Sunday, January 9, 2011
I see a thousand mirrors in all directions, all obscured by a thick fog that emerges from my own eyes.
The mysterious engulfs me. There are no final answers, or maybe any answer at all will do. (I know this.) (I don't know this.) There are no reasons that can't succumb to cruel twisting by my restless mind. I can stop myself from doing or speaking occasionally, but my thoughts run through me unbidden, like a horde of unruly children. They make reality in their image. They create the dark funhouse through which I now roam, eyes peeled open, hesitant, unsure of the next step.
There is so much that is completely out of my hands. (I know this.) (I don't know this.)
I hear the sound of a chainsaw up on the hill that overlooks my home. I hear it come and I hear it go, then I hear it come again. I picture the man using it, I picture a thick piece of wood breaking in two. I feel the deadly vibration of the metal blades. Lethal danger and usefulness in a single vibrant machine.
These things I do, these things that I leave nameless, they never had a safety seal. To truly live- to be truly alive is to awaken to that which is uncomfortable, scary, and dangerous. (I know this.) (I don't know this.)
The outside world, the concentric circles of wonder and danger, it is all ruled by that same incessant clamor that dominates and defiles the fragile sanctuary under the dome of my skull. The twisting habits of my mind call things to me in secret, without my consent, making of me a sleeping witch, a conjurer of illusions which can only fool me in the end. The unspoken things die away in the world of endless electronic babble.
The universe outside is still wild, uncontrollable, and unpredictable. Stars are created and burst open into cauldrons of silent destruction, earthquakes ejaculate fire from the depths of the earth, humans continue to die despite modern technology and all the disposable prayers of all the corrupt religions that cover the planet.
Through the wall, I hear the neighbors bickering for the remote. I hear them often.
There is danger as the machine perceives a threat, there is danger while moving against the current, there is implied danger whenever something happens, almost anything at all. The perception may be very subtle, as subtle as the touch of a single current of wind slipping through the cracks on a window, a voice through a thin wall.
There are things without name or face. Lacking these qualities, they borrow names and faces from the storehouses of my mind, long corridors of dusty boxes and broken toys. When the borrowed guise no longer suits their purpose they vacate the shapes and sounds that once clothed them, and I am left with their empty shells, shells that refer not to their nature, but to my own, as it is from my nature that these shapes were borrowed.
The mysterious is forgotten, denied, wrapped in linguistic structures. When it shows its face I will call it an exception and the enduring rules will be maintained. Maybe it is the other way around. It is the bugs, the quarks, the exceptions that are the rule and my desperate attempts at order are the exception. (I know this.) (I don't know this.)
Maybe I was once a tribe. Now I have been broken into small nuclear units in a larger world, units weakly held together by national borders, language, government.
Instead of embracing beauty in an existence of chaos and moving artfully with the flow of energy- I struggle, I crave safety. I let others decide what is good and bad for me. Laws are crafted in far away rooms- old dying men determine what is legal and illegal, moral and immoral, good and evil. I take it in and abide, sometimes shaking my head, something nodding as I slide back into sleep.
There is a flock of birds outside my window competing for scraps of bread. Their cries are shrill and pregnant with desperation. Not unlike my own cries of need when a wave of energy has become too much and I find an urgent need to release.
My brittle fortresses of order will eventually crumble. (I know this.) (I don't know this.) The hot breathed broken faced Real will lumber and slither and dance in, wreaking havoc over my bones and rambling thoughts, thoughts now bodiless, flowing out free as they once were, broken up, discarded, bits and pieces of moments that will never be together again, not in quite the same way, raw matter to be absorbed into the icy turbulent endlessness of the Real. I am always grasping for answers and peddling them and buying them and clinging to them, but they are only words clung to in desperation. (I know this.) (I don't know this.)
Maybe when I look I can’t see the contour of my face or the glint in my eye, but as I hear that bird chirping like a metronome at 5 in the morning, as I see school children running to the white ice cream truck, the mirror reflects more than the skin over my cheekbones, more than the black sphere at the center of my eyes.
I am hiding from the true answer, I am always hiding from the mysterious abyss that looms beyond the constructs of the tongue. (The tongued mind wagging furiously as though it could fan off the eternal with its chatter.)
I have never been free of the mysterious, it was always clinging to me like a skin. But some part of my self, some part of me, recoiled from it and began to spin the great con to hold it at bay.
Deeper even than the body, reflected back are the habits I carry from form to form. Quick moving bursts of energy that move in cyclical patterns, shapes that are hard to grasp, but I can see their trail. Fallen timber, cyclones of anger, streams of tears. If I look, I can see the path of each invisible impulse, like subatomic particles in a cloud chamber flying towards unknown destinations, leaving behind a record of their passing.
Safe, protected, secure, assurance, solid, invulnerability…
these words have cloaked me in artificial meaning and false structured reality.
If I claim to have answers, I am once again a liar, an artisan of the con. Always. There are no exceptions. There are no answers. No words that can hold the Real absolutely. (I know this.) (I don't know this.)
All that I have experienced has been a play of consciousness. There are no reasons but mind, there are no words but sound, there is no band but only silence.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
They were born with legs but no arms.
Arms but no legs.
A body that stands alone.
There were pinheads and worms, bearded women and clowns.
We watched with fascination though slightly cracked hands, watching with horror, watching with sorrow, looking with a mixture of disgust and pity.
The claw-footed man. The freak of nature. The DNA that mixed and morphed. The body that was tangled and torn. Beneath the tent they were the wonders of the world.
The amazing twelve fingered man.
The magnificent musical stylings of Max, Block Head.
We came for the hot dogs and cotton candy. Came for the beach. The waves and sun, the slides, the lights.
They hide, not in the shadows as we would all expect, but beneath colorful canvas tents that announce their arrival. We wait for the right time, letting the lollipops sit, letting only parts of our imagination wander into the tent. When we finally move through the parted doors, we find nature staring right back. Birth and bodies in all forms, hands that have twisted and turned into tails. Legs that are arms and hands that are ears.
Their bodies point to our own destiny. It is not all two feet and two hands. There are variations in the middle, some that twist, some that never separate, some that never grow. I look into the mirror, looking through cracked hands that cover my eyes. They are words, those bodies, those things, they are words stripped of love by the candy-eating crowds.
They watch us through bars, through social walls made of heavy brick. Babies stare, mothers cry, I watch through the thin cracks between my fingers. Cross yourself and pray. They move from field to field, town to town, carrying their lions, their tricks, their wonders. They are the freaks, sparking stares and quick glances, sudden bursts of curiosity and horror.
This ticket allows me to look. For thirty-five minutes and a paper ticket we stare at the distortion of nature, the wonders of the planet, the amazing freaks of the sideshow. One ticket and the world opens its sleepy eyes, the people that hide from missing toes and extra eyes.
We who call ourselves normal, who hide our perversions and defects. We who have no extra arms, but carry everything inside that begs to rip apart and turn into evil eyes and sword swallowing demons. All of nature twists inside us, turning and re-combining, turning us into mutants.
Soon I will don my silver sequined hat and fishnets. Soon I will be Lydia the tattooed lady. Soon I will be the wondrous mystery from Egypt, the gypsy with three eyes, the mother of twenty snakes.
Soon the hidden cracks will leak, the hands will spread wide and our true selves will pour, decrepit and slow, hissing as we meet the wind. There will be secrets and slime, muttering and new positions added to every act. Soon it will all begin, but for now they stand alone, the freaks beneath the red tent.