Saturday, April 26, 2008


"You promised!" He yelled in his most whiny and angered tone, slamming down the phone and breaking contact with his mother. It was a petty outburst, an eruption of emotions based on his desire to eat dinner in a restaurant instead of home. His anger bubbled up from his sense of righteousness, he had been promised a night on the town, promised! True? Humans remember events and words that work in their favor, and everyone has a differently colored memory of the same conversation; but despite this, he acted badly towards his mother.
When she came home later that night, she was all smiles as they planned where to eat the following evening. Not a word was mentioned about his outburst, both of them had forgotten, and he was allowed to invite a friend to bring to the restaurant.
And with this cycle of events, his machine has learned a valuable lesson, one that will leave a lasting imprint. One that he will use and recreate for the rest of his natural life, and most likely, he will carry it along to the next. Outbursts will be rewarded. Harsh words and deeds will be cast out like rice at a wedding, falling on all those in his path. He has learned that he can do whatever he wants without consequences...he may lash out and still get what he wants. This is his habit, and with each passing circumstance of anger à outburst à desire…this habit will become more entrenched, etching itself further and further into this molecular memory.
His machine rules him, and each day, it holds him tighter within the claws of habit. All of us are embedded within our machines, but we can learn to be the master, not the slave. The first step is realizing when you have acted badly…what was your desire? Examine what you wanted and if you got it. If you lashed out or got sad or manifested any negative emotion to achieve your desire, then you helped your machine gain more strength. If you were able to push through an interval, pushing yourself and your machine past the boundary of what is normally comfortable, then your machine deserves a small reward, a cookie or twenty minutes of television. If you acted like a jerk to your friend because you needed sugar because you had a headache and then you ate a cookie, your machine was given a treat for the wrong reasons.

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I saw the Law of Octaves gleaming in his little eyes. When we first began at the kitchen table, he was smiling and happy to work on math problems; his tiny fingers, only a couple inches long, could barely grip the over sized pencil he begged to use. 1 plus three plus seven equals what? I asked. For the first twenty minutes, he hungrily added the numerals, writing the answers in an over sized script. But soon, while we were only partway through the second page in his workbook, he hit the first interval. His little head began to sag. His already thin eyes got even smaller. He looked up and asked, in the most innocent and hopeful voice "Can we do math from that other book?" He sounded more energized as he asked, his head raised and eyes wide. We could move on, he suggested, onto another work book which had new pictures and different word problems.
I recognized his impulse, already a habit in the young boy. And I felt it within myself. It seems so benign. There are other math problems in the other book, what could be the harm? It’s important to keep him interested. It’s important to be nice! For a flicker of a second, I felt my old self smile, excited by the invitation. The compulsive one who starts a thousand projects but never completes them. The restless girl hungry for excitement and the thrilling "new". The self who is excited by fresh ideas and tasks but quickly becomes frustrated and bored, giving up quickly to start something else.
As soon as the machine hits resistance, as soon as we hit the first interval, we descend, quickly falling away from the intended goal.
NO, I would not allow this boy to give up...even if he will be deviated in every other task for the rest of his life. This time, with me, he will finish the math problems. With his little head resting on his arm, looking only half conscious, I forced him to finish the work page. We would not stop halfway through, no matter how boring. For a flicker of a second, as he looked expectantly, wanting to start working on the second math book, my surface emotions felt for him, this little sweet boy…I wanted to make him happy, so yes, let’s move on, let’s do something more fun.
But an instant later, my teachings were remembered, the realization that WE must push through…the intervals will present themselves again with the next book, and the one after that…until we are birthed again and repeat this once more….and then again. NO, there is no time to let this Being give up, to let his machine dictate our path…his happiness is as fluttering as a dove’s feather, as fluid as my emotions. We must move through this Octave, NOW.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Secrets are Real

Secrets are real. Tender as the soft pink skin of rose petals, they shrink from the sun, unable to laugh or scream in a way audible to our ears. The secrets come in changing forms and shapes, petals layered upon themselves, forming full cups of fragrance. The smell, lingering in the twilight stops my heart, seconds pass while I journey into stems and tubes, petals lick me into submission and I glimpse the vast undulating fields of movement. I take notice. What have you to tell me? Linguistics dull this sacred knowledge. Even the truth can be obvious and not seen. You need eyes, real eyes. You need ears and the ability to truly hear, a skill I do not yet posses.
The heart, the soft red organ covered in scars, must be open, even a small crack will do, just enough for the songs to enter. The recognizable yet infinitely unfamiliar beat. Beautiful, bringing tears to my eyes, yet causing my heart to pump strangely, the new sensations sending mixed messages to my frightened brain and sickened body…yet, something in me sings, unable to look away. Growing louder with time, the gates slowly open a little more…then, ever so slightly, a little more.
With the passing of time, with the passion tended knowledge and budding transformation the gates can be pried further by the tiny scarred hands of inner struggle. Did you know there where thousands hiding in the frozen folds, in the vast wastelands of negative emotions, ready, dying even for a reason to exist once again. Tired of masturbating, bored of fear and petty emotions. Bloodied fingernails scratch at every surface, the gold tinged bars and iron locks have had many years to rust.
Has the message seeped in? The clues are all around, yet you must do the deciphering. The detective is hidden among your many egos, your many centers of vision, each one of the thousands thinking itself unique and alone. Grab the cloak and the pipe, take a walk in the cloudy night. Smokes wafts among your legion of demons and colliding impulses. Yes, it is you who must dig for the treasure.
Maps lay at your feet, soiled and muddy from neglect. Did you know they littered your yard? The dog has chewed the corners, children have colored upon them, adding flowers and rainbows on the thick parchment and gold filigree. Can you feel their wisdom? The symbols are plainly written, bold strokes written with a sure hand and flaming presence. Fire leaps from the characters, can you hear them talking? Are they speaking to YOU? The Real. The eternal unnamable.
They come with silence, they come with fragrance and power. Each one carries the cries and knowledge.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

S & M

It is not all just sweetness and kisses. It is a constant reminder that pain and pleasure are inextricably mixed, the small white dot in the black yin, the tiny black dot in the white yang. Each kiss, tempered by a brutal slap is a sharp awakening to the dualities that constantly exert themselves in each moment. Nothing comes alone, emotion, fear, smell…it all comes with its companions. We come from two, a male and female linked in chemical union. The forces of creation and death dance a careful ballad, each step balances upon the shining silver blade that gleams as it descends into folds of earthy musk. Dark matter and multiple layers of flesh obstruct it gently at first, but even they quietly give way.
Constantly gagged with fingers and warm flesh, the screams still find a way to escape, releasing with it the invisible movements of shock and love. These noises take on muted forms, bouncing off of each surface with a whirlwind of enthusiasm. Escaping from a red mouth, they descend upon the stereo, ricochet to the ceiling, crash into the southern wall, on and on…on a moving bounce that does not end, but merely decreases in perceptibility. Wrists are bound with metal and no matter what comes, whether the soft whisper of an open mouth or the careening velocity of a ruler, the body is bound, left to absorb the energy that forces itself inside.
There is nowhere to hide and because of this, only because of this, small pieces of light enter the deeper realms. Once covered in ivy and Polynesian masks, disguised as a goddess and multifaceted chameleons, the wooden gates have swung open, leading to oft forgotten pools of turquoise water.
And just as it feels as sweet as it ever could, at the moment of rainbow cliffs and tidal waves; a mouth grabs a piece of tender flesh, the skin right below the belly button, and latches on, teeth dig in harder and harder, puncturing the creamy smoothness of a torso with multiple bite marks and indentations. And the lesson is given again.
Schooled without linguistic instruction, bodily actions alone deliver the powerful message that nothing is constant, and more than that, we exist in a kaleidoscope of movement. We are not in control. Not of our bodies, our minds, our emotions. We adapt to the weather, are thrown by a misinterpreted comment, crying over a particularly good bite. There is no end, no sweet reward at the end of the tunnel…just a constant shift within and without. Each slap, each gag, each kiss is a reminder of the constant ebb and flow, the steady waves and constant change that moves about constantly.
That there is not one without the other- for true understanding must be grasped from all angles.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

To Reveal

Many years ago, a famous poet from El Salvador talked about the writing of poetry to my mother, while I listened without being seen. He was trying to communicate something very subtle, very elemental and intimate. He said that in the true writing of poetry you must rip yourself apart, you must reach inside, grab the innermost tendrils of your nature and pull out hard with all your strength, spilling yourself outwards in a messy explosion of blood and guts. It must hurt and it must be uncomfortable. Anything short of that he would not consider poetry. When I heard those words I felt the twinge of truth inside me but the understanding didn’t sink deep enough, it floated around on my surface, reappearing every once in a while as a memory or a linguistic code.
Many years later, playing guitar, I heard someone say that distortion could be used to add to the guitar but that it was commonly used as a way to hide, to protect yourself from criticism and deep examination. By implication the same would be true of all other guitar effects. They can all be used to emphasize and highlight the core musical motif that is being played (in this way bringing it to the forefront and making it more alive) or they can be used to protect the player from displaying mistakes, vague intentions and unclear obfuscation. Again the message tweaked me delicately and the sensation of intuitive understanding ran through me like lightning but I pushed it out to the surface. Again I remembered the words, and assigned a label of "true" to them, but didn’t really swallow them completely. I let them float around the tip of my tongue but didn’t open my own throat to take them in.
Ultimately it was impossible. It is only through direct and constant creative work that such a truth can be swallowed. No amount of communication can replace that. Knowing that, understanding that from the inside out, I make here a new futile attempt to make this communication, in the hope that it may spark practical constant effort.
In the process of constructing a new piece, a new world, a new multi faceted universe of simple elements coming together to form a complex whole, a single clear and simple gesture will always be at the core. This is not an "idea" or a "message" or a "moral" or a "lesson". I don’t speak here of political communiqués or the exploration of deep psychological issues. Instead I refer to a simple shape, a straightforward curve in the fabric of reality, that resides at the core of this new Universe you now create. In the visual realm, this is a shape, a particular curve or form that resides at the heart of the construction. In the world of sound and of text, this shape may be more elusive but it is just as real and just as simple. To maintain a good, clear focused contact with it is difficult. It requires intense and constant attention. It requires some kind of knowledge of the law of octaves (whether direct or intuitive) to prevent the inevitable deviations that will make your focus float away from the original impulse. It requires a clear and honest ability to look at yourself and your habits, to recognize when these habits are taking over and to have enough skill to stop them from doing so. It requires the skill to add without hiding or subtracting, to bring in extraneous elements without destroying the foundation in the process.
None of this can be learned in theory. You cannot learn it by reading it here or anywhere else. In fact, it probably won’t even make any sense unless you are currently involved in the process of constructing. Only with that as a context will the words carry enough referential weight and practicality to have any meaning. A true and sincere effort may be made to attempt to reveal this but you will have to be in a particular inner and outer place to have any chance of receiving the communication and taking it deeply enough for it to have any effect. In this there are many obstacles, but there is also hope. But if the initial effort to reveal is not there, then there is no hope.
The nature of the initial shape is not important. Any shape will do, taken from anywhere through any process or method. What is important is to be constant in your work with it, to be truthful and sincere in your effort to reveal it, to allow it to come forth and take on its hidden significance, a shining clear light that will be found in any one thing and in all things. The secrets are everywhere. When you understand this and you develop enough skill to create with a shape (any shape in any form of construction imaginable) then your search for truth is over and your work has begun.
When I first heard these things, both in the examples I have pointed out and in others I may have left out, I did not truly understand them. They were words that had the ring of truth and that I would store away in my mental filing register for future reference. The same will be true of anyone that reads this text without a context or a real Necessity. This is then a message in a bottle, lost in a vast ocean of thoughts and opinions, aiming to somehow find its true recipient. This text is a seed scattered to the winds in the improbable hope that it may find a fertile breeding ground in a receptive Being ready and willing to bring it to Life.