Love

Shadowlands

“When I was younger I could hold my own
My right hand was thunder and my left was stone

Now I ain’t as handsome as I was back then

So I’m takin’ my chances in the shadowland”

– Steve Earle –

There’s a part of me that cringes man. Cringes when I set to write. Because man I am not so keen on the mopey and sentimental crap that seems to float to the top most lately. I mean I know where it comes from and what draws it out. It’s this thing, a sort of talent I have for seeing goodbye before it’s time to go. I can smell a heartbreak coming and see a long-lost friend before we even say hello. And for me goodbye ain’t ever too far away. It’s not like some weepy whiny teenage girl thing, you know the game “Why don’t anybody ever stay?” you know the adolescent broken heart syndrome.

Nah man, for me it goes a lot harder and colder. And in that sadder and lonelier. It’s been a long, long time since I went out to the world on my own. And right now this is the longest I’ve spent in one place. Through bad choices and self-destruction I have burned most bridges and kept on moving. And now I haven’t got anywhere left to run and I can’t get very far. My heart is here with my little girl. It’s hard to run from that anchor. But believe me brother I want to. I want to go till there is nowhere left and the road has turned to dust.

Most days I get by. I set these goals and points of reference. I say to myself “Okay boy, you can’t go nowhere or make that jump till the second Sunday of next month because you can’t make a bad anniversary when it suppose to be a happy time for…” I make these deals with myself. Stay long enough to see this or do that. Or to hit that calendar point. When I go I want to be sure it’s understood I made my choice. I made my run and it was without any implication on anyone’s part. It was all me and at my time.

What going means…Well that’s my choice too. And I ain’t speaking it to no one. It’s just my thing. My last choice that you or anyone like you can take or compromise. Sometimes I just want to go see the mountains once again. There’s magic there. The Gods sleep at their feet. Other times I want to hit an ocean and let it all pass me by, forget it all. Sort of like Otis Redding sang. And sometimes. Maybe more often than not I just want to close my eyes and make the world go far, far away. It’s all a matter of degrees. Usually on how ostracized and lonely I feel. And on how badly I want to feel someone close to me.

Because for it all I would trade almost anything just for that one thing. To touch someone, to laugh and to fall crazy mad in love. To make a world that belongs to no one but us. To be the great secret. There is healing in the laughter and soft, gentle touch . But I just can’t seem to break out enough to let someone come close enough. I can’t find the kind and understanding hand. I am wired all wrong and life has left me burned and bent. But I can still love…But truth is that I won’t get a chance to again. And I think maybe I’d have to think long and hard about if that person should be burdened with my scars and broken pieces.

Just ghosts man…All ghosts. They’re here tonight. And I’ve got to stand them down alone. And pretty soon I figure I’ll lose the strength to run them off.

Be well.


The squeaking wheel…

“It isn’t enough for your heart to break because everybody’s heart is broken now.”
– Allen Ginsberg –

Sometimes I think I know what I want to write here, I set out to say something specific. This ain’t one of those times.

So here I am sort of dancing around the pieces and thoughts. There’s no music and nobody to see. I feel like Dylan calling for his Tambourine Man. Maybe I have no one to meet, And the ancient empty street’s too dead for dreaming…You know how I mean?

There’s a loneliness that has settled on me. It’s not heavy or difficult. But it is listless and tired. I find myself unable to reach past it and connect very much anymore. I look at the calendar and chose dates for some great escape. Something I may never do. But take comfort in the planning. A big run at the sunset. Maybe I am too cowardly, maybe I’m too selfish. Maybe much to my own chagrin I am hanging on to some vague hope. That there may be a lightning bolt come down on me. A re-awakening of Frankenstein’s monster. Trundling and falling alive. Why is this so hard? Seriously. Without the fancy words and the crazy prose. Why is life never easy, not even for a minute. Sometimes I even find myself looking at the commercials for antidepressants and thinking that maybe that’s my play, maybe that’s what’s wrong. But I have tried that. And it just fucks my libido and empties my emotions in some bland homogenized stew of nothingness.

I’d rather live in misery than  live in that medicated shade of gray. You can send that quote to Pfizer. My God what a terrible place to be. Living in that dullness. I believe I was built to question, to struggle and turn over stones and examine the secret words I find there. To turn boldly into the Beast, the thing that most people run their whole lives from. The black places, the deepest nights and darkest urges. That’s the Beast, I reach for it and get dragged into the fight. And I want that. But it seems the one truth I know about myself is that I have to give up to live amongst you. Medicated and placated. A dial to be turned. Man what a miserable thing to be…And the most troublesome part in all that is the people I see swimming in all the bullshit, all the acronyms and diagnosis’ and the symptoms that they manifest simply out of obligation to some label. It’s a crazy world folks, to be crazy is to live.

I think too much and my head races and I can’t find anyone I truly can talk to. So I feel lonely. It’s the trade-off. I get lonely, but man do I ever think up a universe. When I was a kid they were testing me for all kinds of intellect ratings and the emotional pieces that get nailed to it there was a teacher who broke the fourth wall and spoke to me like a human. And what he told me is that “There is a fine line between genius and madness and you must always be careful how far you tip either way.” And he was right. In my whole life there have been very few truths told to me and that was one of them. One of the others came from my old man who used to say “Boy the only way you can do anything is the hard way…And I don’t have a clue why.” He was right too. As a matter of fact I have come close to getting “The Hard Way” tattooed where I can always see it.

And in this all I find I miss the company of the fairer sex…But I got to ask. Are you all completely loopy?

No elaboration there. None needed.

Be well.


Last of the Hardcore Troubadours

“…we call him happiness
Oh that happiness
Is a miserable son of a bitch”

– Matthew Ryan –

Mr. Ryan is brilliant and often more insightful than I could ever be. And he’s right too, happiness is miserable, willful and fickle. It comes as it wishes and leaves without excuse or explanation. It’s mean and unforgiving. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re happy, do something that makes you sad or miserable or grumpy…How fast does happiness come back? The answer? It doesn’t…It’s a fucking coward and when resisted upon or push up against something it doesn’t like it runs.

So I say FUCK HAPPINESS!If I’m going into battle I’d rather go with misery, grief and suffering…They have real staying power.

Anyhow. Now that I said that. I’ve been thinking on love. Because to be honest nothing else is worth thinking about. Ignorance could truly be bliss, so please hit me with a brick. Render me ignorant. Let the flashing numbers, lit boxes and flesh coloured flashes of lust make me content. Let me fuck, drool and stare at flickering stories that could never be and become an ideal nothing.

But love…I came to write about love.

I fucking love love! No really. I ain’t half as bitter, angry or confused as it may seem. I love love. I am a romantic, a hopeless romantic and the last of the hardcore troubadours. Brother you best believe me. I would walk a hundred miles to see a smile that says “Hey it’s you” and I’d sit all night with you just to say we beat the dawn. I’d crawl inside an embrace to find some secret neither have ever said. Not out loud at least. And love is the only gun I trust. It’s got a cold hard aim, true and clear eyes. And the real thing will take down anything else. There is no wall, fist or folly it can’t beat back.

And I will say this, most people have no clue. Not a single clue what love really is. They know they got a shopping list, a wants collection and they got a picture in their head and if you can fit someone into that cage then baby it’s true love. And if they keep dancing in time and keeping step with some lame and crazy music only you can hear then baby that’s love. If they got some flag, shield and shiny rocks and they let you hang onto whatever you want and disregard the rest. Then that must be love….Right?

Right?

Yeah sure…In the celluloid dream you live in maybe it is.

But I know there is more, there is something greater. Nah it ain’t God…That’s something else. But there’s a whole mess of folks out there in love with God because they can’t find the right person to fold into the cupboard they keep for love and well, God is pliable, the most pliable.

Love is the magic seconds…It’s like a light the flashes on for an instant to give you perspective as you feel through the dark.

You want to know what it feels like? It’s that feeling you get, when you hear their key in the door. Not because you are lonesome, not because you are worried and certainly not because you got an itch and a little bit of rubbing and huffing will scratch it. It’s the sound of the key that says to you “They’re here…Now I can breathe”. It’s needing them to be there because you just know they’re the only one that speaks your language, they’re the only one that can read the secret words in the gestures you make and the signs that go unnoticed by the rest of the busy and deaf world.

It feels like you’re going crazy, like you’re giving away your mind…Along with your heart. And you don’t care, because it is the most natural thing in the world.

It feels like nothing else will ever equal it. That you’ve reached a perfect place in your existence. The rest of your life was simply doing time till you found this place and time.

And there is fear, because you got to hang yourself over the edge and you’re letting another imperfect being push or pull you. Not with malice or ill intent. But with the flaws and weaknesses that are made into all people. And that is fucking scary man. That can gut you and leave you to bleed. Loving is dare. And it isn’t ever, ever guaranteed. And two things are certain if you know that. One, not many people ever truly dare. There are few fearless hearts out there. They want the thrills but with the safety nets. And real love don’t have those safety mechanisms built-in. And two, if you believe your love is certain then you are mistaken.

That is the great truth about love. It haunts you, it fills you, it touches you in ways you’ll never truly understand. But it will slip away. It has a wandering spirit and nothing you can do will make it stay when it decides it’s time to go. It will escape. You can’t stop it and the heartache that comes often comes slowly, like watching the train that will run you down from miles away as it approaches. The noise, light and smell of that big cold machine getting bigger and bigger and looming larger and larger. And all you can do is hope that when it hits you it might just knock you clear and leave you scarred but still alive.

Most people aren’t brave enough. To dare that ghost. And those of us who do are often beaten and torn up from it. We don’t group up or shine out. We carry this inextinguishable torch. But only a few can see. But the scars, they are bleeding and obvious and many folks just don’t understand what they see. They see ugly, they see broken. They don’t see that somewhere inside is something they should be privileged to experienced. But instead they disdain and shun.

And it’s a lonely place to be.

Goddamn it’s lonely.

If you’re one of them that see. Please know you are not alone. You are not insignificant and you are not expendable. You are the tissue and skin of the empty hollow bones of life. You matter more. Your life counts. Your heart is treasure. Care for it like it deserves. Don’t come apart, not now, not here. It will come to you…I swear this as truth. I am after all the last of the hardcore troubadours.

Be well.