Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Day They Arrested God

God Arrested For Loving Us

When the arrest came, the world rejoiced. The jailors of God marched red-faced with burning hearts. Yes, He may be God, but the good people of the earth knew a sinner when they saw one. The refusal to endorse any religion was enraging enough but when the Almighty refused to bless and join in their criminal enterprises, that proved to be too much for the dear hearts of this planet to bear. Trapped in a cage for all to see, a perpetual stream of mockers paraded past in triumph (though God never spoke a word):

The Angry White Male: "You done fucked up, boy! You might be some sort of big shot up there but down here we're in charge. You better get with program if ya wanna get out of that cage. We ain't lettin' you out just so's you can go around and wreck everything we done built! You outta your goddam mind? I don't wanna hear no crap like there ain't no point livin' if ya gotta live like a criminal. Cuz ain't nobody livin' here otherwise!"

Proclaimed Pillar of the Community: "I can see now why you insist on coddling and extolling the criminal, revealing yourself as destroyer of the god-fearing blackmail on which our society is based. We do not merely make copies of hearts when we build prisons. We institute them to keep order and to preserve all we deem good. Those who violate that trust must be punished severely and you, sir, have done exactly that. If you would adopt our values you would not suffer!"

The Sour Slave, who sold his life: "Do you see what it's like to live at the mercy of these monsters? DO SOMETHING, goddamit! Does your letting them get away with this mean they are right? Or is making us live at the mercy of one another supposed to teach us responsibility? One thing you never thought of: What if nobody learns?"

The Horny Spinster: "Oh my God, he has a boner! I can't believe this! That's so disgusting! Even god is just a dog."

Hearing this news, many Teenage Mutant Boys clawed their way to the front. "Beat it motherfucker! See what it feels like!" "Try a little self-abuse and see how much fun that is." "Yeah, go ahead, rape yourself. Got no choice now!" "More than one kind of prison isn't there?"

The Unjust Judge: "Justice? Don't complain to me about justice! Justice is whatever we say should happen to you. So I don't want to hear one damn word out of you! And if I do you'll have to live ALL my hell!"

The Trapped Toiler: "Where's your job, dude? You need a fucking job. No one's got the right to live without a fucking job. Do you understand me? No one! So memorize this phone book and pretend like it means something if you plan on eating. And if you don't feel like it or if you gotta be all fulfilled and crap let me set you straight: There's no bigger crime on the face of the earth than wanting to live. Got that? Good! Now die so that you may live."

The Holy Hypocrite: "Do you know how to tell the good man from the bad man? The bad man is in jail. You're in there for a reason, sir. Perhaps it can be said even god needs to learn a lesson at some point in time. I will certainly pray that you do come to your senses and realize you brought this all on yourself. My ability to stand out here and chastise you stems from the fact I have holiness while you basically walk around treating people like a pretentious prick. No wonder you're not speaking anymore. Best to keep your mouth shut."

But no no one hated God like the Person Possessed: "It's just live life your way or go off and fucking die, isn't it? There's just no possibility anybody else could be right or that somehow you don't know every goddam thing there is to know. Just no other fucking way, IS THERE - YOU FUCKING ASSHOLE! God, I wish I could kill you! Everybody just has to have your precious shit-ass money or they can watch their child die in their arms!! I HATE YOU! Do you fucking hear me?? I hate you and I'm going to keep on hating you until the end of time. Just when is it we get to hurt you like you hurt us? When does love start?"

(Somewhere a homeless man laughed: "The monsters are showing their true colors now!")

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Patriotic Billboard

Greatest man alive!

Greatest President Ever!

Having posted my billboard here in Dallas, many came to wonder about and even suspect my motives. I finally agreed to an interview with a redneck radio DJ on a sports station that pretends not take itself too seriously but if you look hard enough you find that oftentimes they do. So it was funny to see his facade fade away when the reality of his burning opinions came to light.

Redneck Radio Guy: We've all seen this billboard you posted on our President and while it seems as if you're lauding him some people wonder if in fact it's a specious statement and a statement of sarcasm.

Harry Homeless: It is what it is.

RRG: OK, meaning what? Each person can take it however he likes?

HH: Why not?

RRG: That's fine but how do you see it? Is this some sort of backhanded way of giving our President the bird?

HH: If I died tomorrow would the meaning of the sign change? It's not my job to do other people's thinking for them. That's not what you're asking for is it?

RRG: Well, let me ask you this: Are you a supporter of our President?

HH: Of course I'm a supporter. I support everyone. Even Bin Laden.

RRG: [pause] I'm not sure I exactly understand that. So you support a guy who wants to destroy America. Someone who kills innocent women and children. You support someone like that?

HH: Sure I do. Like I said I support everyone. So do you.

RRG: Thank you, sir, but I'm a patriot! I don't want to see this country destroyed and as far as I'm concerned that S.O.B. can hang from the highest tree.

HH: Let me put it to you see this way: Give me your list of whose souls you don't want to see saved.

RRG: [pause] Well, of course, I'd like to see everyone's soul saved. Doesn't mean I want to see mass murderers going free.

HH: If you want Bin Laden souls saved then you are his supporter. I mean, what greater form of support can there be than saving a person's soul?

RRG: Right, but that doesn't mean you have to support everything they do.

HH: I agree totally - and remember you said that: that you can support someone without supporting everything they do.

RRG: So you don't agree with everything our President has done during this time of war?

HH: Of course not. I don't agree with everything I do much less anybody else. There's Jesus and then there's everybody else.

Radio Sidekick: [butting in] Wait a minute. Explain to me why you don't agree with everything you do. That's like saying you don't have freedom of choice or something. You can always do the right thing so I hope that you would agree with your own choices.

HH: Tell me why anyone sins.

RRG: What exact things are you saying you don't agree with that our President has done?

HH: I think where the confusion lies is in the definition of support. I can give you an example but you'll have to realize I'm speaking completely hypothetically and not trying to relate this back to any specific person or thing. I just want to make a point.

RRG: OK, shoot.

HH: Suppose you had friend who's a drug addict. In order to save him he has to admit there's a problem. But in the addict's eyes, those who tell him there is no problem are his supporters and those who tell him he has a problem are his enemies. So I ask you, who are his true supporters?

RRG: So you're calling the President a drug addict!

HH: Thanks for ignoring what I said about this being hypothetical.

RRG: Then what's your point then? Just go around criticizing everybody like you know everything?

HH: No, that's your job. My point is that if you view this President as a war criminal then to praise him is to condemn him and to criticize him is to save him.

RRG: Who are you to decide our President is a war criminal?

HH: Who are you to decide he's not? I make no decision. I simply seek out honest answers on where people stand. If you're telling me you disagree with my sign then fine. It's obvious then that you do not support the President.

RRG: I completely support our President, especially in a time of war, sir. Doesn't mean I have to think he's the greatest ever.

HH: Great! That's all I wanted to hear. I'll put you down as one of those who disagrees with my sign. Thanks a lot and remember: people love lists!

RRG: Hey now! I didn't mean it like that! Take me off that list! I love the President! I love my Daddy!!!

P.S. In the interest of presenting both sides, I offer this:

War Criminal!

Greatest Traitor In History!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tears of a Free Man

In days of prison
When iron ruled,
T'was all the same
If true or if fooled.

One wrong move
The Man will shoot,
The zombie mind
Renders good men moot.

But swing wide open
Did freedom's gate,
No visible chains
Except for my hate.

In fighting iron
I was a scholar,
Yet dead man's skills
Will pay no dollar.

I live the rage
Of my injustice,
I rejected love
To feel what lust is.

Wilderness dry
This free man roams;
Crying for love,
My body moans.

In bondage of man
I knew what to fight,
Walking free streets
Feet sink in my plight.

Good people asking:
For what is my time,
Having no purpose
They see as divine.

I plead to the heavens
Outstretching my arms,
Silence rebukes me
For previous harms.

For what is a salt
That has lost its season?
And what is a life
When stripped of reason?

Alone in the night
I wait for the dawn,
But the meaning of life
Is just a big con.

Morning's light
For me never comes,
The answers I try
Are never the ones.

They tell me I'm free
I can do as I wish,
But shut your damn mouth
And wash the damn dish.

Confusion is king
When wishing to live;
For living is dying
With nothing to give.

I fret in darkness
My sentence not done,
Freedom's not free
With love for no one.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Paranoia Will Destroy Ya

"One thing you can't hide, is when you're crippled inside."

I just had to be around people.

I woke from another bad dream with that sinking, end-of-the-world feeling. And in my little corner of the universe the winds blew only cold. In these moments I see no reason. But without the convenience of a timely death I decided to wash away the stench of despair. The only place with life this time of night is a QuikTrip down the road. I huddled in an inconspicuous spot along the periphery and absorbed the vicarious energy from afar. "Not too close, Harry, or they'll run you off!"

"King and Queens and guillotines, taking lives tonight.
"Screams of no reply."

In the shadows I reflected on my latest nightmare. Back in the room I grew up in where no one could know me, the radio played a sad ballad speaking my inner soul. It's funny when I see an authoritarian government mandating only displays of happiness - reminds me exactly of our household. I wanted to leave but there was no way I could open the door to my room with that song revealing my feelings. The radio knob fought me as I tried to shut it off. Familiar feelings of frustration and fury choked me in my struggle. I'd never be able to go if I couldn't silence that song! Finally I got it shut off, the panic passed and I was free to enter the ever-present despair waiting for me. "Quiet, Harry, or they'll know."

"I am the Lizard King. I can't do anything."

After Debby moved away my freefall got so out of hand my father ended up sending the cops over to my place. Knowing they were on their way, my only thought was to destroy the most incriminating piece of evidence. No way can they see this or the full weight of the law would come down on me. So I very carefully tore up my one picture of Debby and flushed it down the toilet. No, sir, no evidence of any feelings here. The cops left empty handed. "Whew! Close one, Harry."

"Love hurts, love scars, love wounds, and marks."

It was years before I realized I destroyed that picture for no reason. Things destroyed for stupid reasons is a theme for me. Meeting Debby forced me to face up to the fact I was completely unprepared and unable to have the kind of relationship I wanted. A murderous rage surged through me when hit me. I dearly wanted to kill my "parents". They had cheated me. I had cheated me. My name was not be written in the Book of Life.

"Close the door, put out the light. Nobody will be home tonight.
There is No Quarter."

I think I know what triggered this dream. In the losing war against boredom I picked a used Japanese novel written just after WWII. A couple of passages really got to me, throwing cold water on these drunken days of mine:

"In the manic phase, Kenzo would feel on top of the world, as if he were already a full-fledged medical doctor, a Ph.D., and the member of the faculty of a prestigious medical school. When he was depressed, though, he became convinced his talents were mediocre, his existence worthless, and his dissertation a total waste of time. The wisest thing, he would think at these emotional low tides, would be to throw himself under a train, because there was nothing for him to contribute, and no place in the world where he could ever feel at home."

"Not just criminals, but martyrs and celibates too; what they all have in common is deep feelings of guilt."

Oh shit, here come some useless teenagers. If they see me writing my feelings in this pad they’ll kill me. I’ve got to run.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Fearlessly Facing Facts

The warlord was crafty. Racing back to his castle with his retreating remnants, thoughts of ultimate failure fed his mind for the first time. The time was now and the winds of change were blowing across the country. Never before and never again would Japan be so wide open. Rules were for fools and fortune favored men of vision. But had he suddenly gone blind?

For a man who risks everything, one bad decision can wipe out all previous success. "Have I been too bold? Was I more interested in glory than winning? Is this feeling of destiny just an illusion after all?" The warlord had known setbacks - that was to be expected - but never defeat. As the dying rays of the day silhouetted the fleeing riders, this warrior knew he'd reached a point of no return.

Once inside the castle, he threw off his armor and cleared his mind. The choice was obvious: he must face the fact if this was the time to die or the time to live. His pursuers were too many to ward off even with the aid of the castle walls. But the crafty warlord knew the mind as well as the sword was a lethal weapon. With the authority of a prophet, he ordered his men to halt the closing of the castle and to open wide all gates. On the road to the castle, bonfires were to be lit to show the way in. Let us welcome our enemy, let us invite him in.

Horses reared in surprise at the sight of guiding fires leading to the castle's lowered drawbridge. Though victorious in the day's battle, the samurai were far from the main body of troops and they were suspicious of a trap, for the wiles of the warlord they chased were well known. No, they decided, they would not be so stupid as to fall for so obvious a stunt. Wiser, instead, to regroup and cut his head off another day.

But they never did.

This is the true story of Tokugawa Ieyasu as he retreated from the advancing Takeda forces. He had lost all but his wits but his wits were enough. He would survive that day to eventually become the supreme ruler of a newly united Japan. He became Shogun. For 250 years afterwards his descendants ruled the country - a legacy built on fearlessly facing facts.

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Looking Glass Lies

Both men paused before passing through the subway doors. Looking up and down and back again at one another each man saw his image reflected in the other. Same suit, same briefcase, same shoes, same hair - same everything! Were they long lost brothers found at last?

"This is freaky!" observed the first.

"Very freaky!" confirmed the second.

And even more was confirmed as they conversed. They both owned the same model of laptop ("This model is a bargain!" "I know!"), liked many of the same restaurants and even held the same job title: programmer/analyst. How could two strangers be so exactly alike?

"Doing a good job," emphatically spoke the first, "is about doing things right. No ego or politics or time wasting bureaucracy to get in the way. Do the job right - focus on that - and everything else will work out fine."

"Man, you're not kidding. It's about thinking - using your head. Do what's best for the situation regardless of any sort of preconceptions. It's all about the bottom line."

Looking eye to eye, viewpoints were expounded eye to eye. But an artificial world breeds artifical men and the looking glass can lie.

The first man was flying high. "Man, I love my job. It's a great feeling being useful, knowing what you do makes life better for others. Every morning I have a reason to get out of bed."

The second man was a dying sigh. "Every morning I have a reason to die. I'm suffocating with this shit. My life just slowly has all meaning stripped away from it..."

"Wow, that's brutal. You need a new job!"

"I need no job. They're all the same: death."

"That's a heavy load to carry. Maybe things will take a turn for the better."

"You can show me how to not need a job in this world? No, things are what they are and lying about it only makes it worse. The hands of the world are bloody and its eyes are blind with rage."

"Ya gotta have faith, man. My wife, my family - they mean the world to me."

"I spend all my spare time recovering from work. I am the Lizard King - my feet can never touch the earth or I'll be scorched to a cinder."

"But you seem so successful!"

"Who knows who I am. I'm just not this facade you see. While in this hell, I'll do my best to make it work because that is the law of men. But it's a fool's gold - there's no love in it. I'm just very, very tired."

No love means no future. With nothing left to say, the Flying Man and the Dying Man now peered upon one another as total opposites. As the subway doors opened, each wished the other luck and with an obliging blind eye pretended the conversation had never happened.

Time is the mortal enemy of all things artificial. Flying Man thrived and raised his children strong. Dying Man shrank in hollow hopelessness, a chained man. Like intersecting bullets, as time passed so showed their separate paths. The Flying Man lived forever and the Dying Man died long before his body. And yet they lived in a world that knew each only for his labors.

It's not the work that's important - God needs no field tilled. It's only what it does for your soul that counts. A world of sick souls has no choice but to implode - but I hear they're going to pass a law against that.