properly expressed is projected. There seemed to be no escaping it.

So I might as well face it and deal with it.

Violence With a Side of Fries.

Within the first half hour of my shift on Monday, as I’m changing trash in the dining room, a newly-Christened manager hails me from behind the counter and asks if I’ll take this order of fries out to a waiting car. 

I say sure, grab the bag from her hands and go out the door to the side of the building, where I see two black cars parked in the two spaces right beside drive-thru. In the area around those cars are several female human bodies, most screaming in rage, some punching or grabbing one another. I went back in, told one of the kids behind counter to tell newbie manager there was a fight, and then went back outside, still holding the bag containing an order of fries.

It made me think back to a YouTube video I was watching just before work which described a technique for diffusing a fight. There was a video of some guy who did this, I think on the subway, and it apparently went viral. They called him “Snackman.” Essentially, if you walk between two people battling it out just casually eating a snack, it totally ends the battle. Well, I had the knowledge and an order of fries — but no confidence to give the technique a whirl.
This new, 18-year-old girl that started working a week or two ago and was visiting off the clock followed me when I went back out. Unlike me, she confidently and casually walked into the middle of it, talking to one of the girls calmly, seemingly unafraid and never attacked or even screamed at by anyone throughout the whole ordeal, at least as far as I could see. And all without a snack. I was impressed.

Steve, another shift manager, and Karen, our store manager, both came out with their phones. Steve was snapping a photo of the license plate on one if the cars. Karen was texting someone and suddenly said, as she was gazing at the continuing chaos a short distance away, “She has no arm.” I hadn’t even noticed, which is unlike me, but one older woman in the bunch with a face that screamed exhaustion just casually stood to the side of the mosh pit, bearing a nub on one arm at just about the elbow. She also had no belt on, wore no underwear, and had the flattest ass I’ve ever seen on a human being. I was just slightly more disgusted but fascinated.

A cop arrived, parked in the “I can do what I want” kind of way that seems typical for officers, blocking the drive-thru in the process. He almost immediately called for backup. They were still screaming at each other, but also took turns screaming to him. He screamed back that they should stop screaming, because he just got here and he’s not putting up with this shit.

He was desperately trying to keep his cool and play the role of the adult, but he had just stepped into an area of rage and was immediately infected. Their anger — less so with respect to the cop, but I turned away and went inside shortly thereafter — seemed like emotional fireworks. Like a Wild West shootout of anger, bullets of angst flying in every conceivable direction.

Not twenty minutes later, I saw another display of anger, this time at the dish sink in the stock room, where Steve’s son was at work (if you care to stretch the definition). Evidently he had been mouthing off to his manager-father and had said something about Karen behind her back. As Karen spoke with him, you could hear the anger in her voice and feel it at a distance — but it was a concentrated, focused, steady stream, like a laser beam. It was so controlled. So unlike the shoot-out fireworks I’d felt earlier.

I liked how the 18-year-old girl could walk into the atmosphere if rage earlier and remain apparently unaffected. I admired Karen’s capacity to remain in control and focus her anger. Both of these instances, they felt different than how I felt my own energy in such circumstances. I hold it in until I’m shaking and then it eventually breaks out, as if in sparks, and sometimes this leads to the inevitable, uncontrollable burst, like a bomb going off. Its similar to my anxiety in that way. I just don’t manage it well. I’m learning, but I’m by no means there yet.

The Neglected Wild.

Know your monster
intimately
and tame him, mark
boundaries,

or one day,
the right conditions
will surely be met,
his season
will
have come, and he will

creep
up from behind,
pounce, dive
into you, push

you in the passenger
seat and take the wheel,
possess

you, sink his claws
and teeth in, tearing away
strips of flesh, gnawing bone:
an aggressive
dance of a filthy animal,
cleansed, finally,
in a violent rain of vermillion.

Staring, swallowing souls
with burning
coals for eyes:

the neglected wild
released
from captivity,

on a rampage
for which it has been itching
for far too long…

you should have never
pushed him away.

Power and Paranoia.

Paranoia never sleeps.
Judgments never cease,
not for a moment:

endless whispers
of self-critique echo
on inside my skull:

I’m so damned
pretentious sometimes,
and the realization in the wake
feels embarrassing
enough to justify suicide.

There it is again:
that hypersensitivity…
Why am I so weak?

Jokes fall flat.
A compliment
in retrospect
may have been perceived
as cruelty.

What I just said makes me
sound bat-shit insane,
why don’t I
just face
it and have them lock
me away, drug
me to sane?

They only pretend.
They just feel
sorry for me, like some ugliness
in me they all see
but I’m largely blind
to, like an ignorance
as incurable
as my madness,
and it leaves eggshells
’round me.

I feel the shame weighing
on me so quickly,
jabbing blades in my gut
from the inside.
This self-hatred, so ruthless.

Needing to run,
to seek out reclusive shelter,
another rock to hide under.

Needing thicker skin,
courage to overcome fears,
and something like ambition,
but I fear
I have little to offer
myself, so…

Wait:

who am I
so hellbent
on impressing,
anyway?

How is it not arrogance
on my part
to presume for a solitary
second they’d waste

a moment
themselves
just to give a damn
’bout me?

Even if they do,
why the fuck should I
invest a damn?

Why?

Why do I
always give
my power away?