I have skirted the blotted shadows of a scarcely
skirted madness, circled the sodded
walls of a boarded-up
sadness, come out spotted, stained, shaken
wet, only to stick my head into the maddening hiss of
a whirling weedwacker line because I
felt only the urge to do it &
nothing else—blind, led as galaxy
pulling sun, in turn pulling planets, in turn
holding each of us to our tenets
words are nothing, and still
there is nothing
I have forgotten
every sentence I have ever
assembled and yet I’ve somehow
remembered how it felt to have culled it
but I only feel when I wag
or touch, when I bray
or cuff, when I fly or
fuck, the primitive
skull empty of thought
I know you think you’ve
rolled in a stink like
but this foulness here
will knock back your
Leave you unmoored.
I have forgotten my name.
And how to navigate a conversation.
I have lost all accountability for
my anal glands.
the season of green is unfurling, and
we’ve eagerly yearned to be circling
eternally, whirling forever
in search of the
vermin, & only abjuring
when discerning and earning the spins
it’s not absurdity, because we know that we’re
sure to be, I mean we’ve certainly learned that we
aren’t pure or mature so the
word is we got to be
Everything I know is everything I’ve always known:
Shadows are only shadows to those
who’ve seen stars, who aren’t
locked away in caves, tied with chains, caught behind bars.
But even stars are not necessarily what they are
today, but now only light from white dwarfs
yesterday, because nothing
red or hot can survive this inflation, this
long ago explosion and dilation.
I could never drink enough to warm this
mistimed chill, could not fill
consistent malicious spiritlessness, and still
our universe, everything, once tight with absence, an
impossibly dense vastness, all knowledge, the very
last sense, will burn
off into a nothing
to which we’ll inexorably return, and
meanwhile, I will go about losing the things to say in
trying to find the ways to say them, and
will go about forgetting the thing I am in trying to
remember the ways I was then.
Even when everything is covered in white, and
up is down, and left is right, and
being over is through, I won’t
ever feel right when
a thing you have lost, a
part of yourself
once had, now
among the inscrutable white of
pages, notes, memories
forgotten, though nearly captured, only
surrounded by interminable
I am not exaggerating when I say that I have taken tens of thousands of photographs of Honey. As I go back through them, I am struck with a sadness. I thought it was a sadness of remembering. But I also felt like that didn’t seem right somehow. It didn’t explain why I didn’t necessarily want to look at those photos, yet. It seemed more complicated than that.
Here’s why: It wasn’t a sadness of remembering. It was a sadness of forgetting.
All these photographs I’ve taken of Honey have been to “preserve” something. A spirit. A feeling. And the sad, terrible — indeed “treacherous” — thing is that as I go about looking at these artifacts, they feel like they’re having the reverse effect. Instead of bringing those feelings back to me, I feel like they’re moving them further away. Instead of recreating those memories for me, I feel like they’re destroying them.
This is going to be a blog post. A blog post is what this will be. And it’s a shame, really. I do feel a little bad for it, the poor sod. It surely had much higher aspirations. No writing wants to be a blog post after all. No self-respecting assembly of letters, of words, of paragraphs, wants this to be its lot in life. In the hierarchy of writing formats, the blog post is by far the lowliest and loneliest. In the broad spectrum of epistolary ejaculation, this gasping, unflattering poste de blog, scrawled unceremoniously on bed sheets at three am, is by far the most bitter and heartbroken. It is the least virile. It is the most puerile. It is the most broken and hard-shipped with tragedy.
And yet, maybe that’s why we need it…
Let’s start with language. It all starts and ends there. Doesn’t it? In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (Of all the gospels, John is the most stylistic and literary. He’s one of my favorites in the entire work of literature known as Bible. He was definitely on to something.)
And yet, this language thing never works the way you feel it should. This language thing. This put. The thing you want to put is a feeling. The thing you want to put is a mood. The thing you want to put is a blast: Of happy. Or sad. Of some sort of impossible (and implausible) awareness you believe you had or upon which you may be on the cusp. (I am always on the cusp of an awareness.)
This thing you want to put is a dream.
This thing you want to put doesn’t exist.
I’ve got at least a dozen things I want to write. Presently, I am writing none of them. Unless you count this. But this isn’t so much a “thing I want to write” as a “thing I am writing.” The thing I am writing is almost never the thing I want to write.
You say you like the rough ones. Well this one is a rough one. I may have written this before. I may have written all of this before. I will certainly write it again.
There are always things I feel I should be cutting out. There are always things I am successfully cutting. There are other things I am successfully not cutting. There are things I wish I weren’t cutting, but which are being cut for me. Those are the worst things. Those are the distracting things.
I might be talking about writing here. Or I might be talking about happiness. Or despair. I might be talking about hope, or addiction, or sex. I really don’t know anymore.
The thing about a funk is: it has a way of perpetuating itself. Part of being in a funk is learning to identify said funk and calling that fucker what it is. Giving it a ridiculous name robs it of some of its funk power: Flooey Clown Funk. Fizzy Farm Funk. Ticklish Tiny Funk. Diaper Rash Funk. Brown Bag Boring Ass Funk.
Of all the dire situations going on in the world right now (the violence and strife in the Ukraine, the violence and strife in Gaza, the violence and strife inside and outside our very own doors, right here in towns and cities across America, the UK, Legoland) my non-writing condition is not one of them. It is not one of the dire situations. It is barely even “a situation.” Even on a small scale, even on the scale of my own personal life: of all the various conditions that have happened there-in, the situations that I might, in passing, refer to as “dire,” this current non-writing one is extremely low on the list.
This current condition is a commodity. All of our current conditions are commodities. And the going rate for each of them keeps dropping. Content is cheap. The world does not need writing. The world does not need my writing. And yet, I believe, most emphatically, that the world needs writing. And, by All Holy God, I believe it needs my writing. I have to. I have no choice but to believe that.
This twofold premise is…
Last night, I went to the open mic blues jam (OMBJ) near my house, which I’ve been known to frequent but which (lately) I’ve been frequenting with less and less of the frequentification. I blame herniated cervical discs and slow-melting ice and fucking cold weather. I blame complacency. I blame a touch of generalized malaise and acute SAT, or Social Avoidance Tendency. I know that none of this avoidance will lead to the doing of any good. None of this will bring me any sort of enlightenment. None of this will help me transcend the Big Fucking Here and Now. And so I’ve been actively seeking to move past it.
Adam, whose creative work ethic I admire, always gets himself to these OMBJs despite having a far busier life than I do. He is my role model in this regard. He is my musical cattle prod. (Hmm… this may sound kinkier than I mean for it to.) How about: He shames me with his seminal tenacity. (Yuck. Wtf?) Okay, look: he’s tireless in engaging in creative things. (Phew!)
I believe there’s also a social component that gets Adam to the OMBJs.
Before I left for OMBJ last night, I said to C: “I think Adam is more social than I am.”
C’s response was some form of: “Um… ya think?”
She’s good at zeroing in on realities that take me months to figure out. It’s one of the reasons I married her.
Here’s a reality…