21 November 2006

encounter

the tired old eyes of the American Indian
hint of a story that I would love to know
but he pushes my change across the counter
with his sun-beaten leathery hands
I grab my Red Bull and turn to go
"Happy Thanksgiving," he mumbles deeply-
his voice rough yet booming with heartfelt strength
I turn back to search for irony in his old soulful eyes
but all I find is sincerity
and a semi-toothless smile
breaking through the ancient face's sunmade lines.

11 November 2006

the barstool and me

     It's as if I'm standing at the entrance to a large circular room. There are no walls in this room. There are only doors. Side by side- a continuous ring of doors. Every door is closed. Every door has a knob, with a keyhole. But I know, without trying to open a single one, that all of the doors are unlocked. At the center of the room there is a solitary circular barstool, a tall barstool- about four and a half feet off the ground. It is one of those barstools with a swiveling seat so you can sit on it, dangle your feet, and spin around and around and around. It is the only object in the room. Just the barstool, and me.

     Seemingly with no effort of my own, my right foot steps forward and out of the doorway from which I came. The swift motion of the closing door sends a quick breeze at my back, and a few strands of hair land softly on my face, tickling my nose and cheeks. But I don't brush them away. I like the way the room looks through the symbolic strands- alternating fields of vision- from clarity to softly blurred distortion then back to clarity again. My legs lead me to the stool and I climb atop it with my feet dangling free. I feel like a kid again.

     The door I am facing looks the same as all the others- ancient brown wood, with an intricate design carved into the top half of the beautiful oak panel. Each door has exactly the same design. It's a design I have seen before, but only in my most amazing and lifelike dreams. I think that it must be the linear manifestation of my soul. Or so I imagine, as I sit here- feet dangling, thinking.

     After a short while I notice that the longer I sit here, the larger the room grows, with new doors appearing seemingly by the minute. More doors. More choices. I'm sure if I sit on this stool for another week or another month or an eternity- the room will just keep growing. More and more and more doors. Until, at a certain point, the room will be so large that I will not be able to see the doors anymore. And then, eventually, I will forget that the doors exist at all. It will just be me, sitting in the center of a massive wall-less room- feet dangling, thinking. Just the barstool, and me. I am determined to not let that happen. I am determined to choose a door- the right door.

     But for now I am tired of thinking. So I begin to spin on my cool little circular stool in my big round room. I spin and spin. I stretch my legs out to slow down, then pull them in to speed up again. I hop off to try to walk, fall down, giggle, get up, then hop back on and spin. I spin and spin. I feel like a kid again- playing within my ring of closed-yet-unlocked doors..

     A completely empty room.

     Just the barstool, and me.

08 November 2006

strength, a manifesto

     Reptiles face the harsh desert sun and live for days without water,
in blinding hot summers and freezing cold winters.

     There are creatures in the deep sea who thrive in complete darkness,
in water hundreds of degrees, feeding on toxic chemicals that seep out of hydrothermal vents.

     They adapt.
     They survive.

     There is always a way.

     It is our struggles that build character. It is pain that produces strength.
And all the worthwhile things are never easy. Take the hard road and don't look back.

     Never settle.
     Never compromise.
     Never give up.

     There is always a way.*

29 May 2006

oak tree

     I'm searching for the right ambiguous words- abstraction equals safety when walking on fragile ground. Intuition flashes images behind my closed eyelids- overcoming excessive thoughts and doubt's evil pain. And know there's no fear or confusion in my warm pounding heart, or in the fiery blood that courses through my veins.

     I tiptoe upon these eggshells, repressing the desire that heats my flowing blood. Black pen marks hold my serenity, but they'd release it to freedom if they thought they could- thickly smeared black ink puddle, soaking deep into ancient wood.

     I'm searching for the right ambiguous words to keep a version of my wall from crumbling down. This foolish pride is unwanted but so slow to say goodbye, though one foot in front of the other is leading towards sacred ground.

     How can something with the strength of an oak tree feel like a twig in the wind? Fragility is an illusion and so is this confusion, and the fear in my head arises from the fact that this will never end..

12 May 2006

cliff notes

     Thick fog pours from a weakening twilight sky, swallowing even the darkest-green canyon-shadowed leaves. For once this city lies hidden, and oddly at peace. I stand at the edge of the familiar cliff like countless times before, but this time the fog feels eerily similar to pouring rain. Billions of microscopic droplets apply welcomed pressure to my naked arms and face. My eyes scan the horizon, but for once this city lies hidden, and oddly at peace.

23 April 2006

artificial human nature

     There will never be another day like today. The way the sun heats, then burns your quarter-century-old flesh, the way the waves roll then peak then curl then break. The way the final breath of a dying wave, the tide, flows up to surround your ankles and drown your feet, as if its terminal ambition is to take you with it.... Until it's pulled back (or forward?) into the ocean for a glorious rebirth. It'll never happen like that again. Today is the only day.

     It's such a twisted mad world with its natural tendency towards chaos. Everything is falling apart. But we fight to hold it together, our animal instincts throwing survival mechanisms into overdrive. But what happened? At what point did human beings decide to start building skyscrapers, shopping malls, smokestacks, and shampoo factories? What went wrong? Living with the potential of our overactive oversized brains, did we get bored? Bored with Mother Earth as she was, did we want more and more and more? Yeah, I can relate.

     But maybe we created more of something that didn't really fulfill us. So then we still wanted more. And more and more. But instead of stopping and searching for something that would fulfill us, we proceeded to create more of the same unfulfillment. And more and more.. And so it continues. Exponentially.

     Such a mad twisted world with its natural tendencies and our artificial solutions.

     There will never be another day like today. The way the dawn threatened, slightly brightening this four-walled world, then becoming blinding reality in my insomniatic delirious state. Guess it's time to go to sleep..........

14 April 2006

uphill

     Walking up the steep incline of a dirty weed-strewn hill, I noticed a large grey rock protuding from the hillside 6 feet up. 6 feet up, a big fucking grey rock- sharp edges, marbled surface, hidden backside. A different me would have considered the rock to be a good stopping point, a nice place to sit in the shade and have a rest, maybe even take a nap, before trudging up the remainder of the near-vertical slope. But that would be a different me. Instead, I stood on the hard flat surface of the rock to get a better view of the hill I had been climbing. But in the time it took to examine the rock and climb atop it, a fog had rolled in and up the hill so that I could only see the last two or three steps I had taken. It was a thick threatening fog, but I didn't care. The past is past, so I hopped off the rock and continued the climb.

     Approaching that moment, the one we're all waiting for, when we reach the top of the hill and finally FINALLY get to see what's up there, or better yet, what's on the other side, I began to get excited. So I moved faster, climbed harder; the hill became steeper but I was almost there, ALMOST THERE! Out of breath, out of patience, out of my head, and always always out of time, I climbed.

     The glory in that last step is indescribable, red-faced and out of breath with sweat dripping down, knowing that everything you've climbed for, everything you've worked for has come to THIS. Your reward, the sweet reward for all the hard work and pain and sweat. I stepped that last step, I leaned over to catch my breath, savoring every passing second. "This is it," I thought. So I opened my eyes and with aching muscles but rapidly-flowing blood, I raised my head and torso and looked up. My anxious eyes scanned a vast green grassy clearing, with sharp grey rocks and brown moist dirt and knee-high weeds reaching up to get a taste of the sun.. Standing on the peak, the point I'd worked so hard to reach, so that I could see, see the future, the reward, what's ahead; I looked up. And there directly in front of me, out of view until this very moment.. Was another hill. Another hill with another peak. Another Fucking Hill With Another Fucking Peak...

     And Surely, Surely that peak is The Ultimate Peak. From that Peak everything will be clear. I just have to make it to that Peak. That is the top of the mountain. I really thought this was the peak before, but now, now I'm sure. That is the top of the mountain.

     As I began to step forward to climb again, I looked down to where my first footstep would land. There on the ground, amongst little grey pebbles and flailing green weeds and ancient brown dirt- was a single daisy plant. A pretty little flowering plant with three individual bright yellow daisy blossoms... Freshly flattened, freshly dead against the pebbly brown earth. Freshly dead from whatever foot had stepped there before.

     A salty drop of blood left my chin, and, as if in slow motion, somersaulted through the cool breezy mountain air and landed perfectly on one of the crushed yellow petals. Red on yellow like a nature photographer's lucky day or a starving artist's twisted deprivation-daydream... Dove off my chin and landed there as if to say, "Leave me here; Leave me here with this flattened piece of near-ruined beauty; Leave Me Here Because I Give Up." For a split second I pondered where the blood came from because I felt no pain, but then the thought was gone so I stepped forward and moved on, and began to climb again.

08 April 2006

heart on a shelf

     Like words that are written in Pacific Ocean sand and washed away by a rising tide, so simply, effortlessly- so hearts change. Beat after beat, a seemingly steady rhythm. But hearts, they do change. Although this one hasn't. Not in the last year. A year that has felt like an eternity. An eternity is a long time for a heart to sit on a shelf and watch clueless strangers pass down below. One by one the dazed humans pass, rats in an unwinnable race, unaware of the bleeding heart that sits, beating, watching, blindly above their preoccupied heads. Why does the heart continue beating? For the same reason the people keep walking. What else would it do? If it could grow wings, surely it would do that, and fly off to a better spot. Or at least a different one.

02 April 2006

artificial light

i choose to walk in the shadows tonight
though they're barely defined
by the pathetic sliver of cloud-covered moon
the orange glow of the faithful streetlight
lights the way
but i choose not to follow
it's just an artificial representation of the sun

hidden meaning applied to massive constellations
reaching to the stars for something of worth
billions of lonely wandering creatures
searching for solace in this madness on earth

can we walk through this maze without obsessing over the end?
constant anticipation
rats clawing and climbing, malling and running in the race
that is impossible to win;
or satisfaction with mere existence
without ever breaking free to live

there is no happy in medium
only numb satisfaction
balance is an illusion
it's all or none now,
all or none
live for black and white
or put your wishy washy faith in grey
or better yet, turn on your color television
and lock your neglected soul.. away

i stepped out of the shadows
but my shadow followed me home
so i found a big rock and launched it at the streetlight
to kill it's artificial glow