Friday, October 30, 2009

New Mexico

Theres something about the desert
that makes me feel so human
maybe its the complete lack of anything
human around I reply

You wonder about those cowboys
why they are silent and
why strength comes hand in hand

We all know John Wayne
without seeing a single movie
and we all know Clint Eastwood
(boys have smoked rolls of tar
to try and perfect those guttural
vowels and ended up with nothing
but lung cancer and a failed marriage)

And I've been branded like so many cattle
for you my sweet American expanse
a landscape with a horizon drawn
sharp with a T-square
and an imperceptible curve unruly like
the sound of Charlie Parker's horn,
completely lacking in pity

That is the deepest love
that will crush your soul
to a shard of sand
and blow you down to Mexico

where you will end up crushed
on the beaches of Acapulco
beneath the baby soft sole
of a sorority girl
or wedged in the leathery cushion
between the 3rd and 4th toe
of a waiter taking his smoke break

There are more grains than stars
and what's more the grains
have a better view

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Yes he said yes he said
what about a back to back word
that is a gin and tonic
Sunday morning

The sense the sense I get
the sense of patterning in
the bleached spot missing
on a spray on tan

The love love we felt
in that classroom you were
the legless donkey and I
was the magician sawing
the box in half drawing blood

Spattering on the carpet on
the carpet on the alabaster
statues in the hall and this
is my theater

If it makes you hurt if
it draws you close then
my words the mother hen
and it pecks pecks

until stopping once
once it stops the drugs
are gone and my benzedrine
nightmare unfolds melting hearts

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Manifesto for the New American Psychedelic

As we reach the end of our age, with the rising tides and entire nations on the brink of drowning, now is the time to put our revolutions aside. Ours is now an age of refinement, of the realization of the greater self that was burst forth from the levee with nowhere to run. A river that attempts to run as wide as the sea will spread itself thin to the point of nonexistence. We hold the water, we have broken free from the old streams and now we must form the unbroken frothing liquid power that is only so many drops running together in a singular chaotic purpose.

We reject the old poets and prophets but read their words just the same. We paddle the backwoods creeks when we will, walk the mountain paths when we must, and ride the pavement when it suits us. Our new way is a collection of all of the old ways, all of the essences that do not insist on their own correctness. We are the new psychonauts, the tenders of the gardens of our own universe. We recognize that our selves are all we have to offer the world, and the best life is spent offering the best self.

We affirm that the exploration of the psyche is a rigorous undertaking, man's most ardent and its most important. Psychonautic exploration is a discipline, not a boys game. Let it be wild and exciting and unknown and chaotic but let it above all be fruitful lest we become farmers that feasts on the anticipation of the newly sown seed only to despair when he forgets where he must look for his harvest. Let us seize the full blessing of our searches!

We do not affirm the self-debasement of the original psychedelic movement. We do not affirm the principles of free love, that is to say, "indiscriminate love," or love that does not know itself or by extension its counterpoint. Men are not idle seekers of pleasure, knowing the shallow rewards of the flesh without a recognition of the holistic binds of the human organism. They are the leaders and strivers, not charlatans and abusers. They maintain purity and propriety not out of a sense of prudishness, but for the unrestrained joy that comes with knowing why one feels joy at all. We are not sluggish hypothesizers, we are scientists lovers of knowledge and of the overcoming of fear and blindness.

We strive for the fully realized woman, beauty and passion and delicate strength. She who knows her heart and wears it proudly as a beacon. She burns like an oil field that once torched burns eternal. She throws her back her head and laughs with mirth because she knows that all of the oceans in the world cannot quell her fire and she laughs again at the vast reserves of wealth that disappear in peals of black smoke above her head because she knows that all of the engines in the world cannot equal the radiant power of her self-possession.

We are explorers, friends and lovers of self. We search for the essence of the spiritual and material, rejecting nothing till it has been examined through the lens of selfhood. We encourage others to do the same with infinite patience and understanding. We are steadfast in our belief, inquisitive and respectful of all other actualized selves. We know peace and cooperation is not possible without first eradicating the fear that accompanies the prospect of grappling with and subduing the fearsomeness of our own humanity. We are not afraid, and encourage through example.

We believe that a radical shift in perception is required in order to confront the mysteries of our own viciousness. Whether it comes through imbibing consciousness altering substances, sober meditation, or simple open hearted social interaction, the true psychonaut embraces all perception shifting confrontation in order that he might add to his ratio. He uses rationality to cycle through his ever expanding sense of the universal organism and his individualized role within it, seeing rational thought not as a means to an end, but as a tool to organize the chaotic wisdom that enters his ever expanding ratio.

We, the psychonauts, wish to legitimize the pursuit of fully actualized selfhood by living a life of informed love, devoid of malice and hypocrisy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


And of course the preparations had to be made posthaste and without delay not a second being wasted. The news would be out soon. No time for mourning, because mourning can last forever (and then some) and even as you fetch the cereal from the dusty lower shelf of the pantry and sit slicing the bananas into the bowl in the breakfast nook there can be mourning. But not now no time the major media outlets must be notified.

They would undoubtedly want to know of his accomplishments. The magazines would need to make their charts and miscellaneographies and the papers would need the facts to back up newsprint tepidities like beloved and haunted and quintessential something or other.

I began to compile a list.

Runner-up in the Pine Wood Derby. First kiss eighth grade Elena Williamson. 36” Northern on Red Lake. Buffalo nickel which he found on the day he met his wife he kept for three years. Always kept a neat and orderly dressertop. Youngest branch supervisor in seven years. A family man. Drank only on the weekends. Stole packet of Bubble-Yum only once, as a child, and promptly returned it as a matter of conscience. Blue-eyed smile impossible to evade even on worst of days. Coached boys swim, 4 straight state championships.

The media was on it right away. Were at the house before I could finish my list. People from all around, that we never knew. The softball questions were loudest and the darker ones whispers but would remain so. Brianna knew us as old friends.

People gathered from all around, whom we didn’t know, around a house that was not his. One boy carved a star into the sidewalk of the cul-de-sac. Microphones everywhere and on such a springtime afternoon with perhaps 4 clouds in sight and the innocuous fluffy sort besides incongruities on all sides. But this was not a time for mourning because there were preparations to be made. There were stories to be told, but which? They all make money when the vultures come to feed.

Goose turned to Brianna, and said Quite frankly, he may be worth more dead than alive.

Yes. This is all he wanted I think, to be loved like he was newly dead.

There was a strange inelasticity in her voice final like sadness and I frowned. It was not the time for mourning. It was not the time for folding laundry, a red shirt in the basement that you know is not yours, or the big soft bed that is too big now.

In the street now the people were dancing. People who had already forgotten what they were dancing for, just happy for a reason.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Monkey Bars

The bars were breathing so that they would take me in and wrap around my head and not in and out like a bullfrog but warty like one, yes, and bubbling. “So that,” as if with a purpose.

You hear bars and you think…a prison a drunkard a lawyer a crow. But it is none of those things. It is a child’s playground. There are bars, yes, to climb and to disengage and there are chutes, which are my favorite. Because for every several little Tom and Sally that climbs the rungs behind it greased with the sweat and sand and spittle and bloodtrickles of children’s play there is the boy, unnamed, who will climb that chute until it is a chute no longer and then that little boy is the owner of his language, which is to own the world. Once he figures to climb the other tra-la-las will join him in laughter until the grown-up says to get down, to stop before anyone gets hurt.

And what do you know! Then the pridehurt little king will go and climb higher than usual on the bars, he will yank redfaced up until his thin smooth elbows are resting on the top rung and just his face peeks over like the red sun at day’s end but it is not setting it is rising, slowly, or is the whole world dropping below him like the handle on a dynamite plunger? And slowly still ruddy in the face with exertion he rises and the shoulders blossom and arms straighten and then the knees. First knee on the top rung and the second. And then with a chemist’s precision he will place the kneecaps on the subsequent rung, ankles hooking the one behind, and he will reach forward pushing himself up from the one that is further still. And the first points down will be the last to come off, and the last will be the first. The hands let go, and he is leaning back and kneeling, arms outstretched but he is higher than the rest hears none of the shouting knows in his own way that he is underneath no one but God.

Then the tottering upright, the hands are down again sliding backwards towards the ladder, stiffening first the legs and letting go then with the hands until the boy is upright like the First Man. And oh! How he walks on those bars that so many have swung between below like animals and ignores the shouts and the fear that holds him like quicksand and gravity. The blissful unknowing of this the greatest accomplishment in his life is what makes it greatest and the falling will not matter or the breaking bones or the hospital or the painful nights waiting up and the therapy and wheelchairs and nurses, because it is all in the future, as is the applause from his young peers and the scolding of his parents, that to a young heart is the greatest of praises at his defiance. It is all the future and is all mist and legend and the glory and the fear intermingling create a dizzying stew of potentiality.

And this story is in these bars, a whole book of them in fact which I may or may not write. And one bar! The joy I feel at stories, the best of which are never lies.