Thursday, September 30, 2010

Poisonous Blue Sky

Ha ha. Poisonous blue sky, so bright so clear. Old white men gather around the table and talk about the kids, the rotten no good kids, busting lights and keying cars. Do they ask why? Why are the kids doing this? No. They pronounce the verdict, “crazy” the kids are crazy, “there’s something wrong with her.” A thirteen year old girl that takes scissors and rakes them across BMWs. Do I hear them say three or four times that she is Chinese, as if that may be part of the problem? How easy to sit around this table together and make our pronouncements. Not like us. Crazy.
Not like you. If you were any older, your spirits any more decrepit, you’d have your coffins parked outside not your BMWs. Four old white corpses gathered around a table. They aren’t even drinking coffee or tea or eating cake. They have come into this café to meet for this conversation, this weary pep rally to assure them of their supremacy. They will wait until later to feed. After the grim reaper comes to collect them they will feast on the worms that crawl from their cavernous heads before laying back down in their expensive stone mausoleum together, taking turns scratching each others’ backs before taking their respite. The flaking old flesh is raked off beneath their talons, for the white hair and finger and toenails continue to grow, even after they accepted death’s putrid favors.
These undead gangsters of the All American, with their cell phones laying out on the table or clipped to their leather belts. Crisp white work shirts whether they still have jobs or not. Sweater vests to complete the look. Now the bitter grapes are made into bitter wine. They discuss, with raspy voices like the sound of dry leaves rattling down empty streets, the beggars who make $400 dollars a day waiting in busy intersections with cardboard signs. Mashing the sour fruits of their hearts with their brittle fists, they hold their mouths open at the edge of the table to catch the elixir as it overflows. This is all they need. One little sip of envy, and disgust. “Not like us. Lazy. There’s something wrong with her.”
Their own children, because they have pulses, are alien to these old patrons of the crypt who lie down to die before they could come alive, like good Americans.
Is it America? Is it the world? Where is the factory that churns out these creatures of the crypt, these rotting vestiges of capitalist idealism. They will take dollar bills with their worms latter, spreading the wrigglies over the greenbacks like caviar over a cracker. That was all it took to lure them into premature death. The reaper stood in the mausoleum doorway with a plate of crackers bearing the faces of Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin , other old dead white men, and these four came crawling, drooling from the corners of their mouths. The dream that wrapped her ephemeral fingers round their throats like a collar with a leash and pulled them towards her master. It was a dream of supremacy, of comfort, of power and prestige.
Are you comfortable in your velvet lined coffins, talking about your pension funds and how much Ed Davis brought home last year? Blurting out precise figures like a litany, holding your dark mass under poisonous blue skies in the center of a brightly lit café. Making grim pronouncements of “Not like us. Crazy. There’s something wrong with…” and hiding under the gray robes of your precious dream while she grips you each tightly by the throat. Then, suddenly in accordance with the laws of the eternal day born in the age of industry, she gives them a jerk and they fly up from the table like a murder of crows. It’s back to the graveyard she leads them, back to her master in the black cloak with the scythe, holding out his plate of green crackers.
In they’ll go still rumbling their litany, safe within their four walls of stone, safe with their keepers, while out there somewhere the kids are running wild, propelled by the life that surges through their rebellious spirits. Out there in the rainbow jungle the kids are smashing lights and scratching Mercedes and BMWs with sharp scissors and pan handling and fucking and getting high while their fathers are finishing their bedtime snacks and reclining inside of boxes within boxes. Poisonous blue sky, so bright, so clear, illuminates the day, spreads over the empty table where four old white men lapped the bitter wine of their hearts, over the graveyards where they continue to murmur their unhallowed prayers, over the thirteen year old Chinese girls smiling with their scissors at the ready, over grisly faced pan handlers and over me. Ha ha. Poisonous blue sky.

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010


One day I finally decided to do it, to actually do it.
I created an altar on the east wall of my room, the one wall with the least amount of junk scattered on the floor in front of it. On this altar I placed photographs of myself, a sequence of images progressing slowly from infancy to adulthood. At the center of the altar I placed a photograph of my father. I made something like a throne for this picture to rest on, some thick books covered by a piece of red cloth and a couple of small figurines to guard it. It was enough like a throne that I could see it as a throne and that was enough for me.
When the altar was ready, I lit candles and incense. The room got thick with smoke and strong scents from distant lands I had never visited. Then I sat in front of my altar to stare at what I had created. It would have been easy to overlook that step. But I didn’t. This was the time when I would finally do it. I couldn’t jump over any step.

Drip drop went the secretions of certain glands that helped me to modify my view of reality.
Drip drop.
The Real.
That is what we were searching for, isn’t it? Some of us, not all of us. Sometimes, not all the time.
It was important then to understand that not everyone wanted to discover the Real. Some did seek it out, but when they found it they recoiled in terror and sincerely hoped that they would never have to see it again. Some said that they wanted it but they really wanted other things, private pleasures that would never be disclosed in public. I had to understand this. I had to remember it.

In those days I had come to understand that I was a robot. (It may seem obvious to you now, but it was a great shock to me when I first saw it. Don’t forget how different things were back then. None of what we know now was so clear, it was all kind of fuzzy, like looking at a vast landscape through piece of cellophane wrapped around your head.)
I was some kind of bio mechanical doll. I was made of meat and not metal but I was still a robot. A sophisticated meat doll. That was all I was. Nothing more, nothing less.
All that I liked, all that I disliked, all that I believed and disbelieved, all that I wanted and all that I feared, these things were not ME, even if they seemed like it. They might have seemed to come from me, but they didn’t. They had all come from somewhere else.
These things were programs that I ran, within my wet circuitry of coils of bloody guts. Or rather I should say that these were programs that ran me. I was merely a strange unconscious puppet in their hands, an empty receptacle for their various microscopic products.
I had no hand in creating or choosing all these programs. It was strange circuitous process that occurred long before I knew what was happening, or that anything was happening at all. Most of it was quite accidental. Accidental programming. It just happened. In my case, it happened to me. You understand? So it seemed natural, eminently natural, so it seemed real, so it seemed normal, so it seemed as the way things should be. What else could they be? This was me and everything around me fit perfectly with me. Almost everything, I should say. Almost everything.

Strawberries were good, black licorice was bad. Men with facial hair made me wet, so wet that the juice ran down my thighs and made it hard for me to sit still. When the sun was shining, I was happy and because I was happy, I twisted my face into a kind of frozen grimace that I called a smile. Cats were better than dogs. It was never okay to steal. It was okay to lie sometimes but only in particular situations. Killing was okay but only when you were threatened. Christians were good and Muslims were bad. I had to sleep in a bed or I wouldn’t feel right in the morning. The bed had to have sheets and blankets, all of certain colors. I had to make a certain amount of money a year. I had to have a car to drive so I could go places, places where there were other people like me.
All of these things were arbitrary. I didn’t know it then but it was still true. None of these programs represented anything that was objectively true. It was just things that were said and they got repeated. Linguistic viruses that came into me when someone spoke too loud too close to me, when my senses were wide open and vulnerable. They were a kind of sonic self reproductive demons that inhabited my shivering temple of wet and tender walls, strange non physical half living creatures that swayed me to do this or that, pushed me to do things in a way that complied with their secret directives.

So I made a crown. I knew it couldn’t be too simple, it shouldn’t be. Some effort had to go into its construction. But I also couldn’t make it too elaborate. If I made it too difficult I would never finish it and it was of utmost importance that I should finish.
I knew it had to fit upon my head. That was most crucial. I made it out of twine and placed some leaves and flowers all along the perimeter. I was very pleased with my work.
I placed the crown and a robe on the simple little altar I had made earlier. I placed it all before my father’s throne. It seemed as if he was looking down at it but it was really just a photograph. Still, it really did seem like he was looking. Looking down. At me.
The robe was an old terrycloth bathrobe, light green in color, nothing that special really. Not until I made it special. And then it was. It truly was.

Everyone around me was the same. This took some time for me to recognize. For so long I had assumed that everyone else was different, that they actually knew what they were doing and why they were doing it. It took me a while to accept that they knew as much as I did, maybe a little less since they couldn’t look directly into their own robotic nature, since they still believed they made decisions on their own, since they still believed they were unique and capable of deciding their own course in life.
The fact was that we simply collided our way through an accidental obstacle course that we called existence. We bounced off of each other like bumper cars. It became clear that they were all the same, Hebrews, Romans, or Barbarians. In fact, I had lost track of what had once distinguished them from each other. Suddenly they all seemed the same to me. Not in a good way, either.
One genetic trait was not better than another. Some things made a particular genetic line of robots live longer. That in itself was not “good”. The entire perpetuation of the species was neither good nor bad. It was simply a thing to watch happening, like the firecrackers on the fourth of July or black birds flying in a flock over a calm lake in summertime.
Survival was all that mattered to them, to us. The survival of the meat bots. All the meat bots like me. We thought we were superior to every other thing that bopped around on this planet. We thought we were the best.
Somehow, what we thought to explain our own presence here, was what made us better. One thought justified another in a circle that we were never inclined to unwind or examine closely.
We were somehow better than dogs because when we fucked, we would do it within the bounds of holy matrimony and we would then produce children to please GOD. GOD, which was itself a construct of our bewildered and imaginative minds which we molded into our own image. GOD, mad scientist, creator of broken robots out of old discarded parts.
We were better because we could see the difference between right and wrong. And we got to decide what was right and wrong based on what was best for us. And we were told what was best for us before we even knew what was being said to us. So we decided nothing. Nothing at all.
An accidental obstacle course and nothing else. It was hard to see it back then. But you have to understand, we didn’t know hardly anything.

When everything was prepared and the scene was set, I bowed to the four directions and crossed my heart, just as I had learned so long ago, back when I had thought I knew so much.
I approached the altar carefully, almost with weariness. In a loud and clear voice, I said:
"I have come to bear the burden"
I said it two more times slowly and carefully. The sound of my voice echoed through the room and came back to me thicker and stronger than I would have imagined it.

We were machines run by programs created by unnamed authors, long lost biological hackers who had maybe succumbed to their own devious traps.
We were ruled by Accident, Chaos, Chance. Our main directive, our only real wish was to survive at any cost. Everything else was secondary. No matter what we said, no matter what we believed.
That is all we were, all we were, all we were. But we didn’t know it. We didn’t want to know it.
Now you understand, just like you do. It wasn’t easy to see through it, through the great charade, the great game. It wasn’t easy for me, it wasn’t easy for anyone. Nobody starts out with a taste for silence. It’s an acquired taste. Something to be developed.

I removed my father’s photograph from the throne and placed it face down on the carpet. I then replaced it with one of my own. My photograph up there on the throne looking down at me just like my father had been doing before. I put on the robe that I had chosen and I placed the crown upon my head. I placed it slowly, suddenly aware of what I was doing, suddenly curious, suddenly afraid.
I extended my arms to both sides palms facing upward. Then I brought them together over my heart in a prayer position, palms together, fingers pointing upwards.
I looked at myself on the throne. I looked at myself and my self looked back. I recognized myself. I recognized my self. There. On the throne. I had come to bear the burden. It was time to take my rightful place. It was time to leave the charade behind. It was time to know.

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Wednesday, September 08, 2010


Truly, my brethren and beloved, you who are closest to me, who eat with me and drink with me and rest where I rest, you who have abandoned the sky father and the earth mother because I have asked it, unto you will I give all mysteries and all gnosis. I will give you the mystery of the twelve æons of the rulers who dash across the sky like comets and their seals and their ciphers wrapped in brown paper and tied with cotton string and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions will all be in your inbox on Tuesday morning.
I will give you moreover, the mystery of the thirteenth æon . You will attain this just by being with me, and by limiting conflicting influences. I will teach you the manner of invocation for reaching their regions, leading by example. You must watch carefully, I can’t explain it because words are lies, but I can show you if you turn all of your attention to the moment. I will give you their ciphers and their seals, the symbols that are made in opposition to the symbols you were taught when the world was being built.
In music I will give you the mystery of the baptism of those of the Midst and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions. And in gestures I will announce unto you their ciphers and their seals. It will be a dance and the steps will change even as the music changes. You will never know what step comes next just as I never know what step comes next. The sequence will seep into your consciousness like water being absorbed by cardboard. I want your consciousness to become soggy , a formless pulp.
And I will give you the baptism of those of the Right, our region, by letting the sun scorch your skin and the eagles eat out your eyes. Its ciphers and its seals and the manner of invocation for reaching thither are available for immediate download at itunes. I will give you the great mystery of the Treasury of the Light where all my wealth is stored. It looks like an ordinary honey jar unless you have already received the baptism of those of the Right, in that case it will look like nothing at all. The manner of invocation for reaching thither is the subject of a PBS special that you can rent from the local public library. If you lack a membership therein I suggest that you obtain one. Never make the mistake made by Simon Magus and keep The Learning Annex Guide To Successful Alchemy out for over three months without renewing. You can renew online or with any touch tone telephone. There is no sense in over drafting from your account with the Treasury of the Light before you have learned to turn lead into gold.
I will give you all the mysteries and all the gnosis, for low monthly installments of just $29.99 or you can devote your life to following me and doing as I do. I will give you gnosis in order that ye may be called 'children of the fullness, perfected in all the gnosis and all the mysteries.' It can be the name written over your photo on your Facebook page.
Or I could award you a diploma. My new ink jet printer works like a charm and the have special certificate paper for sale in office supply stores. Blessed are ye beyond all men on earth, for with access to these spheres you will have room to breath. For the children of the Light are come in your time, you are they.
All that is required for an achievement of gnosis is everything, or just a monthly payment. You choose. Truly, my brethren and beloved, you who are closest to me, who eat with me and drink with me and rest where I rest, you who have abandoned the sky father and the earth mother because I have asked it, unto you will I give all mysteries and all gnosis. All others will get what they pay for.

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Thursday, September 02, 2010


The round table surrounded by four tall chairs and long gangly figures draped over them, elbows on table fists on chins, heels on the rungs of the tall chairs. Far below outside the abyss of shadow and chatter, the lighted stage awaits aglow with golden warmth, silent instruments engaged in patient respite like old idols once the center of a forgotten religion. Their smug demeanor communicates their certainty of a comeback. And lo! They are quite right to think as much, if they were truly thinking as much, for the musicians come tromping out to the stage. Old ones, young ones, fat ones, skinny ones, famous ones, and mysterious ones, they fill every corner of the stage, taking their places by the well rested idols, flipping switches and turning keys and knobs while pressing on pedals.
The sorcerer comes in by a different route and for him the crowd cheers, hurrah! He shouts the name of each performer in turn but the names are lost in space, sound waves that break against nearby tables never to reach the balconies above.
Then crash boom roar ta da! We’re off, all at once, idols revived to full godhead. They’re no longer cold dead things but wild writhing living creatures that wail and groan and shout. In this manner they converse. Sometimes all at once, sometimes two or three at a time, occasionally one croons alone while the others listen, carefully weighing their responses, holding their questions for the right moment. The musicians listen, the musicians urge them on with both gentle and harsh caresses.
The audience listens, they urge the renewed gods on with applause and shouts. They grin, they drool, they bob their heads and bump knees under tables and whisper questions in the gaps. What is that thing? Who is that man? What are they doing with the hats and headbands? For indeed the musicians are taking on and putting off headbands while the sorcerer is taking off and putting on his blue cap.
The assembly holds perhaps five or six sessions if that many. There are gentle moments and rough moments, but every moment is a moment that demands attention. These are not tired familiar old songs come to renew our sense of stability. These are new noises erupting from the inferno, new worlds of sound forming in the hot forge, their shape is unique like that of a snowflake, never before made, never to be made again. A shape unfolding through time, sounds as new as each moment. The noise, the noise, the glorious noise!
The silence that gives the noise more impact. The noise that makes the silence a sound never before heard. They’re passed back and forth like a ball, like a game of red like green light. A game, a game, a beautiful game, played by Gods and mortals together on a golden semicircular stage and in the immeasurable gloom upon which it is suspended, until at last the Gods once again beg respite and the mortals rise to take a bow for having been such goods sports, such obliging instruments of divinity.
Then we say game over and evacuate the round table surrounded by tall chairs to stagger out into the darker darkness, long gangly figures crowding halls and filling up doorways, cigarettes between fingers, coats draped over shoulders, hats obscuring eyes.

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