Posts Tagged Idealism

Right-Sizing Traps Part III

After the meeting, I shrink to the screamer.
My brain withers against a firm spiritual
admonition. “Who are you to claim
you know,” I choreograph psychotically and

I grip tightly and label this a reverse form
of pride, a pride where I buffer myself
in a pocket of air, claiming my knowledge
as being on a higher mountain top, knowing

I’ve never been to the mountain top, knowing
I’m inadequate to the test, knowing that I have
no clue, acting as if I give the clues, but
the screamer is the ass, and I must work

on not hating, knowing that the unknowing
are fine because I’m with them. My pride
must shrink and I must mix like water
allowing the silt of the meeting to settle,

vowing to be compassionate for all
regardless of the their states of knowing,
not hating myself for my comprehensive
lack of knowing, my fear of hell.


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A Friend? A Friend Stopped by?

Odd the things we channel our minds on
when preparing for the day in the water closet
(I’m not British, but the term is nicer than bathroom).

My mind will be a rocket ship on roller skates
in the middle of an infinitely-wide, seemingly so,
hockey rink, with all of the best from the hated
Sharks team, skating at me, not the goal, and they
all have pucks and more pucks so they do not feel

compelled to fear running out of ammo, and these
guys shoot hard, and I never have any pads, but
glory-be, instead of making slight attempts at
stopping the pucks, I’m pelted over and over as my

mind considers all the fabulous things I’ll do today,
sometimes projecting conversations in which
I feel as if I’m Winston Churchill, perfectly
undefeated in my oratory skirmishes, and this, after

all, is how I fuel my pride, how I feel sufficiently
armed to go out into the human world where every
glance is likely to melt me into the painted ice with
the molten black and rubbery smell of the pucks.

But today, Time, she came by.
Actually, just outside the window, which was closed
to the prickling chips of winter, but she looked
positively on fire, and you know what Time does,

she scolds you, and she was here this morning to tan
my hide, “Hey pig, piggy-pig, pig, pig, pig, pig.”
She said, Carl, you fool, your life is all gone.
Why do you fret and fritter about getting ready this
morning for a world that is all gone, that is not for you?



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Right-Sizing Traps Part II

A three-week streak, unthinkable, but it
was here. Imagine a perfect future through
to death without the slightest hiccup, and that
was my streak. Pride blew my insides out so I might

be a turtle without shell or feet, and I told my
father, for the first time in more than four
years, Dad, it has lifted. I think I’m okay. It’s
better, and I want to live during moments,
fat turquoise moments during ripe days, and

can you imagine the inflation of that pride, as I
dreamed of my father imagining that he might die
in peace now that he knows. Forever, his son will
be well forevermore. I woke up this morning and the

big, black, woolly, wet, cold blankets were strangling, poisoning
my spirit, and I said fuck you. Fuck you. Go away.
My blankets don’t leave on command so I remember

instructions: be with the pain: dig the pain: it is what
you are: be in the moment: don’t fight it. I rest
crooked in my chair and I cry for many long
minutes, and I’m afraid to call my father. I’m

defective again. Be with the pain. Three weeks

had seemed as if forever, but I was an egotistical,
overconfident prick to think I beat nature at her game,

much less to imagine beating God by countering his vehemence.


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The Mind’s Empty Darkness

Compelled by absence
from my pen
the poison of a slated trap
of an iPad keyboard,

Shitty one word thoughts,
I read, I stop reading,
I read, I tell others
to read.

I want to learn, become real,
but the grease of a refinery
broken down by deadly fog
has stilled my mind
so I am fearful of the empty notebook.

I order myself to write
an essay on the deleterious
squeeze of a persistent depression,

but I cave to a fear of narcissistic
rage, so how can I help? I hold
out my hand and I should cure

the mud from millions of horses
in a wet November Ohio valley.
I should sweep away the bags
of compost from the surface

of my almost-human construction,
and after all, I need to go read,
to go learn
before I ever write again,

and pray that death will
not stop my project, that
someday I might write.


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Back Into

It’s a brand new day, a new job.
The waterfall is brilliant, but the chatters
are annoying the hell into me,
testing my patience with humanity,
but I’ve coached myself
to be compassionate,
so I let the voices commingle
with the tumbling water.
My brain starts to hurt.


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Demanding Music

Demanding music
is my fuel.
Right now.
Look at the orange
bag, the dirty beard,
the cigarette disintegrating
the human,
the white shirt
with loud
wrinkles, blocked by the angry
truck. Listen
to that
Drive me to the end
of a scummy
day. Be mean, but hide me
from the mean, hide
me in the closets
of office death.
Crunch me.
Hammer me with that strange
“Back with another one of those
block rocking
beats.” Steal me
from my insanity and dump
me in the gutters
of leftover humanity swimming
for the meat,
for the currency.
Spear me
with the orange cones.
Tear out
my heart and liver.
Blow my brain into the guts
of the amplifier, seal me
for another era.
Demanding music
is saving me



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Parlaying the Intransigent Tar of my Editor

All the leafs, all of the websites, the tweets, hell,
Facebook posts, commanding, directing, distracting,
but making writing the compelling requirement, and Buk,
my friend, he tells me that if I’m not spitting it out, don’t do it,
but with respect, fuck him, and fuck my editor who sits,
who shits all over my shoulder and tells me I suck.
The directions tell me not to listen to the editor.


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Most Days Should be Thanksgiving, Designed for Gratitude

Lessons, strangling the deathly stillness of sobriety,
as we are forced to write our lists, and why the fuck
does it require ten? Because otherwise,
we’d stop at two, and the first is always sobriety.

I’m clean. My breathing does not gurgle in large pools
of muddy water, and my family, and the love, and
this is because vodka was never a match for love,
but it sure beat the pulpy slime out of love for long periods,

as the brain’s diseased mind circled in several strands,
like perverted green sharks, ripping pieces of compulsion,
drilling the hiding games, the dark gardens of shame
covered with ill seaweed craving an unconsciousness.

I can read! I can write! Look at me; I can see,
and today’s mind seeks some sort of warmth or
brightness which seems to bury the mildew of pebbles
rolling from dreary nights spent waiting to die, and though

not one of us knows god, we’re all glad we know
god again, that he holds us in large hands, but mostly,

our gratitude comes loudly knocking every single morning,
caressing those massive gaps in life when we know who we are,
where we are and what we are. We do. We know.


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Today, Who Can I Blame?

I want to unclench my fists,
let go of this tract, this uninhabited
basement, be rid of this grizzly who crawls
through my hair, pulls my eyes to flash
pain points, slams my fingers when I try
to open doors to brightening projects,
slaps me with the back of claws as I seek
glimpses of murky, slickly gray happiness,
throws me down stairs with darkening curves
until I walk blindly in halls, hearing the screams,

You fool, you failure. Who allows you to live
and pretend you make a difference, pretend
you live with purpose? You fool, don’t you see
Momma Grizzly? She tells you to give up, to crawl
out the tiny bathroom window while sliding
on the oiled tiles, pale blue and flu white,
fall into the final resting hell where you belong,
and do you listen? No, you flail about as if
there is some value to the gray matter
in your skull, as if some day you might
feel good, feel fresh, feel worthy.
Son, son, son, stick your fingers
in the dark sockets, tighten
the Baggie over your face.


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Fighting Wicked, Trying Not to Quit

I’m going to try NaNoWriMo again. Last year, miserable failure, so I needed a new strategy. This year, instead of trying to write masterfully, I will simply write. Can I turn off the inner editor for more than three sentences? Who knows, but I will try to turn off the editor for four weeks.

I’ve taken writing courses in both fiction and poetry recently, and I have found that my classmates have uniformly disliked my material. I’m a modernist sinking in a sea of well-trained crafty dime store novelists. I wish I could craft anything well, but I’ll be damned if I’ll write something that’s been written millions of times.

I’m not a writer, but my heart gets sparked when I write, so damn the people who don’t read the shit. I’m going to write the shit and we’ll see where we go from here.

When I left the mental hospital tonight (thankfully having been there as a visitor trying to share hope rather than floating there as an admitted patient), the staff member told me to watch for deer. The full moon was fogged behind deep purple curtains, so I had to use my bright lights a few times. I was resentful of the clouds while others are dealing with horrible winds and floods. I tried to be a blazing trail of alertness. There were no deer encounters, but there was a dead dog. So sadness pervades my evening, not as severe as the pre-visit crater of terrifying depression, but creating doubt that I have any chance at writing 50K words in November, but here on October 30th, I feel determined to plough through.

Every word I write seems to murder one of the parasitic creatures inside my skull, which temporarily alleviates the pain, so on we go – let’s kill some pain.


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