21 May 2007

might as well

I can’t seem to write for myself as often as I’d like, of late. If I could, I could say stuff, like I’ve got plenty of valerian left. I guess it’s a good thing I’m not left to my own devices, with pills like valium, cause then I’d probably be an addict, pretty quick. I just get my pretty downers from finch whenever I’m in a pretty fix, she’s pretty helpful at times. She told me I should never do heroin, she’s probably right. I could see myself falling in love with a drug. Though it hasn’t happened yet. It’s been nothing but infatuation, thus far.

If I think it’s worthwhile, I’ll strip mine it for public consumption, I guess.

So, as long as we’re being honest with myself here – it’s different, this setting. I really should do it more often, but self revelation, without fitting into societies, is like a thing of the past to me these days. Tripping. I don’t do it anymore. Maybe I lost something. I just smoked a sweet bowl of my sweetie pie weed. It was sweet. For a while, I thought I had the fast track to the unintelligible passion of the bliss ninny. Man, I had poetry that sounds unreadable to myself now. Knowledge is stupid, as Beavis, or Butthead said. Jaded bullshit. Maybe I missed my chance to be the Doors. Now I gotta be something else. Something that will end in a random bullet through the chest. I’ll never recover.

Something very grotesque about this emerging generation. How could it not be though? Maybe we need a world war to build character. But no, I don’t think so. I don’t have the stomach for it, and I kind of respect people with a similar sickness threshold.

So, with guilt clamping down on arrested developments, we’ve got to get them while they’re younger, to maintain some sort of purity, some sort of enthusiasm for life and its possibilities, at this stage in the clusterfucke. Chemical fertilizer.

Is it supposed to be a fog? What is clarifying fog? Maybe it’s Gof’s great gaffe.

Connected. It’s not so great. But now I can’t seem to get unconnected. Online can trigger almost the same angst that a beautiful feminine face can. Yeah. I can’t seem to be alone with myself any more. It’s so weird. The “old days” being DXM addled college years. Heh. Impossible to make sense of anything, but even that is old hat. Yeah.

Another Owen Wilson/Ben Stiller movie.

Your mental furniture can change, there’s such a range. One year, you’re thinking about fractal waves of fire… ultimately, what you’re touching is the invisible, all-pervasive intelligence that surrounds us and penetrates us… the next, you’re pondering Timothy McVeigh, you’re hung up on the politics and semantics of the anthill. Wait, universal swarm of intelligence? And there are UFOlogists clamoring for something, on the hidden track. I’m laughing WITH the aesthetic, not AT it. I sometimes wish I could go back to the old self, even if it was so silly, so ridiculous. Ludicrous. Awkward, now, it seems, but not then. Not then. Then it was smooth. It had an internal logic. An internal clock, right twice a day. Crayon-drawn geometry.

Innocence is innocent. It just proves what drama I’m locked into. It’s a morality play sans religion. Maybe the mystic bullshit just has yet to be fashioned, for this particular exotic stage in the human condition. Maybe I should start a religion, maybe that is my calling, as a potential businessman, keeping the machine of capitalism well-oiled. People think capitalism is with us, for good or ill, part of being human. Well I can’t deny, it’s part of being a modern human, how could it not be? Commies were pretty brass, declaring themselves antithetical to the prevailing paradigm. That takes some chutzpah. But Albert was right, most people are not in the movement to win – in this part of society that is. So, it’s in a pretty sorry state here. I can be in solidarity with the true warriors of the cause, the freedom fighters, but solidarity is all I offer. A stitch in a rebel gunstrap. And I’m hardly anything approaching vitriolic these days. Mostly just confused, sometimes in an indignant way, like somebody owes me purpose, like I didn’t shrug my shoulders and say it’s a… no, not a big nothing. But what then? Maybe it is the nothing. Maybe cough syrup warmed me up for death, but I think I got rusty again. Got hooked on life, kept drinking beer, made a practice of sloth, a headdress of weariness, stopped reading books, like there was nothing new to read.

20 May 2007

benign smudge

the chris driver complex

they call it the chris driver complex. it returns to you in post-apocalypse psychology, after your religion and ideals have been ground to dust good and proper, to pave the way for the propriety of a blank buzzing confusion. the confusion was blooming in william james’ day, when the dentist was enlightening, but now the blooms are wilted, expired hallucinations when you did acid and tetris and things made a good deal more sense, like you were practically the protagonist in a faust adaptation, player one, charmed, the magnetism of the brash and stupid child, wearing hackneyed magnificence like a tattered hat, cocked like clockwork. that punk never needed the chris driver complex, but you do, when your charm wears off. the weight of ecstasy’s chemical windowsill is still above you, and you lost your job, and theoretically (it’s as solid as evolution) there’s still enough wealth to go around in 2007 to justify scrambling for the luxury item called dignity with its bling accessory pride, because didn’t your guardian angel, that wizened hustler, give you her coupons for the liquidation sale of a closing canadian superstore?

so you visit the store. you’re in submission to the angelbitch, she holds the whip. she thrashes you with a smile, tone of voice, self-assured flip of hair, cryptic sensuous blond. you’re in a massive steel hangar of shelves for super-sized consumer goods, eerie and quiet and you hide your coupons and look around, ostensibly for nothing but maybe socks and underwear, but for some reason you can’t bare to buy any of them, every action is embarrassing, and you would buy something but none of the checkouts seem occupied, and you don’t want to take too close a look and look like an idiot, some weirdo, is this place even open, what are these people doing, should you be here? buying is out of the question, let alone applying. no applied physics here, it’s creepy, forget it, go to wal-mart, it’s the devil you know, lay low and buy some socks and forget looking for work.

times like these, you know your hang-ups are going to leave you twitching under the noose before long, leaving only neurotic kneejerks of denial and escape, the most satisfying being your cartoon version of the world, which grows from kernels of truth to corrupted operating systems. post apocalypse offers a lot of space to go bonkers in, if you were a plug-in preset, you’d be “ruined city reverb”. that’s why you turn to the chris driver complex, like your cat turns its head to the can opener. it goes with those well-fitting shades, plaid-tinted, blocking the more punishing frequencies of sunlight, the clarity that hurts too much. bespectacled, the stubborn facts that divert agnostic froth no longer appear. “the way the world really works” is laughable, unknowable. the way it seems to work is a tragic but noble defeat, a framed oil-painting of slow suicide in muted blue and red.

the charm of the chris driver complex is its ability to build gorgeous and riotous delusions that would make great movies with the right cinematographer. paranoid, yes, yourself as the center of every societal ill, systemic fuck-up, twisted vendetta, modern amphetamine-enhanced animal instinct. but with the evils must come angels, not the whip-wielding ones, but platonic fags with soothing voices who regale you with tales of narcotized tranquility, personal paisley visions, narcissistic and masturbatory, what you’re best at, loving the one you’re with, alone with only yourself to respect yourself in a desperate swoon for cock-eyed cock-rocking tranquility, dreams under duress, the best kind of reveries, because the harsher the reality, the more brilliant the fantasy.

so chris driver regains control, on the ironic occasion of a trip to the grocery store. he’s the character who was you, who imagined himself employed in a worse-case scenario sisyphean hamster-wheel stock job, where they were out to get him with their nasty looks and comments, saying everything he worried they thought because why hold back now that his supports are gone and he doesn’t have a fucking friend in jesus, time for him to know who he really is, the dirtball loser pussyboy, because that is the truth and the truth is good and beautiful, so beautiful how ugly he is and he can either accept that or drown in delusion. so now you’re applying for that hypothetical job, except for real this time, because you fell through a hole in the market economy, even though the economy is supposed to be good.

well, it’s good for somebody but not you. you lost cachet, along with your wallet, on the floor of some bar, maybe one of those blackout nights at the royal, and then you lost your job. and what didn’t kill you left you weaker, with more reasons to be afraid, all drama queen bollocks, skin irritation of experience, the new crop of fears, more nuanced, sophisticated, and plausible than the superstitions you left behind, but still mockingly contradictory. you never thought the dregs had undone so many, and now you’re networked with the creeps and the ruined. you were reaching for angels but they pulled away like the promise of the last term politician and the offer from mastercard and the flirting eyes of the jessica alba-resembling hippie girl back when you might have had a shot. now you’re parasitical on the economy, unemployed, needy, and using drugs to fill the void. better than tv, i guess. now you’ll reach for yourself instead, why not? player one is game over, let luigi take over the pixilated level-one palace, extra code conjuring game genii, meta-programming the human bio-computer to grant it the respectability of a sense-deprived scientist.

you’ll need to forget the angelbitch sadist you’re supposed to buy with your zastrozzi credits and learn to love the good fags in your head, intoxicated and good and sick, but your chosen perversity, maybe healthy, maybe lao could justify it, it’s gotta balance out something, right? and second person might as well be first, in solipsism.


benign smudge

somehow i've convinced myself to go to the grocery store. that's the plan, anyway. it's been said they offer niches for the aspiring working man. rumours. i don't know what to think about them. but the pressure has progressed to the point where i must look like i'm doing something.

round the bend is the hospital. i wonder how many people are lying on their death beds. you can smell the crematorium from here, masked with solvents. seven stories of gray, smoking medical waste. and the sky above... hey. wow.

crushing blue bliss, unexpected. this was to be a stoic walk, the completion of a chore. and here i am, in reverie. it's that shade of blue. when colors arrest my attention, my synapses are pulling shenanigans, deja-threads. what is so damned special about this blue? is it simply paying attention? but what caused me to pay attention in the first place?

it reminds me of dream geometry, the distorted entanglements of my town, an association relevant in a years-old dream i can't remember remembering. what fascinates me is that there is a warped cartographical coherence to the parallel representation of my local community - alleys that twist into wooded embankments are navigable again, such that they form memories, actual memories! scenes of dreams - and somehow that blue sky is an artifact of the dream geometry, what's it doing here? the confluence makes me glad to be here, renders everything else pointless. gotta file it away, maybe something can be salvaged from this trip. it’s like the video game i was going to design, based on finnegan's wake - not so much in content as architecture. dream geometry, an unconscious collected, a cubist pastiche - the mind of the townsfolk rendered in texture-mapped polygons, so fine i can’t detect their edges, so fine they blow my mind.


closer to the grocers and my heart rate climbs. but there is a benign smudge on the shades. the smudge will protect me from the beady alien lenticels, looking from everywhere. some of them are clever, they hide under the chrome of car chassi. most don't need to be clever, only survey this grudging march to supplication. the shades are to protect my identity. i feel a little different with them on, they are a costume. shades for a slushy, overcast day, almost feels like halloween. my toque is pulled tight, a little hair sticks under the cloth. and the grocery store comes into view. valerian, pot, shades, and pressure won’t be enough, i prophesize.

i’m here, but i’m not a customer. god i wish i was a customer. i envy those innocent faces, happy consumers, taking dignity for granted. i see the desk but i turn down the aisle. i can pretend to be a customer, for now. the commercials are playing out of the speakers, i can’t get them out of my head. i can’t get them out of my head. i can’t get them out of my head.

okay, enough stalling, i’m like chris driver, stockboy, holed up in the ice-cream bin alcove that is his bunker protection from the very present grocerking reality. i should head back to that desk to look for someone to talk to, about this almost incomprehensible attempt to worm my way into the system.

but i see the pharmacy. it comforts me. pleasant associations. smart medicinal white, precise to fractions of a milligram, i could use the whole enterprise to bleach myself invisible. resume for a pharmacy. fuck the bakery, i could be a brash young turk, demand a job behind the counter despite my lack of experience... behind the counter. behind the counter is where i would flower. me and the pharmacy, sitting in a tree – kay eye ess ess eye en gee – yaiya, the pharmacy. vicarious medicinal mind-warps with me clean and sober, behind the counter. i should work at a pharmacy. the pharmacy. cause i’ve been on the consumer’s side of the counter, a connoisseur of cough syrup and the unique perspective it brings, the dark horse from the drugged world, haha.

valerian, pot, shades, and pressure aren’t enough. i walk out the door, nothing accomplished. but i feel better, i feel relief. pride even. i’m back to myself, on my own terms. so i chose personal atrophy over improvement. but i know my way back to the plywood house, the place where nothing’s ever finished. it’s not even a half-way house, more like a third. the best third.

gotta see carlos now. gotta see carlos. yeah, so it’s a crutch, so, fuck it. everybody uses crutches, they’re cheap, they’re fabricated in china, they’re medicinal, they were foretold by the i-ching, the right hexagram on the right day. grace uses crime blogs, among many chemical crutches. the horror of real-life murder and child abuse can be an escape. even big problems, the dark hued part of thinking big, gets you beyond your own immediate personal complaints and frailties.

speaking of escape, time to smoke that roach i brought along. the bowl i inhaled hours ago isn’t doing it for me anymore. i can’t decide if it will be better to be sober for carlos or not. so i’m going to be stoned. carlos, maybe there’s a touch of asian in him – gook smart, latin cool – the kind of look only a mutt could pull off. his casual ingenuity is a catalyst for the most thought-flattening personal visions, and the moods and aesthetics they demand you extract from subconscious ether… oh hey, i think that second stone kicked in. it’s better than the first, more manageable.

gotta see carlos for my vr fix. he renders my visions with integrity. but the thing is, he takes my money. he’s a free agent. and he’s mainlining me. an intelligent person, surely he sees this thing is more addictive than heroin – and much more expensive. it’s draining the coffers of the plywood house, robbing my fellow fuckups of what little they have these days. i am like a crackhead, i’m stealing from my family. but they’re imaginationally impoverished, they have no visions to realize. so that money is better in my hands, for my visions. someday i’ll give them to the world, someday. but today they’re mine, i’m paying for them. i’m the producer.

so maybe carlos likes it at the top of a pyramid, but it’s a small pyramid cause this town is off the radar. but who can afford to be amateur, these days? he’ll take my money, sell me my crack. but this isn’t a chemical, it’s light. on a screen. sound. dreams. vcr dreams, back when we were working with magnetic tape, to spool film through our sleeping skulls, emerge wet with more definition than should be, in lovecraftian terms. those early days were like cthulhu, man. i still get chills.

carlos, he’s the tom sholz of cutting edge vr. he’s going to cheer me up with an expensive rendering of today’s entry into my local dream geometry. it’ll be worth every penny. maybe i’ll side order a magic window into the cornwall woodsprite matrix. no, actually, forget that happy fantasy. today i want a nightmare, something to conquer, my way, not theirs. i want the chris driver complex, i want demons in the grocery store, security guards glowering at the door, mobsters scheming on the upper floor. i want a grocerking game, i want a hell to counterpoint heaven.

might as well call it what it is, the grocerking thing. if i’m going to have it rendered, i’m going to have to describe it, to start with, to form a porthole into my thoughts. from there he gets the associations and the process accelerates. the associative network is the catalyst.

it’s one of those abused nelson apartments, up a metal fire escape you’re sure is going to collapse under you one of these days. and today i have a tip for carlos – a bottle of hornitos i bought at the liquor store beside grocerking after walking out the doors. i wonder if he’d drink it with me? i don’t think so. i’m still benignly smudged.

“what’s with the shades?” he says, finally looking up from his laptop.

“i needed something extra today.”

“hey, whatever gets you through the day.”

“so, i’ve got some new head stuff for you.”

“oh yeah? glad to hear – novelty is good for the pool, vital. you don’t mind that i seeded some of your mind’s aesthetic units? they have this novelty factor that is pretty kickass to behold, it’s increasing the efficiency of my facsimiles. there’s this new breed of randomness emerging and i love it.”

i don’t quite understand. “well… i did sign that over to you in the contract, didn’t i?”

“that’s what my copy says. i gotta say, it was worth the discount i gave you on your last commission, cause your material is golden for this sort of thing. you got the goods, homeworld boy.”

he called me homeworld boy, again. should i be proud? cause i am – that narcissistic streak again. i can’t believe i came here stoned, it just makes me all the more tripped out. not sure if that’s good.

“some of the scenarios i’ve rendered for people lately have been getting fantastic results – and reactions. getting up there in fidelity with what i’ve done for you.”

now i don’t feel as special. i was always the fidelity man, some illusory bond.

“so what’s this new head stuff?”

“let’s start with the grocery store,” i say.

“which grocery store?”

“oh you know, the one i hate. that fucking store. i thought about storming the pharmacy like it was capture the flag.”

“okay wait, let me record you talking this time,” carlos says, opening a series of windows on his laptop. “i wrote new software last night, i think i can use the modulations of your voice in combination with its signature shape to feed into the evolution of the rendering.”

two beautiful hours later, i’m playing a mockup version of the game on his auxiliary comp. carlos has stolen the pharmacy flag and is sticking it through the chest of my lieutenant stockboy who is holding my left flank at the ice cream bin alcove. he squeals childish laughter, takes a swig of tequila, and pauses the screen.

“this game is good, really good,” he says.

“you’re telling me?” i’m laughing. carlos is the only one who understands. probably because of his intimate connection – he not only sees into my mind, he reflects it digitally.

“of course i’m not appreciating it like you are, but in a way it’s even better for me – the surrealism, the absurdity – you can’t imagine what it’s like when it’s not indigenous to your head. of course, this is gonna be a niche market thing, but there are certain tastes – certain people who would get huge mileage out of this, sophisticates… people who are hip to the underground vr scene – these villains of yours…”

“woah, hold on a second… markets? what? this is mine. this is for me, this is one of my most sacred fantasies. how can you even bring that kind of shit up? i’m no lawyer, but i looked very carefully at the intellectual property clause, last contract. you can’t commercialize this fucker.”

“hey, we haven’t written a contract on this yet,” carlos says.

he’s right, goddamnit. how did i let my thoughts get siphoned off like that? i shouldn’t have come here stoned. he’s a fucking weasel, that guy. but i can’t help love him. how can you not? this is all wrong anyway.

“i’ve never rendered anything as good as this,” carlos says, glazed. “and i’ve seen your reaction. i know the fidelity factor is through the roof. i want more rights to your material. i wouldn’t mass market or anything like that. you know how i work, i’m underground. but i’m not one of those fucking anarchists, i’m not about free information. i have selected clients. trusted clients. like you. hardly anyone would get this thing anyway – in fact, you know, most people wouldn’t even be able to see it, let alone play it. they’d see it as noise, it would be noise to them. the people i’m talking about – it’s a handful. and who knows where they are? nowhere near here, i’m sure. they’re collectors. you’re a painter, right? you’ve sold paintings. why can’t you sell some fantasies?”

“you’re selling them. i fucking paid for them. in experience, in degradation, and shattered hopes, and repressed rage, and obsessive compulsion. and in cash! what’s this one gonna cost me? with all the extra integrity, six hundred? seven?”

“yeah,” carlos laughs. “well you wouldn’t be selling them. but you’d be the author. doesn’t that appeal to you, at all, that i’d be selling you to the connoisseurs of the fringe minds? i’m talking elite, in the way that counts. i’ll tell you what, you’ve got to get to know at least one of these collectors, then you’d be all for it, i’m sure. i’m going to do something that i really shouldn’t, because it just isn’t done, but i’m going to give you access to her hard drive.”

“who’s? what?”

“this woman i know, she’s gonna love you. through the window. but first, i’ll let you be the voyeur. no one has seen her, but you’ll get to know her through her collection. we’re playing a game of some kind. no one’s admitted to it yet but it’s happening all over the scene, one of those things that hasn’t been defined yet. she’s such a shadow, a goddamn witch, she freaks me out. but i’m getting a sense of who she is, through the kinds of personalities she collects. i mean, stuff you’d never think of, stuff like… well, the grocerking, the woodsprites, but in conjunction with… well, anyway, what i see in the gestalt, what can be seen… is something i can’t begin to put into words, or even scenes – but i’m imaging a whole new genre of realization now - superscenes, like superegos, it’s something even grander than what i’ve been doing. you’ll see too, if you follow where i’m pointing, maybe you’ll even participate. look, i’ll burn this realization, even though it’s just a proto right now, and with it, i’ll give you an ftp addy. then you’ll see. this is the deal i’m offering. i could just delete the work i’ve done. but i don’t want to do that.”

“i’m sure you could weasel your way around the legal issues anyway,” i say.

“i made the law but that doesn’t mean i’m gonna break it,” carlos says. “c’mon, you know me. hey, thanks for the tequila, by the way. it’s pretty tasty.”

17 May 2007

i no longer play songs for you

i did move the keyboard
but it was too heavy
not worth it, i decided
after the fact, and fiction

almost worth it, maybe
almost like old times
except too much consciousness now
too many associations, too many expectations
taking offense when people don't say hi to me
what am i owed
did i offend you
imply you were part of the bob-dylan cover playing crowd
i was rascally scorning, really quite innocent
just trying to make conversation
an error in judgment
but i was drunk and stoned
like t’s friend said she was
to excuse her touting a
pseudo-scientific theory
i loved her for saying that

i found the improv guitarist on stage
like a soul-mate in the moment, t
bluntly said she sucked, while i was trying
to enjoy - i'm the virtuoso, apparently, but that’s a lie
we're not in the bell curve, no, and it's not alright
eccentricity is only fun for so long, after a while
you just want to be normal, the
effervescing elephant doesn't do it for you
so i should have said something, but
i'm not conditioned to seek rewards
reap rewards, wreak rewards

"how does it feel?"
that fucking refrain in my head
the girl who didn't even acknowledge, what am i, invisible?
the girl who did, did i waste it?
who was it who cheered me after the jam?
(don't get ideas, you void-filled fuck)
"a complete unknown"
yeah, okay, i get the metaphor
maybe i hate it because it’s too true
it’s too you, i can’t enjoy your wonderful poetic moment
because those days are gone for me, something died
but its zombified corpse lurches around, stupidly
going through the motions, looking for that missing
thing, desperation
is so ugly

there is no free lunch
euphoria requires a hellish plunge

but there are surges
where i feel like i have weight
when power scares me and it's something i shrug off
now i sound like a sanctimonious saint

downers,
i'm not addicted to them, i just crave them
i want to be down
don't want to write a letter to someone
don't want to foist things, don't want people to feel
my pain when there's nothing to be done
nothing to fill an invisible void
but now i just want to be down
don't want to be concerned

you should appreciate, you're an amateur asshole
you do it for the love of assholery
how can you condemn my accidentally
being an asshole, by saying i was pissed they
took so long to put me on stage, it was okay
i jelled with the drummer
the positive adjective
don't want to desire
except desiree

pity is underrated, costanza said
i loved it, we all had a good laugh
sickened some, but that was in times
when shootings were a subject

downers, i desire
more down, i want
to dull everything
am i boring you? good
you - how hilarious

i haven't talked to my girl on the phone
it is weird - our relationship
in a way only those heart matters can be, murmuring mutants
oh, sick is just a word
i haven't appreciated the nuances of malfunction yet
at least i said a few witty things tonight
but now i'm down on everything
just down it all, down me

no song
no letter
i'm not playing for you

it's okay - i love you, anyway, everyway, every day, i do
i love you, down just seems so sweet, like
i'd like to take you down with me
it's not an underworld - it's our dreams
we can mingle further than we have, bringing back the sublime cryptic
like when we wrote poetry together, when we synced up
like that, shared those moments with each other

the crowd likes non meaning
i'd like to cram it down their throat

no cram, though, no song, no letter
but a mirror, mirroirs on piano
it's not just a riff, it's
seeing me too clearly
down, cut, let information drain
cut it off from me
but what does it say
about me?

15 May 2007

revelation of the day

Q: why do super villains always pet cats?
A: cos cats are evil and so are super villains

10 May 2007

tough love

the toughest love
is to be allowed to live

john lilly
showed up, out of the fog, at esalen
in his obi-wan kenobi robe, said
to mckenna: "nature loves you ruthlessly"

"meaning you personally?" asked the wired interviewer
decades later
"i guess, i was the only other person standing there"
mckenna says, i wonder if he's "spaced out" at the moment

me, me,
maybe i can be phased out
maybe i don't serve the lovely goal
bye bye

nature loves what i am, the scrapper will
that's in my dna, that would amuse by
biting and clawing to live one more day
it’s not me that nature loves
but what’s under my frail shell
what must be spread
to the edge

my me
is a cancer
ego logical invention
polyalloy precursor
for a flying saucer
building material, disposable
and that is what creates death
and fear, and survival

maybe i’ll be alive at the end of the world
like the irish say
maybe they toasted me with a quart of whisky
maybe i’m finnegan again, it’s okay
to hate my species, it’s natural
i’d say

*

before i die, i'm going to create a facebook profile
"favourite activities: waiting to die"
this will give the nervous nellies anxiety
family members who don't know when i'm being sarcastic
as if i was ready to end it all
goodbye cruel world... but first
let's get on facebook, let's network
birth date: 1981, too bad there's no death date
i could fill that one in too

*

i used to pride myself on loving the cloudy day, the overcast aesthetic
i still love it but now it's more academic than anything, i've got to be honest,
i crave the sunlight, i've had enough of this gray
i've become another normal lame human, what's next
am i gonna start liking the rolling stones?

maybe you’re right, maybe that powder rots my brain
but it’s rotting anyway, cause living is dying

*

it’s the slow death of
my sacred land was always my backyard
the forest mountain
they’re turning a vast swathe of it into upper crust housing
but at least they’re doing it slowly
it’s a slack job, the builders would say
they’re on kootenay time
a sublime excuse

i thought after the winter they’d have it paved over
but the clearing is mostly just dirt and a lonely bulldozer
and a bit of plywood, and the wizened survivors
surrounding, smug in bark skin
so even when a sacred forest gets overrun
by made-in-china
it dies its slow death
dilated and delirious
at its own pace, noble chlorophyll junkies

8 May 2007

7 May 2007

AJ and me

(spoilers in this, up to episode 5)

Goddamn, The Sopranos is a good show. This final season especially. Relations between characters are so dense that they synergize perpendicular plot threads. Everything affects everything else, it’s intrinsic plot economy. Long-simmering tensions are boiling over. It's like a several hour long money shot. Not a lot of physical carnage as yet – the body count ranks low among the seasons – but emotionally, it's bruising.

It’s good that the writing isn’t trying to resolve everything. That can't, and shouldn't be attempted, because there's too much to work with. Storylines must be chosen with care. So they're keeping the pace of the show as it's always been, lingering on conversations, capturing moments and detail. My only complaint is that with so many characters and subplots, there's bound to be disappointment in having certain things left out of the final act (although it's too early to say with certainty that any aspect of the show has been abandoned). For example, Meadow was fleshed out to an almost ridiculous degree in the third season. I guess it was more than enough for the writers, because she's barely been touched in the seventh. She’s peripheral.

AJ, on the other hand, has been dealt with extensively. The results have been mind-blowing, for me. AJ changes the most out of the whole cast, season to season, in appearance and psychology. He's the most malleable, not so much by people – attempts to guide him produce unintended results if they produce anything – but by the absurd gestalt of events. He's an everyman character. His mediocrity is relentless. There's no hint or pretense that he's capable of greatness in any way. But the last two seasons have given him more suffering, and more soul. He’s the poster child for arrested development, of course, but who am I to talk? At least he made night manager at the pizzeria – he’s trying. Still clueless, but deserving of empathy, finally. A tragic figure, because of his life thus far, but more because of the implications you sense for his future.

Now that I'm thinking more genetically lately, it seems a pertinent question: How does he take after Tony? On the surface, he doesn’t. But then there’s Tony, crying in Dr. Melfi’s office, that he’s cursed his son with rotten genes. Panic attacks and depression. I like this angle. The personality flowers, or withers, idiosyncratically, but what is passed down is the broken psychodynamic machinery. Tony has said his son takes after Carmela's side – little people. He’s Carmela's son in spirit, but he's got that surly Tony attitude. He's soft and fragile, and a bit of an asshole. To my mind, he's the most real character in the show, and the one I most identify with, sad to say. He’s a believable consequence of a contemporary young man, or an old adolescent, living under the roof of the hard rich (as opposed to the soft rich, the ones that aren't in a mafia), subject to the trappings and temptations of contemporary mob life.

He works construction, goes clubbing in NY, does frat parties, tries to socialize like a normal kid. But because of his connections, the adolescent machismo and hedonism are inextricably tied to his status as Tony Soprano Jr. The already fucked up world of boozing, partying, youth culture is made even more perverse by mixing with the contemporary drug-dealing manifestation of a centuries-old Sicilian criminal cult. AJ has no clue how to use his connections, except to tentatively exploit the baseless, hollow “respect” he has with his malignly ignorant friends. He throws around words he barely understands, like “omertĂ ”, to make conversation with girls at E-fueled afterparties. The “respect” he gets sort of disgusts him, but he's human, and mediocre, and can be tempted. But that way lies madness, and death. Tony Sr. isn’t dumb – he knows AJ would never make it in his world. And yet, in the most recent episode, he unknowingly thrusts his son into the path of destruction.

AJ is moping, heartbroken after being dumped by his Puerto-Rican fiancĂ©, his first love. He doesn’t know quite why – maybe it’s because his family is rich and her family is poor, he thinks. Is this shorthand for his parents’ not-so-subtle racist attitudes, or does he even comprehend that? His parents worry he’s suicidal. He’s been a spoiled brat for quite a while, but now you start to feel for him, or at least I do. A lesser series would milk this sympathy for all it’s worth, by painting him in primary colors: Of course he’s suicidal! But a scene in a shrink office reveals that he’s probably not. His answers to the doctor’s questions are the same ones I would give. He doesn’t think he’s suicidal, but he’s not sure. He doesn’t get the grand operatic treatment. Just the shitty, grinding everyman sadness. He’ll live on, in some pathetic way.

After being callous about AJ’s loss, Tony finally comes close to cheering the kid up with a pep talk: “C’mon, you’re a smart handsome man, and let’s be honest, white, that’s a plus nowadays – go out and get a blowjob.” The racist, sexist rascal, but it made me smile. Sometimes you can’t help loving the bastard. Carmela bursts in just as the boy seems ready to come around, and sends him back into misery with joyless badgering – she doesn’t want him hanging out at a strip club VIP lounge, that’s no solution. Short term, her harangue is disastrous, and sets back AJ’s recovery. But maybe she sees the bleak big picture where Tony doesn’t. Because although he’s right, that getting AJ into the scene of flesh and fun is the way back to happiness – and college – it’s also the way back to a place where the lifestyle contractions will become unbearable. “They’re college kids, they drink, they go to strip clubs, that’s what they do,” Tony says to Carm, dissociating “The Bing” from its mob taint, fooling himself maybe, but no one else.

In reality, the college kids Tony’s pushing AJ to re-connect with instead of moping, do a lot more than drinking and ogling lap dancers. They’ve got a twisted parallel mob going. They’ve made enough money to have earned themselves a niche in the world of Tony’s crew. It’s bizarre and freaky to see Paulie and Silvio’s society emulated in blunt and dumb ways among the fresh-faced frat-boys, people I sadly relate to in shared stupid lingo and cultural reference points (I said I’d never say “sweet!” but I succumbed), play-acting Scarface and Godfather, with real consequences.

It seems like a typical frat party - the worst thing that’ll happen is somebody gets punched out or date-raped. AJ just wants to have fun, get fucked up, and forget his heartbreak. But he’s Tony Soprano Jr, and the crew has use for him. A moment ago, they were doing shots together in the dorm room like college kids who just learned how to drink last year. But now they’ve got bigger things on their mind. They lend each other power, AJ, and the crew, but nobody grasps the true situation. I was trying to image these people as “young men”, but I could only see them as kids – it was surreal – but real. So they’re able to intimidate one of their friends, a dorky-looking preppie, late with his gambling debts. Now there’s a line as sharp as a guillotine separating the ill-fated deadbeat from his college friends. Because they can use him as a stepping stone, to aggrandize themselves. Well, it may not be done with the bloody sophistication of the gangsters they style themselves after. But it’s done. They force the young gambler into AJ’s car and drive him out to the woods, where he’s beaten and tortured with sulfuric acid. AJ watches, shell-shocked. It’s almost more horrific to see his reaction than to watch the act itself. Finally, he takes the only course of action he can – and tries to enjoy the spectacle. Maybe he succeeds. Maybe this is where he parts from his hard-won humanity. Because the only possible way out of misery and disgrace, is sadism.

He comes back from the party to make small talk with his family. More chipper than usual. So where is his head at exactly? One thing you can say – the experience got Blanca off his mind. There is opportunity for multiple interpretations, but the Sopranos always gives you the feeling that there is a profound singular intent - even if you'll only align with it occasionally in your analysis. I agree with Salon, this is a golden age for TV. The medium is surpassing film in its ability to tell stories in depth. Stylistically, it’s intrinsically inferior, but in richness of narrative, the best TV rivals literature.

5 May 2007

lic

there are people out there - beyond the grey lodge - i won't snipe them from inside, i'm not an extrovert - i can see them well though

stripes and biting my tongue, they come as a set - i don't want to capitalize, but nothing works - i want to blow you all off, but i've got no blowoff bubble to be comfy in - a lot of wasted effort though - so much wasted effort, stay frosty in a bunker with your hand blown off, slack was not a concept when he started out, he was a pal of mine, he will be again someday - yellow stucco chips

no entryway, not even under a toad's tongue - sennheiser's on the shitlist at the top of the recycle bin - ridiculous i ever tried to communicate - cause it's an economy or an ecology, there's not much difference, not much conservation, as much energy as is needed - everything is absolutely lame, as lame as it can be - i feel no guilt - i'm fine, just fucked like the rest of you, no worse - maybe better, but there's nothing i can use that for - it's useless, devalued currency

a surplus, commentary, sick of waiting for karma, the only thing i like is my fingertip anymore, what do you want from ME? don't expect anything - it's no great mystery what motivates me, when i'm in a motivatable mood, so you can get it if you want, but

don't you ever contradict me
in front of the void

the pink ghost appeared for a millisecond, during her appearance i realized what that great thing was i figured out last time i saw her - now i go back to watching paint dry - hearing planes fly - lusting after graves - good graves, bad graves - it's all gravy

don't expect me to be a part of society, but you don't, do you? the only ones who do are those poor people who have some stake in me, who bought some stock in me - i guess i could volunteer, by the time i have the opportunity to do that, i may be out of this sticky state - i did give more people more resumes though, i feel more ridiculous every time i do that - now i don't want a job, you can all just fuck off - please don't hire me for your bullshit fucking task force, it's too late, i'm not interested anymore

reza, red, rocks, the novelty of hustler, found in a dumpster - even then, it wasn't really my cup of tea - i eventually found out what really did it for me - a crust on a life, hydraulic spikes, not even a freudian slip, just regurgitate the last day - i can't hallucinate, yes, too tired, maybe time for simple reality poetry, as they used to call it when it was still decent to name it - i'm trying to get back to the anger thing, but my cells just wanna sleep now - i shouldn't even be sleeping, i've done too much of that, but that's when happens when you take downers, and it doesn't matter, i've got nothing to do, no obligations, that's right, no fucking obgliations, i don't owe anybody anything, and if nobody has any use for me, then i have no use for them - none - go fuck yourself

that stupid pink ghost again, will you fuck off? for good, i mean? no, i'm not praying to anyone, i'm not gonna fuck with the universe on that level - maybe what i need is a good zopiglonger - or is it zopiklone now? wake me up when... um... i dunno - wake me up when everything i touch turns to licorice - when the technology to do that has been invented and applied to my person

royal rumble and licorice, the sticks, the pure unmarked sticks, half red, half black, the pixels of royal rumble, the fuzzy 8-bit sound, that's the only thing i want right now, just the licorice, entryway to a perfect memory, the nexus of associations, damnit, that's all i want

funny that i felt guilt - now i feel fine - it's not my problem - it's the world that's fucked - oh yes, i know i'm sick - but not sicker than anything else - the only health is licorice - 5 red sticks, 5 black sticks, in a brown paper bag, clutched next to the plastic case of a super nintendo console game, rented from reo's - those narrow parameters - no need for novelty - not looking to the future, not caring about the past - no extrapolation sickness

comp rattles, headphones rattle, fucked up, my head rattles, i'm a noisemaker, that's what i make, not enough to annoy

no licorice
maybe it's time for a 48 hour famine
with some beta carbolines in the middle
not really food, maybe a smoke, maybe some novelty
or maybe just the ugly old psychodrama, the can't-handle-chasm

somebody send me some licorice
because when i buy it myself, the energy and awkwardness
that entails seems to cancel out the good effects
i want black nibs, red nibs, black supernibs, or black red vines
nothing that says twizzlers on it
got it?

4 May 2007

zenvice: the story of virginia crucian veraprima

blessed be the ego stratification

free free free
can't complain
free free free

self-obsessed self-fuckers

what the mother fuck was that?
a scheming woman in pink - it won't matter

blessed be the wrong i've done
it's nothing much anyway
a little slack now and then
now i'm glad not to do anything
i don't owe anyone anything

nope, bleep bloop blorp music is not gonna do it for me

early attemps at conspiracy theory parody, almost useless now
self-reflecting archaeologist - arch romantic, arch enemy of the knowing

she killed herself on calm
the calm summer camp
took up smoking that summer
in the woods, a puff on a menthol
that i smelled in my dreams, finally decided
it was alright, finally could enjoy nicotine without self-reflection
appreciate the taste of tobacco, appreciate its open arms, it's
all in how you look at it

so, benzos were the next logical step, whatever she could get
the blog posts became mainly for her own benefit, had only one other link,
to that freaky jamie, with her tap into the welfare spring, lucky bitch
how did she get that? Mung had a page too, of course
he could access it from his body console, the main purpose of which
was to allow him to communicate with his human brethren
the neurotic and disfunctional bunch he hung around with
who couldn't be taken to polite society
or successful society
middle class american entreupreneurhood
or anyone really - it was like a rogue state splinter, the people's front of the factory

hey, it's time for the william tell routine
it's the only way we're gonna get into annexia

3 May 2007

What do I want to Do?

maybe i want to be inside. maybe i don't want to go on a ridiculously circuitous tour of nelson at night. or maybe what i want is just to wander around in a confused state. i'm not sure. when i'm tweaked, i don't know what i want. it's a maddening mystery.

it's nice that i write in all sorts of states of mind. various disparate transient paradigms motivate me to describe their existential essencehood of essex county. then, when i'm feeling a certain way, and feeling, correctly, that no one understands me, i can go back through my journals or shamelessly public blog posts and find the only person that can relate - my past self, the one i didn't remember until now, the whole way of looking at things i'd forgotten about. okay, that's a little too deep. or just deep enough. maybe that's the depth i want. not sure. my dipstick is a shady sod.

maybe what i want is a little wine. maybe i'll open up one of the mediocre bottles - or let's be honest, one of the bad bottles. it's okay, it's still wine. and i don't want to open a good bottle. i'm a bit arrogant but also guilty. i don't know if that's relevant but i'll report it anyway, might be pivotal to the case they're building for, or against me, 200 years in the future, the bicentennial of this crux in my life. maybe wine will be the last stud in the terkel.

actually, what i think i need is fresh air blowing on my face. the cool night breeze. it's the only thing that can maybe take me out of my head. i need to be out of my head. and yet, it seems the sickness is the only thing worth expressing, and expressing is the only worthwhile thing to do. it's the "genius is pain" artistic martyrdom that sounds so pretentious most of the time.

no, actually, i figured out that it's waves crashing against me. and there's some nausea involved. that means i should take one of those non-drowsy anti-emetics. so i will. i'd take a drowsy one if i had the choice. i'll also drink some water, because it's clear and transparent, feels pure and tastes so much better than beer, and bad wine, and anything else, it's golden, it's gravy, it's good, it's god - it's water - and when i'm tasting water i forget how sick in the head i am right now. maybe i'm not. maybe i just feel like i'm sick. but maybe i'm actually healthy. maybe it's healthy to mix capitalization conventions. maybe walmart will hire me, even though i demonstrated against them. maybe i'm a team player.

i'm coming to admire the non-meaningful. but when i do that, i call it sublime, and it starts to mean things, and then it's fucked. and syntax starts to flow like mercury and molasses. and i feel compelled to make it right in writing. which is a fool's errand, but he took the job. just because it looks a certain way to me doesn't mean it is. it's all about feelings. we may not know bleep all... but emotions fucking rule. in the land of the hysterics, the stoic is king. or maybe not. bleep.

i was just bowled over by a wave of sickness. had to lie on the bed and talk myself down. calm myself. felt like i'd poisoned myself. but it was just a wave. it happens. better than being actually sick, like diseased or something. after a while, i felt sort of calm - still sick but. finally took that sickness pill. it's waves. but why do i have to keep doing it and writing about it? damn, it makes everything look ridiculous. do i have to write about that too? it brings on another wave.

goddamnit, i had to crash in bed again, and ride out another wave of sickness, vertigo, the collapse of paradigm, tweaked, twisted

once i resign myself to being "down", as in, crashed, i feel a little better, not good, but not horribly ill in a kinetic way - if i'm still trying to be up, or thinking i ought to be, it's bloody, brutal, a battle i can't win - when i'm officially crashed, i can be jaded

it's disgusting that i write about drugs so much, but there's anatomical value in it. i should watch tv online because i've done my "duty" as a writer - but i still need some kind of job, and wording will have to do. there are nice things in the world, good pure and impure things, but i can only conceive of them, experience them through a sick head, synthetically altered, incapable of feeling pleasure in a normal way, perverse - and this is over dramatic bullshit, state-bounded transcription of transient neurosis. just chapter 593 of the tractate, of the elemental exegesis, the leviathan in the room -- through a scanner darkly. phil lost a lot of good friends, including himself, through the dystopia of the sepia-toned sixties turned seventies, semen-stained silk and std feeding frenzy.

i'm hoping i can see those good things again, more properly, when that anti-emetic pill kicks in. raspberry flavor, like my girl, one of those good things. i'm ashamed of myself for wanting to philander in earlier times. i'm lucky to have her. she benefits from me too, i know. but man am i lucky. i feel better when i'm with her. she's one of those people, who i would quit drugs for, because she's so much better, although when i'm synthetically altered, like now, it seems to me that love and human relationships are just as synthetic as any pharmaceutical mindstate. but shortly, that won't mean anything. no, i shouldn't call it sublime, but i will, the sublimity of the sublime label, under a secular banner, wordplay in the bristling grass blades, grasscut hand, fresh mown lawn...

so many good things in the world, remember when baseball was good? kids today, they have to find a way to make steroids good. things change. baseball was pastoral. now it's at&t center. but it's also got a jumbotron. but remember the new york nickerbockers? we won't see their like again. until the apocalypse. no, i kid. i bought in, i don't want things to burn. i'm sorry i've given my sister anxiety, with my apocalyptic bullshit. it wasn't necessary. or maybe it was. like everything's necessary. but goddamn, that's gotta be bullshit. tautological bullshit. tautologies are tautological, and bullshit is bullshit.

it's sick, that sickness is so meaningful to me, that it makes me write the most important stuff. it's a kind of torture, but i guess i'd gladly take that, to having my nuts electrocuted, because i'm a sheltered canadian cracker, and "white" is a fitting emblem for privilege, and sickness, pestilence, pale horseman, apocalypse, death - how archetypal, dawg.

i'm so proud of myself, i haven't even mentioned what drug i'm on. what restraint. what artistic discipline. less is more. hemmingway knew the five and ten dollar words, but he didn't need them. was the sickness worth this writing? can you put a price on it?

2 May 2007

Little Miss Misfit

listen

words by razberrychaos, music by me and raz

***

when she was young and full of piss
she painted wheels on a cardboard box
drove out to the middle of a desert sunrise
thinking who’m i gonna be if i can’t be i?

came back with talons instead of nails
and a mind as broad as a schooner’s sails
lips the color of desert hills
acquired an iguana, named him bill

she plays shoebox guitar
waves to the people from her yard
all fucked up but better off by far than you or i
little miss misfit

now the kids at school didn’t know what to think
as she maneuvered her bike around with a hot pink
pirate’s eye-patch and safety-pin hair
she was a bookworm dork with an anarchist’s flair

in a world as diverse as the creatures of the sea
i thought for sure they’d let her be
but the world is different to different beings
last time i saw her she was riding free
into that desert sunset
laughing like a maniac