Archive for April, 2011
You were walking on a sidewalk with a beautiful day and perfect temperatures providing accompaniment. You decided to listen to the sweet man with the very short hair and the oddly patterned black and white shirt. You feel the resistance. You don’t want to believe the man with the very short hair.
The man tells you that you live in two states. One like the one you are in on the sidewalk, calmly and very slowly in control. Your mind is spinning heavily but your state controls the mind and makes it still like a heavy bucket of settling cement. Everything is slow, perhaps slower than half speed and nothing can go wrong. The other state you get in is when the cement falls out of the bucket and spills along the gutter rolling as little pebbles, bouncing around and slowing into place as if arranging a garden out of the city street. This is the empty state and you are massively confused. You know nothing. Your mind is spinning millions of stories and it is empty at the very same time. It is a confused state. Each state needs the other state which gives you balance and balance is your gold medal in life.
You tell the nice man that you only wish you could be in a state in the middle. You wish you could be normal.
You keep walking and the pebbles keep gathering and separating as if they are toying with your mind, as if telling you how wacked you are.
Today, the Sun Is Mine
The fence leans chaotically
into and out of motley yards.
This is a portrait of the temporary.
Facts tell us
that the day was created to suit me.
But it’s not the day.
There are oriental carpets,
packed like freight train cars
carrying rats that departed from my ears,
rats with green itchy fur
and globules of yellow, oil-like poisons.
My mind pushes the deadly cement trucks
to run over the willowy carpets.
And balloons carrying fireworks
throw fire into their cavernous bodies
so they can get up to oversee my eager rats
sailing into a flaming sunrise
that cleanses the city dump
and sparks the stray dogs
with will to live.
We can ask shyly about tomorrow.
Or we can fly deep inside the lush, May grass
brought on by polar rains
that worked diligently to drown me,
to finally finish me off,
in the yellow shit from my rats.
The rats may be playing with the sun.
But today, the sun is mine.
Today is my second day
allowing that yesterday
was the first day.
Yesterday, my entire body counteracted
despair made from an insane state
very near death,
very near the end of a line,
and I cannot tell you now
if I ever lived before yesterday.
I may never get a third day
so for now,
I strip naked
and I dance wildly
on the roof of the old 7-Eleven store
on the corner where the car horns are busy
and the unused grass blows gently,
undisturbed by the heat
from the blacktop.
The Congruence of Joy and Despair
Posted by Carl in Essays, Finding Purpose on April 28, 2011
In the old days, before the new era, better known as the new life, I would drink too much alcohol whenever I was sad, and I would drink too much whenever I was happy. I was always sad or happy, so you can observe my dilemma. When I look back with honesty, I realize that I was always sad, or never truly happy. I drank to rid my consciousness of despair – a never-ending task. And when I had happiness or some sense of accomplishment or pride, I poured massive amounts of alcohol on it to maintain my state of joy, which always ended the next morning if not far sooner.
Today, I was listening to Shostakovich which is a bit like saying today I got dressed, but it was my first and favorite Shostakovich, the 10th Symphony. This piece is filled with despair with all sorts of glancing touches of hope. (It was meant as a farewell to Stalin after his death, and the portrait of Stalin is particularly poignant in the fury and evil of the second movement. Stalin prevented Shostakovich from creating freely and the 10th is surely a long-awaited response to that state of being. Violations of Stalin’s artistic censorship were always punishable by death and Shostakovich was very close on at least one occasion.)
It occurred to me that I love Shostakovich more than any other composer because he speaks a language that penetrates to the deepest and most vulnerable parts of my soul. I especially love my Shostakovich whenever I am either sad or happy, and I am always sad or happy, so you can observe my dilemma. However, in this case, the dilemma is not killing me or sending me to the insane asylum in the gutters of Brooklyn.
When I am sad, Shostakovich sits with me so I am not alone as I shake my fist at the world. Shostakovich communicated in his music that dreary state of knowing you’re not good enough for the world. When I am happy, I hear in Shostakovich the tremendous victory and gift and blessing of breathing right now, and I hear the knowledge that no matter how far down the scale I’ve gone, I can hope for happiness and hope that there will be moments of joy and happiness other than the one that is felt right this moment.
When I’m listening to the 10th, oh my god, I want to play the clarinet, piccolo, trumpet, or trombone. Oh my god, give me a fucking clarinet! But I never learned any wind instruments, and I can’t learn now because it would not start off sounding perfect, and the imperfect squeals would send me into fits of depression. I do believe I could play the timpani, and yes, I would love to play the timpani or tuba, yes, tuba, with the Chicago Symphony, preferably conducted by Bernard Haitink or perhaps Riccardo Muti, while it plays the richest and most emotional version of the 10th ever to be played while Shostakovich cheers me on in a deeply happy sate but with a fairly dark frown on his face and his heavy-framed glasses blocking view of the fire of his spirit coming out of his eyes.
Dear IRS Man, I Made a Mistake (And So Did My Accountant)
DEAR IRS MAN, I MADE A MISTAKE (AND SO DID MY ACCOUNTANT)
(A) In general.
A business entity that is not classified as a corporation
under section 301.7701-2(b)(1), (3), (4), (5), (6), (7), or (8) (an eligible entity)
can elect its classification
for federal tax purposes [No Shit]
as provided in this section.
An eligible entity with at least two members can elect to be classified
as either an association
(and thus a corporation under section 301.7701-2(b)(2))
or a partnership,
and an eligible entity with a single owner can elect to be classified
as an association
or to be DISREGARDED [really?]
as an entity separate from its owner.
Paragraph (b) of this section provides a default
classification for an eligible entity
that does not make an election.
Thus, elections are necessary only when an eligible
entity chooses to classified initially as other than the default
classification or when an eligible entity
chooses to change
its classification. An entity
whose classification is determined
under the default
classification retains that classification
(regardless of any changes in the members’
at any time
during the time
that the entity’s
classification is relevant as defined in paragraph (d)
of this section) [end of parenthetical, remember line 24?]
until the entity makes an election to change that classification
under paragraph (c )(1)
of this section.
Paragraph (c ) of this section provides rules
[Haven’t we had enough F’in rules by now?]
for making express elections. Paragraph (d)
of this section provides special rules for foreign eligible entities
[The IRS nails nails you no matter where you are in the world!].
Paragraph (e ) of this section
special rules [special stinky sauce]
for classifying entities resulting from partnership terminations
under section 708(b). Paragraph (f) of this section
sets forth [in stone]
the effective date of this section [which section were we in?]
special rule [what do you know?]
relating to prior periods. . . .
Give Me a Slow, Driving Seven
You know it.
Three followed by two.
Stepping in a field with rattle snakes.
Bring a club.
The eyes crawl,
knowing they are easily deceived.
Three by two.
Drive, drive, drive.
Blow your stack.
Three by two.
The more perfect
two by two by three.
One two. One two.
One two three.
Watch for snakes.
Portrait of Ten Thoughts III
A tiger testified in flushed protest
while wiping the cockeyed fence racked by rocks
which were tightly tailored by copper logs
organizing, cataloguing orange frogs
sent from the poignant, gruff dock who chastised
the terse, mucky ocean simmering froth
which was roughly blotched by bright, slick background
painting windows tan with limp hot dog buns
tickled pink and retained by masking tape,
brushing shattered canyons plunging downward.
Life in a Box – Three Portraits
My pieces swim around mirthlessly. I say I am homeless, but really, my life is in a box, my home is in a box. My home is a box.
I hear of those in prison cells. Every person is left inside a box. Each of us makes his own box. Mine is cardboard, yours is brick, hers is padding, his is cinderblock, and hers is a cow hide tent that loves to act like a box. All of us are restrained by our boxes. Our boxes keep us from doing what our spirit wants us to do.
One time I was in a room with many people and I felt my box literally disappear. I thought I might be leaving earth, perhaps dying. But I didn’t die. My box came back. My box is consistent and my box always comes back.
Today, I will look for a special blanket. I’m looking for forest green, or perhaps army green. When I find it, I’ll know it. It will soften the box so much, the box will fly away as dust.
I need a home, something like a pine box with a mattress. I see the box every day, but I never see a home. With a home, I might recover.
If I walk alone, down the haunting, overbearing hallway, with my hands clasped and my head bowed, will all of the shit fly above my head and swirl around like tornadoes in the high-peaking, diamonded ceilings with little receptacles? The hallway is my home where my gods speak loudly and tell me to be me. It is a special box. They tell me there is value to living. I need no bed in my hallway. I need no sleep. The portals in my hallway have no windows, so I breathe in the good of the world and as I exhale, I share it with the gods who help me live today. I see beautiful flowers in thousands of colors and gentle pathways when I look out of a portal, and when I smile, I can feel my gods smile. They do – They smile. I float about my box and I wait for someone who might need my help.
It’s Inspiration Monday IX at BeKindRewrite. Lots of great work over there and I love the prompts.
Inhuman Trash Cooking
On a stack of wicked sticks,
you are the dead, red elephant.
Judgment rains down
in jars of purple feathers.
If we cared for you, we’d listen.
But we know the hollowness
of inhuman cracked shells,
so we watch you pass
on your way to the soupy tan drain
that feeds other devils like you.
White on Blue
White paint flooding blue,
fake-marbled, vinyl tile.
As it goes, the drying goes.
End of childhood.
My Life So Far – Ha Ha!
Eggs without shells.
Pink swans dancing on tin cars.
92 pieces of china, different sizes and shapes,
getting pelted by hail.
Haunting, sinewy dandelions,
creeping with tiny dolls
made to look like Russian soldiers.
soccer field larger than an ocean,
and a snapped block.
Many snapped blocks.
I learned about half-seconds.
Tiny dolls sing of other fates,
hopping with broken toes on broken china.
Broken horn, car horn,
stuck on D-flat.
Deep, dark oranges
full of bricks and poisons.
Dropped from 9 stories,
compounding death of much of the brain.
Always empty guns.
Brown tanks named Jack,
incomplete without Daniels.
Pink rose tethered to save days,
but fat ass smashes pink rose.
chasing all of the thieves
hard into stone wall
on top of a miserable loser,
a man of no value
who should be locked
in rooms with chains
and sour mattresses,
without human contact,
waiting for his pine box.
With God’s fingers, not noticeable,
but guiding the chaos,
41 million china plates on my head,
never falling but bending the spine.
Sit alone after God leaves.
Feel the chaos stir all of the diseases
and cook brilliant red mess.
Come back to me.
Don’t you give up now!
On my knees,
into Roman sunsets.
sings of worthlessness
and is indomitable.
The song is not over,
but it is so quiet.
Humans don’t want to try to hear.
Almost Wednesday – It’s One Shot Wednesday – Go check out the fine work there!