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

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Just a little pinprick

I’ve been wanting to have a drink today. No problem you say, what’s your poison? Oh I’m not fussy really, a Black Label or a Castle. Or an Amstel. And a pill or two. Just a few milligrams. Of codeine or diazapam or, for good measure both. Well that can’t be hard. Certainly not the codeine bit – what about an adcodol or myprodol? I suppose I could rustle up a valium or ativan too at a pinch.

Of course you know I can’t. In fact even, my imaginary sponsor might say, thinking about it too much is not a good idea. Because it’s never just one or two is it? Well, that’s not exactly true. Two or three beers at most and two adcodol and I’ll be fine. I’ll be able to write, do some art, read a bit then, later, sleep like a baby. I’ll probably even have those really vivid dreams just like I used to. Perhaps the ones where I flap my arms and start to fly.

On my way home I was trying to hold some quite delicate thoughts and emotions in my brain. So I could sit here and download them onto my laptop. Capture them, without killing them, for the sake of science. But I think they seeped out into the general noise and dirt of late evening ennui.

You asked if I were trying to protect you and I think I said that to protect our fragile intersubjective space I would have to protect you too. That to protect our relationship we have to protect ourselves and eachother. Because things are so much easier to break than they are to put back together. Said that the ephemeral things, the fragile things need to be protected the most. Even though the armies of chaos will win the war there is some dignity in the battle for coherence, for innocence. For beauty.

Perhaps I have become just a bit depressed. A bit oppressed by thoughts of cold dirty puddles, rusty benches, cancer growing quietly in a million oblivious bodies. And I’m seeing some really sad aspects of us. Of this space. This process. And I know you want to go there with me but I don’t want to infect the fragile infant space that we share. Because I have gone down that route and it never turns out well.

People are not drugs. Even though loneliness is the disease, company is not the cure. My loneliness could eat a fair sized stadium of bright and innocent well wishers and still wonder about what to choose for the main course. I can’t feel the heat and the light of your sun if I let the darkness out. If I let you in.

I have my imaginary sponsor to deal with that shit. He says sit with the feeling. So I’m sitting with it. And writing about it. And waiting for the cold tide of terror to ebb. Waiting for my little spot in the sun to come back so I can breathe a bit easier and do my bit to be a source of good instead of an ambassador of pain and decay.

Cheers 🙂

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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

Evil Words

I think I broke something
Something fragile and precious
That existed between us

I felt that we were drifting apart
But perhaps that was just me
Sinking back into myself

I saw signs of your cruelty
And carelessness everywhere
Or was that just my narcissistic paranoia?

And all may well have been alright
May have turned out alright
If I’d kept my mouth shut

But I let evil into the world
Fearfully, carelessly, selfishly
Again

And we can never be
Innocently trusting
Again

arundhati

Truly Almost Glad

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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

The Terrible Ritual

Goodbye is a terrible ritual
That happens just outside
Of time and space
In that place where
Molecules turn to meaning
And meaning turns to dust

But it’s got to be done
Sooner or later
Between arriving in confusion
And leaving in disgust

So you turn away
Or walk away
And I feel that lost
Hopeless feeling again

But it’s not you that I’m after
Just a place to hide and keep warm
And while away the hours
Waiting for the end of the show