Saturday, May 31, 2014

Running Home To Mother


So what do you do when you're 47, alone, and living with your parents? Where is life's promise then? How can there be hope on this sinking ship of a planet? Days of illusion's future passed had gone with the wind. The one thing she most fought against in her life had happened: she'd been exposed.

She had clung to her lies as long as possible. The price for that had meant losing everything dear to her. No more fancy house or social status or high praise for a life well spent. No, she had simply spent her treasure on fool's gold only to become the laughingstock of the world. Though it was little to no comfort, her last refuge was that the world itself is a laughingstock.

Allegedly, she was working on her soul. She threw herself into earthly duties of the church, hoping to add dignity to her despair. Some still thought there was hope for her marriage and she was forced to smile in false agreement. Like a soldier returning from a lost war, she came home with no allies, no one willing to listen to the truth. She was pretending while her life was ending. Secretly, she had known this day would come.

But having now arrived, what then? Who could possible want her? Her looks had faded, her soul was jaded, her life debated and her charms traded. Like every dishonest life, time had run out. It was like living off a trust fund, never bothering to get a job. Then one day the money runs out with no job skills to speak of and there you are, middle aged and living at home. It had been years since she had been able to look herself in the mirror.

Joy and beauty of youth forever lost

The old structure was gone. She had deeply prided herself on "being there" for her children. It was the Great Noble Excuse for ignoring her own life. The youngest a sophomore in college, she found herself a cause without a purpose. Stripped of this huge chunk of claimed morality crushed her with guilt. She was too crippled to be there for anyone now. If anything did happen she'd be labeled a selfish monster in her incapacitated state.

She needed a distraction, turning on the morning radio. Some men were giggling over a tragic news event of a man's self-destructive dog day afternoon. "Hahaha! Think he wants a do-over on that day? Hahaha!" She flipped it back off. She knew who they were laughing at.

Every morning was the same, drowning in waves of agony. Every life of crime is followed by a sentencing. Why did she wait until the last drop of her life was gone before leaving? Fool! Idiot! She knew self-chastisement wouldn't make things better. She did it anyway. She replayed once more the chances spurned to have taken a way out. Instead, she chose to stick by the "morality" of her marriage, insisting she walked the true path in life. What would those vanished voices say of her now?

She cringed. Her determined grasping for the things in life to make sure life didn't pass her by had, in fact, made life pass her by.

Like a blinded, hamstrung creature she crawled lost through the woods. She scoured the news looking for a misbegotten creature lower then herself so she could get on her hind legs and point, "That is not me!" In the end, that brought no comfort in a world unbeholden to her survival, disinterested in her problems and uninterested in her soul. One by one, fools like her were being picked off in a universe devoid of mercy or understanding.


The worst of the hounds from hell, the beast before which all heroes withered and no man could slay was the Money Monster. In humiliating desperation she played the lottery for the first time in her life. With money like that she could move out on her own, reclaiming a sense of self-respect, ending the intolerable exposure her current dependency caused. For this she could see no possible solution. The world she had left so many years ago had turned far more brutal in her absence. She could not help but be swallowed by the gaping mouth of hell opening before her.

The story of a soldier's suicide caught her eye. She stole away to read every last word, intrigued by his odyssey. He was both deceiver and deceived. He'd lost his right leg and that loss could never be replaced. She certainly knew the feeling! Like her, he could never hide his embarrassment over what he'd done to his life. He'd jogged with the President responsible for abusing him, embracing the lie, selling the idea he'd "overcome".

That's where she was too, in her "get thee to a nunnery" phase. She knew she was finished yet she couldn't resist doubling down to remake her failure into a success story as she was supposedly remaking her life. She understood completely the deepening isolation the soldier's lies caused. She could have honestly looked him in the eye and told him he did not have to lie to her. She already knew the goddam truth.


But no one had done that, leaving only a family to profess their confusion at suicide's tragedy when "things were going so well." A small smirk in the corner of her mouth formed as she read that. He'd been unable to break free of the cycle of deception - and his family didn't want to know any better. She knew he must have felt the same as she: no way out.

This, somehow, gave her a trace of comfort. Thank God this family shared their story, saving her from feeling so alone. Hers was not the only life so foolishly wasted. Part of her felt she could have saved that soldier's life. Just by letting him speak freely and honestly, the light would creep back in. She would tell him how she needed him as much he needed her. Could she find that connection in real life?

The house cat suddenly meowed at the inattentive staff member. She looked down from the computer chair in which she sat and the feline construed that as an invitation to jump into her lamp and start purring. "You don't want me to die, do you?" The cat narrowed her eyes in confirmation. "If so, you're the only being on this earth who does." That included herself.


Monday, May 26, 2014

"Welcome Back From The War, N*gger!" (Memorial Day Love)

"I can't believe I have sex with a loser."

I read a book recently on the origins of NASCAR. The author painted a picture of a still defeated South in the pre-WWII era. The "massa" race had been crushed by their most hated enemies - right in front of the negro captives. How would these white men ever be able to look in the mirror again? The black man knew their sins - he had lived them.

But screaming Jesus a thousand times a day won't bring you any closer to God. Only repentance can do that. For the most part I have not seen a formal apology issued so healing can begin. How many are still fighting a war long lost? Oh, the eternal shame.

But now imagine that you as a southern white did not participate in WWII, the greatest struggle for freedom in history. And upon the war's end a uniformed black man stands in your presence. This man has seen the world and found himself. After all the years of being called "inferior" he has found the truth halfway across the world. It's broken down whitey who's got nothing to show for himself.


The incident below concerning Sergeant Isaac Woodard was one I first came across watching a civil rights documentary. After fighting the forces of oppression I thought we'd be more enlightened. Time to put the past behind us. Southern hate is nothing new to me. Having hippie hair and a functioning brain has not endeared me to my southern brethren. But goddam, how insecure can you be?

Isaac Woodard, Jr., (March 18, 1919 – September 23, 1992) was an African American World War II veteran who was attacked by South Carolina police in 1946, while still in uniform, hours after being honorably discharged from the United States Army. His attack and injuries sparked national outrage and galvanized the civil rights movement in the United States.
The attack by South Carolina police left Woodard completely and permanently blind. Due to the state of South Carolina's reluctance to pursue the case, President Harry S. Truman ordered a federal investigation. The sheriff was indicted and went to trial in federal court in South Carolina, where he was acquitted by an all-white jury.

A Nazi atrocity right here on American soil committed in broad daylight. What was the war for? What is any war for? What about the ideals of freedom and equality? Was it all just empty words, lip service to a myth? Was it not obvious that the civil rights struggle of post WWII America was a continuation of the struggle for freedom?

On February 12, 1946, U.S. Army Sergeant Isaac Woodard Jr. was on a Greyhound Lines bus traveling from Camp Gordon in Augusta, Georgia, where he was "mustered out" en route to rejoin his family in North Carolina. When the bus reached a rest stop just outside of Augusta, Woodard asked the bus driver if there was time for him to use a restroom. The driver grudgingly acceded to the request after an argument with Woodard. After Woodard returned to his seat from the rest stop without incident, the bus departed.
The bus stopped in Batesburg near Aiken. Though Woodard did not protest, the driver contacted the local police, who forcibly removed Woodard from the bus. After demanding to see his discharge papers, a group of police officers, including the chief of police, took him to a nearby alleyway, where they beat him repeatedly with nightsticks. They took Woodard to the town jail and arrested him for disorderly conduct, accusing him of drinking beer in the back of the bus with other soldiers.
During the course of the night in jail, the police chief beat and blinded Woodard. Woodard also suffered partial amnesia as a result of his injuries.
In his court testimony, Woodard stated that he was punched in the eyes by police several times on the way to the jail, and later repeatedly jabbed in his eyes with a billy club. Newspaper accounts indicate that Woodard's eyes had been "gouged out"; historical documents indicate that each globe was ruptured irreparably in the socket.
The following morning, the police sent Woodard before the local judge, who found him guilty and fined him fifty dollars. The soldier requested medical assistance, but it took two days for a doctor to be sent to him. Not knowing where he was and still suffering from amnesia, Woodard ended up in a hospital in Aiken, South Carolina, receiving substandard medical care.


This was not some anomalous event. Whites felt more threatened than ever by returning blacks who had a new sense of self. For Southern whites - who need blacks' approval and love more than anyone - this was their worst nightmare. In their minds they would lose everything: family, friends and fealty from their own. Fear ravaged their minds just as it had the Germans, oppressors terrified of being exposed as losers. Of course, what they did not realize is that's the only reason why one would oppress in the first place.

In Alabama, when a black veteran removed the Jim Crow sign on a trolley, an angry streetcar conductor unloaded his pistol into the ex-Marine. The Chief of Police found him staggering away and administered a single bullet to his head, finishing the job.

In South Carolina, another veteran complaining about Jim Crow transportation had his eyes gouged out with the butt of the sheriff’s billy club.
In Louisiana, a black veteran who defiantly refused to give a white man a war memento was dismembered, castrated, and blow-torched.
In Monroe, Georgia, two black men (one a veteran who did not show proper obeisance and the other accused of flirting with a white woman) and their wives were surrounded by a lynch mob of over thirty who tied the victims to trees and then fired close-range into their faces. One of the men was also castrated. One of the women had her spine severed by force of the sixty bullets that entered her body. The other woman was seven months pregnant.

America's liberals have been its saving grace. From our founding fathers taking the first steps towards democracy (those who complain it was not a complete utter shift to 20th century democracy are ignorant) to the last few remaining civil rights fighters left today, by this very thread we have survived. We still want to be seen as freedom fighters - as long as it's in other people's countries. But how can you fight for that abroad and not do it here?

Are we as brave and enlightened as we believe ourselves to be? Today we have the unthinkable of forty years ago: a black President. But this president has done more to roll back civil liberties than any other in history. Is this moving forwards or backwards? Also, more has been done to institutionalize the prison of poverty in the 21st century than in any other time in our history. I thought equality is what we're shooting Middle Easterners for.


Truth is, we're all niggers now. We've gotten past the overt violence of the fifties and sixties and moved on to the only color that counts: green. We're so busy congratulating ourselves for moving passed daylight eye gouging that we've turned a blind eye to the greatest (and growing) discrimination of all: a lack of money. But unlike in the past, there is no movement to rectify this.

Until we have a universal living wage, we are not fighting for freedom. Until we stop electing the whores among us to positions of power, we are not fighting for justice. Until we stop serving the idol of money we are not fighting for equality. We love our American myth and salute those who die for it. But can someone tell me the point of serving or dying for a myth? The only enemy left to us is in the mirror.


Saturday, May 24, 2014

Take Me Down To Harry's Farm (Photo Essay)

Nights9

Harry, Harry
Lame and cripple!
Bending his head
To drink his ripple!


Nights1

It's just another Saturday fright
The girls and dresses are fitting tight
Neon flashing in their eyes so bright


Nights3

Harry, Harry
Got a brand new shirt!
Only took a day
'fore covered in dirt!


Nights12

Daredevil legs are skirted blue
I still remember the smile I knew
Time for another sniff of the glue


Nights11

Harry, Harry
Never plays his part!
On his new shirt
Writes 'smell me fart!'


Nights8

Muscle man bars the party door
"Don't take tramps unless you're a whore"
Young girl asks me, "What is it for?"


Nights2

Harry, Harry
Takes his midnight ride!
Brought his surfboard with
No place to glide!


Nights7

I had a laugh with a simile
Cut by a sharp tongued Emily
Back to the streets I gotta flee


Nights19


Harry, Harry
He just ran away!
Smoking hot babes
Thinkin' he's gay!



Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Texas Teen Faces Life For...Pot Brownies??

Guess I'll have to watch what I say when I remark, 
"These are so good they ought to be illegal!"

"A Texas teenager is facing five years to life in prison for allegedly baking and selling pot brownies."


Yes, you read that correctly. Somewhere Judge Roy Bean is smiling at the continuing injustice of Texas justice. This is the kind of thing that happens when the state believes it's incapable of committing criminal acts and that a legal system equates to a justice system. Anything goes, regard for life crushed under the wheels of blind hypocrisy - hypocrisy that many feel must be protected at all costs.

Gee, wonder why anyone would feel that way?

The kid is from Round Rock which is a tony suburb north of Austin - which is good for his case. If he were black and from the ghetto sympathy would come only from hardcore liberals like the ACLU. But for this to happen to a life that "counts", oh how the outrage flows! Someone needs to send me the handbook listing lives who count and those who don't. I keep forgetting which ones we can waste - and kill at will.

Obviously, there had to be some sort of rigging in the system for this to occur.

Jacob Lavoro, a 19-year-old from Round Rock, Texas, was charged with a first degree felony because he used hash oil instead of marijuana, allowing the state to weigh the brownies as a whole — including the sugar, cocoa, butter and other ingredients — to calculate the weight of the drugs.

Police searched Lavoro's apartment, where they allegedly found 660 grams — or 1.45 pounds — of baked goods (six bags of cookies, nine bags of brownies) along with 16 ounces of marijuana and $1,675 in cash.

"I’ve been doing this 22 years as a lawyer and I’ve got 10 years as a police officer and I’ve never seen anything like this before,” Jack Holmes, Lavoro’s attorney, told KHON-TV. “They’ve weighed baked goods in this case. It ought to be a misdemeanor."


Conservative principles in action!

Felony charges - much less convictions - are fun! Between a $30,000 bail and retainer costs for a lawyer the kid is already out several thousand dollars. And of course a conviction means he's a marginal citizen for life. There's more money for everyone dealing with a felony, not to mention the resume padding, so why not screw the kid over?

Of course, we didn't reach this position by accident. Took a lot of bright thinkers to get us to this point. The boy's father's outrage is especially precious.

The teen's father, Joe Lavoro, called the possibility of his son spending life behind bars for a hash brownie recipe “outrageous."

"Five years to life? I'm sorry, I'm a law abiding citizen. I'm a conservative. I love my country. I'm a Vietnam veteran, but I'll be damned," Lavoro said. "This is illogical. I'm really upset, and I'm frightened, I'm frightened for my son."

Well, Mr. Goofball Conservative, guess who hell the made these laws? Guess who's enforcing them to these absurd lengths? Your fellow conservatives, that's who, you freaking moron! You should be applauding this tough on crime stance! "Zero tolerance! Zero thought!" Now he wants to be all touchy-feely liberal and considerate of life. Got to be hard or there will be anarchy!

Putting sociopaths in positions of power can only lead to tragedy. And I bet daddy here won't have one whit of a problem with this law if he can get the charge knocked down to a misdemeanor. He'll go back to rationalizing that people get what they deserve from our legal system and he'll be kissing conservative ass like the fine American whore he brags to be. Or to put it another way, don't complain when your buddies get blown away after you put Victor Charley in charge.

ALL conservatives suck

But this situation is not unique. Wonder how much conservative outrage there was over these cases:

Life Sentence For Marijuana: A Look At People Serving Harsh Sentences For Pot Crimes

Want to be a great American? Stop supporting predatory practices that tear society apart. "Don't let injustice happen to me and mine" is not the same as "Don't let injustice happen to anyone." Don't come crying to me when the chickens so very predictably come home to roost. If you want to be tough on crime and criminals first try facing the one in the mirror.


Monday, May 19, 2014

God Is Dead. Now You're Free.

When I woke my heart was pounding and my blood racing..."I can't take it! I can't take it anymore!"...they're going to get me, just a matter of time...I had no money god...they hound you to hell if you have not their god...I grabbed a gun and put a bandana over my face....crazy out of my mind, I must rob the bank...what kind of person does that make me?...who will understand?..they'll say it's me, it's always me...but at the bank there's a line into the street...everyone has a gun and a bandana waiting to hold it up...but the money is already gone...too late i do what i want!...so I run into the dark woods...there I hope to find god...and shoot him...then I heard someone say from over the hill..."Boom, god is dead. Now you're free"...so I don't have to worry about being a robber...but my needs were still unmet..then I came to a lake...a girl with many colored hair bathed nude in the center...with no god to fear now I pointed my gun and told her to let me have her...but she just kept bathing, staring at me...then I talked to her and told her of my woes...she turned her back on me, breaking mine...as i crawled off I heard her say, "The more you speak the more I hate you."...then I realized I didn't do what I wanted again...the fear still chasing, winning...the dark woods swallowed me, my heart still racing pounding...god come back!...I found a field of light and lay there in love...
finally the words came to me for the girl on the lake...I sent them to her...and she replied!...but I mistook them as words of hate and kept running...titans of the forest darkened the sky in many colored awe...beneath them little people like me underfoot, pushing them up..."Higher! Higher!" demanded the titans...the higher they went the more it took to keep them there, many dying from the strain..."Why do you obey?" I asked..."To prove my worth! I must be a good person. I must! I must!"...but I told him god was dead and he was free...yet still he pushed on..."There can be no good news. No, never, never"...then I realized that was my same reaction to the response from the girl in the lake...oh tragedy! Tragedy!...but to go back was like the bank...too late...I can't keep running...the coward scrambles like a mad ant with no direction home...a pack of rabid hyenas found me...they laughed in self-deceit, not noticing their own horror of it..."We love you! We love you!"...for them love was a license to kill...where do I have left to go?...i start coughing on the run...the girl was my last chance...
what remnants of me are left?...once exposed to the hyenas, they never stop chasing for life..."To kill for love is the greatest pleasure!"...no way forwards, no way backwards...one stumble, i'm dead...is this fear, fate or fucking?...but still a scorned village of light ahead..."Come to us and be safe!"...i told them i want to but could not...dare i let them see me a robber and a rejecter of love, the lowest of all creatures?...in the dark woods a thousand predators' eyes...in the light forever infamy...only running keeps me from both...i close my eyes in diminishing death...rest, where are you??...then my drooping eyes burst open as i almost run into a tree...i can still hear the hyenas...with or without a god i've no place to go...into madness i wither...

Sunday, May 18, 2014

The False Face


There are two groups of people: those who question and those who do not. 
But both groups believe its trait is what makes it the moral one.



"So what about the Truth and Justice crowd? How can we keep cramming war, wealth transfer and woe down everyone's throats in perpetuity without them calling us out?"

The room was not smoky nor stuck in the back nor hidden in any way. It was, in fact, overlooking the streets from a sky high perch, touched only by low hanging clouds. The men did not smoke cigars and use crude language while laughing evilly but rather were well manicured, sipping processed water with the utmost of decorum. Smooth, polished and political - the devil's effective new face.

"I wouldn't worry about them. We can marginalize them as hysterics without lives trying to ruin life for the rest of us."

"I agree. Besides, what kind of commitment do they really have? It's been my experience most want justice only when it's convenient or they can be bought off with phony political power. Give them their head and they'll pass away."

"I'm sorry, but I do not agree we can take that approach this time. We need to convert them to our cause. Blatant warmongering and social theft has given them a new credibility. If reforms were actually implemented and then found to make life better our way of life would be threatened in the extreme."


"What's to be done then? Things must continue as they are or we're all going to be working on the streets down below and I for one will never stand to be put in that position, not on your life. I don't care who has to die."

Each of the men looked at the others in knowing glances. They knew what it meant to live at the mercy of men like them. Let the self-deceived, the fools, and the willfully ignorant muddle along in hopelessness while others pulled the strings of their lives stripped of all meaning. They knew: once having tasted a life of true self-determination there's no going back. It's rule or die.

Finally, the chairman of the board spoke. "Basically, we know on the whole people are corrupt. That is our one saving grace. But they cannot stand to be perceived as unjust. What we need is a false face. With that we can divide the Truth and Justice crowd, pitting them against one another."

"Brilliant! God help me, I do love politics! It's the greatest vehicle for violence man has ever known. It's the only place where a lie has a home."

The chairman resumed. "People fear change more than injustice. A false face will arise from their crowd self-deceived into believing itself to be the face of justice and that, my friends, will be our savior. Who can touch us then? Love will have its day - but not in our lives."

Hell's new face gave fresh credence to the nightmares of the day. False reform gave comfort to the false moralists. The empowered continued to draw from the weak. Hope was but a myth and slogan to be sold. Those who questioned the myth were shouted down by those who accepted it. "Unbearable" wars became "just" wars. Refilling the coffers of the greedy deemed "pragmatic". Gullibility perverted from sin to virtue.


As the chairman had predicted, a divide formed on those claiming to be on the side of truth and justice.

"I do so love the new face and I for one am grateful for the hope and change he has brought us! He is a man full of grace and wisdom and charm. We are the better for him and we who are truly in touch with reality know this."

"But it's a charade! The greedy still make the rules, the war machine rolls on and the corporate chains are stronger than ever. Only difference now is you don't give the suffering a voice because your closed mind insists that everything is fine."

"You just don't want to admit the truth! Truth and justice must be compromised. If the new face puts chains on us then that must be what's best. The time for questioning is over. Our side must win. We are Jesus!"

"That's what the other side says too. But nobody wins unless justice wins. You're just being used, played as 'useful idiots'."

"Great! I always wanted to be useful!"

The accusations were ceaseless, the men on the thirtieth floor laughing in delight.

"Our false face has exceeded all expectations. A murderer with a peace prize! Who dare hope for this scale of glorious duplicity? Have you seen the fools fawning over window dressings of "change"? Why were we ever worried? No man sees himself as a villain. They can't see our true faces without first seeing their own. We are safe."


Saturday, May 10, 2014

Wasted Time


"War. It's the only thing that has meaning. Those who live under the illusion of peace live at the mercy of we who wage war. We are the gods of the world. Hell is the true reality we face. Love is just to help you fight harder.

"You are a machine, a forged tool to be used. Fat cats who live in castles in the sky will profit from your blood. Those who sent you will claim the glory even as they pin you with the medal. Civilians will call even your greatest acts of evil godly in order to keep the blood off their hands. That's how our lives have more purpose than any other.

"You are treated as you deserve. What do you do with a can after you've finished your drink? You throw it away. You're only useful as long as you can fight. To take part in the Great Struggle of mankind is the highest of honors. War is life, peace is just waiting. Cowardice is in the soul. Death to the soul."

There are dangers to being a smart ass. It really stings to find out you've pigeonholed someone wrongly. When Kolovsky, aka "The General", handed this to me my heart was pounding. To be called over to have a look at someone's written word was an unusual event. Plus, I could feel this was intended for me. I'd always called Kolovsky "The General" but I'd been gentle knowing his Vietnam wounds may be hidden and my anti-war agenda salt in those very same wounds.


Might first thought was to deflect. Technically that should be "us who wage war". But I swallowed that cop out and prayed to God I wasn't about to be laid into for my outspoken opinions.

"That's really good. Hard words. I like the honesty, it's very refreshing. I certainly won't say I represent the norm but I find this uplifting and even a bit horrifying."

"I was hoping you would say that." Shit! "I guess you could say I was channeling my inner Harry, making my own general speak." Oh, wait. I think he's complimenting me.

"Sounds very Patton-esque, only more bent. I like how it ends because I could see the rah-rah crowd buying into it until that point but then have to realize where their passions lead them."

"Exactly. All these years these clouds of fog been floating in my brain, never really forming. When I heard you talking about that "Dirty Wars" film it got me to thinking. It was easier for me to condemn a war I hadn't been in but after I wrote this I realized I was talking about all wars."

"So why now? Why all the sudden?"

"I'm a lot closer to the end than the beginning. I don't want to die with this buzzing in my head. I've seen you blogging and thought maybe it could work for me."

"That's awesome! You going to put this online?"

"No. I think that would only stir things up all over again. People get locked in and they don't care what you say right or wrong. I'm too old and too tired for that. But I did get excited after writing it. Is this how you feel after you blog?"

"Sometimes." I was cryptic on my own pain.

"Well, can't say I'll do any more. Been a very long time since I felt a sense of direction. I came back in '74. Hard to believe it's been forty years...took me this long to find my voice. That's a lot of wasted time."

"Sometimes," I replied off the cuff hoping I wasn't full of shit, "you have to breathe a deep breath before you can sing the high note."

"That's a good way of looking at it. I wonder if I'll have another note to sing!"

I handed the paper back to him. Kolovsky had more life in him than I'd seen in a long time. I'd always put him in the Don't-give-a-shit category. He wasn't going to "reform" or conform (thank God). But people in this category are, well, let's just say the jury is always out on them, you never know which way they will go. Life without purpose is a heavy burden that can break any soul.

Urban32

I too have no place to go, nowhere to be. I tried to step into the spotlight but failed. There can be no true success anywhere else, though. I don't even have to hear the words. Just by tone of voice - the quiet, seething anger laced in bitterness - I can know of a meaningless man. Woe to he who's wasted his treasure - or dared not seek it in the first place.

Like my fellow lost brethren I must contend with our natural predator in the wild: the Work Pimps. Work Pimps feed off others' feeling of worthlessness, driving them into the blind labor of a communist. "You must contribute!" they wail with the maniacal intensity of a jihadist. Under the guise of social responsibility these soul stealers will use you up and leave you to die in the desert. Too many fall for this false clarion call of the devil's disciples, hoping against hope that to be used is to be useful.

It's sensational to report a man been's killed over twenty bucks or some other trivial item. But I know whether it's a mugging or an argument the real culprit is a meaningless life. That's when the smallest of things can seem life and death. Rage like lava builds up until finally the volcano explodes in tragedy. But it's not sexy to lead with a headline of "Meaningless Man Shoots in Frustration". That somehow implies society should be helping more - and responsibility never sells.

That night in my cot my own head buzzed:

Deep breath before a note...that's probably all bullshit...I'd have to have honest success to find out for sure...but I lie here instead with promises in the dark...the cell of uselessness forbids freedom's love...they can't give it and I can't make it...you win God, I've no way home...so many resentful eyes in this world, looking for their place...


Monday, May 05, 2014

Discussion Between Left And Right Before Death


Ten stories up the ropes to two grand pianos hanging off the edge of the building snapped simultaneously. Down below stood two men perfectly aligned under each falling instrument of death.

The man on the left spoke up to the man on the right. "You might want to move there, buddy. There's a piano falling down on you." As he spoke he stepped out from underneath the shadow of certain death.

"I'm not your buddy so shut your mouth."

"Just look up, you'll see what I'm saying."

"Not looking anywhere you say. You're not the boss of me."

"Not trying to be anyone's boss!"

"Then shut your damn mouth!"

"I can't just let you die. That piano's coming down fast!"

"Oh, the sky is falling?? I'm sick of you alarmists, nothing is ever good enough for you. But, hey, guess what? I'm still alive! So keep your doom and gloom to yourself."

"It's not doom and gloom if you move..."

"Oh, I get it, because you moved now everyone else has to too. I will not stand for that sort of fascism!"

"Nobody is forcing you to do anything. I'm simply relating a matter of fact: that if you stand there you will die."

"Fact? That's no fact. That's your opinion. All you people do is whine, bitch and moan about how everyone else acts. How about a nice big cup of shut-the-fuck-up?"

"You certainly do make it tempting, I must admit. Still I feel it's my duty to speak up."

"So you can stick your nose in everybody's business? Your type is always prancing so high and mighty like you're some sort of saint. No one else can ever be right, just you are!"

Another fascist forcing his opinions

"Not everything is opinion and there is such a thing as right and wrong. I implore you, sir, to change your position."

"Change my position?? You change your position. I'm not one of those malcontents saying everything has to be perfect. Don't let perfect be the enemy of the good, I say. I'm staying the course."

By this time a crowd had gathered. Most were standing on the side of the man on the right. They loved his fighting spirit in the face of what seemed to them as imperial demands. One thing each of them made sure to never do was look up. Soon, many voices started attacking the man on the left.

"You bastard! Leave this good man alone. What's he ever done to you?"

"Your kind is never satisfied. You can't understand a man of faith like this fellow on the right. He doesn't have to question every little thing!"

"That's right! Why don't you do something constructive instead of just tearing people down? Would do you some good to listen for once!"

The crowd on the right self-applauded and congratulated one another on what they saw as very clever arguments to muddy the waters. When the man on the left attempted to make one final plea as time was running out, the angry crowd shouted him down, cursing him and galled by his continued insistence to speak. "Don't you ever get enough?"

The man on the right was laughing in victorious debate. Many well-wishers shook his hand. "We showed him! God is on our side." In a show of support, four others crowded around the man on the right. "See that, mister? We have the courage of our convictions. We don't cut and run and change. You don't understand this now but we're here to tell ya, someday your time is gonna come."

Fairly giggling, the man on the right couldn't resist one last taunt. "Ain't so smart now, are ya? Haha! Know what I think? I think you can suck my - "

WHOMP!

All told, six people died as the piano landed according to the laws of physics. Many said that just proves how science can't be trusted by men of faith. A few busied creating a shrine to the "fallen martyrs." Finally, an old woman clutching her purse in anger walked over to the man who was left and addressed him through seething teeth.

"I hope you're happy. You just got six good people there killed! I hope you can live with yourself. Don't be blaming others for what you done! You've got to take responsibility! These folks were trying to help you and you spit in their eye! You've got no respect for the truth!"

The man who was left walked away having seen and heard enough. But his refusal to debate or buy into their anger infuriated the crowd even more as they hissed under their breath. "There's just no living with the likes of that. We're going to have to do something about that."

Jesus wept.


Sunday, May 04, 2014

You be William Munny, Out Of Missouri



There was an air about him only I seemed to notice. Sure, there was other people in that miserable bar drinking alone, but his isolation was different - deeper and blacker. After word of the killings in Big Whiskey, Wyoming got out folks was plenty mad. But Munny was an old bushwhacker like the James boys and Quantrill. They got a knack for melting away to where nobody but nobody can latch onto them again. We all heard the stories of them Pinkerton detectives getting killed and same happened just about to anybody else foolhardy enough to follow!

Next year, after the massacre in Big Whiskey, Jesse got hisself killed and suddenly they didn't seem so untouchable anymore. Most of them got killed long before but Jesse had created this legend that sort of rubbed off on all them Civil War bushwhackers. As for me, I hated them sons-a-bitches, tricking farmers by wearing the wrong uniform then shooting them down before they knew what was what. I surely fail to see the courage in that.

There was other vile stories of that type, those boys hiding in the weeds for hours till they got an easy shot on somebody and waylay them right out of their saddle. I'd never come across their sort in person except for one: Will Munny. Now here I was staring at him all over again and my blood run cold. His type don't need much of a excuse to putting a bullet in ya!

"He's dead." That's what everyone was saying if you asked about him. Funny, but that was exactly what I thought seeing him sit there with that bottle and his hanging down head and eyes so empty I wondered if he was blind. When he moved it broke the spell and I went to the other end of the room to gather up my wits. What I hated most - what I really fought - was me having this feeling of feeling sorry for him. His kind just rips holes in the world, the kind that get us all killed.


After the war there'd been so much hate in the Missouri line folks just kept right on killing each other. North and South was mixed up in there and the hard feelings didn't go away easy. Men like Quantrill and the rest of them bushwhackers wouldn't fight in the war proper. They killed, raped and robbed any civilian they thought wasn't with their cause. You see, to them, in their minds, that was enough to commit any sort of violence they saw fit. And they saw fit to do things no human should ever do.

For a lot of them southerners they couldn't handle getting beat. They couldn't win the war so they wanted to fight the peace. They did that by stirring up all the old hate. Articles in foul newspapers (unlike this one!) spoke how these dogs was fighting for rights and justice by doing stuff like Munny did, blowing up a train they said was full of "Yankees coming to exploit us." You had enough folks swallowing that bile - or leastways saying they did - that they got made into heroes. That's some twisted thinking, that.

Munny disappeared. They had their hardcore supporters that hid them out. But Munny had started up his own farm. That's when I knew him. I figure every man has right to turn over a new leaf to the good Lord but if that'd been me doing all that raping and killing I'd be hard pressed to forgiving myself. Them's some mighty tough things to get passed but I have to think the good Lord can get passed anything and God bless the man that can do it. So I let sleeping dogs lie and treated him like any other. Hate wears on a ya like big boulder anyway.

Never crossed my mind I'd see him again, even here in Sherman, Texas. I knew they'd come down here in the old days to hide out, Jesse even taking his honeymoon here. Guess this must be the last place left to a man like Munny. I always said the world wouldn't be safe until men like him is wiped clean off the face of the earth. Ya can't build anything solid when ya got folks who just want to tear society up as it suits them. Wait and see, one day we going to rise up against them banks causing all these panics too!


But I must admit I was glad on seeing him with my own eyes. The Lord does take His vengeance after all. William Munny's going to live in eternity with the wails and cries of the people's lives he hurt. I had resented a God who didn't strike those kind of men down with all the suffering they caused. Maybe, I wondered, I should be out there trying to kill them myself. But I'd been too busy just living. I could see now, though, they'd been busy killing their own selves.

Wasn't till after his funeral I wanted to recount this. I know a few will still be riled for me not offering praise to a Missouri bushwhacker. But I think it's misguided to thinking they was fighting for any other cause but their own base lusts and vile desires. I'm glad I didn't give in to the hate those boys stirred up in me. It's been over twenty since the war ended and it's right time for it to die. I don't believe any man who says he wants to end up like Will Munny of Missouri - leastways not if they'd looked into them vacant eyes of his like cold, dark wells.

Written by Simon Lockwell as courtesy to the Sherman Herald Democrat, May, 4, 1886.


Saturday, May 03, 2014

Starstruck At Starbucks


Like a moth to flame I couldn't resist - no matter how it burned me, no matter if it killed me. When I peered inside that Starbucks I saw a world where I wanted to belong. Those were people I wanted to spend time with, that was my language being spoken in there, of books and films and Nature's unrealized dreams. That language of the streets I speak, that's not really me. But it's a dialect I've been forced to use.

Yet I observed many of the aliens who frequented the establishment with a jaundiced eye. They thought their work important because of the lifestyle it gave them. That detached air of material success, of living in a castle in the sky - that was the world they inhabited. One night in the shelter with me and they'd be ruined for life, forever fallen to dirty wormy earth.

And that made them afraid. And if they could spot you as homeless, that made them doubly afraid. To them, you were a theory, a bogeymen in the night. But to see that bogeyman incarnate! The looks of hatred are unmistakable. That was OK, though. I surely hated them back with their phony chatter and self-important business talking points. I mean, really. Who gives a fuck about your lamers powerpoint presentation?

Of course, having never lived in that world and having no identity of my own, I cravenly wondered if I could survive on Planet Pretentious. Certainly not with these clothes I couldn't. And certainly not with keeping a desire to live intact. I was forced to flash back to my one brush with a being of their kind, when I had tripped up his attempt to mock me using my superior intelligence. I'll never forget his flashing hatred, a sweet invalidation of his life. It was a rare time when someone shows their true face - a face literally wanting to kill me.


That's what happens when you upsets someone's world view. Jeopardize their latte and you put your life on the line! Yes, indeed, I'll say it again: your unexamined life is not worth living with. But here I am yet again, looking inside this plate glass window knowing they'd despise me if I were dumber than them and hate me if I were smarter. And then I saw her sitting there.

Whatever her soils and stains of that world I did not care. Like Gandhi said, how can I protest sins we all share? What if I too had the the chance to live in that world? What kind of blind-eyed douchebag would I be? I shuddered to think. But she was different. It's one of those very rare moments in life: a recognition. I'd learned the (very) hard way not to ignore these moments. They are as real as the sun.

Oh, how dangerous to cross over to my life unlived. I was afraid to wholly believe my eyes. Was I wanting to see something so badly I was making it up? I wanted to invade hostile territory regardless of the flak, making a soiree directly beside her, to pick her brain, make her laugh and to soak in her irresistible presence. All these thoughts came to me before I had even met her. That book she was reading looked familiar too. If only I could make out the title...

"The Ink Dark Moon"! Ancient female Japanese poetry! Dear God in heaven, I wasn't making her up. Filled with short delightful poems, it's an escape book of mine, allowing me to live in my own castle in the sky. There I can connect to the universe - rent fucking free. Was she doing that too? Was there any way onto her cloud? Could even a God who'd abandoned this world have pity on me?


I started checking on her, obsessed with this feeling. I hadn't felt like this since I was child of innocence, before the world had beaten me. This wasn't romantic though I noticed her sexual energy and wondered of it. This was like finding a friend who you knew before you even met. One day I got another clue, she'd left a movie ticket on her table. I'm a stickler for fine movies so I grabbed it with hesitation.

Ha! It was one of those talking animal movies. One of the few I'd actually seen. In the street world, these kind of films are not understood. Not too many people want to discuss the joys of watching "Milo and Otis" while destitute. Maybe they don't think that's keeping it real. If so, they've got a another think coming. Real is when you live.

My instincts bursting, I was completely under her spell at this point. Problem was, how was I going to explain what I'd done with my life to her? I had deliberately shut out her and her ilk just so I'd never be exposed as one who'd wasted his supposed talents. Few have a problem believing you're a worthless bum and blindly accept the surface. But some people are able to see more, not blinded by anger. Was that in her heart?

My big break came when I found out she was in a writing class. I had written a novel once, maybe I could write again. I went back and forth for days debating the wisdom of joining that class. Was it really fair to join only because of her? What if she found out my true motives? I have no pretensions on being a writer. My descriptive powers are more visual, not literary. But I also knew my imagination was unique. Well, fuck...


"You fraud! Get the hell out of here!" No one said that when I signed up except for the ever so helpful voice in my head. I noticed exactly where she sat. Don't be too obvious! I anxiously looked forward to my time to share. Would she approve? I didn't care about the rest of class, just her. I told the story of a home living geek who painted his portrait as God. When asked why this hubris he replied, "I got laid didn't I?" She laughed reflexively. I trembled.

It was hell keeping up a pretense of normalcy. I had to keep my clothes absolutely clean and ironed. So many extra chores to maintaining an image! I didn't want to shame her or worse, be that friend she hid from her "real" friends. "Who's that?" "Oh, just some guy." I'd never return after hearing that. She wouldn't be able to find me if she wanted to. And yet, she was everything I'd hoped.

The writing was our common bond. Could I be in her life without it? The pressure was immense to keep up as I fell behind. Write or die! I knew she was having difficulty maintaining her writing drive. She wanted my approval one day on her proposed ideas. I said nothing. I was was paralyzed with fear she'd lose interest in writing - and I'd be thrown out with it. Dear God, please let my time in heaven go on just a little bit longer.

Then she invited me to her house. (I, of course, could never invite her to my cot.) It was just as I had imagined: pristine and orderly in a swank townhouse in a swank neighborhood. Walking in I felt as Moses before the burning bush, forced to face what I wanted most. The air of life, the great honor of her sharing her domain with me - I was truly walking in the clouds. But the fact remained: she was from my life unlived.


My little voice was screaming but I didn't want to hear. I had crossed the line; a bridge too far. How could I ever go back to my dog food diet after tasting the finest steak? Every bite for the rest of my life would drain my soul. They say ours is a merciful God but I have not witnessed this. Mine was the gravest of sins: having tasted life I now stood infected with a delirious desire for living. For that there is no hope.

Sabotage came in the worst way. She had no idea I knew her unspoken insecurities. She too had fears (the idea of her fearing me was hard to process at the time, though). It was easy to write with her support as my friend. I wanted to collaborate but to do so was to take our relationship to a deeper level and go through a door of which there is no return. The bonding would be just too dangerous.

The final straw was knowing of my phony image. If she ever saw the real me...

So I played on her secret fears and she barred me from her home. The "real me" was safe from discovery. But that is also a death sentence. I have since been disfigured by the pain in both physical and mental terms, I limp with boils on my skin and an ingrained scowl on my face. If she somehow overcame her fear and pride to came my way, I'd be more horror stricken than ever for her to see me.

The horror of love unspoken

So I'm left bleeding on the street, pining away as I sit on benches of chipped paint, staring at gutters of chipped concrete. People have asked me if I still write. "I don't know," I answer, my heart not in it anymore, wanting it to be over. If taken to Guantanamo and forced to confess, they'd find out I had secretly become dependent on her. "So how is it you can still write without her then, your terrorist prick bastard?" "Easy," I seethe in deep bitterness. "I just pretend she's still my friend...then die of heartbreak afterward."