31 Oct 2008

Mentholated

Ran into a performance poet on Baker. He asked if I had anything to write. Got me thinking, and writing. I remember the Mercury. I had something published in there, years ago. It was just after those planes hit the towers and I thought I should write something. So I took a few swats at the low hanging fruit of Christian hypocrisy, sounding like a fifteen-year-old Tool fan in the process. Maybe the article wasn’t as bad as I remember, but it was probably worse. Youthful naiveté, mutual complicity, compromised Christianity, easy targets. The more elusive targets are in motion, taking new forms for new ages, springing out of good intent substrate that was poisoned to begin with, rich in benign pesticides, miracle grow. I’m a self-absorbed drug enthusiast, living in my own hallucinations. A real nowhere man. Isn’t he a bit like you? No? Alright then.

What can I write about the world? The way things are – or even should be? My pastime is to sit in my bedroom and communicate with energies, fragments of personality, for a rhythm, beat-boxing the continuum. Sometimes I hope to condense into the creator I was when I shared a beer with God (He opened it Himself). What do I know? Myself, intimately, incestuously. It’s so wrong. Is there a microcosm? A macrocosm? I hope for your sake there isn’t.

The performance poet who wrote for the Mercury, who’s starting it up again, he was an inspiration in those old days. A good open stage guy. Charlotte’s, my first bar. Back when I had a soul to lose, when I lost my black leather jacket at the booze den above the Royal on Halloween, ridiculed for dancing in public, knocked over my friend’s rails, drank vodka, plotted the soul’s destruction, the soul, my soul? Any soul. Don’t remember driving home. I have recurring dreams of car crashes, but it hasn’t happened yet. Never even got a DUI. I must be protected by spirits.

I used to call Char’s the “arabesque burlesque”, the sacred and profane in perfect harmony. But it was discordant often, all sorts of ugly politics. I tried not to notice and succeeded most of the time. I barely know my own country. I vote NDP because that’s what I do as a consumer of politics, brand loyalty, blind atom running in the machine of democracy. I’m a reflexive voter, a knee jerker. Whatever the right is for, I’m against. That’s why I boldly hold forth in public, articulating my penetrating world view – oh yeah, I’ve thought this shit through. Politics, the pedantic art of the pompous pragmatist. But I admire people who make their politics personal. If intelligence means anything at all, it’s to see and act on problems you create for yourself, before circumstances force you to. Hunter Thompson, intoxicated omniscience, still waiting in line for his next hit. Suicide by shotgun: “This won’t hurt.” He had no stake in it.

My two passions in life these days are music and drugs. Women I include in the drugs category, but they’re too addictive and dangerous. I usually abstain from that poison, it’s ten times worse than reefer madness. Smoking ash-coated butts in the breakroom, alone, cause I want a fix – any fix. This can’t be far from bottom. This one’s menthol. Mint-coated cancer stick. Good rush though, cause I’m still tripped on the large dose of dextromethorphan I did last night, and nicotine is ten times stronger on a DXM plateau. Whee!

Each Canadian is entitled to one hundred and sixty hectares of land, we just found out. I just found a thousand parsecs of headspace. C’mon over to mine, I’m building a townhouse. When I take dissociatives I go back to the Creek Street Nexus. There, I take telekinetic commissions from adjacent dimensions, certain I’ve discovered psychic abilities, those ones I’d forgotten. Trying to create a telepathic language, communicate, heal, flow, live by example, maybe move mountains, turn matter into energy and vice versa. I think I hear answers, vaguely, they’re trying to create a language with me on their end, it swirls into the non-local psyche pool which carries the essence of sublime locality I feel on Creek Street, wrapped in the Kootenay K Krysalis, the good times with good people, the struggle for survival, the really not so bad scene, the dynamics of telekinesis, Michael’s diagram for a “free energy” machine, the machine that was going to power Stanley Street, debauched toboggan party before the apocalypse. Before it catches up. I think in ketamine dreams: This potency is ludicrous! How can I be getting away with it? Voodoo economics? Feels unsustainable, and the most lasting thing there is, timeless, magic, black arts, this moment.

Now I’m quitting my job. Maybe I’ll do less drugs. I think I’ve been doing so many because I realized I could be a dishwasher and still be fucked up all the time. But I can’t do music and be fucked up all the time, not the music I want to make. Except in that telekinetic K world, when it seems like I’m doing music by just lying in bed, fated purposeful music that will seep into everyone’s dreams and heal psychic torment, the music that is gravity. Maybe I really could help people. Not in a K way. Rather by overcoming my hangup about an artist being useless, especially in these cruel crunch times. And do it well, and provide the service of an artist. If I’m going to play music, and try to make a living at it, I might as well feel good about it too. Might as well feel entitled to that, at least. Leave my ten dollar an hour job, with its class connotations, the issues I really don’t care about anymore on a personal level. Maybe still a political one. Maybe one more smoke. One last cigarette, let’s hope.

It woked me up, it really dided. Also incoherentized my speech. Threw a wrench in the gears of the dissociated dishwashing machine. Set too many neurons firing, revealed the fragilities, the holes in logic. Gave me nothing to fill them, no more ignorance-is-strength abilities to cut through the bullshit – because bullshit is all there is. No more lifting heavy-ass rubber mats off the ground like they were dishrags in the absence of body consciousness. I’ve actually performed my kitchen duties above and beyond, until now – this day three of my last week at the Hume. I’ve been a good machine, that’s why they treat me well – well, well enough. Tried not to stumble walking up from the breakroom, and failed. That’s what happens when you hit the “on” switch, while the “off” is jammed. Now I can’t even write. Well, no worry. It will be taken care of. The universe will edit, when it gets around to it, when it’s crunchtime, when cancer cures smoking.

Can I go back to casual? Was I ever casual? I may not be addicted to any one substance (excluding booze, tobacco, K, DXM, coke, and amphetamines) but I sure am addicted to getting high. Hedonism. There’s no time for politics. Maybe I’d write political protest songs, but zoloft mashes emotions into a paste I spread on my morning toast, digest and forget. Maybe that’s why adbusters hates anti-depressants. Too much numb will stop your heart and you’ll forget how to breathe. People are going soft, finding their comfort zone. I was a stronger person, when I was younger. Constantly challenged, constantly miserable. I used to really practice, attempt lunatic stunts like learning the Rachmaninov concerto just to see how far I could get. I used to have principles and act on them – or omit desired action. Of course then, I could sustain righteous anger. There seems to be no righteousness anymore. Now I feel more of the world’s pain, and more helpless to do anything, even on a local scale. Who knows what to do really, who knows who I’d be working for really, or what agenda the purest charity would secretly serve? What balance would have to be retained in the universe that prefers duality, not joy?

How can empathy and apathy increase simultaneously? Now I know what I like. I know myself too well and what I would sell out for, have sold out for - would I admit I shopped at Wal-Mart? Shop at Wal-Mart? Not the latter, but what does it matter? I can’t make apologies for lack of savagery. If getting to a better standard of living means a sickening softness, and getting soft means the unwillingness to tolerate violence and poverty, then it’s civilized and beneficent. It’s a good thing, but it makes me sick, because the system is such a mess, and soft also means the unwillingness to fight for the people who haven’t had the opportunity to get soft and squishy, and are still feeling the hardness of humanity as only recently evolved from apes, locked in self-perpetuating dominance hierarchies. What a bundle of contradiction and confusion. Just another ramble, another day in the menthol stage of civilization. Still puffing away, trying to sooth the burn with useless filters. The menthol trees are fruiting down factory conveyors. Soul is cheap, it’s on the music stands, they’re still burning plastic with lasers for that subgenre.

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