If anything is worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.
Where was I?
Your mother loved you enough for you to make this cake,
to sell enough catheters to make the house payment, to finish the job
when your 16-year-old hits the cat
with the jetta your mother helped you buy when you left college
for nothing really, nothing, still nothing,
and now this.
Probabilities will collapse.
My grandfather loaded
his cupboards with mostly sage and buckshot,
murder and repair, a couple coupons.
The breath that lifted out of him was like incense,
holy with blood,
savory and cedar and rose.
You watch him huff in a morning cold,
frost everywhere but the leaves still somehow wet,
and see to sweat is to betray
some humility in the uncouth effort presumably
city folk don’t know. Get home.
Bake. Wring your hands around each other
to free them of their dirt. I love you
means so little from a saint
you can let go of not hearing it said that much at home.
My son told my wife that he had a dream I was selling my genitals for gold. There’s a lot of Freudian bullshit to unpack there, but I won’t here. Instead I’ll tell you that if I could exchange my genitals for gold, I would. Not because I want gold, but because I don’t want my genitals.
I hate being an animal. This is to say that I hate both not having control and wanting to have control. This is to say that genitals are a trap in the same way logic is a trap.
We dress our sexuality much like we dress our logic, in the saccharine nonsense of anthropocentrism; human sexuality is beautiful and complicated and our logic is the pinnacle of the evolution of mind. Sexuality is stupid, and in this I mean you stand no chance against a waterfall. The amount of hubris required to see two pieces of mechanized meat squirting their juices into each other as advanced, or nuanced, is staggering. Likewise, for all our golden logic, how are we doing, as a species?
If your glass is half full, I’ll assume your into asphalt and strip malls.
In my friend Tony’s dream I am driving him and his wife to a party in a small automobile. By the time they get where they’re going, he may be possessed. Not in the way we’re all already possessed by the ideology permeating the superstructure containing us, but in a more sinister way; things less obvious always seem more sinister.
Ten years ago today I was staring at a photograph of children playing soccer in GCPR era China. Under the photo there was a caption explaining that no one kept score because the game was about fun, not competition.
Tell me all the ways you’re better than your neighbor.
Do you love what you are?
So many dreams I have are about all the reasons I have to hate myself. I’m learning to break into the dream through a door in the sky and shout It’s all right!
40 WITHOUT A COMPASS
nothing I thought
I’d ever be
sign post along
to be conquered
Blazing neon across
a field/denuded of trees
carved for me
bereft of footnotes
away from the trees
what lay beyond
I’ve never done
risen in my skin, magnetic
rebel crookedstep into
I don’t know
of this place yet
Couldn’t give you
lay of the land
have not found
map the wildwood
until you burn it down
known only concrete
First instinct is alarm
no way out but further in
too many eyes behind
the pines/wind hides
After negotiating the weekend parking menace for ten minutes, I meet him out front. I don’t notice right away that our shirts are nearly an identical match, but it’s early and people are sober. Two pale white men of a certain age wearing lightly checked button-downs in a Cuban cigar bar isn’t the kind of thing likely to go unnoticed for long.
I scan the room; Jeffrey gawks. I tell him to occasionally allow his eyes to drift off target and not to move his neck and torso when he wants to have a better look at someone. “It’s rudimentary field craft,” I joke without much enthusiasm. He follows the instructions, but his movements are slow and mechanical, giving him the appearance of a particularly pervy automaton. He becomes distracted by the cigar case, and it’s like a jolt of electricity speeds up his moving parts. He draws the attention of an attendant, asks a few questions while pointing an index finger at the glass, and selects something that isn’t Cuban, but is probably passable. Continue reading
A friend wrote to tell me they had a dream in which both of our families were attending an outdoor event and we had a chance to enjoy each other’s company.
This has been a hard week for many people, and if you’re like me you’re finding it difficult to enjoy anything right now. But my friend’s dream is helping me shake this feeling.
There is still goodness in the world. Now more than ever, we need to remind ourselves and our friends of this. Not to normalize, too much has been normalized, but to fuel us.
Struggle, until you’re near its end, so often feels like defeat. We need to be reminded constantly of the good things left worth fighting for.