“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.
“There is a woman who spent her life loving that evil creature: she died. I’m sure she’s a saint in heaven right now. You are going to kill me the way he killed that woman.That is what’s in store for all of us who have unselfish hearts.”
– Arthur Rimbaud –
Seems lately these entries have been like an emotional spatter. And I get such odd responses. And I seem to have repercussions. Ah well. I don’t apologize or make excuses for one fucking thing I say, feel or do. I am this thing and nothing is worth apologizing for. I spent years trying to form myself into shapes and curves that may fit in a world that I don’t have a use for anyway. And to be honest I am completely and entirely sure the feeling is mutual. I know that sounds bitter. I don’t mean it to. But it’s true. I am just not fooling myself. No one would think much of my absence after a short period. Be it electronic or in the flesh. And if I were to cease to exist today the only person that would notice the empty space I leave is one little girl and I would owe her the only apology and explanation. And mister that ain’t none of your business anyhow.
People and their hands and fingers, their words and noises, it’s all so scary and so hard to understand. You all act in ways so mysterious to me. It’s gotten to a point I scour text books and writings on disorders and diseases trying to find what the hell it is I am. Because I just don’t understand you. I don’t know how to be near you. It seems every time I come too close I walk away nursing a new wound and making educated guesses at how much that one will scar. And here’s the great mystery, you all seem to find your way so easily. You all speak in tongues and know the secret handshakes. “How ya doin’ Bob?” and “Say man how’s it hangin’?” or the endless chatter of television discussions and complaints about the system you feed. The rulers you venerate but refuse to unseat. And you do it all with joy and pride “Why I’ve worked here nearly 20 years! And I have so much respect here.” This matters to you. This is important and if it isn’t to me then it’s me that is incorrect. It’s me that is broken. But I tried…I did man, I fucking tried as hard as I could. But see you can’t look at me, I won’t focus into the sights of you narrow view and linear thought. So I fail, I fail, fail, fail.
And I know all this, I do. That is why I feel so sad, so often. I want to know you. I do, I want to be close to you. I want to see you in your own light. Just the way I wish you could see me. Nobody is really meant to be so alone. And sometimes late at night as I pace from one window to the next and I try to chase the dark thoughts away. I would give my hands to be able to just say “Hey man, it’s just nothing after all.” but for me, I was built wrong. And then I was used wrong, if you use the wrong tool for the job it’ll tear up the tool for the job and that’s a good way to describe me. I was dropped into a world I wasn’t really meant for, I got the job done but at a cost. A crazy mangled cost.
But there are things, there are these secrets that matter, that I never really get to share. Except maybe here. And the truth is most of it comes out wrong. Here’s what matters to me…
– A little girl…That’s enough and you have no place in discussion about her. She is magic and most people just foul up magic.
– When I see past a wall, a drape, a curtain or blind and I see the inside of one of you, the vulnerable. When the plastic wrapper slips away. I see your sadness or softness. When I see the child you were and that got buried deep in the layers of concrete and steel you are made to wear.
– Love letters left on the doorstep. Secret little notes and lover’s codes. They matter. They are yours and cannot ever be used again or made to mean the same thing to anyone else. A glance and whisper…Like a soft whisper. That matters.
– The way the light dapples on the ground between the leaves and trees in the woods. The echo of forests.
– Being not afraid to grieve. Man there are times I have to hide because I have nowhere to go and grieve.
– The way you feel at night when you lay in bed and feel the weight of some little critter beside you. A cat or dog. A lemur…Something about a pet makes things tolerable. I miss having one. It’s been a bit now.
– A song that hits you right in the gut, the heart or the mind. Like Bob Marley sang “When it hit’s you ya feel no pain.”
– Beauty, that’s truly where the spirit lives.
– The few minutes of silence I sometimes find. Rare but they happen.
– Art made because they the artists knows how to do nothing else. Art made to express some desperate cry or joy. Art because there is no other voice left to speak in.
– The life of every human being. No one is without merit…But most of you have no clue what that is or what it means to value life. And for that reason I think we all fail each other.
And so yeah. There I am. And you may look at this and say “But hey stupid! I like all those things too, I think all those things too!” then I got to wonder. Why don’t you say so. Why do we hide so? Why do I want out so often?
“For a man to attain to an eminent degree in learning costs him time, watching, hunger, nakedness, dizziness in the head, weakness in the stomach, and other inconveniences. “
– Miguel de Cervantes –
As much as it feels awkward to admit. Next month I turn….Well I get older. Older than many of you who may be reading this. Older than I feel and most certainly older than I look (thanks Dad for the genetic gift) and older than I want to be.
And I am feeling more isolated. I have found that I solely enjoy the company of one or two people in my life and the rest I can do without. And I can attribute it to wisdom. Or lack of wisdom to be more exact. There are so many people out there that exist as nothing more than flesh-bags. There is no benefit of experience. No well-worn denim skin. Nothing in them to show that the time they have lived has imparted in them a depth or even a gratitude. Entitlement and selfishness seem to motivate them. And so I find myself disgusted and feeling isolated.
I try, I really try to connect. I try to understand and be tolerant. But those things feel close to respect and I really don’t respect them. I don’t think simply having a heartbeat that is occurring in a more or less rhythmic state for an extended period is not a quality that makes me feel respect is warranted. Now that probably makes me sound arrogant and elitist but I am not either. In fact I am the opposite. I am too fucking sensitive for my own good. I am anxious and emotional. I feel so damn much sometimes that I cannot bear to be close to these people. They’re all elbows, knees, edges and corners, stabbing at me and making me feel foolish and even weak. I see so much that makes me sad, so much that makes me ache and often my own meditations and thought are enough to make me cry. How he hell am I suppose to be what I am and exist in your boastful and petty world? Even now as I type this I feel far too exposed, far too vulnerable.
But what cools me most. What makes me turn away. Is the fact that they EXPERIENCE NOTHING! It seems the just put the time in to events and occurrences and then include it on their resume. No process or depth. They just don’t absorb. They don’t cure and age and gain a flavour and taste. They bear through just to say they did.
Come on! Live man! It’s so simple…Live, open your window and let that shit in. Good, bad and fucking unbearably painful and beautiful. It’s a hard life. It is…It’s not easy…And it isn’t glamorous. But it’s a worthy experience. If you just fucking let it happen. It is not suppose top be convenient, rosy or as they would have you believe from feminine hygiene commercials romantic and lovely even when you bleed. You are not supposed to run from the dark. The dark is there to give you light. It’s not karmic wisdom, it’s truth. You can’t shine till you step to the black. You ain’t a candle till you burn a little.
Then you can be. Be something fucking amazing. Something strong and something to behold. An old warrior and a traveler. I’ll buy you a beer and we’ll look into each other’s old and ancient eyes and say nothing. What will there be left to say? Two soldiers back from war. And if you need to weep and hurt I’ll give you an arm and a shoulder. I wouldn’t ever forsake the incredible honor of shared grief. Because in that moment we a chrome solid strength. We can stand like statues against the ages. We’ve bled together.
Youth, it’s just that youth. If you are young and reading this. I appreciate you. I do, I fucking envy you too. I miss my youth, fuck, fight and out goes the light. But let me give you a tip. Live it now. Earn your scars, let them mark you, hang your rank on your sleeve with pride. But for fuck sake! Quit trying to be deep. Quit trying to be wounded. Quit trying to be wise. You are not…You are not suppose to be. You are supposed to be hungry, horny and willing to experience. Nothing else. Time will make whatever it wants. Like erosion against a rocky shore, ain’t nothing you can do to speed it up or to stop it. I see so many of you trying to sound so old, so clever and so mythical. You big dummies! Have fun., have heartache, have a big fucking meal. Live. Live now. That’s all. As the old adage goes “Youth is wasted on the young”, guess it’s true.
So here I am. Contemplating another year. And finding my scar tissue and wisdom have started to become an earned treasure. My tired eyes that look so far away some days…I earned them man. I did! My hands that hurt all the time and can’t move too good because of old wounds and busted bones. I earned that ache. I deserve it. When I can look at someone and know that they are a void and not worth too much sweat or time. I earned that discernment. If you love me, if you want to be close, if I seem to have some depth or some substance that matters. It is only because I earned it.
And not once did I stare out into a sunset, quaint body of water or at the floor. Never once did I sit in big comfy chairs in a coffee shop or some martini bar in a major urban center. And I can’t recall if I ever resolved any of my major issues, faults or failures in 30 minutes including breaks for advertising and station identification.
Don’t buy the Hollywood life. Don’t do it…Honest. And listening to some indie band and reading some obscure (often shite) author and pretending that there are not a million just like you is not being unique…It’s just being another one of the desperate.
Want to know how to be? To be real? Go out and roll in the dirt, smell the shit, love like a madman, give that other person your whole heart, to hell with caution! Let yourself fall into the madness and the risk. You may end up being that epic love song, but not after three weeks…Listen just go, go like you can’t stop. When you get there, you’ll find two things.
One: You are brilliant beautiful and burned chrome. You may not be pretty when you get there. But it won’t matter anyway. Them that can see will adore you.
Two: You’ll be more lonely than you ever have known. Because them that see….Well they’re few and far between. Experience may temper you. But it will isolate you. Life will make you wise, but it will leave you knowing things that you will not share. It is inevitable.
Oh and hey…For my birthday…I gladly accept gift cards!
1. Philosophy A movement consisting of varying but associated theories, originally developed by Charles S. Peirce and William James and distinguished by the doctrine that the meaning of an idea or a proposition lies in its observable practical consequences.
2. A practical, matter-of-fact way of approaching or assessing situations or of solving problems.
I have attempted to start this post a dozen times. I know what I want to say but feel so limited by my abilities. My language, my machine, my heart and even my talent to speak. I want to sound brilliant and grandiose. I want to say things that leave you gasping and trembling like a post-coital embrace or an after orgasm gasp and shudder. I want to shake your faith and belief. And make you love me. Want me. I want your women and your gold. I want to be Shiva. Burn your existence down and rebuild it in my likeness.
But doesn’t everyone?
See this is a transcendental place for me. I have changed much in these past months. I have come to your temples and found them empty. I have knelt before your Gods and found them absent. And I have listened to the light. After an eternity of darkness I heard the creaking and moaning of dawn. I know now there are truths that are mine. You need not have them. Hey man, Pontius Pilate asked Ol’ JC at his worse hour “What is truth?” I think a good answer would be “The things that make sense.”
See Ol’ Hoss, me, myself, I am a pragmatist. Don’t tell me you’re wounded until you can show me the blood. Don’t tell me it’s over until it’s done. Don’t do any of the huffing and puffing all them big bad wolves do until you bring down the house of stone. I figure that most people are just people, lives, biological reactions. Ejaculations and spittle. There’s very little to be called unique or real. And them that are, well baby they’re brilliant bright stars. And not a one of them knows it for sure, that there is beauty. The world is full of people who will tell you how lovely, hateful, smart, cute, coy, interesting, individual, non-homogeneous, talented, bright, important, sexy, lovable or holy they are. But here’s how the dice roll, if you have to tell someone you are something, then you are in fact none of it. I will swear by that wisdom and will teach my child that as a valuable lesson.
Here’s how it goes. He that is, does. That’s all, that’s it. Pretty clear if you ask me. I know this girl, she’s not much of anything really. But boy oh boy! Will she ever lay the heavy I am’s on you! And she acts it all out, the whole role. All the accessories and accouterments too. The slang, step and swing. And in truth she’s just a sad broken thing. I think of the Dylan song “Just Like A Woman” whenever I see her. She breaks like a little girl… And I know a fella who will bluster and puff up his chest and talk up the whole room. He will shift and unfurl at will. But the truth (the thing that makes sense) is that he’s just a scared boy. I almost want to say “Hey brother, put down the bullets and smoke. You will become if you give yourself half a chance.” Ah well.
And that’s the big thing, that’s how it swings. It seems people now-a-days shop for lives, personalities and attitudes in books, movies and records. They see what they like and then pull it off the rack and then Boom! They assume it. The clothes, the language, the manner. And they never try again to become. Until they tire or the trend changes or they get scared. Then they take off the old skin and grab a new one. Wearing it in just the right way.
So few people become. They never grow into their true flesh and scars. They never take the time to be birthed. Impatient and frightened they will not risk the time or wager the bet to say what they become will be something worth being, something they will want to be. And it takes a long time in some cases. SOme are born into their skin. They’re the best kind, they are so pretty, so touchable. But the ones who take time, they’re even more…Even more everything. They’re warm and whole like a blanket you want to be wrapped in. Even if it is just for a moment. They walked a long way to get here and they are worn and broken in just the right places….This passage of the Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams is exactly what I mean…
“”What is REAL?” asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. “Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?”
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”
“Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,” he asked, “or bit by bit?”
“It doesn’t happen all at once,” said the Skin Horse. “You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
See what I mean?
So what are you? What do you want to be? What really matters to you? Make something good. From a tiny acorn a great oak comes.
Me. I think after many years and many miles I am coming in to my place. I have love and there’s plenty more where that came from. I am coming to a place where I can lay it all down, my love, my sin and the sad boy who has spent an age ready to sleep but never at rest. I guess if I could say anything to that boy now I think it would be “Lay down boy, you’ve come so far and you can rest. I’ll carry the load now.”
*Written while listening to the brilliant album by Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds “No More Shall We Part”…So please excuse my verbosity!
“One of the weaknesses of our age is our apparent inability to distinguish our needs from our greeds.”
– Don Robinson –
It’s so easy to feel disillusioned for me. To be jaded and to feel a deep hurt and disappointment in the world. I’ve seen so much and done so much, the whole experience of life leaves me cold. And somehow this makes me sad, I want to live in the rarified air and believe in miracles and the myth of love. But it seems impossible most days.
Love seems to be a temporary state. Something you enter with some strange exit plan. So many people out there want only the falling in and out. The thrill of new love or the tangible tragedy of heartbreak. The in-between days and the living in the steadfast is not worth the work. There’s no real sympathies there, there is no sparkle and fire. It’s not reward of drama and epic events. It’s like Hollywood has written the code of ethic and morals for a whole age.
Where are the hard and true? those tempered in steel that can cut through time? The animal that lives in the hard commitment seems to have gone extinct.
As soon as a person can utter “I’m bored” or maybe “I’m not happy” it’s perfectly acceptable to call it a day. I get most angry at these types. I feel like screaming “Hey peaches, no one else is responsible for your happiness, no one else is suppose to make you happy and blaming a waning love for your unfulfilled feeling and unhappiness is weak. And holy hell! Who told you that it’s the reponsibility of your partner to assure you that you are eternally entertained! You retard! Life is not a shitty vampire book or a feminine hygiene commercial! It’s tough and you share the load and responsibility for whatever it is your life becomes” Come on kids, think it through just once. Make your own happiness. And here’s a huge shocker. Life isn’t always exciting, life isn’t a series of episodes you can breathlessly recount to your equally vapid friends. It’s life, it ain’t easy and it ain’t always good or bad. Some days it’s just life. nothing more, nothing less. There’s your guarantee.
Damn the entitled!
Same with work. I see a whole bunch of people walking in wanting to be well-respected and be the one in charge. To have the respectable career. To be some great and billowing title. Hell those crappy 10 month career colleges thrive on that (here’s a secret from 25 years of work experience, NOBODY is ever as successful after one of those programs as they tell you…mostly they’re laughable at best). There is a whole mess of people who want to be the chief and general. But no one wants to earn their stripes, no one wants to run the marathon, they all want the big next thing. Hey man! Here’s maybe one of the reasons our economy and society is so fucked. We got whole generations of people who don’t want to get dirty. Who don’t want to do the work. They want the reward but make no effort.
It used to be that you needed to make your bones, you earned your way in and you worked your up. Your hated your boss and dreaded the alarm clock, but over time you got good at your gig and moved on and up a solid and experienced worker. Not fucking walking in the door on Monday and by Friday making plans for when you take over this shit heap.
And in life general. People are just a mess. I had a serious conversation with a guy this week where he said he never coddles his daughter, he never kisses her boo bos and never lets her cry. He said he was making her tough as any boy. Now maybe that’s so, but since when so we need our little girls to not be little girls no more? And besides that. It made me sad, to know that this guy was robbing his little girl the feeling of safety and calm that a gentle and giving heart can have. And he was robbing himself of one of the best moments of fatherhood, that is being the one thing that makes it okay. Being the cure for an ache and a hurt. Being a magic answer. It’s almost amazing to watch my little girl go from crying and scared to calm and safe just from daddy kissing here owie…Maybe she won’t be tough, but she’ll always have daddy to make it better. Even when it’s just a kiss on a skinned knee. Metaphorically and literally.
Here’s my wish and prayer for you all. That no matter what the world is and who you are, that you see the beauty in it. Just that little flash in the darkness. Look up and see the pretty light between the branches of a tree, look out and see the movement of life where it looks like there is none or to feel the excitment of seeing that living means more than just the epic. It can be a bird landing or an ornately carved piece of granite or even the scribbles of some little kid who tells you it’s you and them making snow angels. That’s the reward, the gift.
Because from there you can find God, you can find strength and you can find love. And brother don’t we need more love now? The world needs all of us to jump right in and be there. And we need to do it heart first.
- I don’t care how you argue it. Working in an office or at a desk or even a cash register is never going to be as hard as working a manufacturing, semi-skilled job. I am a die caster. Which mean I make things with liquid metal which is run into dies (molds) and then hardened at a rapid rate. I take a bus to work and watch in the windows of a couple gyms I pass every morning a bunch of office folks doing exercise before work. I can’t imagine a guy like me ever doing that. Because it is so physically taxing and demanding that you keep your energy as much as possible till you start working. It’s hot, dirty and there is tons of exertion to be done. And here’s the greatest difference between my work and the desk, counter or office jockey…When you make a mistake you can re-enter, re-type or re-arrange things and correct it with maybe a little bit of heat from the boss. Me I make a mistake someone gets hurt, badly. And there is always a possibility of death. Not an exaggeration, just a fact. So next time you pass a guy or gal who looks like a factory drone or a manufacturing bum or if you maybe work in an office connected to them. Show some respect. They don’t make a lot and they work hard and deserve more than they get.
- Teenage girls frighten me. As the father of a little girl I mostly cringe when I see them. I guess the prospect of parenting one someday just scares the hell out of me. So when I do see a teenage girl with poise, esteem and intelligence I am fascinated and want to ask her parents how they tamed the crazy wild beast.
- A funny little story. I was on a bus this week and beside me were a woman and her little girl about my daughter’s age. When the bus came to a hard stop I reached out to brace the little girl out of habit. It was a little embarrassing and I apologized to the woman for doing it. She was reaching too. Apparently I have developed a parent’s reflexes without even realizing it.
- That woman, a woman in my building and a woman I bump into regularly have all made invitations to me. Two for dates and one for…Well never the less. Why is it when I am crazy and storm-tossed you women never want to know me from nothing. But as soon as I get my legs back and I can stand on my feet and I need nothing from you, that’s when you all come out of the woodwork. And it seems with a goal of knocking my legs out from under me again. I have come to the conclusion. You wimmins like the crazy. But only the crazy you make. A bit of ownership I suppose.
- Politics is for the stupid and misguided. Nothing but a revolution and a burning will ever make a difference. Your Facebook petitions and groups are effectless (Ha! I made that word up!), honestly if the government hears of them it’s through a PR firm at best. You can march all you want, the general heard and sheep don’t give a good goddamned what your marching for. The average person at home looks at the news pictures and footage and thinks ‘What are they whining about now?’ And legal process is so refined and set up to prevent confrontation that the concept of suing for change is ridiculous. As for voting for change, well I truly believe as Roger Daltry once bellowed boldly in the Who song “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and that is “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.” and that politics is an industry built to keep itself in power and employed. No matter what color, what gender or what sexual orientation the face on your billboard. They are never going to truly represent you or your needs and desires. We need to burn our houses of politics down, rape their system and say whatever it is they don’t want us to. Even if as an individual I don’t agree with you I believe in your freedom to say it and live it. And that is exactly what your leaders don’t want. A free thinking society. Because questions are not compliance. So please, call me a pragmatist, but don’t ask me to sign your petition or join your online group. Because I am not interested in your posturing and your pretend acts of social awareness. Set a fire or get the fuck out, it’s cold in here and no one is doing the right thing.
- God and me are working out a deal. I’ll stay out of the deity business and he’ll stay out of the being Jeff business. And if we need a bit of help on either side of the creek well then paddle on over and we got us a helping hand. It works better this way.
- And now contrary to all this sometimes I think all I need is to get laid, get drunk and to break a nose. Because sometimes being more animal than machine is alright too.
- Why yes I am doing okay, thanks for asking…Now unless you got cash for me or maybe some crazy carnal adventure. Strand aside. I am building momentum and getting a rhythm. And you’ll just get hurt when I pull the blocks from the wheels and this machine gets to going.