25 Apr 2005

If it looks like a duck, swims like a ceiling tile, and quacks like a reptilian carport, it’s probably salvia

I’m a day removed from a super threshold experience. I have no clue how to sum it up. I wish I’d done some writing soon after, or recorded myself during the trip. I have to go on memory. I’ll try a chronological report.

My first attempt, which I’ve reported here, was more powerful than expected and suggested amazing potential. I tried a higher dose a week later, indoors, but I didn’t feel significantly greater effects. I did a series of extra hits about a minute or two apart. Each time I would bump up to a short peak like a little nitrous spike with a wave of anesthesia. There would be a loosening of all assumptions and solidity – increase in possibility. Colors would brighten, space would elongate, edges would sharpen, the floral pattern on the couch would grow, warp, suck me in. I would feel on the verge of opening a window or a doorway, but then I would return to a mildly psychedelic plateau before it got really interesting. It seemed the gravity of my personality and personal reality was still stronger than the salvia, and would pull me back. I could never boost myself past the threshold. I realized that I was just wasting the drug. Climbing gradually over the threshold was not an option. I had to concentrate the required amount of salvinorin in my bloodstream over the course of a minute. That was the ticket.

So that is what I had in mind when I began my third journey. I decided to trip indoors, in the afternoon, with the windowshade open a crack, on the same couch as last time. I had a friend with me who was acting as a sober sitter. He brought his bubbler. I packed its tiny bowl to the brim with 5x, then loaded a slightly smaller hit in my glass pipe that I planned to smoke immediately after pooching the bubbler’s bowl.

Bubblers kick ass, especially for salvia. The hit was very large, but the smoke was cool. I took it in easily and held it for what I thought was thirty seconds. I torched the bowl again and lit up what was left. Got some more salvia in and held it for less, then exhaled and went for the pipe. At this point I was feeling the fringes of the warp creep up on me, but nothing too strange. I flamed the pipe with gusto and hit it hard. Held the smoke in, noticing that I was starting to feel really weird. The gravity sensations were beginning. I had just dosed myself with an estimated 60 mg of 5x (870 mics of salvinorin).

The transition occurred halfway through the second toke and it was so rapid I didn’t even notice. I don’t remember what was happening during this period but I do remember whispering to my sitter that no, I don’t need a third toke. I was clearly past the threshold. I whispered a few more things, like: “holy shit”. Then my memory is gone. This black period might have been the peak but I can recall nothing from it.

My memory returns in the middle of some raging sea of mutating consciousness. It did not feel expansive, it felt constricted, like I’d been forced to occupy the headspace of something not meant to contain my new form. I felt like I was taking in too much information, and the unprocessable excess was spilling over into a physical energy I didn’t know what to do with. There was no question of doing anything though, the energy was doing me, changing me. I was the energy.

The change felt violent and intense. I can’t imagine anyone having a tranquil trip on this substance. As I was assimilating/being assimilated into the new paradigm, the oddest associations flung out of my collapsing core – an unrecognized memory of the backyard of my grandma’s house and a plastic tricycle subsumed into a duck-lizard on a spinning checkerboard landscape. Checkerboards, tiles like cells in a hyperorganic circuit, flowing, conveying, attached to something, whipping back and forth in a 3d figure eight. I was part of this manic motion. The tiles might have been scales on some vast liquid amorphous reptile, but the reptilian motif was part of the species warp which tied into a pre-verbal child-like nonsense thread that made perfect sense in the moment. I can't isolate any part of it, it was all a fuzzy bubbling gestalt with myself knotted through. On this plateau I was in no position to be able to freak out because I was beyond freaking out - far beyond myself. It was beyond psychological, it was a brutal dismemberment of identity and assumptions that attach me to my species, let alone personality. It was becoming a new life form, with consciousness forced to wrap around the novel angular contours of a non-Euclidean object.

My perception of the outside world was completely gone but I had a vague sense that I was tripping on something and someone was watching me. I felt impelled to communicate with this person because what was happening to my mind was unbelievable. It was impossible. It was inhuman, it broke all the rules. I couldn’t connect the state I was in with my past experience at all – it was ludicrous. I tried to speak, but the act was so foreign to me I couldn’t finish a syllable without drawing it out in a spastic moan. Then it would wrangle into glossolalia of its own accord. I was fascinated with trying to speak and hearing what I was saying. After twisting into jabberwocky and recognizing it as that, the jabberwocky itself twisted into some new language that seemed to explain everything. I’m told I laughed hysterically around this point. I do remember a feeling of enormous hilarity, like I was comprehending a cosmic joke. The feeling was epic, my self and life were only tiny fragments of it, and I was compelled to express it. Even though it was impossible, the attempt to express it felt ecstatic and revelatory and part of the joke.

It wasn’t the kind of clear white light above-it-all transcendence I’m used to from 5MeO-DMT and DXM. It was like being yanked into a parallel continuum that is connected to our world in subtle, intricate, and vital ways. Time was very distorted around this point. Not stretched, but meaningless. I could conceive of no beginning or end to what was happening. It was a place out of time. I felt less inside a room and more spread through a nonlocal field of mind. Physical space was a distant, trivial notion. I was totally disoriented – I had no name, no conception of what tripping was or what had happened to cause this. I did have a sense of body, but not a human body. My “body” seemed to be twisting into fluid shapes and words and concepts.

What I’m saying doesn’t come close to conveying the strangeness of it. I wouldn’t call it alien, though “extra dimensional” seems apt. Whatever it was I was falling into, or becoming, or being snatched up in, it had some vague connection with humanity, but it was like humanity was one small node in its superstructure. I later had the idea of humans as surface stubs way out on the fringes of a vast organic order, a pattern within a pattern, and consciousness need not be confined to the personal stubs we inhabit and mistake for separate inviolate entities. But the salvia experience was less like contacting the Gaian mind and more like having portions of my personal pattern of awareness scrambled arbitrarily throughout the larger organic order.

It was not like any other psychedelic experience I’ve had. It was far too bizarre to relate to any past trip. And yes, it DID have much of the character that other voyagers ascribe to salvia, mainly because of its idiosyncrasy. But it was nothing like what I’d imagined or could have imagined.

The room was blotted out by a sensation that consisted of all my senses put into higher context. Anything I saw with my eyes was interpreted in ways that bore no resemblance at all to its traditional identity. I thought that I was lying down with my eyes shut the whole time, but I later found out that a lot of the time I was actually sitting up and staring at things, the window, the room, the cat which jumped off the couch as objects took on lingual associations once again.

My thoughts began to condense to more rational, lucid, human-style questions like “what the fuck is happening to me?” I finally got out an actual word “BULLSHIT!” as the salvia’s hold relaxed. It seemed the only thing to say. Now it felt that my regular world was doing the pulling, pulling me back, hard. Like the transition into the salvia trip, the transition back was hard to pinpoint.

I blurted out a bunch of astonished “what the fucks?” before realizing I was coming back to something. The shift from visual perception making no sense at all to seeing people and tables and pipes again was rapid and jarring, and probably the cause of my unease and paranoia. It was not a smooth transition back. The mindfuck was still intense, and the confusion. I felt a heavy body load, extreme dizziness. I was back in my regular world, but it made no sense in juxtaposition with that five minute jaunt which seemed to demand answers. The joke was fading, I couldn’t remember why I’d laughed or what I’d figured out.

Now I felt a fear that is common to my trips which is that I’d perversely modified my perception and it would never properly re-assemble. I was stuck comprehending my world and the human game from a point of view that would never allow me to participate in or even deal with such patterns. The mental alteration was almost gone but the resonance was strong, and the physical heaviness and strain were not abating. I felt extreme difficulty in reconnecting with my organic niche, once taken for granted, now seeming ridiculous. I was not enjoying being halfway in/halfway out of the salvia state. I proclaimed that I wasn’t likely to do the drug again.

My sitter said something about “plant consciousness” and I thought “if that’s what plant consciousness is, it must take a LOT of getting used to.” But somewhere in the back of my mind, I was convinced that whatever I’d gone through, it had about as much to do with plant consciousness as a duck has to do with a floor tile. Which might be a lot, who’s to say?

Over the next few minutes I did come back all the way and my tension eased. I felt relief. Everything was alright. Except for the fact that I COULDN’T FUCKING REMEMBER what was so damn important. What was hilarious. What I’d been trying so hard to express. Five minutes later and it was all gone except for a vague sensation of… something. I asked, “What can I possibly learn from this? What good is it?”

In retrospect it felt like a delirium – but it also felt real, like it was something important and substantial, cotangent with ordinary awareness and waiting for me to join it. But it’s not something that fits easily into human standards and assumptions and modes of perception.

I can say how the peak made me feel, but I still can't say what the peak was. There was a visual component to it, but visuals were not the primary information conveyed. The experience was more about the mindfuck. But it was not psychoanalytical in the way that most other psychedelics are to me, and I like that about the mint. It didn’t seem to be very concerned with my issues, anxieties, superstitions, paranoias, hopes, and dreams, except in that difficult period of re-integration.

Bullshit is still the key. "Bullshit" is the only artifact that I can confidently say is part of the heart of the trip, that crazy core that is beyond my understanding or recall. I think what I was calling bullshit was not the trip itself, but everything ELSE - what was happening to me seemed so out of the bounds of everything I knew as a human being and a personality that my universe was rendered utterly unbelievable in the sense that I didn't buy it. It was like I couldn't believe in the human game anymore. Salvia was the sacrilege sacrament for the monkey ego trip.

It seems that when I finally broke through I might have gone too far to take much back with me. I might want to try for a middle ground. But I can see that maybe what I experienced was too much for my brain to process - whereas some people CAN remember, understand, encompass, feel, see, and explain more. It may be that my mental design specs can't handle an alteration that severe. My personal version of perception may not support a salvia peak, like trying to view a 32 bit color image on a 256 color monitor. Maybe further experimentation will help me figure this out.

21 Apr 2005

The Sour Lining of Nirvana

Scorched goody flesh on a goody torch. Dark princess lights farts. Anesthesia lifts and the opiate taste returns: it’s the sour lining of nirvana and it’s goody goody good – too good for me. When I come to the sour lining of nirvana after spiking redbulls, it’s hard to see transcendence through, to the enlightenment that’s so close I can smell it.

Upper, downer, allrounder. Woozy from zen stink, pubic hairs crisscross the bed and I retch again, sugar-loaded sperm-stained love-monkey safe in a Motel 6, feeling round for the dust in the corners, dust that must bring my saccharine trip back to grainy relatables, tables and constants, things I know what to do with. But all I know is I feel sublimely sick and the maidwashed walls hide nothing. Well, let’s get waffles.

What do you do with hyper inspiration / poetic perspiration in a crowded Kansas diner in the morning? Nine-to-fivers sizzle in the killer sun and I’m not used to having words at my disposal. I see no disposal anywhere, they must course most coarsely through an aching orifice, stretching specs past design with lining constricting the mind. I play the squeezebox game for cryptic kinetics, movement number four, presto digitation, manual labour of love-dread.

I haven’t been a poet in months and my wrist is getting sore from writing this down. Forearm tendons throb the echoes of omnipresent koans at hand wringing ethereal clenches, choking the life out of life itself. Dao grates with a slick lubricant penetrating cheap bliss, breakingthru – rich sleaze.

I’m afraid any moment mania will consume me. I’m too sane, uncomfortable with madness. I’m too aware of awareness, revelation makes my shaky head explode, knocks the cardhouse flat. It’s all or nothing for me. Mickey doesn't have the answer. Let’s go back to the room and hypothesize that if our supreme understanding was flowing out of the rocks and the trees and the TV screen, and the motel walls with their Mr. Clean sheen, everything would be set right. The Dao would prop up mania with rock solid foundation, Gaia’s synthetic verification, but so focused am I on the imperfection of imperfection, I fail to see that the truth of perfection is in what I’m writing right now!

I create my own sour lining, I ache because I’m alive. It’s folly to be fulfilled. I’ve lived a rich life as a pretty lazy petty paisley artist and the culmination of the subgenius is this laughing exegesis.

Politics wait while I piss out the logos. Political animals are on the way, carnivores coming for me in my moment of calm, a urination moment where everything is everything. Time no longer ticks. It flows, like what the philosopher peasants called the Dao, the Dao, oh here we go, flow, with the grand old Dao, just like Lao. I’ll be sweet and wipe the seat after admiring the splatter-pattern.

I’ve missed the finger that points at the moon, I’ve actually been living. When I wake up I appreciate the dream. Sacred flakes off to real profanity and how does Lao-tse survive? Somehow history gowned him in the Emperor’s Garments but I see them draped across the ages.

Cup of life overflows for an epic slur and I’m still hung up on the coatrack of enlightenment, Mickey Mouse coding through my synapses, codeine flowing through the bad-boy bloodstream of bliss, might as well be heroin in synthetic life drama, chemical messages, electric signal, biological information… is this what consciousness is? I need to see deep to realize how shallow it all is. When I see life as a game, why do I feel so serious? I puke the Dao out of me, regurgitate ancient philosophy, Shiva in my pocket, ripping at the lining, alcohol gone, codeine leaving, lining tasting sweet at last in stark relief.

Political animals have taken over the zoo. We make shoddy myths when we watch CNN but one day they'll become magic mantras and mythological manna. They'll set armies marching, more of them, a link in a chain of genocide. The dry-drunk president of the free-world will resonate fractally in future events as a sociodynamic something or other, we can’t extrapolate from this crazy vantage, mired in bloody mercantile history, unable to agree on the sustainability of SUVs, chasing the value of fluctuating currency, punchline spread through slices of time.

And I'm on a poetic ego trip, felating my own enlightenment and cackling at its absurdity, dopamine to the last drop, drowned in divine mania. Words are madness, grotesque intoxicating madness, a deck of cards arranged like a house, a simulacrum of thought, a mockup of feeling, crumb of reeling rocking rolling rhyming ridiculosity. I'll lose myself in words, the proper venue for mania, disappearing in the menu of blanket gravy. I’ll be sure to enunciate 'til every syllable sparkles in crisp, high-definition redundancy, polished pixels of syntactic intent, read to a roomful of perked-up poets who will appreciate – oh egogodme!

I'm on fucking fire, filling this notebook to the brim. And there's my partner in crime, sleeping through my mania. I feel so scarily loaded, I yearn for what I imagine is her misty hippocampal retreat. I wonder where the plumbers’ yearnings went. Woke up this morning after a Walmart cocktail and found the external brilliance of genetic imprint slapping me in the face, roping me into a sadomasochistic fuckfest, impaled on the maypole in a forty minute solo, wanking off with the world, giving Joyce a run for his literary lexicon.

Ring ring riff reverb burbs burbling along the deja-thread, you’ve heard this before. Isn’t this a cycle? There are finite possibilities but existence could be plural. Life is a loop but we can sever the string, shrug off the quest for the Dark Tower, chill a little longer in the Motel 6 after the notebook has been filled and find the interdimensional portal in the shower during the exploration of a new tantric sexual position: Oh Me! Oh You! Oh Doorway! Was this here the whole holy time? How’d we miss it? Wait! Is the phone ringing? Riffing? Reverberating? Better answer.

I guess I am maniacal but that is just a word. I’m addicted to writing. I assume I can put the pen down any time I want but will is an illusion. Still on the ego trip and feeling philanthropic. Everyone can bask in this ego, bathe in my light, there’s enough to go around. Good people, savor my good-hearted sarcasm, imbibe my sophisticated yin rapscality!

Do you mind if I open the windowshade or is it just a shade of hallucination? Is my actual circumstance wobbling on the street in front of a Denver comedy club loaded on tryptamines babbling incoherently to a smirking cameraman interviewing me for a David Cross DVD? Probably not but it’s fun to imagine such gateways through reality’s plurality. I’m going to milk the mania for all it’s worth, exploit the natural high which stems strangely from an artificial hangover low. Perhaps Red Bull really did give me wings and will ultimately drop me on the Manhattan streets when it’s exhausted its amusement at my arbitrary mania – and I will pick myself up off the ground looking for a crack dealer to keep me flying, higher than Christ in a Scorsese flick.

The cat manifesto

Don’t make light of my bond with my cat of I’ll kick your ass, you heartless bastard. Cats are for everyone. Liberal and conservative, Christian, Atheist, Satanist. They bring us together. They’re a natural resource. They reflect our comfy delusions, our pwecious pwettypwetty projections like mammalian holograph plates.

When I retire from this bullshit life and collect my social security, I’m going to become a crazy cat lady. I’m a guy, but I’m not one for convention. It’ll be a good way to go out. Chilling with my twenty cats. Gradually severing my connections with the human race. Babyhatah, hatin’ the game for good measure. I will learn to be at peace with my position as a scratching post and provider of food. Catfood – it’s not just for seniors anymore, it’s for cats too! I’ll cat my life away, the spice of life hospiced with morphine drip and feline dreams, forgetting what I was in death and the jungle in the sky.

19 Apr 2005

Lemon Slice

Back in the Cave with a citrus wedge, a sour edge.

Why am I here? Not to write, certainly. To exist, I guess, at baseline, spasmic typing, spelling unchecked. To shuffle again. To write another list. Not a to-do list, but a doing list. Some verbs. I don't like the black of this blog. I think it should whiten.

I could try and go for truth. Political truth? No, I'm not a political blogger. I am often political, instinctually, before the sense of duty that is a density of ethics purity, and we all know how dirty pure is.

I wonder what it would be like if this was OFF RECORD? Funny, some of my greatest writing has been off record, but UNKNOWINGLY - the future held some record shredding in store, and I wrote on, blissfully unaware that I was feeding a void.

Listening to Liszt - Mephisto Waltz number 1. Led astry again by the devil's fiddle. But there are unignorable shifts. I've lost the insatiable appetite I used to have for classical piano. I binged, burned out. So aesthetic embers glow in kaleidoscope layers. So adday adday adday. No exclamation.

Still haven't learned the rules of the game, syntax of life, code of mind.

Still waiting for the miracle. I have drugs, I have miracles at my disposal. But the miracle drug route. Well, just thinking about it sent a shiver through me. Thinking that I could conjure miracles from a minty smoke if I so desired. That's what will is. Leading to obliteration of control, possibly. All in good time. For the self-subverting extra-orbital affair. I'm prepared. As I ever will be. Which is not at all.

8 Apr 2005

Salvia-blogging

It's maybe half an hour after I smoked a "test dose" of an extract.

I still don't feel quite like myself.

I wonder when I'll return to normal? If I never do, I think I could live with that.

6 Apr 2005

Absorption

I guess I'm gonna have to commit to blogger now - like a reluctant husband. Because this is what people are reading now. But I liked message boards better. I'm not sure I really like this little cave all that much. Maybe I should adorn its stalactites in frilly paisley drapes, if the matrix will allow me the privilege. Blogger's not a pleasure to navigate.

My writing impulse has been on a severe wane for months now - my words are slowing to a trickle - no great thundercrashes of prose, no epic poems, barely even any modest ones. Is it because with all the music projects I have no time for verbal inspiration? I don't know, I kind of miss the writing. But the idea that I used to aspire to a technical perfection in writing weirds me out - musical technique is hard enough. Getting all your syntax straight, getting characters fleshed out, getting the plot untangled, getting to the fucking stripped down point and remaining original besides - fuck - maybe if I had another lifetime ahead of me.

Maybe when I reincarnate as - well, you know, there's no writer that I could comfortably become in my current incarnation. The only writer I would want to be is the version of myself that is repressed inside the cage of laziness I've allowed to grow around me, atrophied talent, letting the best ideas to rot. I would have to be my personal potential if I'm going to be anything. But does this voice really have anything to say? My revolutionary stance has remained basically upright from the days when I first developed a social conscience, but back then they were my own conclusions arrived at through original observation of life and people. They've since been reinforced by the angry lefty complaints, more informed and articulate, I've come across since, but I think they've also been corrupted by a propagandistic slant - I can't tell where my voice begins and the shrill chorus ends now.

I've been absorbed somehow. Not sure if this is a personal weakness, or just the natural process of the hermit cracking the shell. Because although I've gained a lot coming out here, it also feels a bit like a sell-out. Can't be the great zen tree falling in the forest anymore, but now that I'm heard and sometimes even actively listened to, I realize I'm too entangled to say a damn thing without being compromised and hypocritical, and failing to wrest words from a daisy chain of influence and confluence that stretches past the event horizon. That's why the future is in riffage probably. Intellectual property will disappear. The artistic greedheads will find their meme-hoarding an increasingly ridiculous and socially-unacceptable endeavor.

Okay, there's some words. Jaunty-neutrality. I'd say I've still got some brain cells left to rub together after all the DXM peaks (no sine-waves in the dextroverse) even though I'm drawing upon the well of cliches to state this.

2 Apr 2005

Nah

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.

I should have said no.