Shinola

A lot of good people
Pushing on through the rain
Painting whimsical rainbows
With impossible pain

Searching for salvation
Searching for love
Searching for a safe place to dream

A lot of bad people
Killing joy for money
Killing peace for kicks
Pissing on batteries in the name
Of righteous indignation

I got a whole suitcase full of madness
Demons and monsters instead of brain cells
I got more pain in my bugged out head
Than any one man should have to bear

But just for today
I’m going to get myself quietly shitfaced
And keep trying to devise
The spaced out alchemical algorithm

That will convert all this excess emotion
Small oil tankers of pain
Freight trains packed full of anger
Convert all this shit to Shinola
And keep polishing the blues

golly

Mother

I sometimes think that the things in my head that don’t want to come out are the most dangerous. Things that stay lurking in musty corners of my mind for years. Sometimes decades. That can’t be good, right? God only knows what twisted mutations happen in the darkest corners of a troubled mind.

This thought, the one I’m chasing with you now, is a real crafty old bugger. One minute it’s a ghost then a lie then a fantasy. It’s there though – I can see the empty spaces that it leaves in the process of its concealment. I can notice the missing joy and peace and energy that it uses to power its invisibility motors.

Can one catch a thought with a thought? Perhaps I’m being too ambitious – maybe I should just throw likely words in the general direction of the gaps in my mind and see what sticks? Words like shame and guilt and waste and ….. denial.

Fuck I just saw the ghost of my mother. The hole in my mind, the hole in my soul, is in the shape of my mother. My mother is ancient. Older than anyone should be made to be. She’s been that way since I’ve known her. There’s always been a feeling of primal misery and decay about her. It was once covered in young fresh skin and now it’s covered in sagging wrinkled tissue thin skin. There’s something frighteningly timeless, almost vital, about her decrepitude. An endless fuck you in the face of innocence, beauty, youth and joy.

An endless capacity for incapacity – a problem for every solution. That’s me old mum for you. Even the best of her days are endless, horrid and grey.

What’s that? Why does this bother me so? It’s hardly my fault is it? Just ignore her and she’ll go away. But don’t you know the saddest ghosts live the longest.

I left my job in the city to engage in a spot of ghostbusting. Just in case it would help the endless proliferation of symptoms. Help fight the anxiety, the despair, the addiction, confusion, anger, lostness, lack. Told myself, wouldn’t it be nice to spend some quality time with mum while she’s still healthy enough to hang with. Go for walks, have some lovely little chats.

Fuck. Was my capacity for self deceit so strong? Now there are two sources of endless darkness in my life. My mother and my mother’s ghost. The Mother, the Son and the Unholy ghost. What a clusterfuck.

Well I can’t rightly leave us here in this mess. It’s not a fertile mess – just a merry bit of madness. And, believe me I’ve tried, there’s nothing to be done with the woman herself. She’s oblivious. Her misery and darkness impenetrable.

All I can do is align myself with lighter beings, brighter beings. Be a lighter and brighter being myself. Be a channel for the light and love of god or, if the g-word offends, of the Universal Mind. No good carrying candles into a black hole. I’ve spent my life smashing my serenity – bouncing against the implacable event horizon of mother’s misery.

Wish me luck with that 🙂

despair-2

Fade to grey

I live at the intersection of The World and My Brain. It’s a really horrible area and I often dream of moving. Anywhere. But I can’t. It seems that by the time the world reaches me it has already been shredded and reassembled as pastiche. I reach myself along a similar route. Is there any other way?

Recently I fell off the production line. I thought, hey don’t stress, I’m a good product. That nice lady with the pink hair and brown teeth will pick me up, put me back in a free slot, and things will be as right as rain in no time at all. But she didn’t, did she? She deemed me faulty, broken, scrap. And next thing I know I’m down the chute, through the flap and landing unceremoniously in the garbage ready to be taken to the dump. Down in the dumps am I now. It’s shocking. How it happened so quickly. And finally. An obedient and productive product with satellite TV and beer in the fridge one day and an obsolete extraneous shadow the next.

I carried a couch down to the intersection. It was once a proud new couch that lived in a suburban duplex. It’s become a bit tatty. Frayed around the edges. Is coated in a layer that was once dust but has now fused with the fabric of the couch. There are years of dust and dirt that have fused with the fabric of my mind so I feel a certain tenderness towards the silly old couch. And in any case it’s my bed now. Which I made and now lie in it. The artist formally known as Dave on the dusty couch just a few feet from a very busy intersection. Bowie and now Prince. Fuck. That’s a lot of unsayable stuff for me right there.

I told my Doctor that I don’t do much punctuation these days. Just tumble down the stream of consciousness with no time for semicolons. She has a couch with lots of fluffy pillows and some really neat plastic at the foot end so I don’t even need to take off my shoes. She has a room that has no dust. I think it’s a holy room so the dust just kinda stays away. Out of respect. I sometimes cut from her wooly dentist’s couch to my sad entropically compromised couch at the intersection. This is called a hard cut in the trade. And it is. Like when a soft pink finger meets a sullen rusty blade.

When I’m on her couch I don’t feel like a product. I know I’m there for a serious operation but I feel so ….. human, perhaps. She cuts into me so slowly, so tenderly, as if her scalpels are made of silk. And she doesn’t even mind the blood. It’s literal blood. I mean a stream of bloody words, that she collects and studies. I think she’s investigating antidotes. Or perhaps making a huge installation that needs lots of different shades and types of blood. There is nothing even vaguely vampirical about her though. She has a transcendental beauty about her. It’s a beauty that soothes while she cuts. There is something the opposite of beauty that cuts when it soothes but I haven’t given it a name.

Hush now baby, baby, don’t you cry.
Mother’s gonna make all of your nightmares come true.
Mother’s gonna put all of her fears into you.

Next to my couch, at the intersection, I have an old compact disc player stereo cassette recorder. That’s actually what you will see when the camera zooms in. Sometimes the music supervisor likes to combine sound and visuals in evocative ways. I’ll be thinking about S…..n but hearing So long Marianne. Or you’ll see me on the couch in the rain being covered slowly by a layer of soot and dust and hear There was joy there was fun. The music director trades in Blasphemous rumours and, yes, does have a sick sense of humour.

I told the Doctor that I regress at the drop of a hat. She wanted to know if my father wore a hat. I do love her but she has the silliest notions. She suffers from Pareidolia. A particularly nasty Freudian strain of the bug. I think she knows this but bears her burden with dignity. Being a spiritual burden it does not affect her posture. The editor removes thoughts that are bad for my blood but sometimes a saucy allusion gets through. He, the editor, trades in allusions. Arranges them rhythmically and sometimes allows them to copulate but only just under the surface.

I have several conflicting operating systems and they’re all full of bugs. Not just bugs but years of malicious code too. Sometimes when I get to temporally or psychologically close to saying the unsayable my system crashes or freezes. At times like these I console myself with knowing that one day I will be able to leave. There is an Urban Security Specialist who walks the beat past my couch everyday. He reminds me that No one here gets out alive. I call him Jim. I say, ok Jim, but the sweet water of death will take me to the sea. I dream of returning to the sea. Mother gave me sugar water when I bumped my head but that’s not pertinent here at all.

The Producer wants me to wrap this up. It’s a pity because I don’t have much to do today besides talking to pigeons and picking at scabs. There was something I wanted to say though. An unsayable thing become horribly important. Fuck. It’s gone. It’s hiding under an endless accretion of dusty words. I see people everywhere and I sometimes sob because I fear that some of them may be as lost as me. As scared and confused and lonely and cold as me. And I’m worried that the movie will end on this sour note and will be a flop. Will be unwatchable. That’s is a very real fear – that the movie of my life will be unwatchable, book unreadable, series cancelled.

Fade to grey….

Couch-on-Street

Creative Living – Beyond Self Consumption

workbuyconsumedie

I have a friend who is always animatedly disgusted about some aspect of life. Well when he is in a huff he calls it life. But really he is usually disgusted by other people’s behavior. But this seems more like righteous indignation rather than any useful, creative interaction with the world.

I love paradox. I eat that shit for breakfast. But I won’t be self righteous about the wrongness of being self righteous. Or be judgmental about people who are judgmental. In fact I’ve found a profoundly humbling little motto. “Yes, it is all about me.”

Before you run screaming for the hills let me try to explain. I believe that we are all tripping. Every single one of us. Some of us are tripping on drugs, some on power, some on Jesus – the list is endless. But it’s sure as nuts not reality. It’s just the story we assemble, sometimes meticulously other times on the fly, to make sense of the chemicals flowing through our brain.

The problem is not with reality – reality is pretty cool – the problem is with our uncreative, limited or negative narratives. That’s what I mean by it’s all about me. Mahatma Gandhi said it better – “Be the change you want to see in the world.”

Here’s another quote by a less famous but even more brilliant Indian –

To be creative, which is to have real initiative, there must be freedom; and for freedom there must be intelligence. So you have to inquire and find out what is preventing intelligence. You have to investigate life, you have to question social values, everything, and not accept anything because you are frightened.

http://www.jiddu-krishnamurti.net/en/flight-of-the-eagle/1969-05-11-jiddu-krishnamurti-flight-of-the-eagle-6-the-wholeness-of-life

All this and curry 🙂

So this is an ideal. To be aware, fearless, intelligent. And loving of course. That’s the trip I want to be on. Not just when I take designer drugs but all the time. And this brings me to an interesting aspect of Consumerism. I think many of us know that the game on this planet, the one sanctioned by the military industrial media Macdonalds complex, is conspicuous consumption of product. The fact that this obsession enslaves us not just economically but psychologically and spiritually too is taken either as an inescapable fact of life or as a condemnation of some or other political system. It’s not. Those are just stories. In reality we just suffer from a lack of imagination. And compassion.

If people who say they love their children meant it, would there be war? And would there be division of nationalities – would there be these separations?

Krishnamurti again.

Forget the blerry rug rats. If we loved ourselves and each-other would we settle for this or transcend it. Nationalism, racism, capitalism, cannibalism – the whole Pandora’s box of Ism. And the first step is to realize that we have commodified ourselves. We choose lifestyles and narratives off the shelf. Some of us. Oh fuck alright you got me – I do. Or did.

I’ve beaten myself up because I bought the idea of material success, cars, houses, wives, kids. A whole package of ideas and requirements. Then hated myself for not being able to deliver. Consumed myself trying to become the right kind of product. Forgot that It was I that owned the means of production. I was just trying to manufacture a lifestyle that was odds with my soul.

Next Time

unravel

I think my main mistake was I tried to force.
Everything.
It was fucking exhausting.

And to try to squeeze you into a box.
Cut off your arms and legs and put you in a block of cement
Which I called love.

And throw the block of cement into the dark cold ocean of my soul.
As if that would turn an underwater wasteland
into a flowery meadow of love and joy and pizza.

So next time
I may just let things
Unfold and not unravel

Truly Almost Glad

salvador-dali-gala-of-spheres-1359583056_b

I was so sure you were real…

Even though when we shagged
You weren’t in the room
And the more I said I love you
The less you seemed to care

Perhaps I was not real
Not present
Somehow lacking
In vigour or grace

Perhaps you were not ready
Or not that impressed
As I sang about loyalty
While stalking your soul

So I crafted a fiction
About redemption
Retribution
Softness
and lies

It’s on me
On my karmic account
All the unwanted attention
The cheap white wine and cheeseburgers
Meaningless phonecalls
And silly desperate jokes

And I’m truly almost sorry
Truly almost glad
You were the best Imaginary Lover
That I never had

Ordinary Things

When she softly violently
Scratches the calm skin of deception
And he is too puzzled too care very much
The wind still blows across empty wheat fields
And stars burn out in forgotten corners of the sky

But this is not a poem about such ordinary things

When she is being as cold as ice
Smiling like a naughty child
He feels a certain sense of vertigo
An inexplicable sense of loss – as if a dream
Comforting in its unreality
Has been traded for a stamp of approval

Must play the game
Must play the game

When lost souls play chicken
On dusty crumpled highways
Still the wind blows
And the blossoms tremble

But this is not a poem
About such ordinary things

Somewhere deep within
Is a knot of meaning
Tied tight around the neck
Of careless innocent joy

But this is not a poem
About such ordinary things