Snippets 76

Snippets 76
Demon Box-Ken Kesey

Flaws previously shrouded now lay naked as knife wounds. I saw the marks of weakness, and wore everywhere I turned, within and without. I saw it in the spoiled, macho grins of the men and in the calculating green eyes of the women. I saw it in the half-grown greed at the barbecue, with kids fighting for the choicest pieces only to leave them half eaten in the sawdust. It was in the worn-out banter at the beer keg and the insincere singing of old favorites around the guitar. (187)


Morning Musings

Saw a bus advertisement yesterday said, “Blankety Blank Investment Firm: Not Run by Robots”, and had a picture of a cartoonish, 50’s robot on it. I pinched myself. Was this real life? Had I crossed over into a 1980s Sci-Fi movie? I’m well aware that stocks and all that sort of thing are largely, mostly, ran by computers, with artificial intelligence. So I also couldn’t help but ask, would I really want to go with the people on something like that? I mean the machines had to have the edge. Right?

Summer, popped up from the grave, grabbed our collective wrists yesterday. It was over 80 degrees out. People sported shorts, grabbed another tank of propane. We have had half a dozen viewing of our house in its first month. A little slow, but we also just got it listed as FHA available so I think that should pick things up. Also got an open house tomorrow. The house has never looked so clean. So yesterday evening the whole gang went up to the park. Me in truck with Dante and Cujo. Mom driving the three boys in the Honda.

The park is idyllic. My gang and the other kids at the park incorporate effortlessly under the warm night sky. I do laps with Cujo at the park. Coen, two years old, walks next to me giggling the whole time. He loves dogs. Loves seeing the dog at the park. The park is next to a the community center. While walking, I notice someone getting out of the car with a giant Amish hat. Sort of like a pilgrim hat, but wider brim, dome on top. I love it. The anachronism, the symbol. The other-worldliness of beliefs like that. I like to imagine that person staring at a purple haired punked teenager with a can of Four Loko. Lock them in a giant garage together, feed her hospital grade amphetamines and give him endless woodworking projects. See who changes who, you know?

Driving later, windows down, fresh air mixing with hot dog slobber, and Sam Bush on the radio. I see a lady, wearing the same hat. I get a nice long look at the stout and dignified optics. The hat fills the car, it fills everything, a blackness. Her tight white mug rolls under it, squished down until she’s nothing but a mouth, dense, bone, uncracking, never hitting a Coca-Cola in her life. She’s tougher then me, could probably take me. Knows more about living and life, then I could ever know. But there’s that blackness filling the car. I heard somewhere those hats symbolize the planet Saturn. That with many the Judeo-Christian and other religious sects, it’s all one big ode to Saturn. The little black boxes on the center of the foreheads. The Kaaba itself. The Kaaba is wild. So are the hats.

8:02AM I go upstairs, look out our freshly cleaned window. Do you know how big a difference a freshly cleaned window makes? Winters coming so it was dark well into seven o clock in the morning. I look out and everything has a pink Polaroid feeling. We eat our breakfast together. At one point, Coen, does one of his new bits were he takes juice in his mouth, parades it around, building dramatic tension, and then spits it on the ground. We are working on cultivating positivism, so Mom tries to manage the situation calmly. Ultimately, she’s forced to put the cup in the fridge. Then, and note the cosmic nudge of fuckery, she knocks last night’s chocolate-milk cup out, spilling. The forces work for the children. She grunts, shakes a fist. I call to her through the deep. Don’t do it. Turn back. Stress. Remember what we said.

She sits down on the table. The fuzz clears. We start to breathe. Coen smiles. Equilibrium achieved. He continues, ornery, until we find a bit we can all get into. Enter the Man-Eating Table. More like Toddler eating table. It begins as Coen stars to slide under the table, from the big chair. I start to feign terror. “On no! The table is eating Coen! Somebody helps him!” He take the cue, continues to slide under. Britney joins in tries to save him. Chay runs around the table tries to help, but it doesn’t work. Then the next thing you know the table eats him too. Thing have reached a critical mass. We’ve been halved. Mom goes next. Kein rushes to save her, but fails. We stare at each other over the warn eatery expanse. I feel one of its tentacles grab my ankle. “On no, my boy,” I yell to him. “It’s got me too! Save your self!”

Five of us pack in under there, like Jonah in the belly of leviathan. It feels like that, dark, warm, damp. Everyone sort of scared, but happy too. We realize the only solution is for Kein to slap the belly of the whale. To for it to throw us up. Keep it simple. We spill out. Saved in the nick of time. 8:30AM

Snippets 75

Demon Box-Ken Kesey

The book falls open to Psalm 91–”He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty”–which is one of the Egyptian verses written, according to the Urantia Book, by that first great teacher of monotheism, King Akhnoten, who, according to Enoch, was schooled personally by Melchizedec himself, who, according to Cayce blah blah blah, you see what I mean? The path to this pyramid can lead you down endless alleys of rumination. On to Isaiah.

Morning View

6:00AM It all streams together, days, weeks, and I imagine soon years. 6AM Coen, almost 2, a monkey in the bed. He pats us both, “nice, nice, nice.” Then he tries to scare me with a boo, but he hasn’t quite mastered the technique to it. I give him the zombie moan and he dives into bed next to Mom, then sits up waits to hear it again, I oblige, he dives back down. We snuggle, smooch, try to steal a little more rest from the bed. The sheets were all clean last night, and the bed was quickly made up, so no little feet could track dirt or crumbs into it during their movie night.

Got in over a a thousand words on work on progress tentatively titled WK. Before that yesterday, same 6AM, I was able to edit the last several pages of Draft 2 of Kill The Television. Draft 2 saw plenty of chopping and rearranging. I have this thing, over-attachment issues I guess you’d call them. It makes me do things the hardest way possible. Like in High School, I almost didn’t graduate, it was half way through senior year I was behind two or three whole courses. My Mom had married this douchebag and moved us forty-five minutes away from my school. A newly received drivers license brought that extra boost of freedom, so senior year was spent in a abominable haze.

One day I was sleeping it off in the basement in Winterset. The door opened and down the steps came real Dad. I don’t remember what he said. It was something about school and how there was a possibility I wouldn’t graduate. I remember I cried. Still like a kid I tried to mount some muddled defense. I’m sure I didn’t communicate the why very well, and oddly enough I realized as my tears dried, and my heart slowed down, he was embarrassed too, by making me cry, everything. A double frustration being misunderstood and embarrassed. Point of the wander is I ended up taking several community college courses, along with a full load through regular high school. During lunch I would have to go in do all these assignments and readings at once. And since I felt like I was being challenged, that the tempo was finally turned up, I tore through the material. I remember the counselor, how she felt like a breath of fresh air, looked and talked to me like a human being. Smiling, teasing me that I was too smart to be in this position.

I think I’m doing the same thing with my writing. I feel very little impetus, outside perhaps this blog, and a few of the other things that have come up, to actually distribute what I am working on. I’m becoming a hoarder of words and novels. I have hard time objectively evaluating whether or not they are any good, a feeling which grows as they reach a stage of completion. I feel like I’m achieving some balance in the editing and writing question, but the retail end still doesn’t seem clear or obvious. It sounds corny, but its true, I don’t work well with others. I started with a writing group, attended a meeting. Was invited back to submit my work, did, read and prepared comments for all the other members, but then when the day the second meeting came, I cancelled like a dickhead. I don’t even know why. I liked all the other authors. They were friendly and entertaining. I liked the meetings too, enjoyed myself, enjoyed reading their stories. That Wednesday I was tired from the routine, and noise, and other things, and I just bailed out. I sent an email apologizing, mea culpa. The response was beyond understanding, so not a huge deal, but I’m just noting the self-sabotaging aspect of my personality.

Writing is my goal and dream and I think I shouldn’t be waiting for the real Dad to come stomping down the stairs telling me to get my shit together. That’s my point. You got to be great for yourself, in whatever way fits you. That’s the lesson. Be a hard case if you got to be, just don’t lie about it, to yourself or others. 7:36AM

9:52AM Breakfast sausage, eggs, hot coffee, doughnut bites Britney made last night. Me and the gang wrestle. My kids learn to take bumps at twelve months. They play there part well. I’ll be Apocalypto or whoever, get one, rassle him down. Then bro comes flying in with an elbow drop, freeing the other guy. They battle in combo. I teach them the art of fake wrestling, just real enough to make it work, but not real enough to hurt. They do pretty good at it, most the time. Eventually someone will get hurt, a missed grabbed, twisted up in some legs. We stop the show, dust off, and usually go back to it. Mom likes it but doesn’t quite get it. I snatched her exposed leg at one point, go zombie. It inflames the pirate gang. The kick, and smack trying to save Mommy from the Zombie Daddy, to no avail…

Reading: Robert Galbraith Career of Evil

This great song….

Led me to this great song…

Morning Stream

Middle of the night Kein, 4 yrs old, made a run for Mom and Dad’s bed, because it was “so comfortable” The several attempts included a potty break and snuggles from Mom. He does the stiff hand on the bed karate chop, his face coming through the shadows, “I just want to sleep in your bed.” Cute, infuriating. Parenthood.

Woke up to this article, from New York Post titled “Cops arrest knife-wielding clown who chased teen on subway.” I suggest you read it. Take a good look at the picture of the guy. Think about It for a second. Seems to be three options, all of which make me uncomfortable. First one, the money motive. Someone is paying these people to do these pranks, which are actually crimes. The second the perpetrators themselves get off on the act of scaring other people, and the attention, maybe like veteran-clowns down on their luck (the guy was 53).  A version of number two, these people are attentions seeking individuals and really, really, stupid. Or lastly these may just be demon infested, killers clowns from outer space. The second seems the most likely  one and scariest of all. The perpetrators are just like fractured, arrested-development weirdos who don’t get that they’re endangering themselves and others.

There was something about how well that guy was put together that makes me think it’s not number two though. I know crazy people can dress snappy, but its the subtlety of the outfit that gets me. Perfect clown get-up, but blended with the large coat into a grey-man everyday look. Allowing him to get to his stage, before his mission was blown. It’s not over the top. It seems attention seeking, thrill seekers, would want to go for a little more flair in the act.

Couple kids put a school on lock down in my city a couple weeks back dressing up as clowns. My six year old came home talking about the clowns which were scaring everybody. The neighbor kids had been hyping them up. I wanted to write this Literary Theory type of Essay, in the draft I started I titled it The Thin-Line Between Fact & Fiction”. The basic premise was because of how much artificial entertainment the average person ingested in a day through TV and computers, that they now spent more time in that artificial environment then the real, natural world. But further, that if we could sort of transport ourselves over there, what was to say those things couldn’t, and didn’t push back. Stephen King who has made several of these meta-moves in his own work is an interesting way to look at this. The merger of literature and film itself seems to be one of these processes of manifesting the imagination, and he definitely played a role there as well.

The point of all of it was to suggest maybe we need to sober up, dry out. Give our legs a stretch. Get out of the frontal lobe. Dive down into our bones, our heels. That we were losing something, merging with something else. Something that would dehumanize us. The clowns are scary. I also saw this video the other day, about this even more real knife attack in a New York subway. Someone had videoed it on their phone. The men wrestle and then one of them beings stabbing. People clear out, except for the random straggler who tries to scoot passed the scene. The guy who is stabbing has an accomplice, who tells the people who half try to intervene to “keep moving”.

Well, that’s all before the coffee. Take away point, watch your back! Think about things. I think they call it “situational awareness”. See subtle signs of clown gear, make sure you smile at the guy , and look him in the eye. Make sure he’s one of the good ones. And like the guy in other video said, “keep moving”, everything is okay. Not really. That came off a little menacing. I apologize.

Snippets 74

The Complete Book of Aquarian Magic-Marin Green

Secrecy adds a great deal of power to magical work, and though it is vital to be completely open and honest with any companions in the work, it is equally important not to brag about your magical interests. If you do show off, turning up to fancy dress parties in your robes, or making charms for people to affect others, or dabbling in the affairs of those who have not asked for help, you will soon wind up reaping the whirlwind you have sown. If you have any psychic abilities, but have not learned the skill of ‘switching them off’, you will be prey to all manner of unpleasant experiences, all gleaned from unexplored aspects of your own nature–nothing from outside will ‘come and get you’: It is all there within you already. (110)

Platform of the No-Vote Party

It feels like a dirty thing to say, half of me loves that, the other half is embarrassed, but since Obama Part 1, I am firm member of the No-Vote Party. There are fairly elaborate Constitutional, Legal and Natural Rights based theories that I could offer in support of this position. I instead, as an artist, will turn to analogy and metaphor. Move to a new house and discover two gangs own your neighborhood, they employ basic strong-arm tactics pay us a fee, and we will protect you from the other guys. Both gangs seem to have equal force, and they have established a Mafia strong hold for decades. You can pledge either gang and receive a sort of pass, you won’t be directly targeted, but because it’s a gangland, things aren’t that great. And the amount of the pay-off is always changing, and sometimes the street level guys grab your wife around the shoulders, ask her if she wants go get a drink. And you got to send your kids to the gang’s school, where both gangs send their kids, and before you know it they come home pledging a party line. You get the idea. This is the American political structure. To participate is insanity. The only option is to withdraw consent and run.

On purely Democratic ground the No-Vote party is the strongest, with almost 60% of the population, made up of mainly non-white poor people. I’m basically white, but doubly poor, so I still feel an accepted member. There are some unfavorable sorts, felons I mean, but at least they are interesting and know how to hold their liquor. There are no other collective platforms or beliefs of the No-Vote Party. I would like to suggest the somewhat literary mascot and slogan, from Melville’s Bartleby, “I would prefer not to.” Much like the ingenious character I suggest a similar course. Stay but withdraw your will. Withdrawal your will from a system run by crooks and liars, by wealthy special interest groups, by big money that doesn’t care about you, or this land. I would like to hope the compatriots in the No-Vote party feel the same. Realistically, I know that apathy fuels this majority, but I like to think it is an apathy produced by the realization that every four years this farce of a choice is played out with the same exact names and faces and agenda. All a sane person can do is sit back and say boldly, “I’d prefer not.”


Stood Up

8:37 Night thoughts. Got stood up on our first showing. Was scheduled late like 71:15-7:45PM. Drove around for half an hour with Dante and Cujo Corvette pumping, hot anxious breath on my neck and back. Since having kids, driving at night, or just in general being out at after darj, always feels strange, surreal. The night hides things, people. I like it. Made me blue though.

I pick it apart, realize that it’s nothing in particular even just the chemical deposit of blue. Nighttime, my thoughts tends to get sadder, less self-assure then during the daytime. Almost felt like manufacturing nostalgia, maybe like the good part of the trip of nostalgia. My house all cleaned and shined up, kids chilling before bedtime. The way Cujo perfectly fits on the landing of the stairs, that I finished one day, years too late, with pallet wood painted blue. He lays out on it perfectly calm, flat, a living effigy mound.

Tell Britney its not the house that’s special, but the family. She says that’s right. Ultimately that’s true, but then why did I stand at the top of those steps before I locked up and say an Our Father and a Hail Mary, and do the sign of the Cross, and then hold my hand on my heart, and then rubbed the wall next to me, told it thank you for housing and protecting my family, that I would make sure it found someone nice. No offense.

Truth is though, there’s no turning back. The shipped has sailed on the moving goal. One way or another, Lord willing, that is the plan. Life has no guarantees, I know. A passing feeling of blue, a sense of security, they are not goals which ultimately satisfy, I note. I need my hands in the dirt. Need some space of my own outdoors, where my family and I can embrace a lifestyle we yearn for. As I drove down a road in the country, I smelled burning leaves. I thought about the fire tender sitting out there, enjoying the cool fall air. Made me appreciate the choice we were making. There was power and place on the road too. My blood and genes seemed to nod in recognition. You’ve been without home before, it’s okay, move, there’s another place down the road. 9:01PM

Morning Thoughts with One Flew Over the Cuckkoo’s Nest

The country home accepted our offer, even stated they would let us rent or occupy in the interim of the loan being finalized, while we make necessary improvements if needed. Now we just have a house to sell. Feeling good about that. Woke up with headache. It gets in my eyeballs, cold pressure helps. So does thinking through it.

Reading Ken Kesey’s “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, great book, scary as shit really. One of my deepest fears is being institutionalized, committed, held against your will, for being a little weird. I saw the movie when I was younger loved it then. The book is even better I think. I note when I read it how well they movie captured the genius of the prose. I wondered about that because I’d heard beforehand it was written from the Indian’s perspective. As an author I note how brilliantly this works in the novel, offering another space and time away from the institutional setting. Got to get outside, ain’t that the truth?
As a kid I saw it as a heroic tale, much like I assumed the heroic elements of the counter culture at first. Nurse Ratched, greatest character name ever, was the enemy. McMurphy (Nicholson) was the hero/anti-hero disturbing and over turning the oppressive social order. Only in adult times though, would it all sort of change. Of course all these details are there obvious to Kesey and his contemporaries, but not to twelve year old me in 1994. The book is an allegory, in the vein of Orwell’s Animal Farm, but also a product of the author’s time as an “orderly” at Menlo Park, California, psychiatric facility.

The first aspect opens the reader up to the question, whose running things, to what end, and how the fuck do we get off this farm? Answer, you can’t and you don’t want to. You just want to play a game. The second aspect is even more disturbing in light of Kesey’s connection to Mk-ultra programs and the powerful hallucinogenic drug LSD. In the book the specter of electric shock therapy is being supplanted by a fog of narcotics, which interestingly enough mirrors what’s taking place in the broader social situation. It’s worth noting on the surface Kesey’s book is given some credit in changing the common perspective towards crazy people and their confinement, the book in fact is a reaction to that movement itself and a deep, deep, indictment of it.

The label “conspiracy theorist” has lost its power to dismiss. I think the current presidential debacle has even the most level headed, scratching their heads and saying this is ugly. We don’t like to consider things like “the combine” and “social programming” but these things are real. Prozac. Ritalin. Valium. Morphine. These are the little knobs that Nurse Ratchet is turning trying to engineer her, and really the combine’s perfect world. We don’t like to think about it. Leave the little wizard behind his curtain he’s not hurting anyone, we like to think. The medicine cans make us a feel better, and two hots and a cot, better then nothing right? Makes me think of that Bullet With Butterfly Wings line, “despite all my rage, I am still just a rat in cage.” You can fight, but it’s a Chinese finger trap, you self exclude or your surrender, you will not change it.

So they say. Pay attention. It’s up to you. I think there are ways to fight it. Not the sort of thing you would just piddle out on the internet, I imagine. Maybe. You know they read it all, got cybertronically enhanced super-apes reading it in the basement of the Pentagon. They feed them nothing but Dubstep, Monster energy drinks, and Krispy Kreme doughtnuts. Random closing thought, Billy Corgan looks like a rehabbed, “found myself in middle-age” Voldemort. (11:30AM)