The Plague of Devia Mara.


Effectively divorced from my skin and all sensory stimuli, I felt myself descend as if into the proverbial rabbit hole, leading me towards what either constituted a lucid dream or another plane of existence. The debate is still raging. In either case, I was awake and knew this was not mundane reality I was literally falling into, and so I feared the entity that had attacked me so often when this sort of thing happened might lunge at me, so in response I resorted to a technique I had picked up in my Occult readings and refashioned to my own satisfaction. Chanting the made-up word only I know three times, I summoned my protective shield. Evidently, the conditioning I had subjected myself during my ordinary, waking life paid off, as it occurred without effort in precisely the way I always imagined it to function. Starting in my chest area, a white, glowing ball of energy swiftly grew to encompass my entire form, cocooning me in a protective bubble of energy.

To my relief and amazement, the vicious entity without certain form never showed. Though I could be mistaken, I do believe that this was the first time that I had found myself awake within an otherworldly space and not ultimately been subjected to his relentless violence. As I continued to fall down this nonphysical well I saw floating Gray alien heads strewn all about as if I was underwater, which did not seem to be the case, until I ultimately came to rest in an alternate version of my bedroom. There, my lucidity depleted significantly.

What followed, at least in the notes that, judging from my handwriting, occurred immediately afterward, constituted various non-lucid but certainly vivid dreams. I cannot be certain of their chronology, the degrees to which I succeeded in remembering them or whether they were separate dreams or part of a single, enduring narrative, but they were of an uncommon clarity and an eerie, dark overcast. Two scenes have direct relevance here.

Inside what I know to be a long building with a large parking lot that in retrospect I surmised must have been a bar or restaurant, I am sitting at the bar, a friend to my left and a girl sitting to my right. She dragged off a cigarette held between long, frog-like lips positioned beneath buggy eyes, and I got the overwhelming feeling that she was depressed. For some reason, I also felt that she looked like a Jennifer.

In the next relevant scene, I am introduced to what I explained in my notes as a sex-crazed girl in a dark room. I saw her as if from below, sitting on her sofa chair as if it were a throne. Leaning back, sprawled on the chair quite comfortably, she had her right leg bent at the knee and leisurely aiming to my right, with that foot resting on the chair, the other leg casually hanging off the edge. She was clad in a black shirt and pants, her shoulder-length black hair the only discernible feature when I focus on her head, which is entirely draped in darkness.

Though I would much prefer to think that I walked, given the position from which I initially viewed her I would have to say that I was on my hands and knees and crawled toward her, eventually atop her, though her position did not significantly change as I did so. Looking down, I spied her belly, as concave as my own at the time, and her comparatively loose black jeans, void of any belt. So inverted was her tummy that I could not only discern that she wasn’t wearing any underwear but clearly see her finely-shaven vagina. I then asked her a question, I think whether or not she would be my girlfriend.

“No,” she replied. “No Sex.”

In the dream notes, I mentioned that she for some reason looked as if her name would be Devia, though I have never, up to the time of this writing, known any girl by that name.


Sometime after having this dream, when I again decided to try my hand at fiction, I wrote a short story inspired by the dream, which I entitled The Hole in the Universe. It dealt with a group of guys who hung out at a bar based partially on the one in my dream, which was run by the girl I had called Jennifer. Their typical, end-of-the-workday routine was interrupted one evening when a biker entered the doors, offering cautionary tales to the group regarding a girl he was attempting to hunt down called Devia Mara. He claimed that though he had never met her himself she had taken home some of the guys at the biker bar down the street and brainwashed them, drained them of all will, and those that returned to the bar after nights with her came back changed, not at all themselves. After ascertaining they had not seen or heard of such a woman before, he told them to be careful and departed.

As the story progressed, his dire warnings proved to have merit, as she had evidently moved her territory from his biker bar to their own and started plucking them away one by one — though in this case, none of his friends ever returned to the bar or were seen again. The last member of the group and the one qualifying as the protagonist of the story feared she was seducing and then killing them and, despite the fact that he had still never laid eyes on her, soon became obsessed with hunting her down himself.

Ultimately he encountered her on the stairs at a bar, where she bit his lip and he passed out, only to find himself bound in duct tape to the passenger seat of a car upon awakening, with her in the driver seat. They engaged in a rather aggressive conversation, during which she insisted she had not killed his friends but only helped them to accept their true, individual natures and open up to life, leaving their group and the bar behind them in the wake. Though she eventually releases him and they walk together along a bridge, he stubbornly refuses to trust in and be swayed by her as they allegedly had.

Up to this point I feel my story was okay — not great by any measure, but all right — though in retrospect I certainly feel as though there was far more I could’ve done with it. I am, on the other hand, entirely unsatisfied with the ending, where she revealed herself to be something akin to a psychic vampire or parasite of the soul and left him alone on the bridge, paralyzed, slowly disintegrating into dust, falling into the water below. It seemed dreadfully inconsistent not only with respect to the promise I felt she had in the context of the dream that inspired the story but in the story previous to that point. For her to reveal herself as some simple personification of evil after teasing true depth and complex motives through their conversation seemed cheap, and the ending rather predictable, at least in essence.

To make matters worse, there are suggestions that this was my intent from the very moment I began writing the story, though I can neither recall any specific intentions nor have I managed to uncover any suggestive notes.

For instance, I do know that there was a good reason I chose the last name Mara for her. By the point I had written the story I am sure I knew that a mare or mara was said to be an evil spirit essentially synonymous with mythical creatures such as the succubus, Incubus and the old hag in that they were said to straddle the chests of people as they slept and suffocate them, giving rise to bad dreams or “night-mares.” It should come as no surprise that they are currently thought to be hallucinations caused by sleep paralysis. I knew all this as I had one such experience myself in March of 1995 and had subsequently engaged in obsessive research — and in an era that was BG (Before Google), no less. The sense I got from my research was that such entities were essentially psychic parasites, which is clearly reflected in the ending of the story.

Though I am fairly certain that I had no knowledge of it at the time, I have also discovered that Mara was the name of the demon that tempted Siddhārtha Gautama on his path towards enlightenment, which is to say to the trajectory that terminated upon him earning the title of Buddha. Mara is therefore considered in the eyes of at least some present-day Buddhist sects to be the personification of all that seeks to keep one bound to the wheel of death and rebirth.

In essence, my intention seemed to ultimately present her as a seductive entity that enslaved others and drained them of their power.


Though her face remained concealed within the dream, once I introduced her in the realm of my writing I gave her definite features. I was rather taken aback when I read it again, as it seems to describe Hypnotic Haylee, who I only stumbled upon far later, rather accurately:

“Her green eyes dug into me like a knife,” I wrote. “Her forehead was tilted further outward than her chin, and locks of her black hair fell across her face, reminding me so much of a predator fixating on her prey.”

While I never delved into how it was Devia changed those who became entangled in her web, hypnosis would fit nicely, and had I known enough about it at the time I feel certain I would have included it in the story as the means by which she “brainwashed” the guys at the biker bar. In any case, I’ve come to suspect that this is why I ultimately gravitated towards Haylee so many years later. She fit the profile of Devia in the dream to a startling degree and at least physically in the story that it inspired, suggesting that I have been psychologically projecting Devia onto her.


Altered States in ‘08.

I. Body.

It’s April eleventh, and I’m on the toilet taking a dump and reading Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle when I notice that I’m getting incredibly tired all of a sudden. I wanted to type out the rest of my notebook writings this week, the shit I’ve been writing about everything, and the bit of shit from last week I never got the chance to type out, but the coffee is simply not kicking in for some reason. As I’m reading, I’m finding my eyes are closing and I’m getting that falling feeling, like I’m falling or wobbling out of my skin. I’m not just tired, no, I’m inexplicably exhausted, ready to zonk out, so I just finish my chapter and climb into bed. And, poof, I’m out like a light.

Sometime later, I wake up, immobilized. I can’t see anything, all is just a black, formless void, and I can only hear and feel things faintly, but it’s clear I’m being moved. It feels like I’m being pulled across some fabric of some kind, like polyester, and I can hear that high-pitched screeching as my body’s pulled across the fabric or whatever it is. I feel so numb and passive, though, so fucking relaxed that struggling to open my eyes and see what the fuck is really going on never even crosses my mind. In retrospect, that bothers me, and it bothers me even more that it only bothers me in retrospect and didn’t bother me at the time.

When I wake up, things aren’t right, and I immediately know this is the case. I’m awake, but I’m not in my body, not really, not in the physical sense. I still can’t say if this kind of experience is a dream or some parallel reality or another plane of existence, but the fact of the matter is that I’m wide awake in this place and it’s not our traditional waking world. Perhaps this is just a lucid dream. Regardless, I wake to find myself in some version of the room I used to live in when I was at my parent’s house. It’s dark and there’s a bed, a sofa chair, but the room seems tinier than my room was when I lived with my parents and far more cluttered. I get up, fully aware that this isn’t real, or at least what we traditionally regard as real, and I look around the room.

I stand up and look in the mirror, which I have developed a certain fondness for doing when this sort of thing happens, this astral projection or whatever this is. My reflected image seems distorted in places, and I don’t know if it’s due to smudges on the mirror or it’s just my vision, but overall, I certainly look like me. Getting real close to the glass, I start searching for the scratch on my nose that I know I just got at work last night, but I cannot find it, and I’m curious and amused. The longer and closer I look the more I notice that my eyes look a hell of a lot shinier, a lot darker, and the glare off of them is so great I can hardly see my pupils or iris. I reach for my cigarettes because I really want to smoke one, and I put one in my mouth, holding off on lighting it. I’m thinking about going out the door of my room, maybe roaming around, checking the place out, maybe going downstairs, but I’m still drawn back to the mirror, finding myself transfixed on the reflection of my own image. Suddenly, it looks as if my chest isn’t my chest anymore, but my back. It looks like my head’s on backward. And then I wake up.

I don’t remember anything exactly after waking up, but I remember walking down my parent’s stairs, and my mother is talking to someone, some guy I know, who has just come in from outside. It suddenly comes to my attention that mom was somehow observing throughout the whole parallel reality or dream experience I just had. That was my inexplicable and sudden assumption at first, anyway. When I hear her talk to the other guy, it seems that he observed it all, too, and they were quite interested in it all. She started describing the dream, and the guy’s agreeing with her, with every word she uses to describe it. She starts talking about some riverbank, though, and he nods, and that’s when I shake my head at both of them. “No,” I say to them, “mine was different,” because I remembered, of course, no riverbank.

Just then I look out the door the guy had just come in from, which looks no different from my parent’s door in reality, and I see a face, a body on the ground outside the door, just on the edge of what appears to be a river beyond the door. I feel an instant sense of alarm, yelling, “BODY,” as I run down the remaining steps and cross the dining room and run out the door.

When I get outside, however, there is no river’s edge – no riverbank, that is. Just a lush, green lawn, but the body is still there. It’s a young, blond-haired body, eyes closed, just lying there with his legs together, arms at his sides, comfortable and not looking dead at all. Just lying motionless in the sun upon the lush green grass of what seems to be a beautiful summer day. I’m not good at judging age, but he’s maybe nine or ten years old, I’d say, if forced to guess. I just look at him, curious and confused.

And then I wake up again, but I’m inside my head, trying to find a way out, trying to wake up in the right place this time, and suddenly I wake up in my bed. I run to my computer desk and try to write it all down, try to remember as much as I can because I feel this is incredibly important. My eyes, as I write, they’re all out of focus; it’s as if I can only clearly see out of one, and the other’s all fucked up. My teeth feel as if they’ve been clenching. Am I having seizures during these experiences? I’m not sure. I can’t be sure about anything.

I look at the clock, and it reads 10:34 in the morning. It was ten-something when I went to bed, which means the whole experience, it shouldn’t have taken longer than half an hour, and probably considerably less. My experience seems like it might have fit into those time constraints if it was exactly ten when I went to bed, but I would have had to have started “dreaming” or whatever as soon as my head hit the pillow. That seems incredibly unlikely.

And I think about the kid in the dream, and my mind goes back to the kid I saw on December 15, 2001, and the weird experiences that followed that encounter, and how that child I saw way back when seemed to be maybe four, and how the kid I just saw in the dream or whatever, he seemed to be maybe ten, and I just shake my head, because that doesn’t help this make sense.

II. Altogether Numb With Psychospiritual Novocain.

It’s the Wednesday before last. It’s raining outside, and I spent the drive home trying to relax, doing my little mental ritual that makes me feel more protected and secure, all the while hoping to high hell I won’t go tires-on-a-Slip-N’-Slide and hydroplane. And that my spare won’t go flat. That a deer won’t run out in front of me. That I won’t veer into oncoming traffic. I try to make the relaxation come on more easily by putting on some pleasantly distracting music, but the only songs playing on the radio bring back angry, frightening and depressing memories, most of them from high school, slightly before or shortly thereafter. I finally settle on listening to Guns N’ Roses November Rain, which is a peculiar choice, considering the song’s themes. You know. Rainy weather, death.

Having survived the trip home, I pull into what has become my usual parking space in the lot outside my apartment. I open the door, smell the exhaust from my car, put out my cigarette in the ashtray overloaded with tangled butts and clumps of soot. Outside, the rain beats down on me. I’m leaning in the open door, reaching in for my book bag, when something weird happens.

My consciousness suddenly shifts. Like a head rush, but more than a head rush. More breadth and width than a head rush. Just for a brief second, just for a blink, it’s suddenly as if I’m looking, feeling, hearing, smelling it all from outside myself, behind myself, above myself but through myself. It’s not just the perspective that’s changed, either, but my sense of self. It’s as if my everyday ego is just some costume I put on, some role I play, and this is a deeper aspect of me waking up after a snooze and just peeking through the curtain. And this hiding, now-peeking-out me seems so much more awake and alive. I feel like I am somebody I am, but I’m not the me I fooled myself into believing I was.

I look around and realize that I’m leaning inside a vehicle, reaching for a book bag. That I have a job and go to college and live alone and have somehow managed to survive enough to get here. And I am awash with perplexity and disbelief. I realize a lot must have transpired in order to get here and I am skeptical with respect to the notion that I really am. This can’t really be the case, can it? How did I get here? How did I make it this far? This is inconceivable, considering where I was last time I peeked out from behind the curtain. It’s exciting, I notice — the freedom I have — but the world is also frightening. I find it amazing that this world even exists, really. That the circumstances are the way they are.

It’s as if I’ve just really woken up out of this dream-like zombie state I’d been in since who knew when. And everything I — the me I think I am — takes for granted, it’s all so unbelievable.

This sudden shift in consciousness lasts a second, as I said, a mere second, and I shift back. I go on about my usual routine like it never happened, but inside my apartment, I’m contemplating. It’s so weird how we live the majority of our lives thinking we’re awake when in a moment we realize just how asleep we’ve really been. We’re altogether numb with psychospiritual Novocain, really.

III. The Blurs Strike Again.

It was Sunday, somewhere between four-thirty and five-thirty in the evening, I was at work, and I had just come back inside after having taken out the trash. It didn’t hit me until I looked at the face of Pops Girl in the drive-thru that something was wrong. Although I was looking dead at her I couldn’t see her entire face. I looked at Gus, at others, and it was the same thing. Looking at her eyes, I couldn’t see the bottom half of their faces; their mouths, their chin, were just gone from my field of vision. It affected part of the side of their face, too; focusing on one eye, I couldn’t see the other. I tried to act natural. Tried to keep calm. As I walked passed people, I noticed that in the upper-to-middle right-hand corner of my field of vision there was this purple blob, kind of like the blob you get when you stare at a light for a really long time, only this was remaining stationary, pulsating. And it didn’t remain a purple blob for long, either; soon it became what I’ve come to call a ”distortion worm.” In the same place in the upper-to-middle right-hand corner of my field of vision, it was this wavy line that looked a lot like a slithering snake, only it was stationary and pulsating, and though it was transparent, it distorted everything it obstructed and began to shimmer in these sparkling rainbow colors.

Maybe I should just shut up about it this time, I told myself. If I ignore it, the blurs will probably eventually go away, and trying to explain this to people who don’t understand and won’t give so much as half a shit won’t do me any good anyway. I went in the back, though, to start cleaning the top of the shake machine when Moe, over by the fryers, asks me if I’m okay, and I had to confess I didn’t know. I tried to explain to him what was happening, how it starts with the purple blob, transforms into a distortion worm and then it slowly grows across the center of my line of sight until I have nothing but the most minute amount of peripheral vision to go on. Two other guys in the kitchen, Louie and Ronnie, take interest in what I’m saying. Louie steps in and offers that it might be something in my eye, maybe a hair, or maybe a cataract or perhaps my eyesight has been going bad, but I shake my head, tell him I don’t see how any of the above could be true. For one thing, this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. It happened first on September 30, 2002, and it happened on three more occasions after that. But it hasn’t happened to me in five years. Not since my last day at the first store I worked at, as a matter of fact. So it just doesn’t seem like this would be a cataract or my eyesight going bad. And the idea of something being stuck in my eye seems just as unlikely. It’s not my eye, it’s my field of vision — I can cover either eye and it’s still happening. It’s happening in my head, in my brain; the problem can’t be located in my eyes.

Back when this had begun happening the first time, it was shortly after I had met Angela Briss. Eventually, she and I would sit down over some coffee and she’d tell me some interesting, weird things that had occurred to her over the course of her life rather consistently — shit that sounded quite familiar. Among her experience was something she called “the blurs,” which was, it seemed, exactly what had been happening to me.

The last time I had an attack of the blurs was, as I said, my last day at the first McDonalds I worked at, which also happened to be the last day I had ever seen her. Just a few days ago, I finally found Angela online and tried to contact her, though I hadn’t heard back from her. I don’t see how that could be anything more than coincidence, but I think it’s worth noting. Another thing worth noting is that when I described this particular experience to my parents sometime later, it turns out my ”blur attacks” sounded exactly like what my mother saw during the extremely serious migraines she used to have when I was really young. The distortion worm would start at one end of her field of vision and slowly work its way across her field of vision, sparkling and pulsating until it reached the other side, at which time her migraine would just be over. The difference in my case is that the blurs don’t always go that far, but sometimes they go farther — either way, a headache never accompanies them, though I do feel a “pressure” in my head and my state of consciousness is drastically warped.

It’s also true that I’ve been freaking out a lot lately, however, and that I hadn’t gotten any sleep the night before. Aside from that, I’d been contemplating whether the ailments I’ve been suffering as of late might have been of a psychosomatic nature. One issue was the sharp ache in my right foot, which made it extremely painful to walk on — incredibly for one day, and then increasingly less for two to three days afterward. Then, after that had dissipated, I felt this lump in my ear and one morning I awoke with the entire side of my face throbbing with this profound ache that subsided in a day or two. Perhaps these ailments, as well as the blurs, were all psychosomatic reactions to stress, which for various reasons have been high lately. For one thing, they all occurred on the right side of my body. For another, I’m almost sure the blurs have to be psychosomatic because when I can manage to relax they suddenly subside.

As I was cleaning the shake machine, the blurs got a bit worse, with the distortion worm crawling a little further across my field of vision and another blob forming on the lower half of the right side of my visual field, pulsating. My vision got all surreal as if everything was in a sort of haze and at a distance, but it slowly seemed to calm, and after I went out for a cigarette it seemed to subside entirely.

Voluntary Amnesia (6/28/08 Dream).

Walking alone in what appears to be the front yard of my parent’s house, it is a dark, clear, warm summer’s night. I’m watching something in the sky that at first looks like a plane in the distance but suddenly it quickly accelerates forward, and in the end what I’m looking at is a saucer-shaped object with lights all over it in neon-like colors. I don’t know how high up it is, but it looks bigger than the moon would appear and it’s dancing, doing acrobatics in the sky above me. Soon another joins it, virtually identical in appearance to the first, and then another. It is absolutely amazing to watch them.

Though in retrospect my instinct should have been to run and take cover, instead I find myself laying down, putting my back upon the grass of the front lawn. As I do so, the magnificent, surreal light show above me continues, but I realize something is even more awry now. There’s a strange mixture of excitement and fear present in me, and I know something in particular is coming. From the especially dark area of the yard towards which the top of my head is pointing there comes something. A form. It approaches me, bends down and looks at my face, but as soon as it does so I close my eyes.

Suddenly, with my eyes closed, with my consciousness altering and drifting in and out a bit, I feel myself being lifted and moved around, and when I open my eyes again I seem to be in a pretty bright place. From the table on which I lay I can clearly see them walking around, surrounding me. Some are familiar. The little gray guys. But they don’t all look the same. Some are of types I never remember having seen before, not in personal experiences and not in my research into the experiences of others. I remember how the head of one of them struck me as unusual and interesting and that I hoped that I would be able to remember this whole incident well enough to be able to draw it later on. This led me to playing over in my head what happened from the point of seeing the objects in the yard until now over and over, trying to remember the sequence, burn every detail of it in my memory so that I could write about it later.

Like so many times before, I hoped they wouldn’t wipe my conscious mind entirely clean. I wanted to remember how real this was in order to abolish the skepticism that always followed an experience, the doubt that always ached in me about my sanity after they dropped me off. There was a moment there on the table when I thought that perhaps I should just ask them, beg them to let me remember the fact that this happens from now on, to just do away with the amnesia because I can’t stop them and I think I can handle the memories. Maybe I could just accept what’s going on and somehow learn to integrate it into my life because, really, for the most part, its the mystery, the inability to know whether this is insane or really happening, that drives me over the edge. If I knew for sure, maybe I could deal.

But then I began to recall the kinds of things thoat went on when they took me, the kinds of things that were in store for me pretty soon, as I waited there on the table, and I thought how maybe it would benefit me not to remember. That perhaps if they took my suggestion and let me remember it might just cause more pain, more fear, and may perhaps even destroy me and my life completely. And after that point, I have no recollection of what else happened in the dream, but I feel certain more happened.

Survive, So As to Wait.

I am not loveless.
Not in the least.
All within me warms
with crisp night air

to the hypnotic soundtrack
of crickets beneath a cloudless sky
far away from all city lights,
revealing beacons amidst an infinitely
deep and wide black sea,

‘round which the most curious
islands revolve…

the forest
surrounding me like a nest,
a breeze sending all the leaves
into applause
at the awesome spectacle
of the observable cosmos

as I take a drag
off the butt
of my cigarette,
mug of coffee

my gripping hand
or a beer within curled
thumb and fingers,
making me less frigid
in a relative sense

as chills infect my palms
and the bubbly beverage
cascades down my esophagus,
bringing me closer
to the transient blackout:

final refuge
of consciousness
too stubborn
or too determined
to just lay

down and let
the merchants
of death
take it away.

It can wait to thrive.

I mean, after all, consider
how patient
it has been thus far…

but it must survive
so as to wait.

Can’t cross that bottom line.

So I suppose
it is exposed:
I love life,

so, no:
I am not loveless.

Through death and birth,
that one, singular
ol’ faithful is with me.

Of the Canopy and the Jungle. 

This individual, 
he is privy
to a strictly compartmentalized

vault of knowledge
his worldline, bound
to a characteristic pathway

plotted via causality,

in moksa, eased
into self-awareness, bathing
in the pool till she pulls
him out:

once bathed
in blood,
now washed,

rinsed, sanitized,
laid out,

for yet
another round,
another tour straight

on into the hyper-surreal,
treacherous jungle:

this ancient, fucking soul
seeks only  truth,
some semblance of reality.

Evil 23, Deathbunnies and Other Synchronicities.

Analytical psychologist Carl Jung was the first to introduce synchronicity as a concept, variously defining it between the 1920s and 1950s as an “acausal connecting principle,” “acausal parallelism,” and perhaps most popularly as “meaningful coincidence.” It serves as the unifying force behind most, if not all, of what is considered paranormal, parapsychological or psi phenomena, which is to say the effectively hidden connections that allegedly weave together all that is.

During high school I got my first whiff of what synchronicity was, though it was not until I spoke with my friend Channing that I learned of the word or how the particular manifestation that I had been experiencing at the time had plagued others in frighteningly similar ways. It began when I had written in the editorial of the online magazine a few friends and I had begun publishing at the time. In the editorial I had made the passing comment, more or less just another bitter and sarcastic comment of mine, on how I expected to be dead by age 23.

Shortly thereafter the number began to appear everywhere. I grabbed a bottle of cooking oil at work and the number was magic-markered on the white cap on top. One of the manager’s children approached me later in the day and had the number on his shirt. I’d look at the clock and see that it would be 5:23. The next time I’d look, it’d be 7:23. I’d get an order at a restaurant and my call number would be twenty-three.

Only after this began happening did I learn through Channing that others have had the same experiences with this number. In his 1977 book Cosmic Trigger, Robert Anton Wilson writes of the experience where, it would seem, all this shit with the number 23 started:

“In the early ‘60s in Tangier, Burroughs knew a certain Captain Clark who ran a ferry from Tangier to Spain. One day, Clark said to Burroughs that he’d been running the ferry 23 years without accident. That very day, the ferry sank, killing Clark and everybody aboard… In the evening, Burroughs was thinking about this when he turned on the radio. The first newscast told about the crash of an Eastern Airlines plane in New York-Miami route. The pilot was another Captain Clark and the flight was listed as a flight 23.”

Burroughs went on to keep a list of strange coincidences, discovering along the journey that 23 ended up in quite a bit of them. When Robert Anton Wilson heard about this, he began documenting such coincidences as well. The 23 synchronicity was also eventually incorporated into the Principia Discordia, a book that inspired Discordianism, an intentionally-disorganized pseudo-religion borne from the minds of certain members of the drug culture in the sixties. They worshipped Eris, the goddess of Chaos, who is associated with the number five and, by extension, 23.

Though I initially treated it as a joke, over time it’s humorous aura evaporated and it began evolving into a far more sober curiosity and concern. Though many insisted I had been unconsciously hunting for the number — that I was unconsciously seeking it out, remembering when I saw it and forgetting when I did not — my experiences often suggested to me that it was this vile double-digit that was doing the stalking. There were times when the synchronicities got so high and so fucking ridiculous that this explanation seemed quite difficult for me to swallow in all seriousness.

I revisited this synchronicity with numbers yet again roughy a decade later, when I finally began attending college, and it was at that point that it became quite apparent to me that the number 23 itself did not bear any cosmic synchronistic property. After reading up on Douglas Adams, who once attested in his books that the meaning to life was 42, I began seeing that number everywhere as well. And after reading up on the Eastern mala, which traditionally has 108 beads, and watching the television show LOST, which deals with synchronicities involving all the aforementioned numbers and then some, I began seeing the number 108 everywhere as well.

And there was, of course, the fact that this phenomenon proved to extend beyond numbers. This I came to realize shortly after 23 started haunting me. I began to notice that despite the fact that I would talk to different people who did not talk or even know of one another, they would nonetheless bring up the same subjects with me, suggest the same things, make the same observations, pose the same questions, indicate the same ideas, reference the same sources. In rebellion against any semblance of rationality it often seemed as though some force behind existence was pointing towards or away from a particular direction through use of countless tiny fingers: call them omens, warnings, signs.

Sometimes I’d be innocently thinking of someone I haven’t thought of or seen in a very long time and within the day I’d bump into them or they’d call me or otherwise reach out to me. On other occasions, I might think of someone — a girl — not so innocently. Though it had, like that evil 23, first began as a joke, I noticed more and more often that when I had a particularly powerful sexual fantasy about a girl while masturbating that she would contact me or cross my path within a day or two — even if I had not seen that girl in months or years. Though relatively rarely, in a few instances the girl in question confessed to having had a dream of me, often sexual in nature.
For a long while, I thought that telepathy stood as a sufficient explanation across the board with respect to my whack-off voodoo, and in many cases I think this still stands as a worthy explanation. In other cases it just didn’t seem to fit the bill. During college I had milked the man-meats to the thought of a girl I had not seen in a good while and the next day, as I was sitting at a table, she had walked by me on campus — but I was fairly certain she had not seen me, and so it seems unlikely that she had sought me out. I had a hard time chalking that up to mere telepathy. Nor would telepathy account for my synchronicity involving numbers.

Other instances were even more difficult to define specifically. One morning in the Spring of 1999, before my first move to the college town in May, I woke up and recalled a few details from a dream. This was what I often refer to as a “busy dream,” as it was long, drawn out, and involved many characters and a lot of activity. All I could remember specifically, however, was a scene in which I was driving my car into the parking lot of the library of a nearby town I visited nearly every day. In the midst of pulling in, I spotted Felicia, a girl I hadn’t seen since the end of high school two years ago. Her and I rarely spoke, she was not a part of my circle of friends, and to be honest, I never thought much about her. For some reason I tried hiding my cigarette from her as I drove passed, anxious for some reason about her seeing me smoking.

Since the dream fragment didn’t really seem to be anything important, I paid it little mind. I woke up and went about my usual, unemployed daily activities: I hit a few restaurants in the aforementioned town, drank some coffee, smoked cigarettes and wrote. As I circled the town square, not thinking of the dream at all, I saw the library and, on a whim, decided to pull in and do some research on dreams, which I had been researching at the time. As I was pulling into the parking lot, my stereo blasted my dubbed version of Sad But True off Metallica’s self-titled “black” album. After walking into the library, I found my eyes directed at the front desk, where I saw a familiar blond haired girl. I suddenly made the connection with the dream and thought it funny that the girl looked an awful lot like Felicia. As I walked closer to her, I realized that it didn’t just look like her, it was her. Mind blown, I approached her, breathed deep, swallowed, and tapped her on the shoulder. She looked at me. It was indeed Felicia. I greeted her and she asked how I was. A casual conversation ensured, but I could sense that she was put off by my approach and strange attitude, so I cut it short and went about my way.

When I was alone and found my place in the library I let myself digest all of this. My dream of the library that morning might have subliminally prompted me to actually visit the place, as would the fact that I was currently researching dreams. Even so, how in the hell would I, at any level, know that Felicia, a girl I never knew well and had not seen in two years, would actually be there?

Upon finally returning to my car and starting it up, the song that had been playing when I pulled in continued: Sad But True. It struck me that this song was about the dark side, our inner anti-ego, which resided and presided over the unconscious, dissociated aspects of our minds — essentially about what Jung called our Shadow. Might my shadow the puppet-master behind the curtain, busily pulling these synchronistic strings? Subsequent episodes of weirdness not limited to synchronicity have provided further suggestion that this is the case.

Another mystifying sequence of experiences involved what I have come to call the deathbunnies. On July 17, 1999, after I had moved into the apartment with Sandra that May, I was driving my car and, for some unknown reason, reflecting on an incident that had occurred one evening the year before, in the summer of 1998. Channing and I had been hanging out and he had just driven us back to my parent’s house, where I lived at the time, and we spent some time getting deeply involved in conversation while meandering about the front yard.

We had been gawking at a picture in a CD he had bought that depicted a woman clad in black, surrounded in snow-white bunnies, and then had gone on to talk about our hopeless plans to date two girls we were interested in, who happened to be friends themselves. We considered the hopeful though remote possibility that down the road at the house of the girl I liked they might be talking about us in a similar fashion when something peculiar happened. This rabbit jumped between us — though to our eyes the speed and height at which it jumped, it’s abnormally long legs and relatively small body, assured us this was no ordinary rabbit. In addition, it both appeared out of nowhere and vanished in just the same way, and in the aftermath we just stood there, spooked, amazed and incredibly curious.

After we began speaking again, confirming to ourselves what had just happened, we engaged in speculation. Channing pointed out the previously unacknowledged associations we both had between bunnies and women, at least on that particular evening. Not only had the strange rabbit appeared just as we had been talking about women, after all, but there was that CD image we had been collectively entranced by.

Later that evening (or morning, as the case likely was), after he had left, I decided to drive to Dairy Mart in a nearby town to get a cappuccino. Right after pulling out of my driveway, I decided I wasn’t up to driving there after all, however, so I quickly pulled down a nearby dirt road that led to Hades Hollow park. I figured I’d drive around the block, listen to some music and smoke some cigarettes. Halfway down the road, I saw something dart out of the darkness and under the wheels of my car, feeling the hearing that horrible noise as I rolled over it. This disturbed me greatly, for save for finding a bird stuck in the grill of my first car some years back, I had never killed an animal with my car, or at all, for that matter. The thought of having killed an animal, or perhaps having merely hurt it and leaving it there to suffer, struck such guilt in me that I had to stop the car, turn around, go back and look at it to make sure it was dead, to ease my conscience. There was no mistaking the corpse for what it was once it was illuminated by my headlights. However normal in physiology, it was undoubtedly a bunny.

Though I cannot be certain at all why I was reflecting upon that experience that day in July, in the midst of doing so a baby bunny ran across the road right in front of my car. I was sure I had missed it, but was unable to ignore the strange coincidence, giving what I had been thinking about. Further down the road, perhaps some fifteen minutes later, it happened again, and this time the thing had just been sitting in the middle of the road. This was also dodged near death, however. I failed to note my destination when taking notes about this instance, though I did note something daunting on my drive home. In two different locations on the same road — the same locations that I had seen the two rabbits, for all I know — there were rabbit carcasses, each being pecked at by three crows.

Within a day or two, I walked into the apartment to find a lit fish tank on a table in the living room. Confused, I approached it, only to find a baby bunny inside. Soon I learned that Sandra had run over it’s mother while driving her cousin, Terra, and they were doing their best to nurse it back to health. Upon checking the tank when I awoke on July 20th, I found it dead.

Synchronicity is not always predominantly mystifying in character, however; sometimes, it can be downright annoying, as was perfectly exemplified in an experience I had in October of 2000. Though it may have no bearing on the incident that followed, I recorded in my notes that the evening previous I had listened to the “Alpha-Theta Train” program on my Mind Gear PR-2X mind machine — a device that utilizes pulsating light and sound to alter brainwaves through a phenomenon known as entrainment. After waking up, I had tried print something out on my computer and it refused to do so, which left me incredibly irritated to begin with on my way to work. As I drove, I put in a random mix tape. It turned out to be Metallica, which I was not in the mood for at all, so I ejected the tape to put in another and to hear what was on the radio in the meantime. To my dismay, the radio was playing Metallica, which only served to reinforce my annoyance. I put in another tape, hoping that it was Stone Temple Pilots, as that was the band I was in the mood to hear, but it turned out to be Godsmack. Agitated, I took out that tape to put in yet another, thinking that perhaps something better might be on the radio this time. Unfortunately, it was Godsmack. This pissed me off more than it amazed me. After parking my car to write this all down, I was listening to Oleander on cassette, which was finally getting on my nerves, mostly because I was still unable to find a tape with Stone Temple Pilots on it, so I ejected the tape — only to find Oleander playing on the radio.

Over the years it has also come to my attention that the broad-spectrum weirdness in my life often comes in waves which peak in intense clusters of experiences. These clusters can span over the course of months, weeks, and in some cases, even days. In September of 2002, I had just such a cluster of odd synchronicities.

On the first if the month I was driving home from work, for some reason thinking about the Hermit card of the Tarot deck as I made my way. Upon arriving home I was blown away to discover that my mother had bought a deck of Tarot cards that very day. The following day was even more replete with weirdness. I awoke from a dream in which I had put on a jacked made of newspapers. After exiting my room I found that my father was wearing a T-shirt with a newspaper on it. Unprompted, he also told me about film he had made of when I was a kid in which I was rolling around in newspapers lain about the floor. Later, when at work, I also noted that I had not seen a particular regular at the fast food joint in some time. Shortly thereafter, he strolled on in through the door.

Upon waking up on the third, I went downstairs to find mom and some lady talking about yellow finches. Just as they were in the midst of talking about it, a yellow finch stopped at the bird-feeder in our backyard. I then got in my car and left to go to a restaurant to write. As I was driving, a yellow bird flew in front of me quickly. I hoped that I hadn’t hit it, but upon looking behind me I saw a yellow dot in the road. At work, I find the health department had come in. I had just thought about them yesterday.

Some synchronicity would fall into the category telepathy, others more likely constituting clairvoyance, precognition or retrocognition. In other cases it seems as though the mind’s capacity to influence probability is being demonstrated — what parapsychologists refer to as micro-PK. When we typically think of psychokinesis (PK) or telekinesis, as it’s sometimes called, we often envision bent spoons and levitating objects. This is known as macro-PK, but this is not the form of PK given the most attention by parapsychologists in the laboratory. They are instead focused on what is known as micro-PK, which they define as the deliberate or unconscious ability to influence the probability of events to fall in favor of a designated target. After determining the statistical likelihood of all available outcomes of a tossed die, a flipped quarter, or the results of a random number generator, in other words, they would then instruct their subjects to attempt to sway the odds in a statistically significant fashion through intention alone. Such experiments were statistically successful in defying the odds.

For some time it has seemed to me that if what is apparently occurring in micro-PK experiments were to occur on the macro level, what you would observe would not be macro-PK, but something altogether different, suggesting it might be an entirely distinct psi ability — the ability to manufacture coincidence. If conscious intent can cause a rolled pair of dice to have a greater likelihood of coming up as a pair of sixes, might conscious intent also be able to affect the probability of events on a grander scale?

Take Your Time.

against the mind.
the typical reaction,

discouraged and confused
when it stands as the victor.

What the fuck
were you anticipating?

Diving down so deep
with such swiftness,
did you not expect
death by asphyxiation? 

Return through rebirth,
the same expectations…

I beg
you learn this time. 
I hope
you take your time…

Champion Spokesperson for the Other Side.

If you seek to destroy,
dismantle this, eviscerate
it, know that every node
contains the entirety

of the web
like a shard
of a goddamned hologram,

just follow the strands
from it, seeking escape…

You would have to become
the champion spokesperson
for the other side

to have a hope in hell
of turning this around,

yourself, my dear.

by all means,
I beg
of you: defy
the odds.

Just Run.

and beautiful. Intelligent
yet so fucking unusual.

Seems like
you can read my mind: 
as if your telepathic fingers
are worming ’round inside

in an effort
to mold it.

This is too damn familiar,

almost as if I can see
the black, slanted, almond
eyes behind that mask.

It’s in your energy.

You are transparent
to me: lost in the dust
as my worn soles
run the other away.