faith

Up jumped the Devil

“The blues, is a low-down achin’ heart disease
Like consumption, killing me by degrees”

– Robert Johnson –

Johnson sang that in his song Preachin’ Blues (Up Jumped The Devil). And brother I do believe he was singing about me. How a poor black man in the Mississippi delta back in 1936 could have done this? Well I suppose we both done went down to the crossroads and made our deal. And the Devil has his price you got to pay.

You know the blues when you got them. It ain’t just a cloudy day or a bit of disappointment. It’s a low feeling that creeps in on you and makes itself at home, wrapping its cold fingers around your heart. Taking whatever it pleases and laughing at you when you try to fight it off. It wins…It always wins. My blues will win. Maybe sooner rather than later. Who knows. I just know I am hanging in between living and the other thing. That’s the blues man, it don’t shake down and go away. It is a life.

Lately I have been thinking on God, the nature of man and the weapons we build when we sleep just inches away. I want to believe in God, I do man. I have seen miracles and had hope wash in on a black place. But that was long ago. God seems to have moved on. Maybe like Job he laid a 20 to 1 odds on my ass and the other fellow won. And if anyone has his price to exact it’s God…Think of the Sopranos but with stained glass windows and chants.

As for man. Well here’s the dice as they fell. You’re mostly fucked…No it’s okay. You are. That’s just it. Most of you are discouraging and frightening. I find you baffling and questionable. I like you sometimes too, that’s the scary part. Like petting a tiger. It’s soft and the sensation is wonderful, but you just never know when it’ll turn. And you know them teeth and them claws will gut you sure as shooting.

And then there’s those things, the things we do to each other. Things in the name of love, heartbreak, justice, lust and Sunday mornings. How we cut into ourselves. Ol’ van Gogh was just more literal than most. But I’ve cut out pieces of me and dropped them in butcher paper to give as an offering to someone I wanted to see me bleed. A bloody mess left in the lap of one quite incredulous. Only to find out later that the choice cuts were to be made against my will. It all sounds like burnt offerings and the smell of sex left hanging in a room, the bedding in a heap on the floor and a strange look of astonishment on our faces. Ah beauty, it’s hideous and grotesque!

So there I stand. Fucking empty. A broken vase. Really, that’s a great description. A vase serves no purpose really, except to hold something. Flowers or sins, you see. And when you break one, there’s no reason to keep it around. At least that’s how I feel. So I continue to linger, feeling like a ghost. No one sees me till I make my presence known. And them that seek me out tend to do so out of fascination or mortification. Some experience to relate later around your kin and kind. About the time he did this thing you won’t believe.

Spending my hours alone, trying to commit myself to life. To stay put, to stick to some material thing because that’s what’s expected. But constantly wanting to be free. To fly away, to know what it’s like to feel the absence of chains, grief and the burden of languages.

Someone tell me it’s going to be alright…I dare you!

Hey you…out there on your own…

Be well.

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What I Got.

“People have to talk about something just to keep their voice boxes in working order so they’ll have good voice boxes in case there’s ever anything really meaningful to say.”

– Kurt Vonnegut –

In a few days I turn 39. THIRTY FUCKING NINE! And here’s the truth. The honest to goodness truth, if I’d have known I was going to live this long I would have done more and taken better care of my life. But I have lived like a terminal patient…No plans, just funeral arrangements. I was startled when I made it to thirty. Geez man I was even kind of taken aback that I survived to twenty. I mean I turned 19 in a treatment center for addiction and alcoholism 1500 miles from my home. And I sure as hell wasn’t done tearing myself apart.  Man I did it for…Well a long, long time after that. And in all that time I have learned things. Observed things, gained opinion the hard way, by living it.

So in the spirit of earned wisdom, here is what an old dog thinks about as the time turns…

WAR – Or to be more exact, the current conflict where young men and sometimes women die far away from their homes. These are neatly covered corpses, draped in flags. Processed in a somber tradition. But the truth is that these folks don’t die for ideals and beliefs. They die for money, the true reason most of these kids are there is because THEY’VE GOT NOTHING ELSE! THere’s no rich kid in a foxhole. These volunteer soldiers are mercenaries. They do it for money for education. They do it so they can access benefits Walmart or McDonald’s won’t give them. And in many cases it’s the only job they can get. These lost lives were lost before they ever set foot in some desert. And that’s why we can’t win. No matter how many of the “enemy” they kill. It cannot be won, because they are fighting for a belief and for a cause. And they won’t just stop. It will go on and on. And if western powers pull out it will still go on. Unfortunately these belief systems are violent and are antagonistic. You cannot legislate morality or peace. The human animal doesn’t work that way. And you sure as hell can’t shoot a man full of get along. It’s almost cause and maybe if someone would just say that, cut our losses and bring back all those kids. Give them decent wages and a chance at a good life at home. Maybe in time, a long, long time the rest of the world might just fall behind us. We need to learn to lead by example, not might.

MUSIC – Music today SUCKS! It’s plastic and tinsel. I recently watched a documentary about a band and it talked about their struggles 30 years ago to  get off the ground. They spent 10 years changing line ups, playing shitty gigs, driving in cold vans and living for the music. And the whole time they were growing and becoming better musicians. But now there are television shows and networks who pre-empt the experience of growth and development and in 4 or 5 auditions and a few special evenings featuring the music of some lame ass “legend” these pieces of crap become celebrities first and then maybe they sing a little. Play a little guitar. It’s manufactured and contrived.  I hate it…There is no exceptions to this. And I think what makes me most annoyed is that you all eat it….Hey world, just because someone puts a pile of dog shit on a pretty plate don’t mean you have to eat it. Come on man have some dignity and taste.

SEX – Okay this is a quick note. To women mostly. I love you all, you’re attractive, sensual and smell nice. But get the fuck over yourselves. Really. I know this is going to sound slightly misogynist and angry. But it’s what I see. You have the right parts and even if you’re funny looking and the most annoying creature on earth, there are men that are going to want to touch you in places your bathing suit covers. And you know what? I hate being told what to like or being given this bullshit beauty standard, this myth of the “perfect woman”. The blond cookie cutter chick that is drooled over on TV and at car shows, dance clubs and shoe stores are fucking boring. I love curvy girls, I love a woman with thoughts and interests. I love a woman with a nice laugh and sweet voice. But please….Please. Stop taking yourself so fucking seriously. I see these girls every day. Ones that believe that because some rutted up stud on a Saturday night swore to them that they were beautiful. Doesn’t mean we all are going top fall over you. Example. I see this girl on a daily basis. I smiled at her the first few times I saw her and was just being friendly. I never got a response to the smile not even a returned smile. So I figure fuck it, she’s a douchebag…That’s okay we all got our crutches. I had no intention of approaching her or trying to talk her up. But now every day I see her now I am quietly amused to see quite intently trying seem like she isn’t noticing me, it’s that out of the corner of her eye watching me to see if I am looking. Which I am, but not for the reasons she thinks. And when she walks past me she does it with her nose in the air and a look of arrogance. And it amazes me. I know a few women like this. Men are assholes and clueless when it comes to just what they are like. But damn girls you’re a delusional bunch…For the most part. I need to add that there are times where I see a woman and am just taken aback by how beautiful she really is.  And she has no idea. She has done nothing in particular to look beautiful, in fact in many cases she has been told by the media and by the pricks and prongs in the world that she isn’t. But her light, her smile, her eyes, her shape or maybe just the energy she shines makes her absolutely stunning.  And I of course become shy and can’t say anything, because I am in fact no better off than I was when I was 14 and used to blush when a girl smiled at me.

Except I’ve got some wicked moves…I’m like Kung Fu Love…Just saying…Ladies if you want to know how just you wait and see.

Wow! My inner pimp just struck…Maybe I should erase that? Naaaaaah!

WORK – This is a short thing but important. If you work in an office or you work in some capacity that allows you sit around fucking with a computer all day. You don’t work hard. Don’t tell me you do. I don’t care what some sitcom tells you about the dog eat dog world of cubicles. You’ve got it pretty sweet. Okay Dilbert? Until you’ve served slop to hungry fat faced ignorants or worked in heat that will melt your clothing, or shoveled shit all day you know nothing about hard work. I work hard. Harder than many of you. I am not bragging (well yeah I am but I am attempting to be modest) but I come home after spending a full day on my feet, covered in burns, oil and cuts. I get to sit down MAYBE 30 minutes on a good day and that’s during breaks.  I made my choices. I am a machine operator. Actually a die caster. I am responsible for my life. But it makes me irate when I hear someone complain about how hard it is for them at their air-conditioned little cubical farm. I mean I know it’s a bitch when someone messes with Troll dolls and pictures of you and your BFF being “wild and crazy” on your last vacation. But really. Be aware, you’re lucky. Hell I know I am lucky. There are people out there, even right here in my city, that would want to do what I do, to make what I make. There is some poor young guy who is dealing with entitled selfish pricks for minimum wage while mopping up shit who would give anything to get a chance to do my job. I see them coming in whenever we post an ad and they interview. It may be tough. But it’s respectable. And I am grateful I live in a country where I can make a living wage and drink clean water and believe what I want and I can live in a space that in many other nations is a home for multiple people. Every night I go to sleep thankful for my own furniture, my own home and my fridge with food in it. I’ve known poverty real fucking gone hungry poverty. But it’s still nothing like the poverty the MAJORITY of the world lives in.

FAITH – I don’t have a clue…I just can’t believe in anything anymore. It doesn’t add up.

FATHERHOOD – Tomorrow is Father’s Day and I have been thinking about my dad. And about my own daughter. Here’s all I can conclude. Nothing has been so heartbreaking and rewarding as being a father. Sometimes at the same moment.

And I miss my dad, very much tonight. I miss the man he may have been. As a grandpa. As a father. He would have fussed over my little girl and never missed it when she wore a new little dress or did something amazing. He would have sat through endless run-throughs of the ABC song and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and he would have loved it. He’d be so proud of her. She’s clever and funny and willful and all the things he taught me to be.

But he’s gone and he never even got a chance to hear her say “Grandpa” and maybe in a life full of things I can regret that is one of the biggest ones.

LIFE – Lately I am left wondering why…

Be well.


Don’t know what I’ll say, but I’ll say it anyway.


Looking for a little bit of luck…

Wow! I am watching a television report about a comic convention in Toronto. I sort of shudder when I look at these people. But secretly I envy them. I’d be totally geeking out if I could go and if I had the splash cash…Man I’d be dropping money all kinds of crap that I really don’t need. Because the truth told, I’d be a bouncy and silly big kid there. I just find some of the folks who take this stuff so seriously to be scary….And I CAN SO BE BOUNCY AND SILLY!

So there’s a stirring in me lately, maybe just the past few days. It comes and goes. But it’s there. It seems to be strongest when I write, read or hear something of faith or of a higher consciousness. I think it’s sort of an artistic set of booster cables. Reading a strange combination of St. Augustine, Nick Cave, The New Testament and C.S. Lewis. Although God is a common thread. Is this the rock being rolled from the crypt? Maybe? I am not sure. But should it be…Come on Lazarus it’s time to get down with your bad self.

Clarity, epiphany, surrender and salvation. Such big things. I can dig myself into a hole if I think about it too much. If I try to hard to skin the cat. Something in faith itself says that logic and process don’t always work. That’s a panicking thought for a guy with an analytical mind. It’s almost a dare. Like faith and spirituality are challenging my mind to a scrap. There’s a good illustration, the fight between my heart and mind. Only I am not sure either would ever win out. But perhaps that’s good. Faith should be open to question, it strengthens in clear light.

Speaking of faith, I am living on a prayer right now (quit humming Bon Jovi you freak!). I have empty cupboards, empty pockets and an empty tummy. And have nothing coming in for a week almost. It is sort of worrisome. But I guess this is faith in action. Not to say I am sitting on my hands. I have been a couple interviews and put applications in this week. Nothing yet, but I know in this city it’s fighting an uphill battle to find new work. It’s frustrating. And I am trying to remain hopeful.

Okay no whining. I am not whining. Just sort of babbling…If I was whining I would mention I have no milk and I am almost out of coffee. Now that’s not fair.