Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Question

There has been a lifetime without understanding. A simple word. As though words were simple. As though a mere string of letters could ever begin to describe the shifting of something so subtle. Uttered, spoken, shouted with disgust, thought of with envy. A word. The simple word. The complex word. The question remains, what is it? The study has given me more questions. The statements, the answers, the thoughts, the ideas…they have all fallen, one by one. 2,4 ,6, 12, 16…the understanding has fallen, there never was an understanding, just the knee-jerk recollection of the letters.
How many more words are there? How many more ideas…how many more things that are stored up with no real study, with no real questioning? There is a lifetime of rusty accumulation. A lifetime of words, a lifetime of supposed understanding and usage. I ride the wheel and I am left holding an empty bag. The wind blows and I hear an echo. I truly don’t know. I have never known. Each thought is an elusive grasp into the fog of truth.
For what is truth? What is understanding? What is power? Traces run along the ground, I run my fingers along their trail. But where do they come from and where do they go? I look forwards, backwards, I call to my friend… “where are you?” there is no answer, just another gust of wind.
I have been listening to the sound of wind, the sound of dust hitting a window over and over. I have listened to its bell for three decades. I have called to it, played with it, danced with it…I have never known it. I have never looked beneath that skirt, never studied the shape of the long first letter, the curve of the last. And I haven’t looked in. I haven’t felt the muddled ball that whirls in a fog of letters and symbols and blue and black. I think I see traces, I think I can poke it…and maybe, maybe…but I look into the distance with squinted eyes. I look out and know that the earth is covered in fog and letters dance in the wind and my fingers are covered in slime and my mind is coated in an even thicker sludge.
First, I will need to scrape the green ooze off. First, I will need to sit with the stillness, the evaporated shapes, the missing thoughts. This is not ignorance, this is the understanding that I have never held between my fingers.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

In Bondage

And yet, in another form it dwells. There are so many rocks on the shore, all from the same massive cliffs. It is gray and hard with some dark caves that hide the whispers. And he stands at the podium, a well dressed man. Lights all around. Reporters and cameras. The talk, the strings of words and punctuation that wrap around and form a concept. The pack of brilliant speech writers who so blindly follow a man. Or they follow the money, or the ideology, or the power. Those sentences, they convince the majority of young boys to pick up a pen, then hold a gun. Then run and follow and sleep and yell and smoke. And maybe they’ll come back. Maybe they won’t. Maybe just a part of them will make it back, just a small part of their brain or body. They are so young, so eager to make their claim on the world. So eager for adventure, so eager to die, to spill over and into the unknown that waits with white and yellow and red explosions. But they are slaves to the machine of bondage and slaves to the force of war and corporate power. They have been convinced. With simple words, simple phrases that reach out to them with purple tentacles that clasp onto the things they know as ideals. Those words attach themselves, they bite with venom and they stay, they linger and they pull the strings. These are the boys that will give their lives. Give their lives for a carefully devised speech, for a carefully devised strategy that requires force and brute strength. What this country wants requires taking. They need guns, steel, ammo. They must be a sacrifice, and there is a willing martyr. An army in fatigues will lay down and die so that American corporations can gain access to new markets. They will die so that America can gain more power. They will die all so that a very few, so very few, can control more. And they are the pawns, the fatigues in bondage. The young eager men who moved without choice, without freedom. They give their breath for a machine that knows no limits, love, reason. They sit and listen and march. They move in tandem with a larger force. Men behind closed doors design their fate. It was never for freedom, never for democracy. Those words are meaningless, meaningless for the men in the suites that sit behind locked doors, men who are always safe. It is others that give their lives for their simulated ideals, others that die for an idea of something, perhaps never really knowing what it is. They are in bondage. Boys who move for the strength of American power. The ones who thought, perhaps ever so faintly, that they were doing something great. But they were the bodies. Simply bodies. Bodies moving for a larger force, a larger cause that knows no human interest. It is the pursuit of power. Always more power. And power, that elusive word that seems to have no real definition. Only the traces of its movement can be seen, like a streaking cloud. Is it tangible? Can it be seen or touched or felt by those who do not have it? America, the great brutalizer. America, the great bully. America, the great weapon maker. They are asked to give their lives, to die for the accumulation of another man’s power. And they say yes, as they have nothing else left to say.

Friday, October 23, 2009

The Penis

They drive through the desert in their open green trucks. He stares into the yellow flat lands. Not a tree in sight, just the cracked earth and small gray bushes that have lost all their leaves in the drought, now they stand like skeletons naked in the sunlight. The hot air whips at his face. He squints, but he is used to it. The pain of dirt and pebbles and flying sand landing on his skin does not bother him anymore. When he was ten, he would cry when a rock scratched his skin as it flew through the air in a sandstorm, but now he just squints and tightens his jaw.
The caravan has thirty cars, each one with ten men. At fifty miles an hour, they send plumes of dry land spiraling behind them. He does not have to look, but he knows that each one of them is hard, that the bulge in their pants protrudes with eager anticipation.
They drive towards their village, the small collection of huts that is now theirs. Soon they will claim it. Each woman will soon know that she belongs to a new man. The village awaits helpless with no men, he knows, for they have slaughtered them all just ten miles away. The bodies lay dead and bloody in the sun. As their cars left the scene in no particular rush, he saw flies landing on their lips and wounds. Soon the vultures will come.
The defeated men had fought to defend their village, the men in the trucks had fought to take it, and they have emerged victorious. He shakes his head, “the fools had no chance,” he thinks.
Now they are going to take it. The women will be opened. Each one, multiple times. Their bulges are eager to take what is theirs. He looks on, expressionless.
“Those women, crouched in their tents are mine. The little girls are mine.”
He feels anger inside. He feels disgust.
“The old women are mine. The little boys are mine. They are my property, mine to use, mine to destroy.”
He wants them to understand this. He will show them. He will take them. He will put himself inside them until they all know that they are his. Each man in the caravan has won his prize. They have fought and seen spilled blood and lost comrades. They have lived for days without food and water and still they have fought, and now their new property awaits, perhaps unsuspecting, perhaps nearly dead with fear.
He will show them that they are his. With each thrust they will know. They will scream his name. And they will remember. It is his right. And tonight, he will do as he pleases.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

The Drop

The long silver bomb fell through the clouds and the women dropped to the ground. It wasn’t that they consciously thought of ducking, but their bodies melted and substance that had once been known as skin and bones and hair fell to the rumbling earth like heavy dust. When the waves of hot vibrations passed, the women looked through the remains of their buildings. They pulled out pieces of things they had once called children. Under heavy pieces of crumbled walls they discovered the loose remains of fingers and little toes. Tin cups that were once held by small hands during breakfast lay beneath a broken wooden table. When they found someone breathing, they called the remaining un-bandaged men and with sheets and what was left of their strength, they carried them to a makeshift infirmary in the place once known as the park. Only there were no trees left, just little sticks that had managed to stand up to the waves. They would have to find a new name for this barren land, it was no longer a park, it was nothing they recognized.
And their city, there would have to be new words to describe this collection of rubble that they once called Nagasaki. It was no longer a city, no longer a collection a tall cement buildings and crowded urban center. This place was a land of broken pieces. They combed through the piles of glass and wood looking for people once known as friends. They salvaged items their memories categorized as useful. The fire wind had come just a few hours before. The end of the world moved through them like a white cloud. It ripped through them, surely they had found hell, this was the landscape they had been warned of. It came from the sky, but they would have to search for understanding later. Now, they looked for their memories.
An old woman looked up to the clouds, to the blue dome she once believed contained her god. Was it the destruction of nature or man? What had crumpled everything she knew? Who had the power to flatten her home? Who had the power to take her children, to turn them to dust? She turned back to the land of cement. Back to the landscape of twigs and wrinkled flesh. Maybe they would understand later. Now, she looked for the things she recognized, before the hot wind had come. Before her home and children had turned to dust. Before there were crumpled men that needed water and bandages. Before the world was flattened. She picked up a pitcher of water and walked towards the wounded.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Cutting The Cord

She takes one small breath, her first. The earth has opened up with light, long awaited through the long meaty tunnel. It is cold, her body feels a sensation without description, a pain without concept, just the raw brutal force of chill on still warm flesh. She takes another breath, her second.
A woman is crumpled against the backseat of a four-door car. Her open white thighs reveal streaks of pale blood that have yet to dry. She leans against the cold vinyl seat of the car, exhausted, sweaty and smiling. Beyond the window of the stopped car, there is night all around. A moon glows somewhere in the sky, only no one notices. The wind beats against the window of the round-edged car. And inside, in the yellow glow of an interior light, they can all see, something has come out.
Creation has turned along the wheel. For a moment, they all ride the second hand together, watching, breathing, crying as a new being emerges into the human realm. It has come, from a place that knows no buildings or cars or sympathy. This new thing, this new creature comes without language. Without concepts. From one realm into another, tonight, this thing has come
The night is cold. The young body feels the air with stark attention. This is the steady re-supply of nature. Whatever words and thoughts and explanations were used to create this little being, this is nature multiplying. This is creation. This is change. Replacement. One body spawns another. One gives as another takes. The night is so dark.
After the pains have left, the crickets take over the sounds in the darkness. They are in between towns. Like a piece of blood cut in the cord that must be tied. With this birth, they are bound.
The baby will learn, the baby will follow and imitate and the habits will be passed. From one generation to another. This new life will be stamped with all that has come before. It will turn into the human, it will live in this realm, in the world of language and thoughts and the mind. It will grow, until one day, it too will re-supply the earth with another young form, a new little body that will also come thoughtless and empty of language.
But now, the night is cold and the crickets sing. A little baby breathes. The force of creation moves.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Hidden Motives

She held her picket sign high into the afternoon breeze. It was as though the wind itself was against them. As though the force of nature had conspired with all those greedy corporations and corrupt white-haired politicians to keep the truth of their message hidden. What had those scheming men who knew no justice done to the wind? How had it, too, been manipulated? She held it up, battling visible forces and those that moved in more subtle ways.
She had made the sign herself. She had gone to the store and bought markers and white cardboard and a thin piece of wood from the hardware store. She rummaged though the drawers in the garage and found some thin nails and hit the little metal spikes into the white board. This was the first time she had made a weather-resistant sign. Others she had made with tape had fallen apart after a few hours and she didn’t want to make the same mistake again, she had been doing it for many years. And so, feeling proud of the effort she had invested in making her sign, she held it a little higher, just a little prouder than the rest of the people that crowded around her with their own signs.
She was on a large grass covered mound, one thousand feet from the governor’s office, the place where bad decision were made. The building where men in suits cut funding for free lunch programs and health care for the poor. This is the place they came to work, dressed like other citizens, with shoes and ties and combed hair. Yet here, they did things that knew no sympathy. Here, they gained power by villainizing single mothers. They rose while the rest of them drowned…and they still looked like other men. So she was here, among thousands of other like-minded individuals, demanding that the shenanigans end.
There had been speakers on the stage for an hour and a half. They were critics of the system, victims, professors…they all used the bullhorn and the crowd clapped enthusiastically throughout their speeches. She watched as a young woman with long brown dreadlocks approached the impromptu stage. She climbed the stairs, walked to the microphone and began to speak, only there was no sound. A couple of people on stage dashed to the speakers and wires and began to fiddle with the cords.
She lowered her sign for a moment and turned around. Smiling, she surveyed the crowd.
“So beautiful,” she thought. “So full of youth and vigor and anger.”
She remembered her first protest, it was at least twenty years ago, she had come with a boyfriend who had been a college student, a few years older than her. She hadn’t been too interested in going to a march through downtown Washington, she would have rather stayed in his dorm room and watched a movie and cuddled and maybe even make-out till her lips hurt and he would be hard and she would have to push him away with an embarrassed smile. But that day he had made it clear what he wanted to do, he was going. She could come or not, either way, he knew where he would be on Saturday. And of course she did go.
She went and was invigorated by the crowd. She saw her boyfriend as never before, chanting in unison with the crowd. Waving his arms in the air. She was swept away by the energy and she chanted too, sending her voice into the crisp morning air. More than anything, she remembered the way he smiled at her as they turned the corner of Lincoln and Harvard. The sun was sending rays of light down through the clouds and he smiled at her while his voice raised in angry unison with thousands of others. He smiled with all the energy he had and she felt him move inside like a beam of light.
In that moment, she felt loved. By him, by the crowd. They made love later that night for the first time, the only time they would ever do so.
More than the culmination of his sticky desire, he filled her that night with the seed of action. Politics would become her obsession. She went to rallies on poverty and forums on social justice. She had done tree-sits and humanitarian missions to Gaza. She had done it all, there were so many problems to solve, so much to do. She only wished she had more hands, more bodies, more time.
She remembered him again, that boyfriend with a scraggly goatee and hazel eyes. He had made her laugh. He had kissed her just right. She had had so many lovers since then, even a husband now, but she remembered her moment of political awakening. In his arms, with his loving eyes on hers. And her voice rose again, in angry unison with thousands of others.

Friday, October 9, 2009

The Cosmic Cycle

The great cosmic cycle moves without a thought. Not a wind, not a purple flower with its little face to the sun disrupts its movement. It is I that watches through a closed window. Me, that observes the sunshine and rain. Tiny droplets roll down the window in a path towards the sidewalk. I watch them race to the concrete. But it is not the end. They will stay just a short time, then travel once again. Up. UP to the ever- present blue. But I watch the wet gray ground while they sit, not static, but patient. A lacy curtain reminds me of the rays of sunshine to come. Mini streams roll down the valleys of a cement driveway, past patient cars and silent trees that stand like brave tall men in the breeze. The needle-covered soil takes what is given. Silently, the seeds of life enter, bringing with it the desires of the sky. Those blackened clouds, pregnant with the hope of sprouts. With the unending goal of perpetuation. This is the cycle. The circle of the cosmos. From life to birth, death and transformation. Rain and sun. Evaporation and storms. I watch from a window, a piece of the circle. And I watch with thoughts. With emotion. With desire. I see her out in the rain. Naked. Her body glistening with beads of the sky. Crystal clear on her white flesh. Her hips move with the thump of the raindrops. The melody of a flute is within her and I watch as the rain holds her in its cold arms. She spins, her ratted long hair follows like a trail of comets. The whispers of clouds bring new forms. Little purple flowers. Overflowing rivers. A wet dog. With it comes lightning and a new language I long to decipher. I listen, from behind the closed window. The clock is locked in place, yet I watch it all in passing. Moving so fast, but the clock remains fixed. I watch from behind the window, through the glass, through the lace curtain. Rivers come from the sky. They come from the clouds. From the cycle that continues without a greater power pulling the strings. I am the rock in a stream. The pebble that drifts as the current moves without guilt or desire. There is no emotion, no sentimentality in this cosmic movement. Just colliding rocks. Smashing air currents and electrical pulses. There is no greater power. As I watch, the window is clear and the clock stands still.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Watch as the bricks are stacked, as the barbed wire is laid, as the electricity runs through the fence. Watch as the glass is cleaned with toxic blue, just enough to see the sunlight gleaming, but never cracked to hear the birds. But there are no birds here, nothing but the sound of gears in an invisible wheel. This is the new industry. The forced masses in the cotton fields are gone, but they fields have been replaced by buildings. Glass. Steel. Bricks. Thousands of buildings dot rural towns and poor desert communities. Thick, fortified, covered in silver fencing and the even thicker layer of punishment. Scum. Inhuman. Trash. This is the domination of one class over another. One man, a white man holds the keys. Thick. Desperate. Men in suits play with many lives. They are numbers, they are cash, they are profit. Men in suits stoke the fear of a supple public. Other. Dangerous. Hardened. Playing with their subconscious fears. Black. Brown. Gang. Fear of the other is evident in the polling booth. Crime. Cops. Enforcement. Law after law has come, with it, a new slave class. It is the new cotton field, only contained. Steel. Bars. Gun. Don’t worry, they won’t get out. Like the bad dream, just go back to bed. Forget. Cleanse. Look away. Hundreds of thousands of them are in there. They are fuel for the stocks of New York, energy for the machines of Wall Street. Profit. Privatization. Profit. They are the pawns, the simple lives that have been unwillingly sacrificed so that a ruling class may prosper. In cages, in farms, in factories churning out lacy garments. This is imprisonment in America. Brown and black men. Poor men. Dominated. They are the new American slave. Outfitted in orange and pink. They are the factory workers, the only manufacturing left. Cheap labor. Better than Mexico or the Philippines. There is no sympathy. Imprisonment is not only punishment, it is the desire to dominate. One man over another. It is not quite killing. Not the momentary rush of taking life. This is the application of torture. Year after year, the slow grinding, the slow decay. But the men are compost. Soil. They churn the hidden industry. They are the river. They are the stocks. They are the profit, they are the capital of other men in suits. Raw material. This is the new imprisonment in America. Watch.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Time Has Come

The mind is the most underused tool, the thing lost in the bottom of a cluttered drawer. We might hold hammers and pencils and drive small cars on smooth streets, but the organ guiding the movements, instructing the nervous system, sending the signals, is just another bit of trash on an already crumpled body. Locked in a skull is the open receptacle, filled since birth with words, concepts, mores, judgement, experience, desire and complete identification. Thoughts are not our own. They come from carefully constructed wants that have been created in skyscrapers, pushed by clever campaigns. We carry the thoughts of parents, grandparents, teachers, priests, friends, TV characters, imaginary situations and claim them as our own. The mind believes that it is real… the mind believes this body is its own…complete and right and unique. This mind has twisted and crumbled into itself, believing that it acts on its own thoughts and impulses, but the mind is a slave. A slave to thoughtfully programmed desires, a servant to the machine self, a slave to the belief of “me” and “them.” The coils are passed from one generation to another. Chains pass through rivers, through centuries and cultures. We are slaves with the illusion of power. Empty vessels with the illusion of individuality and choice. These thoughts transcend all matter, they seep into everything until at last, it is time. For very few, it might be time, for the masters control the locks and keys. They have manipulated the politics of society and corrupted the laws and legislated against colored vision. But if it is time, you may shed the brain you know. The bars of skin and heavy gifts of the ancestors may drop just for a little while. The fear of the Other may evaporate like warm rain and you may feel a tug that pulls you closer to the earth. An indescribable sensation may hold you deeper and firmer than you have ever experienced. The candle may flicker long enough for the purest light to burn itself in the dark center of your chest. Step out of reality, step beyond the thick black lines and into the realm of the Real.
It is time.
It is time to understand that there is much more than you have ever seen, much more than you have ever understood, much more than you have ever been taught.
It is time.
The mirror stands waiting.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Proper Place

This is where she learned to hide fairies under her pillow, at least for a little while. These are the piles of bricks that held a new knowledge, rather, a new way to see the world stripped of its color and magic, replaced by distrust and competition and the overarching sentiment of individuality. These are the fumes of antiseptic halls, where creativity is buried beneath layers of fuzzy facts. These are the mandatory rooms of societal instruction. Clear. Purposeful. Unyielding in dominance. The rainbow end here. The leprechauns are bludgeoned by bureaucrats and textbooks of misinformation. Lies they told her. Lies and more lies. Taught by those who lacked the curiosity to move beyond the glass doors. White men with their tests and bubbles. The deadening lines of little desks. Hard plastic chairs.
The windows call her attention. She watches the little songbirds that find freedom on the branches of a maple tree. The drawings are in her lunchbox. The dreams, stashed in her pockets, but it will not go on much longer. She is too young, too supple. This is the base of an army, the training ground of a square group that will work in offices, that will obey traffic lights, that will stay within the thick black lines of the coloring book.
“Here, you will learn to hold a pencil. You will learn to read. You will learn that Christopher Columbus discovered America. You will learn that this country is the greatest country on earth.”
Can this be called learning? Is this not simply the washing of a belief onto the putty minds of the young? This is indoctrination. This is training. These are the soon-to-be bureaucrats, the soccer moms, the office workers, the bulk of the voting public, the sleeping machines consumed with the illusion of choice and individuality. They will be the little dominated pegs in a chaotic world that is handed to them through a serialized tube of color and lights and fast-changing images.
This is a world they do not know, cannot understand, yet they will proclaim truth with certainty. This is the training ground for the ignorant army of America, for any country that requires servants, subjects, and rulers.
They take her rainbows and they instill a new self-regulating machine. This is the institution in its most gray form. Lifeless, a machinery that trains the next generation to replace the dead with stunning accuracy. These are the machines of tomorrow. With little pig-tails and white dresses and ruffled socks. These are the square-thinking machines of tomorrow, the pegs that will do as told. They will think as instructed by code words and marketing executives. They will move on cue, masses of them will bow when told, shout when the lights blink. This place is the training ground for the white-washed army. This place is the final doorway into the world of the symbol. This is the place where the locks are set in place, never to be released again until the moment of death.