ALMOST TURNED JAPANESE**, tokyo circa 1994
by Blake More (TM)
(do forgive me for posting such mad drivelÖold stuff, written during an exceptionally whacked out Lenten season in TokyoÖskip through the painful musings on religious philosophy (I couldnít cut them cause they read like old textbooks of my soul), and find stories on Tokyoís early 90s rave scene, rasta, anorexia in LA, sex, drugs, japanese culture, and other random acts of rantÖif you can make it through there are some grains worth storingÖotherwise, I wonít be offendedÖmaybe Iíll edit it some day, probably not)
I don't really know who I'm going to write this to, for, or what for---better yet, I don't even know who I am. For now, I'll knight myself as an exercise of futility, more likely as an exorcism of it. I'm thinking of a way to feed the greedy edges, wanting to jut out rather than point within, to uproot addictive weeds¾ insecurity, fear, criticism, anger, angst, ego, dependence, boredom ad fucking nausem. To somehow throw away the mind waste. So that this I of this whacked out We¾of the We who put a man on the moon within sixty odd years of Orville (not Redenbacher) and Wilber, of the We who pioneered science and now manufactures our diseases, of the We who throws up psychological hell all over this heaven, of the We who wants to put us back together again¾can lift my consciousness to a semblance of awareness and maybe do my miniscule part to get our emotional age to catch up with our technological one, so we can remember why we create in the first place. Oh yeah, our voices don't have to be spoken to be heard---everyone is listening.
thoughts like these.
but again, a gamble, establish something. Even if its nothing. What audience asks the faltering creativity, think of no one and you will have them all. If only I didn't care. Write right on. Keep somebody (me) from falling sane.
The plank unfolded
jumping into white noise
the drop & roll of insanity
I thank god for the characters in my life, especially Daniel, although he canít admit he's an artist---always denying that life is his medium. Voices that understand beyond possession, individuals that burrow within and emerge with the collective, free, or at least freer, in the shade of the decay. Unwilling to crumple and let the admissible rule. Even so, seeming to consider the ambiguity of it all, recognizing the ludicrosity of so many white knuckles against the wheel, all the while admitting that the car drives by itself, with or with out our steering.
Okay, so I'll write to you as well as to me (of questionable aside, I find it intriguing that so many of my friends are named after chapters in the red B). We the people. In order to form a more perfect union, establish freedom, and reverse domestic banality...
Rise oh insides. lift one, run all. fast, fast from the ordered wagons of covered experience. Crush responses, cemented and soft, the backbone of industrialized society. Circle the phreaks who almost suffocated between patted and powdered expectations. Or think we have, until the part when from 10 feet somewhere, Seth jumps, bloody with subterranean turrette, sub-etiquette and we squawk BM logic or some contorted biblical logic (don't they bubble from the same source anyway).
it is just another submarine, except this one is brown¾another strand of hypocrisy in our DNA. Love your brother, until he shits on you. Then, well, an inquest for your breast, but we'll ignore the father's incest. And heeere's the axe murderer He's back to whack. I feel myself bending to his long white dress and ivory ax (as Philip says, nobody knew Jesus was a transvestite), I think of Grandma and I want to excuse my retching, or at least give her my dismembered hand. And then I think of truth and what all these apologies have done to it. So, instead, I'll die in blasphemy because..
I will never die. Or am I already dead, part II
What, all those words, all the calls to anarchy, and I too, am a Hoova, one of them (hear the clamor of atheist aesthetics and possibly the Beattlemanian commandments). Yes, not of them but of One. Dogma free. Without the brown fold down kneeling bench. I believe in no beliefs. Unstigmatatized and unpasteurized. So, be warned. It gets thicker. But you won't need garlic. Or salt or pepper or ketchup. Only a straw, plus a white powder for protein. You might toss in some cabbage for the friendly growth of intestinal fauna (cuts the baby laxative). But bacteria aside, you won't find me intentionally shitting crust over reality. That would be just another crust with no pie.
Time out, I must get out...
Back from the Shinanoya. Volvic for too many yen. Better than Avion at too many more. But, what isn't. Feeling insecure because I'm not drinking Jack like the boys. But this isn't the story. So, check this out. After the above cerebration, flooded with keyboard and the life I've just sentenced to odd something pages, I hit SAVE, put on my Chucks, gomi jacket, gloves and leaked into the 10 o'clock air. Emancipated. No hands all the way. I'm a writer. Spring is near. Or is it here. Skin weather. Then the corner, do I do it. Hesitation, why doesn't it feel right. Probably the jogger. Hands back. I'm a writer. Around the corner. Easy. Taste this starless air. I'm a writ----shit, what's he doing. His face isn't focusing. Time molts, speeds up and rewinds to now. There it goes. An expression. He looks terrified. Is it me the gaijjin or me the cyclist. Do something. Leave the body. Slam on the brakes. Skid. He didn't touch his. Isn't he going to. Dude, REACT. Here it comes. Fuck, my leg. Daijabo, daijabo, gomenasai, simasen [strung together like a plastic necklace from Woolworthís]. Daijabo, dude, relax, you didn't even fall. Gomenasai, simasen, gomenasai. Daijabo, I think we can save it. Gomenasai, gomenai, simasen, daijabo. Shit, its etiquette turrette. Maybe I should be polite and offer to amputate his twitch. Simasen, daijabo, daijabo, daijabo. I climb back into my body. Oooh, my leg. Fuck, my ass. No, not you. The hand's okay. Bicycle take me away from this idiot. Adrenaline rising. Bile in my blood. Parched now. Damn, why can't I focus. THE END of yet another encounter with a spaced out Japanese boy¾bummer, he was cute, we could have been friends.
So where, I'm making you ask, is the tailor? Who is the tailor? Can we fire him and take these blinding clothes off. The "seem" rippers. Modern superfriends of aquaman et al. That's who I'm writing to. And I'll undress like the one who lifts the rug and shakes the people. Who do you want to be? Let's play cartoon and fight fear, mushiness, and highway patrol high blood pressure. Together, we'll battle the thoughtless police. Heroes, we'll protect our nubs from their lynching. Hopefully save some women and children in the process. But how. Can we really keep them from boxing our curiosity with their vestibules of reality, from blanketing our individuality with the goose feathers of socialization and predictability. Good question.
Lets start with real. But...
truth lies beneath its reality
Okay, so my dictionary translates truth as either reclining or deliberating falsely someplace under reality. Possibly (for they are endless) this means that, in theory, each individual maps out his own version of reality, a picture which can either hide or house truth. But as I see it, whatever becomes his reality, also becomes his truth. So, as approached here, truth, like reality, is founded upon interpretation? Thus, doesn't reality also lie beneath the truth which also lies beneath reality. What next. A puzzle. If A = B and B = C, then A = C. If truth is reality and reality is subjective, then truth is subjective?
Yes, you're right it's too Herculean to think of this infinite trial of enigma as well as the warren of other skipping, laughing koans that leap from every reaching thought. So, what do we do? Better, what don't we do. So far, we seem inclined not to do by devoting ourselves to drama and intrigue, the realm of recognition which keeps thoughts safely tucked away from the intimacy of actualization. Dwelling in the psyches of others obviously means less time spent in doors. Inane TV, shoot and destroy movies, pulpy books, morish food, bottomless drink, the wonderland of drugs, anything to fill the silence, or moreover, to fill time so silence can lie (again) unacknowledged.
Only one of the curtains used by the "spiritual proletariat." Yes, Coomaraswamy, we're still seeking escape from our environment. But please understand, that when five or six out of seven are passed on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, on a crowded train, behind a desk, on a crowded train, its no wonder that we long to relieve their monotony by projecting ourselves into a soap opera or some other apparently more meaningful existence. Leading of course to a wound that festers with more TV, movies, books, food, drink, drugs. Now what is the infinite reading?
Rats in a habitrail, the wheel spins and goes nowhere, wasting energy and spreading waste through the drab synapses of atrophied brains. Objectivity rejected for confusion, clarity washed in the mud of human experience. If only we could see that there is no one reality here, or is it, no one really here, and definitely not one that exclusively knots itself into the black or white bow tie of human limitations and sucks in the rest with a matching cummerbund.
Considering this proposed plateful of biological realities (too bad you canít here me say that out loud), why would anyone deem themselves worthy of hosting the banquet of right and wrong? It seems to me that too many pictures are superimposed to condone even subtle narrow mindedness. Yet it exists. So why? Prestige? Desperation? Why bother to erect a crusaders reality? Yes, it's easier to be en mass than excommunicated from it. But what of all those ghastly tales of persecution and murder our textbooks have covered with soft fudge and rainbow sprinkles. Then I remember history will teach us nothing. But I don't believe we're really this stupid. But then, how many of us actually hate ourselves so much that we hate others?
But that's beside this point. Back to ...
Just look what we do to ourselves. Under our hailing need for sense and safety, we build castles - Vatican, Mecca, Jerusalem, Pentagon, Hart, Longworth. Then, we paste their thick walls with sticky wallpaper to make them look warm and natural, and soon we forget about the corrugated barrier that keeps out the gorgeous vulgarities of life and thought. Free of nature's inconsistencies, we become content in our manufactured reality. In time, we may even succeed in purging the memory of those who lived before. Anything contradicting our fabricated domain is blocked, at first consciously, but later habit removes effort and consciousness is drugged below. All urges suppressed. Vocabulary verboten and visualizations vandalized. Mountains and valleys bulldozed to a common see level. Squared meters have become our universe.
Look at those beautiful flowers the loudspeaker shouts in Orwellian tundra, hoping that perspiration and intonation will quell any recognizable leakage of truth. So vivid, we hear. Only the Creator, OUR CREATOR, could have made it such. Follow, and you are one with us [stuck in the wallpaper]. So, this is it, think we the missing, we the life forgotten in search, we the consumers hunting for a cheaper brand. Our one way return through the long white tunnel. The loudspeaker again, such swirls, what colors -- it can only be living truth! Our living truth. Yes think we, shifting in our phew, none but our absolute could erect such a holy hard on. Everyone must see with our eyes, or like we were, they are doomed to the whims of the great big, lonely, dark, mystifying UNKNOWN.
do you believe? or
are you already gone,
far from we who pick
your blues with monkey fingers,
please tell me
did you see our eyes
as they lunged
for your memory? and are you
angry that we stole you
from your home
before it was time
to leave on your own,
somehow, feeling you,
I think you laughed
as your child
opened inside, forgetting us,
we, secluded from the house
we share, remembering
instead of life, we who
walk along the outside walls
only to watch your colors
fret and drip away
wherever you rest
please sense me
ask for more somewhere
This is the story of a woman who sees life undefined in a vase beside her bed. She asks a question, but then questions her asking. She remembers her lover's funeral, talking to his waxy blue forehead (as his eyes were gone) in its fancy box until the thought came...
a coat discarded after a winter storm
Is that what you are hydrangea, she wants to know, just an old jacket no longer needed. Are we using water to pretend that your spirit is still inside. Where are you traveling now? Do you see something beautiful? Why does life hold us outside of the garden you embrace so effortlessly? Does our fear of irrevocable change cause us to see your life as we do ours - as a pedals shriveling in the footsteps of death? Still, you don't notice. You exist. Your feeling is stained pure. Lead the way.
So, one spring, the woman disobeys and sets off for the whispers rising from behind her Barbie dream house. But without the vase, she doesn't know where she is. No sidewalks. No maps. No one to think for her. What to make out of all this undeveloped space. A shopping center?
it is a journey mined with illusion and self-deception. Fourteen. Five foot four. Sixty-nine pounds. Terrified. Obsessed. Frozen. Alone. But, it was Easter after all, and the vase offered handrails and wooden benches for rest along the way. So, for forty-two days, heavy without food, bearing the cross of compulsion, recipes, and family menus, she pulled herself past the window-pressed eyes of neighbors, those grim peepers watching death in an Auschwitz arm, and into the asylum of Our Lady the Saint Louise, where scripture was an oven and its characters morsels to swallow without getting fat.. Except for the host¾she could survive on the daily bread. if necessary, sneak back to the communion line for seconds, not of His body, but of the meal, justifying the extra two calories by promising to make dinner one teaspoon of Cool Whip (at eight calories) instead of two.
Her inner stories are familiar. Themes from childhood picture books or from cartoons like Davy and Golith and that once a year special with Linus rhapsodizing about the star and the manager after Charlie Brown brings home a shity little tree. Easter was a pretext. The pain belonged to someone else, so it was okay not to feel herself here. To her, it was slashing her arm so its red liquid could utter the life within...
This suffering isn't unique, it's just part of the universal symptom as experienced by an ordinary woman. Born with baggage to shove into the overhead container, our very own carry on karma. Duty free, or taxed? So what for character building and all that, it's not the suffering itself that matters¾ all I give a shit about is figuring out how to incorporate it into art. So here, as I bare my empty, fucking empty ass, cupboards, I prefer to project (I love psychobabble) that despite the limitations of my hellish apprenticeship, your very own club card will fill in any craters (or create more) left by these explosions I loosely call my thoughts.
To speak, language must feel. We can only speak what we feel, and to understand, we must feel what we hear. Hear doesn't refer to ear, or even to the sound that follows the eyes as they roll across the page. Hear means the internal voice driving awareness. Language doesn't belong to Webster, Roget, American Heritage. They house its bones. Alone, serving a similar position to the skeleton in anatomy class. Useful and informative, but without grit & marrow. feelings give definitions life. We are the ligaments, the tissues, the capillaries. We make language an organ to be played with the exponential alphabet.
Risking redundancy for the sake of my "feelings", only words, touching them with fingers can make language live. Otherwise, it becomes the gardenia, alive only within the ineffable, far away, dancing happily but without touching those whom it longs to feel. Everybody wants to be the ocean but who are its drops of water. Each must advocate a personal tsunami, a cresting of theories, beliefs, bibles, tomes, etiquette, ad nausea to prove himself molecules above the atoms. I, yes I, ride me, I know what you do not. Bullshit. But of course neither do I. They could be right. Seeeen.
Which again completes the loop. Obviously, my little word show is no more than a strip tease, as all I can do is unbutton my soul and hand you the shirt. The words themselves are useless. Think of all the hokey Shirley Maclainisms people laugh at. Reincarnation, past lives, regression, channeling (granted, this one does seem a bit desperate). But, is she laughing? To the bank maybe. Still, they must symbolize something more to her. As do Krishnamurti's, as do Miller's, as to Sartre's, as do Huxley's. Some are glibber than others. They can quiet the words and make you feel. Other's one can only read.
This is because, as I see it, any time the unspeakable is attempted, the words flail when taken at dictionary value. Thus, signaling a
step for those seeking spiritual sublime, for the entirety of human language is able only to express vague meters of its bottomless depths. Hence, the cross, the yamaka, the call to prayer, the red orb of shiva, the swastica. They expound without the insistence of an interpreter.
I do not want to be an interpreter. My voice isn't "HIS." It's mine, as reflected in the absolute I feel (already I'm in sand and sinking quick in Susan Polis shmaltz). True, it's saturated with distorted words like "god" and infinity and soul and reality and truth and love and absolute and spirituality and karma and kalpa and the rest (here on Giligan's isle). I can't help this. They are all I have. It is the language of my soil. I long to change the words to make them less offensive, but doing so would be an amateurish attempt to restate experience, which in its fundamental truth remains frozen in constant movement anyway. I think [yes, too much].
Uncanny the way the cosmos throws things at you just as you're ready to catch them. During a genmai break, I bit into something called "philosophia perennis", which I momentarily mistook as a chapter heading from Robert Bly. Forgive my ingenue, but I grew up a cheerleader in Covina. I'm intrigued. By the ideas as well as their timing. It agrees, for now, with my present state of interpretation, by saying that neither "god" nor our reality can be verbalized for communication, yet that in actual experience (if isolating such a thing is possible), these truths must always be exactly the same. So, as we already knew, language merely voices our interpretation of experience. Thus religious language is no more than an approximation of mystical interpretation, i.e., a vocabulary developed to clothe the spiritual symbolism of the time. I canít believe me and robert are on the same plane? Is that in spain?
So, it holds that a religion depends upon the approximations of its prophet, thus on his enlightenment (Jim Jones versus Mohammed), his environment (in Iceland, the unitive state couldn't be "the hedge at the bottom of the garden"), and his historic folklore (the panchromatic Bhagavad Gita or the monolithic Ten Commandments). To me this screams, ANY RELIGION CLAIMING TO HOLD THE ABSOLUTE IS A CROCK OF SHIT. Or tempered slightly, religion is only part of the truth rather than the sole possessor of it. But we all already know this¾so why do I bother? Itís Easter and Iím a recovered Catholic who made it through New Age Anonymous.
Have you ever wondered how many presuppositions that our so-called belief systems are founded upon? How much smudge and gook are layered beneath our bricks of faith? Concepts like rebirth for the Buddhist, forgiven sins for the Christian, a seat on "god"'s Board for the Mormons, form the foundation for all respective interpretations and lead us on from there. While all could take us somewhere, most merely twist into the woods and leave us lost in deciduous thought. Rather than climbing and exploring a world of motion, we end up clinging to knots. Not this, not that, substantiate the past thought with not. I say, Thou shalt not not.
Yet, so many questions not to answer. Is symbology eclipsing our experience? Has life become something merely to be professed like the morning pledge of allegiance or the Lords Prayer? A rote existence of xeroxed thought, full of sensational headlines aimed at fooling us into believing we're actually living MTVs?
Okay, so how then did language, specifically religious language, become greater than those who created it, something starchy to be rolled and pressed into tin minds? I doubt that a few good men wanted their thinking to degenerate into a populace filled with half-baked ideas. Could they actually have foreseen an anesthetized esophagus gobbling their every wedge as if it were the sweetbreads? Probably not, but who gives a damn at this point anyway. No, what really matters now is getting back to the dry ingredients. We need a society that cooks for itself. An order of chefs to throw out the boyardee and whip up their own beliefs from the surrounding void. Sure, not that the shoulders of Alice Watersís arenít important, but only in mixture, i.e. not of one, but of all.
If only we could stop our past, or at least let go of it, and start from nothing like those who invited these beliefs in the first place. Two hundred dollars for passing go, we might even land on the blank truth with the empty eye where life is lived rather than believed. Yet, is it really possible to transcend definition and create true spiritual experience, which in its essence is no more than life anyway? To find the locus where religion and its doctrine fade into darkness and all beliefs and objects are again seen without the bogy of veneered eyes, where man and "god" no longer need a pastoral draw bridge to become one. A place where everyone drinks directly from his own well - without the golden bucket.
I say, it is time for our language to aim for the unaltered, to adapt to our evolving mind. We must strip life of its robes and stare at the naked man, otherwise lets turn spirituality into compost. Life is not for the professors, life is for the livers (whereís the tequila?).
But, to get back to my original point¾ whether it is here or not¾ please note that whatever my belief, it shouldnít matter because my aim is not to convert anyone to a particular view. Quoting Jane's Addiction, "I just want to fuck." To reproduce a dying exertion. There once was a day when idle thought constituted leisure. Where is that day? In a cathode ray? Recently, in a fit of participlian boredom, I taught a limb of this rant (to use the term wantonly) to a class of Japanese ESL students. Spent a an hour silver spooning a particular idea. Drew them pictures. Had them paraphrase. Gave them a basic quiz. Just as the bell tolled, I pulled out the bottom card and the whole thing crashed against my head. This rant is mine, I told them. Now, figure out yours and bring it back to us. tomorrow, the next day, sometime. Think about it. THINK. It was like telling a blind man to look at a rainbow.
No racism intended, just culturalism. Theirs is a society rife with educational authority - all authority for that matter. Huey, Dewy and Luey suits for every high school student and starched stewardess uniforms for the average OL. All faces framed tightly, Laura Ingles Wilder or Dorothy Hamilesque. An alchemy of control with everyone getting hammered. Literally.
Again, this is not a piece of ego, although I'm certainly pickled in one. I don't want you to see things my way. Why should I when you already see for. My self-centered thoughts may bleach in the glare of your experience, as this is nothing more than lather from a rabid mind. Still, even if I do no more than piss you off, I have accomplished my intent.
Obviously, full expression is impossible through the written word, even though writing grants us the luxury to pause and gather without losing our hearing. A feeling melts after we've tried to box it alphabetically. Thus ample time aside, or because of it, writing ends up too self-conscious, too reflective, to be the ultimate in communication. It overemphasizes the importance of saying only and exactly what we mean, which can block meaning. The real pioneering comes mind to mind, when two are seeking one and in doing so, running to keep up with the truth that's being created.
But for now, since as far as I know, being a loner, I'm alone in these feelings, I have no choice but to express them in the available medium. Why don't you write, Mark suggested. Its too exhausting to listen to you all the time. Okay, so I'm doing something with my thoughts. And since you can't touch me with your ears, I hope you can feel me with your eyes.
F L E E F L E E F L E E
E E F L E E F L E E F L
Feel my hills and valleys. Feel anything. Feel everything. Feel the void as it cuts you inside. Make love to it. Don't pass it on. Pass it on. It's half the whole. Make life rather than more bitterness to spew all over the fellow passengers of flesh. At least the we've stopped pretending to use the bag provided for our convenience. Piles over parents. Although rather than covering the filth with a lid like they did, we're now chucking it all over the road. People wonder why the art world is depressed. Isn't the relationship obvious? But then again, so is the truth. Or isn't it.
Yes, to paraphrase the guy under the ginkgo tree, suffering is universal, even if its responses aren't.
Today, I am the deep spiritual ribbons gashing across torn pages of history. Zombie Christ, return of my living dead. I am thinking of "god" and how distant the concept is until one faces a trial or need. To some, maybe more and more today, this limited contact is enough, for life will simply happen without sprains, so inner strength lies indefinitely dormant. This is fine, a backstage part in the play, possibly later they'll be called to histrionics (there's that new age crap again). But for others, the plan is more exacting. They pay the fare and ride. The Something wills it. Yes, they suffer, yes, they learn to burrow inside and huddle against the freeze of existence. And, it is in these terrifying depths that they draw closer to the passing of breath, those primal beats of spirit that carry toward love's undeniable reality. In suffering there is growth, in challenge there is action, in adversity there is gain. Every test ignites the human will and illuminates it beyond the routine of time. Once cradled, all hardship yields and its sufferers no longer gape against its blades. They are within, they have become "god". Whatever that is.
So, remember the woman? She was searching. Her concave stomach was her guiding hand, a self-proffered medal recognizing her strength and ability to disappear. Somehow, in the trenches of desperation, unable to starve her emptiness, she became full of something not even food could offer. "god". For a while, she thought he was Catholic, a bearded old man who's room hung over the secondary alter and guarded the mysterious golden box that only the gammon-mouthed priest could unlock. Every time she went to mass (which, once she cleared the initial crisis, became markedly irregular), his light was always on, which to her meant he must have been home. Just like Rosemary Kabibbe. She pledged blind love and prayed that she'd be let in. But she remained a bystander, always resisting something she couldn't see. Yet, like the wind, it sometimes lifted her beyond the trees and carried her upward like a balloon stolen from the loose grasp of a tremulous child. But always, she would come down, bingeing through her fall. In response? Maybe, for who can really explain the caprice of mood or the vulgarities of anorexia. She wondered (only later, of course, since the food itself was a safeguard against the interference of past or future) whether it was a fear of heights or an unwillingness to brave the altitude of her self-made mountains that caused her self-destruction.
A pain worse than longing lead her forward. Under the renewed courage of her again-growling belly (for the first day after a binge, it was impossible to be seen by "god"), she would once more enter the massive antechamber and timidly greet the crude hagiography gilded and nailed to every stretch of cold wall, afraid of judgment in their abnegating eyes (unwittingly experiencing enlightenment via the paradox of forgiven sin - she was struggling to be a good Catholic after all). The guilt on this day in was the hardest, but never equal to the condemnation of consumption. If she made it through, she was ensured a few good days where food stayed on her plate. On these days, fortified by "god", she ate only in recipe books and her mother's cooking magazines, satiated by four course color layouts and step by step instructions for white chocolate cheesecake. Along with Hail Mary and the Lord's Prayer, she memorized the ingredients of her favorite "dishes," even prepared them for her family, but never would she let any cross her lips. She studied calorie charts and the New Testament side by side, reciting both without any real hope of living up to them. Even genuflecting seemed easier with a flat stomach.
Then, without warning (although had she been looking, she'd have noticed the correlation between feeling human and the onset of a feed), the vacuum would engulf her, and again, abandon her to the grip of her terrorizing comfort. Up with the night, she would always enact her silent ritual while the world around her walked its distant dreams, leaving her alone with the heart pounds of nature. She'd wake up excitedly, like a child anticipating a tree full of presents, and begin by showering (afterwards her body would be too grotesque to see naked) and dressing in her loosest fitting clothes (although everything she owned belonged to a former body, she had a black cotton dress that served this purpose exceptionally well). Next, she'd bring in the morning Times (often, she'd be dressing when the boy on the motocross lobbed it onto the front porch and sped off toward the Mitchell's), pick out the View and Calendar sections, and prepare her place, which was Daddy's chair at end of the table, next to the drawn window, her back to the kitchen and front to the approach of mom (but mom didn't matter really, as she was usually grateful to see her doing anything at the table¾ still precautions had to be taken). She'd go to the bottom drawer next to the refrigerator, remove a black and white houndstooth placemat (always cloth) and a paper napkin (always careful, since its bumpy texture set her hairs standing like nails on a chalkboard especially when she was barefoot or eating ice cream) and smooth them out just below the newspaper. She'd get a plate (always the salad size since it made each helping seem smaller), and start first with the pink Foster's box enthroned on the counter. She'd take out a basketball-sized apple fritter burnished with white glaze (Foster's was known all over the San Gabriel Valley for their enormous doughnuts) and lower it meticulously onto the plate. She'd take it to her placemat (arranging it to an angle with the crustiest part away from her - this way it could be savored last), sit down (both legs curled beneath her), open the paper (the horoscope page), and while reading into herself and everyone she could think of, she'd puncture the fritter and ceremoniously eat it inside out. Then, depending on supply, the fritter might be seconded with a calf-length longjohn turned upside down (every bit of dough would be extracted and swallowed, leaving a carpet of maple frosting to be gobbled last). Pink box empty, she'd hold in her stomach and punch and press tightly, punching and pressing until satisfied enough to move on to the snack drawer, the second one down, just above where the placemats were kept. A Hostess pie, either lemon or apple, never chocolate (since, save for the twelve-bar conclusion of Ex-Lax, chocolate was outlawed), a can of buttercream frosting (taken from the refrigerator) spread thickly on Nabisco Waverlys and/or Vons or Alphabeta bakery sugar cookies joined the doughnuts. By now, her heart was working vociferously, but she was deep within the Calendar section, living vicariously with Liz Smith and imagining herself at clubs like the Whiskey and the Palomino. By the movie section, she'd be ready for the next course, which she'd follow by way of the bathroom, where she'd lift up her T-shirt to check her fat. First sideways, then from the front (it always looked worse from the side) and sideways again. Punching and pressing, she'd try to hold it in, but it would be impossible now. So she'd return to the kitchen and rummage for something salty, (salty was her mom's thing, and its abundance depended upon whether she was dieting or not), either cheese puffs or popcorn. Then, that being too salty, she'd need something sweet - but nourishing, to neutralize the sugar. Cereal. Moving on to the pantry, she'd pour herself half a box of dry (for milk was like chocolate) Peanut Butter Crunch and chase it with handful (or three) of Crunch Berries, followed by more stomach punches, and by now, she'd begun searching for a double chin. Back in the bathroom (she'd given up retching, as sticking her finger in her throat resulted only in dry spits and popped blood vessels in her eyes), she'd grab and stroke her chin, trying to smooth it with her palm, looking sideways in horror at the swollen ridge that hung goiter-like from her face. She'd be swollen all over now, hating herself for not being in control. She'd want to stop, but she'd be unable to. What next. Maybe some more cookies. Then some more cheese puffs, at this stage, clutching her chin as she chewed, hollowing her cheeks and flexing her jaw between mouthfuls to somehow pull it in. Some date nut granola mixed into a hefty bowl of vanilla icemilk (less calories), each spoonful stirred and taken backwards, making it last longer. Deep breaths and a pause while her heart thumped angrily above her waxing belly. Breathing shallowly, she'd stretch out on the floor like a semi-circle, her back flat against the dizzying carpet (for it too was houndstooth), her arms pushed against her sides, waiting, knowing she'd have to eat out her ritual. Slowly (for movement was painful now) she'd return to her plate for a bag of carob-covered peanuts, almonds and walnuts bought in bulk, each one sucked until its coat thawed and allowed her to spit out only the forbidden nut. As the saliva-streaked pile grew higher, she'd stop, not by any sudden realization, but simply because nothing else would fit. The sensation of impending explosion generally signaled retreat, besides, only the business, international, and national pages remained unsmudged. Three hours left before the first bell. Long enough for her to sleep for a couple of hours and pretend that it never happened.
Just like that, her alarm would go off. Mom and Dad getting ready for work. Jump in her 914 and dash off to Leadership Class. At school, she'd begin her fast. Her friends all wondered why she wouldn't eat lunch. She knew she couldn't explain that she was afraid to eat in front of people, afraid of losing control, afraid of showing them that she needed food. She'd get a large diet coke and drink it with a straw while everyone peacefully swallowed their cheese burritos or big macs. Not even a french fry. After cheerleading practice, she'd be hungry, so she'd retreat to her room for sit-ups and then go for a jog when mom came home and began cooking dinner. She'd return and say she had to hurry off to a game or party. "I'll eat with my friends," she'd promise her mother. "I ate before I came," she'd explain to her friends.
And so it went. As every caloric rampage ended, she'd be thrust into a spin of exhaustion. Fasts, calisthenics, cheerleading practice, frantic runs, and then denying herself no longer, she'd eat the eyes out of another frenzy. Soon, the days before her disease disappeared, and with them, her memory of herself. Controlled by her control, ordered and methodical, she'd plunge back and forth between two worlds, each time discovering that neither one fit, each time promising, each time failing. A dark cavern separated her from everything, including those who loved her. And always she was alone...
I know, for I am alone. Alone in thoughts, in unity, in love, in pleasure, in conversation (except for shared epiphanies, where, for a brief moment, immanence dawns and illuminates the invisible web that links all men to the world from which they're born), in sorrow, in depression, in this. So, in my own way, I am writing to escape from myself. But more like, into myself. To find apartment in the comforting solitude of real thoughts, those monomaniacal subjects that gnaw my ankles. Reality. "god". Armageddon. Truth. Food. Body. Food. Enlightenment. Food. Truth. Reality. "god". Now. At least some of them feel real. Am I lost? Hell, who isnít? An astronaut in a suit. At least I have a self from which I can escape.
And escape I've done, and done, and done, which is why this seems so important now. Here I go on, hiking to make the most of every second appointing me human. Grubbing away at my dirty lies, my anger, my solitude; unearthing (or re-earthing) my interred mortality. I am girding myself so I can scale the titanic mound of daily existence and live. Truly live. No tomorrow, no today, no yesterday. Yes, alone in a society of willed denial, of terror, of dejection, of greed, I am becoming me, a sufferer no longer lonely. I am taming my emptiness by filling myself with the same love I too carefully pour onto others; I'm finally learning to treat myself as kindly as I would cats.
And this makes me think of the latest him, him who enters my warm bed and fucks me; but it isnít his cock, itís his intolerance of butt boys¾ my roommates¾ as he calls them (but with the accent one is never sure, just as with the newest additions to my dictionary, such as seeeein, bom clot, boom boom, poe poe, and so on, which may hold a syllable or two more than my English penned ears are capable of recognizing). The kick fight has exhausted me and mined our relationship. We are bedroom lovers, not philosophic ones (no he doesnít fuck me so good he hits my brain)¾ it must still be fun. I get relentless at times, sound and round and round and sound. Unwilling to give up the chase, I mirror and he denies his hate. Parallels to Hitler and the Japanese, reminders of one love and all its calls for vibes of unity, examples of intolerance, racism, and similar hate. Nothing seems to penetrate his paranoid obsession. He repeats that they molest little boys and ruin their lives. No doubt, but like the paper factory employee & Andy Kaufman (first immortalized in my head by Gordon and later REM) who thinks America's lunar landing was the product of photography and government conspiracy, he completely ignores my mention of all the little girls who've been molested and/or destroyed by heterosexual men. I told him of her, the thirteen year old schizophrenic, a girl who's father sold his buddies tickets to enter her eighteen month body and consequently split her between two words - the "good girl", the Madonna (the older one) and the "bad girl," the angry whore. To no avail. Story after story seemed to fly unnoticed, as if female molestation was somehow more natural. (Is it because they are girls and such violations are expected even condoned, or is it something more vicious, like a irretrievable byproduct of a recessive gene -- the Y chromosome perhaps?). The argument culminated (for the subject is now locked away forever) off season on a rare stretch of sand in Shimoda, rain misting like sweat from an iron sky, me twirling life-sized circles into the serrated light and dark left by the tide as he begged me to stop moving. Groping with my stick, I came up with de Sade, who showed his face, or was it his ideas, in my frantic patterns. I felt him laughing at society, even now, for its priggish life. Was he right that if sin exists, it must be natural, and therefore simply an extension of nature. Sin is no more than a definition for a behavior deemed undesirable by society. Thus couldn't sin just as easily be defined as a billion dollars sitting in the bank? A businessman with a pocket full of change stepping around the woman with two kids begging for twenty-five cents? A driver parking in the blue handicapped space while he runs in the store for "just a few items"? A kinky-haired black-boy with broad eyes caged by the narrow walls of a state childcare agency, institutionalized because his mother died and people only want pink newborns?
So what is butt-fucking, I tell him, but an extension of our moral tally of unacceptable behaviors. Doesn't it exist as nature? Nature gone awry times ten percent, seeeen. I wasn't even afraid of this argument twisting against me (which in actuality could have been be done quite easily, because, as with all such metaphysical conjecturing, everything put forward is truth by its very utterance - even lies, thus, Truth as I was trying to define it mercilessly defied my feeble relativity). Not because I considered him stupid, far from it, (for stupidity doesn't have to be all-encompassing - in him, it just seemed to lodge itself in fistulas of narrow-mindedness), but because I knew he wasn't even listening. His emotions were chomping on his intellect, and as I spoke (granted my delivery speed may have garbled his understanding) I watched his mind preparing his response rather than listening for something to respond to. So by the time I pause long enough for him to pick up the slack, he thinks I too am as bent as a butt boy. Do jah bee a lesbeen? I think of the fishy stories I've already spread. Relaying my lesbian fantasies as fact to avoid being pegged as straight by my homosexual (and heterosexual) friends. Me the carpet licker. Tongue kissing a few girls to make it seem real (getting myself in trouble with a couple of the more aggressive ones). Like Antonio, I like the idea of a hazy sexuality. Anything to avoid the bugged peeps of labelers. No, I reply. Why den, do jah keeep breding itup agin an agin.
He never got it. Too him, our discussion was limited to the perversity of the wrong hole. But the whole is always complete. It's only the human hole that makes it appear otherwise. Maybe he should learn to umpire his own hole before shouting foul into those of others.
Questions, questions like rabbits fucking. Why solve his hate. Why not just throw your sheets in the washing machine and move on? Yes, I remember. That first conversation. The rivulets of clarity. But was it union or herb that caused our smooth reflection.
until it turns over to sift again and again and again. Herb lets us flip the glass and examine each grain as it moves into time. A quantum grasp, particle and field, a dynamic interplay of drop and wave, where transformation is continuous. Smoking, he was what I was, but not when I looked later, for neither of us were what we were then. Sober (another relative concept), he ceased to be what I saw, or I wasn't what I thought I had been. As immortalized in a friends phone message...
expectation is disappointment
Yes, so you imagined a king in colorful clothing. You built the stage for your tragic farce. You acted along. But, then, backstage (now, the most important part), you traveled from journey's union to the end of time and learned of love. Of pure love, not pillared or sanctimonious love, not hypocrisy or hyperbole, but love. That spray of chattering trees or moment stolen to lie down in the grass and count the sleepy dollops swimming in their blue bowl. Love like wet dawn when windows lift their eyes and sidewalks smell of toast and eggs. That of the broken silence of twilight, when boot heels press past all those little realities tucked away into their beds, and alone the collective gathers completely within. All, if we would just stop to hold out our hand, is given. In the same way, shouldn't we too give away love since there is always more? That's it. Love.
I once fell in love with a mad herbalist from Jamaica¾ not the smiling singer plagued by butt fantasies. Another. I called my friend in the states to tell him. I had just returned from a Jamaican cultural/entertainment program at a club called MC1000 when I called, so I was pretty high by osmosis (whenever I'm in the Rasta scene, I'm immediately transported to the land of KIND memories). I went early to interview the dreaded beard and, initially, hadn't planned to stay for the entire event. But after an hour sharing his twisted mind, I decided to stay. So first off, his name is Dr. Bagga, supposedly a famous Rasta herbalist from Jamaica (famous, like everything else, is, of course, relative, i.e. it refers specifically to Jamaica and certain pockets of the medical community, most particularly those concerned with holistic health and oriental medicine) whose business card reads, "give thanks to His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie! - Hawah Herbal Research Co., Ltd." As I remember, his goldfish eyes were framed by a colorful wrap, covering his ass-length dreads (he's been a rasta for 30 plus years), and his body was solid and wiry, complete somehow. Talking to him was like sticking my finger into my orgone box. At fifty-two, he's definitely the kind of man who has offspring all over the world. Walking virility. His energy was all encompassing, and, after playing with him that evening, I considered following him back to Jamaica. He reacted similarly, and after dancing and holding hands, tres conspicuous (shit he's most probably a grandfather - I kept thinking about my friend Janine and her grandfather Cooter (a family nickname) who used to french kiss her until she got old enough to realize that tongue kisses were for "boyfriends"), I left promising to go see him in Kamakura the next day. But, as Kamakura is almost a two hour train ride away and he was leaving on Tuesday, I chickened out, justifying my fumble with a handful of lame excuses. I've ended up writing him a letter to explain my behavior. Mind you, that night, I thought looking into his eyes was like viewing a distant galaxy at point blank range. But, now, letter sent, I've changed my mind in light of some new circumstances. As I initially suspected but romantically denied, he is a herb man in every sense of the plant (oh how I love those herb men). Yet when we spoke of meditation and visions, of philosophy and truth, I saw something more holistic, less drug-induced. Or at least I thought I did. You know how I'm constantly ranting about connecting without assistance. Granted, herb and other equally glorious substances have shown me realities my insignificant mind most likely never could have conceived of, but now having been there and incorporated those experiences into my perceptions of reality, I want to create a physical purity that will allow me to further penetrate ineffable self (oh how I love that word). I believe that when the body is healthy it functions organically rather than as a component of separate parts, and thus paves the road for an integrated whole. My healthy body offers me freedom from physical discomforts and releases me from my base concerns (yet never, thank Jah, from sex or hunger). But more than the happiness and steady sense of awareness that my sound body offers, it allows me also to feel the entire cosmos as an extension my own unified body. So although I feel that herb offers a deeply meaningful spiritual understanding, it is not to be abused, as it disrupts the balance (too yin as the Macrobiotics would say) and dulls the connection. To me, herb's glory is something to be savored medicinally - a serum for a dusty mind. It cleans out the webs and makes way for the new. because he was a natural doctor, I assumed we were on parallel courses; but, like the other names scratched off my growing dance card, he's not the natural man I crave. Forgive me for bitching, but I'm bored with the task at hand and am wondering if I'll ever find someone who's climbing a similar path. All the guys I seem to meet (Freudian slip here, I initially typed "meat"), men who at first seem like fire, turn out to be dark and insipid, into drugs, drink, or seductive conversation, and after a while their drawing power fades as they reveal their feeble insides, leaving me to untangle myself and rekindle my own fire. Again, this one seemed different. So maybe next time. Maybe not. In any event (and I'm not justifying), I enjoyed the our brief and snakishly entwined path.
Yet what of Baudelaire's claim that drugs add nothing new to a man, but only raise what is already inside to a higher level. So this speaks of the relationship between the mind and the taker.
And then to escape from the environment.
Love is the infinite response to an incomprehensible reality. And by definition, giving love means loving self enough not to drain from others, not to pin others with rules and behaviors as a criterion for welcome. Leaving all free to fly without holes burned by jealousy or wings clipped by control. Every day people, being.
But then to the source of love. Does it matter from whence it gushes? Is ESCTACY a fair road to spread. I'm not so sure since it exists as pure escapism, but as it is part of the picture, it belongs as much as pot, coke, crack, heroine, PCP, crystal meth, ether, speed, herb, Quaaludes, Marlboros, codeine, Humboldt county green, ice, Valium, LSD, mushrooms, white lines, mescaline, opium, Thai stick, buds, ups, downs, Jack Danielís, speed balls, eight balls, Peruvian powder, West Chester county, bangdelassis, Chew Z, hashish, horse, dope, the KIND, Cuervo Especial, and TV. Thank man there's an option. In my opinion, I'll say that X ranks below nature's finer hallucinogens, but it's certainly healthier than the driving desperation of crack and its relatives. With X, E, Adam, Eve, MDMA, or any other moniker that applies, the high is love, the experience sublime bliss, the vibes a gentle purr. So, with this place possible, why not, when so many can't find it on their own, doesn't it make sense to provide a way out, or better, a way in.
Which brings me to a traveling underground club called the Twilight Zone¾ which should be subtitled as Tokyo's X-house. A place for underground foreigners and pioneering Japanese, a similar scene no doubt to the one that offered Lucas his bar in Star Wars. Entombed beneath JR on the Southeastern reaches of industrial Tokyo, a land dizzy with diversion wakes on Saturday night when its three floors of Escher madness rain love and black light. A VIP screening room flickers darkness and pictures sound. Two dance floors palpitate beneath rainbows of crooked fingers whose limbs weave and wheeze the colors of steam. A pulling tunnel of white stretches the imagination and confirms eternity in its twenty yard passage of fleeting awareness. People float from floor to floor, body to body, as cleavage folds against time, and love wrinkles into smiles. A reality bargain for a mere 3,000 yen and a membership form to placate customs. A boarding pass please, no seat belts allowed. Don't forget your drugs, motion sickness can be debilitating. RAVE. Ranting Addiction Valueless Eros. Sex and self-possession. Love passed underneath the stalls to be swallowed alone, so only the mirrors look back. As encapsulated by Simon the first (and there are two) while Xing to the battering beat of techno rave, "Don't leave now, I'm really open." Great, but everyone's dancing alone to a music that never changes in a mind that isn't there.
Openness, so has society devolved to a point where we need drugs to be natural? Where would these people be without them? Maybe hurled before trains, asleep in running cars, or brainless on the edge of some park. Still, others might be marching with the moral majority, enrolled in reserve duties like choir and Sunday bake sales, or faint under the oxygen reduced state of perfectly dimpled neckties, pushing away for this weekend's purchase. Then again, they could be flogging themselves (and each other) for Madonna's sex book (censored in Japan, black boxes over all pubic hair) or smearing red lipstick and pink polish into a hopeful snare of love. However, whereever, or whatever the bent, an escape will open its door. Which will it be, door number one, two, or three? Or will you take the mystery box? The one obsessed with ontology and housing water in an outstretched hand, the door that employs a language where verbalization is impossible and one life becomes a dream. Out of all, this is unquestionably the most difficult, particularly in its simplicity, entry to pass through. It's the heavy opening that rips the arms and shreds the grab-fest as it tries to muscle through. It admits only those whose gait glides without thinking, gently and purposefully, direction-less. Sometimes, one, two, or three are screens blocking the way this truth's door, but it can always be pried with the key inside. If only the key would let go of the lock.
Ah, and then the permanence of writing makes this convergence seem so much more meaningful. I like when ideas assume the proportions of actual, longhanded and fingered thought. A mala for the mind. More finger toast?
How about another gift from KT¾ a life always seeking answers to the unknown. So true, dear Meehan. Yes, anything to remove the responsibility of decision and to keep us out of the reach of the persistent chime of fate. How easy it is to mold one's life after the subjections of another's interpretation rather than letting it gather where it may. For the first time, I see fortune telling without its blue makeup and neon signs. Such clarity in those large pores. I couldn't help thinking of Kathy and the early astrological interpretations she has passed my way. A stranger who could speak into a tape about the day I was born and tell my 20 year old mind things Iím just now able to see about myself. Could this of somehow altered my progress. Probably, but does it matter? But where is my true love, my soul mate. it isnít smilie or dr bagga¾then who?
And now my mind has flashed to thoughts on the beautiful people chasing their egos like a cat chases his tail, dressing in their funky fash in order to hold court over industrious industrial cool. A pizza freezer. So many times in the cool and the beautiful favored fringe haunts (not counting the Roppongi sweat spots where the nasty casserole assumes fetid proportions as the seeking gaijjins, foreigner obsessed Tokyo chicks, and a general smattering of wantabes are tossed in with the beautiful people -- no thank you) Yeah, the human drive to fit in with the cool. I definitely understand this, as I'm a fucking victim of beauty, learning to purge myself of all existing, unhealthy, other-inflicted interpretations and communicating only those that ring solely as my own, whether they originated inside me or not. It's part of learning right? If you like it become it since all thoughts can't reinvent the wheel.
Can we talk more on the fashion issue, because clothes, in their pure form (if anything that covers up our natural beings can be considered pure - maybe protective form is a better description), should be no more than an expression of the self and the personality it envelops in this lifetime. The first act of creativity¾ dressing. Why then is the need to conform to the fashion of the in-group so overwhelming. The group pressures of acceptance? Possibly insecurity in interpretation of the world and the tools used to express this understanding? The in-vibes emitted by the ones who start the fashions in the first place? If they found it, I'll wear it. Strange monkeys we are. I'm glad life has given me a taste (although not looked at as such) for my own style, just my odd collection of gaijiin house friends have theirs. Kike in my dresses and crosses, wanting to be madonna in his Peruvian stare, julie the bull dike, philip the 80s rocker, Jin on his way to Thailand for a sex change, antonio looking like a teacher so he can lure more japanese girls into his bed, letting me share the bedsprung show since my room is directly below his. and so on...
Self-actualization. Rolls and roles off the tongue gorgeously. Each day, it becomes even more apparent than the previous day thought possible. Its like being tied to a swinging web of resonance. Upon reading Miller's opening sentence in the Tropic of Cancer, I felt so understood, that I began answering all "what do you do" questions with "I am." It has proven particularly helpful in quieting the pompous puckering of the BrainWashesque crowd. The peacocks, realizing that I don't want to mate, take their mind fucking flexing elsewhere, and I'm spared the usual "artist" squawk. Everyone in the black clothes club wants to be an artist. Fuck man, you are, whether you realize it or not. It's in their towering claims that they lose the gift of sight. I wonder what they see when they look in the mirror. Peter Max?
I remember Julie's story about an ambulance that was stolen somewhere in LA. Allegedly, the paramedics left it outside, empty and sirens blaring, while they entered the house to administer to whatever emergency was at hand. So being LA, the genius town behind the pull and carry car stereo invention and anti car jacking locks, somebody jumped in the running ambulance and initiated a 75 mile chase. That somebody turned out to be an eleven year old kid who the police later described as "a very bad boy." She told every detail with such horror and appall, indignant over the lawless suffering created by such a society. True enough, but rather than comprehending the nature of her observation, she cornered her disgust on me as I laughed at its dadaist implications. Her predictable response revealed that, as others like her, the black absurdity of this world cannot be reconciled to a limited scope of tragedy. She was too twined in the strangle of human emotions to see the balance of front and back. Without human interference, sorrow ceases, along with euphoria, anger, lust, greed, desire and jealousy. Rather than watching and interpreting it as yet another vignette for our three dimensional stage, she doused herself with Christian (or Hebrew, Muslim,...) suffering and leap flaming onto the guilt ridden heap already kindled by her delusion. She forgot to accept her observations as part of the play, albeit an unhappy third act, meaning she failed to step away and observe the play, so with the ambulance drivers, the unfortunate (karmatically deficient maybe?) patient, and fucked up little kid, she sunk neck deep into the emotion, paralyzing all but her active mouth. This tragedy is far greater than the loss of a finite portion of a life that endures forever, one that will continue outside its now defunct l. Stealing life is certainly to be condemned, yes, and as Daniel says, murder and other forms of violence are pure evil. Live spelled backwards. But don't these exist as extensions of a loveless society? Or better yet, as part of the balance. With love, how can anyone ever contemplate murder, hate, rape, cruelty, de Sade, Nichize, or Hitler? It's only action and reaction that continue the spiral of death and redeath.
We are at this crux because it is time. Our lives are as they should be, just as life as it now looks must not continue. But rather than clawing or futile clutching to what is, was, or could be, all nature requires of us is the honesty and courage to delve, discover, and admit. Greenwich Mean Time is nearing its cycle, or as the Indian's would say, Kali Yuga is almost over. So the revolutions wind tighter. I believe everyone feels it in their breathing. But the road is paved with dark angels and nothing ever ends. It will get more difficult as time steps closer, but each moment has purpose. So every action, decision, and word occur as planned and regrets are useless. We are each fulfilling our role in this life, and an understanding of this natural flow is essential. Self-flagellation leaves only bruises on a pure consciousness. It's like covering a lamp with a shade because the light is too bright to appreciate. Light itself is perfect, just as all love exact and all feelings sound. If humans could remember ourselves in the strata of vibration, the wants would melt into nothingness¾ wouldnít they? One love. Only what happens inside matters. So if love comes there, then love radiates outwards and encourages more, so another learns love inside, and without thought or charity, it again travels towards more, and the chain is linked. All the titles, awards, degrees, dollars, stereos, cars, clothes, champagne, crack, and even panting love, disappear in the countenance of self-love. Not arrogance, seeing. Loving. insignificant significance. So, it has to end, but not in fear, not in torture, not in sorrow. Only in love.
If only love wasnít riddled with destruction. The love of someone instead of self. Physical love, ego love, lust, need, posturing. how many times have I been a mantle piece for love, carried around a dick as a purse. Charting the dance with cutout footsteps. One person making the music, the other trying to hold on to it¾rhythm and need, a tango lesson. Imagine Julie or Fan and their lesbian power games, or Monty or Gordon, or, or and their frat boytestosteric urges. Whenever the relationship springs between two sexually super-imposed insecurities, love seems to degenerate into sex, a de-evolution of communication and its sensualspiritual peaks to the wasteland of want. What I want is to be understood, but when words break down and there seems no other form of expression, I go where Iím comfortable¾ the physical, three dimensional, dick and vagina world. Put this here and lick there, now suck. But whose left holding the condom? Probably the same one whose been thrown both ropes of the friendship. Inevitably, it's over, except for those rare occasions when motivations were sound, i.e., no other boyfriends, girlfriends, bets, whatever.
Self love or not, I remain human. So dangled against the reel of destruction, Iím groping the hidden tunnel, the place to hide as the smoke clears and then once again stand up inside my skin. A despair beyond Armageddon, an ache louder than a blood drenched circle on a calendar. I believe the real pain is the portion of "god" that I canít feel inside of me. The Raja yogis say that after passing through the four ages of the kalpa, that of the golden, silver, copper, and iron (three guesses where we are now), all souls undergo a transition of purity. In the golden age, all souls are "god", they've been refreshed by the purge of iron and do not lack or need anything. Even time doesn't matter. Then as the seasons of the kalpa unfold, the transformation, due to karma and time, tarnishes the soul and the motivations progress from "god", to Human, to human, to now. By the last strains of the cycle, the "god" inside is almost completely obscured from view, almost to the point where most people fail to recognize its existence. Now, I am in now, the time when everybody senses their loss, but most cannot finger its cause. So, its easier to disrupt society, sabotage self, and create blame instead of confronting the dark, unmanageable void. I should know, a product of time, I battle with the backsides of euphoria. Sometimes I like to think of it as the part of me that only "god" has, so being human, I'm not completely myself, like a puzzle missing its final piece. Thus, to me, my life is lived only to close in on the hole (or is it whole?) and fill myself with "godís" love. Sometimes, the enormity of it can be overwhelming.
Which brings me to...WINTER CHILL
dear seasons, complete
your timeless cycle
sleep again with trees
let your breath chill
branches of despair
love can seed once more
oh vernal embryos
stop this autumn fighting winter
shepherd the stranded
who hug dead leaves
afraid to let them fall
love can feed once more
once more, my turning hope
nourish spring's souls
pave their way with angels
snowdrops who bloom
through winter's fright
love can breed once more
ignite sweet fury
lift up your frosty light
unburden those trunks
sagging in life's sight
too dark beneath its shadow
love can heed once more
so impending frost
renew this sorrow
let your grasses
again chatter the moon
back home to you
love can lead once more
Change is upon us, but many are still afraid of its unpredictability. This is my prayer to entice the winter that must eventually thaw into green blades. Spring is the awakened life, a life lived to fill moment to moment, a now lived with the certainty of now, a hand reaching out of the rubble of change. The place that I seek. I see the 20th century winter as a chance to reach that home inside, rather than the home beside the railroad tracks or the freeway, the one expanding with bigger and better purchases, or the one whose roof is buckling under the pressures of yuppie stardom. It springs from destruction. I want to wear the bunny fur at the edge of this human winter.
According to many Eastern thinkers, time as we understand it is nearing its cycle, or as the Indian's would say, the kalpa is almost over. Possibly it is the tightening of these revolutions that is making it so difficult for so many people to breathe. But, all I can say, is that the road is paved with breathe and bones. plus some grotesque contortions, like the LA riots, the Waco standoff, as examples.
The Greek mystic Plotinus said that the eye could only behold the sun if it itself were sun-like, just as to behold "god", the soul itself must also be "god" like. To me, to behold "god" also means to behold self, thus now since people are unable to behold self, they are drifting beyond the light that reminds them of their essence. It's the awareness of this light that holds us together because it is inside everything, and as such also inside the outside. Only now many can't perceive themselves as part of this light, so they cannot envision themselves as "god". "god" is only available to those who look, and by not looking, we are where we are, which is where the drama wills us to be. By "god", (by god!), I refer to that which transcends definition rather than the bearded paternally incarnated "god" of the Christians or the four handed variety of the Hindus. This is not meant as sacrilege grandma. But to me, "god" is not a word. "god" is not an image. "god" is not a concept. "god" is not even "god". "god" is beyond and inside. "god" is ...! Fucking photons man.
So in the midst of these ramblings, shall I suffice to say, that in striving to remember who I am in the scheme of vibrations, my needs and wants are melting into nothingness. More and more, it's only what is happening inside me and the driving urge to shower it on others (while of course also sharing in their own spiritual interpretations) that matters. All the titles, awards, degrees, dollars, yen, stereos, cars, clothes, champagne, and even physical love, disappear in the face of self-love. Not arrogance, but seeing the "god" inside. Loving. Being. It seems now that all the rest is losing significance. Thus, my call for Winter to take us forward to Spring. Not wrist slashing.
I transcribe this from a letter I wrote to my catholic grandmother, now dead, shared with her as part of the honesty that I live before she died. looking back at our relationship, so strong and comforting, a treasure between a grandmother and "granddater", I realize that we helped make each other true, and by doing so, found more love for each other. yes grandma, communication demands no less. Thank you for your love and willingness to accept my sanctimonious, somewhat clumsy blasphemy.
Speaking of death, I've decided to accept the two terms interchangeably. Death. Its everything, the unknown and the known at the same time. Gaining its meaning from birth, it connotes end, which, in my opinion, is relative to empirical existence. Death and birth need each other like peanut butter & jelly¾who wants one without the other.
Balance is death within life. Not an annihilation of living, but a realization of the impermanent, transient nature of our existence. With this comes freedom Why not, its what people fear most - god and death? They're basically the same, and after dealing with the likes of Christianity, its hypocrisy, the unquestioning mythology, the banality of its words, most thinking people can no longer relate to god without seeing an emaciated white victim and a bearded father on a cloud standing beside a boy-fucking priest with his how-to-manual. Yuck. The Christian word GOD must die, for as long as it exists, there is no reference point for the infinite reality that extends well beyond the dimensions of religion.
But then again, doesn't this lead to a well ordered argument accusing my logic as that which denies life. Yes, this denial of life issue places me on tenuous ground. My intent was to remove the fear of death rather than substantiate the worshipping of it, obviously I missed this point in my reasoning. In trying to come up with a name to describe it (again which god or Death), I ignored the implications of current usage, failing to address the human propensity toward polarity in language. I've been made to see that death to most tongues means exactly the opposite of life, which is exactly the opposite of my belief. Death and life are equally beautiful and mysterious, we are existing here now, believing this is life, without really more than the faintest notion of what any of it means. Possibly in "death," we are just as confused about "life." Death is the paradox only life will solve, and life is the only paradox Death will solve, but, you may ask, why expend life arguing over death. True, I too recognize (along with H. Miller who said something along the lines of "why think about god - be it") that life itself is god, but I guess I want people to realize that death is also god, and thus by deductive reasoning, life itself. By rejecting fear, I stop worrying and learn to be god now. god et al. "god" is behind the word, but to fuckheads, the word is god.
Of course what is "god" anyway¾just another term for nature? god is something beyond the external, observable, objective world. The idea of both I and the world disappearing into a state most define as god, away from consciousness, yet not dreaming, an ineffable transcendence of sparkling nothingness.
Which scripture is it that says, "god has to be all things to all things"?
Praying. Who do we talk to. Ourselves. Does asking for willpower, that phonecall from him, or the express train make any difference. where is the collective consciousness when you need it.
I've just found another theory. Christianity's Darwinism as related to shortcomings of monistic mysticism. Flash, Adam was a special apple from god once he grew bored of the apes. An ape in god's clothing, Adam is interpreted as the "original infusion of the divine essence into what had previously been an anthropoid ape." Thus before his fall, Adam supposedly represented the union of nature (the ape) and grace (god). Then of course, he got fucked because SOMEONE listened to the snake. So with the sin, there came death, but only bodily death since Adam was given god's soul, i.e. Adam was divine by default. (Throughout this theory I hasten to add, SOMEONE is never mentioned.) Thus confounded by His eternal life clause, god merely made Himself impossible to find. So at death, Adam found Limbo instead of oneness with god. (Enter the monistic implication) This Limbo is described as the highest natural bliss possible in the monistic concept which equates enlightenment to the separation of the immortal soul from all that is transient, sensory, and ungodlike. While viewed as a divine state, Limbo is quickly rejected as moon food because such liberation didn't come from god. All of this is compared to the theistic approach to worship and union, which, (this part wasn't elaborated upon) managed to somehow get man on His good side again, i.e., god takes the first step and makes the soul again fit for union. In a pretty little package, Christianity has found the real god, everyone else has not. What a hall of ape shit.
This little monkey says no way, my kingdom wonít be parcel with any more definitive speculation and exclusive definitions. Give me my swingset back, I want hair on my palms rather than blood on the psalms. How many more people can we piddle away while trying to prove the unknown. Wouldn't it be easier to prove that we're alive.
"Thou art this all"
Why didn't anyone listen to Huxley and the many before and after when they raved against the outbreak of each new strand of materialism justified, or at least made respectable, by the airs of Christianity? And don't forget the other theistic versions of reality that also erect pillars to hide their greed. Its all there, Crystal Cathedrals, burning oil fields, the Gaza strip, religion has sanctioned a monster that uses more than god to escape from the pressures of a bewildered self
Give me drugs and alcohol rather as religion. If Iím to have a release, a dogma to stroke and masturbate, to flog, to strangle with and to choke on, it might as well be interesting. Life in not to be professed.
Sat Chit Ananda - being, awareness, bliss - the beatific vision
I am relative existence, and thus live as physicality dictates, subject to the extent of conditioning. Can the knowledge that I am this allow me to transcend these tyrannical patterns and reside above them, as Eternal woman, free from fate or the bondage of the impassioned ego. Who, standing in the wake of the freedom of de Sade, manifests as my libertinism outside of the egotistic passions of man, a freedom connected to the very self from which it is discovered.
I'm a product of my generation. But what is that. Not a slacker, not a yuppie, not a neo hippy, not a boomer, not a gloomer. Find me so you can define me. Cyberhippie, slippie, dippy, trippy, TV raised, hollywoodís swan song.
On a friend's death, a voice said -- I also know that in his absence, your overflowing love has taught you to feel him in the warmth that massages your heart and radiates through your soul. The ever so subtle flight of fleeting eminence, it makes us kings who want to share love's gift with the world.
I lost my contact last night. the implications blow with such cosmic force that I must say thank you for reminding me of my need for vision while simultaneously showing me that sometimes its easier to see without eyes. Then, as if that weren't enough, I woke up this morning under the spell of a dream where I was blind in my left eye. I struggled and fought, but still I could see nothing. Then I opened both eyes and could see in perfect balance.
Are you the kind of person who fills the silence with silence.
When we are healthy, we do not feel our body as separate parts, since it functions organically, and thus we are able to experience it as its integrated whole. Not only does this well being create a steady sense of awareness and happiness, but it also allows is to experience the entire cosmos as an extension of the unified body. So what?
Baby, Tokyo is a place of few smiles between strangers¾ I got your letter paul, dispatch from Capp street from my ex north beach partner in young bohem superhero-dum, now moved to the mission, where things are happening for the hobo phreaks who donít mind guns. Yeah baby, as I dug into your discourse, I put my head up, shoulders aligned, showed all the slouched japanese and dour faced euros around me how hip I was, creating history with you, that is, until your words captured me and I forgot the train, moving to the spell of your thoughts. As you riffed, I flirted with tunes of my own, and by the time I squeezed onto the platform and bumped my way above ground, I was no longer alone in this mechanical abyss of humanity. The warm gray patter of June, the sneering umbrellas, the orange-shirted Christians chirping their dying relief, and the ersatz street performers all seemed at the far end of a remote tunnel. I was with you, and by being so, I felt the unity in everything. I wanted to run up and kiss the street punk in the colored bozo wig. I looked squarely at every eye and smiled, partly to fuck with people, but also to share your good vibes, feeling only pity for the empty eyes who merely blinked back. (Since no one smiles or looks at each other here [even expats don't have the courage to smile at each other], I've learned to smile for no reason other than because it feels good to give. Thank god, because otherwise I'd be a lot poorer now, since save for the random rays of solace, the only chance of getting a smile is on the last of the midnight trains when the drunks are pink with sake anyway. At first, I got pissed because I thought people were rude assholes, but then I realized they were free to do as they pleased and who was I to pin them with my idea of socialization. It seems to be a cultural thing. Why else would people willfully miss out on one of the few moments when the world becomes clear. The other morning I went for a jog, and as I always do¾ and always have, even back in the days when I ran past snaggle tooth camel dudes along desolate stretches of dust syria and jordon¾ I smiled and said good morning. "ohaiyo gosaimasu" to every person I passed, which on this occasion came to about twenty or so. I received only one returned smile¾ and it was from a ten-year-old school girl. Like the girls the Salarimen see on their morning papers, in her little bunkaru outfit, sailor style, breast hanging out. The other nineteen remained holed in their protective stone faces. Shoga-nai,
All of this inspires guerilla theater. A lot of it, from jay walking dramas with the locals to full staged productions, my expat pals and I are always enacting little dramas and confusions for our innocent hosts. Especially Daniel. Usually its juvenile, such as the other day when we pretended that the crowded commute train was a football field and the door five yards away was the goal line. He was my blocker and I was the running back. We were hooting and hollering as we ran through the door, then to the wider-eyes of our audience, I spiked the ball and we did a touchdown dance as the train slowly pulled out of the station. My favorite is hiding in the bowels of the subways and jumping out of corners as people walk by¾ booooo. Itís just like Japanese TV; they love it.
And like smiles, Tokyo donít have street signs I can read either. Paul, if you are listening, hereís one inspired by you. As you may know from your readings in world history, Tokyo, originally Edo, wasn't built in a day [or was that Rome?], nor was it planned in one. Actually, it wasn't planned at all. Unlike the obsessively neat patterns crisscrossing the rest of its society, Tokyo's roads wind, twist, and taper off, leaving the traveler with no choice but to bring osembi crumbs and pray that the sumos are busy wrestling with the perennial buffet of dango [pounded, phlegm-like rice rolled into edible golf balls] and sake at the nearest [which isn't hard since they're everywhere] temple cemetery. But even when the path is straight, the traveler still faces the struggle of finding a street sign somewhere along the way. And I'm not talking about the foreigner who's looking for English, but about the Japanese who reads kanji or hiragana or katakana. Rarely are streets marked. Guide books repeatedly warn the Tokyo-bound gaijjin not to hand a taxi driver an address and expect him to find it. I've stopped counting the number of times a taxi driver [now that I have more money, I've gotten into the luxury of missing the last train without staying out all night, justifying the stratospheric price tag with the "if I die tomorrow" epigram] has fallen into the maze and given me a unrequested city tour. At first, I thought Mr. Taximan was just nervous around gaijjin or unaccustomed to my bastard Japanese, but after the third time, when, armed with two native speakers, I still sat helplessly as he pulled over every six or seven blocks and scrutinized his map, I knew the guidebooks were right. Okay, so cab drivers and the general population can't get around without a backstreet [or any street] local, but what about the police. I figured, being the eyes of Big Brother, they definitely knew where the signs were hidden. Hell, I even thought they may have been hidden purposefully to give the police something useful to do. I could just see them boxed in a giant warehouse, while the police xeroxed portions of an enormous map and waited for someone to grope and pant his way into the koban [police box - always at least one planted near every JR or subway station, plus others creeping like weeds through skyscrapers or concrete boxes - I consider them glorified amusement park information desks] to ask for directions. I pictured a supersonic network of underground sensors that beeped every address entered into HALRU, Japan's Herculean Herculean computer. But, as the purpose of this diatribe will soon reveal, the police, like everyone else in Tokyo, haven't got a map or a clue either. I now know this because of a story a friend told me yesterday. She was walking home from a late night Roppongi rave two weeks ago when she noticed three squad cars and an ambulance flashing in the middle of a typically narrow street. Coming closer, she recognized shadows frantically running from hutch to hutch [I'd like to say house, or even apartment, but I'm afraid both monikers would mislead you into imagining something that implies the middle class image of lawns and space], shinning flashlights on every door and street-pole in desperate search for a clue to help them decipher where they were. She said the paramedic team had a stretcher out and were just standing there twiddling while the police dug around for an address number or street name. All the while, the person, where ever he or she actually lived [or not], was quite possibly dying. She told me that it made her throw up [although I'm not convinced that it wasn't the night in Roppongi that made her sick, as that's generally what the scene does to me]. So the moral of the story is, if you ever live in Tokyo, be sure it's on a major thoroughfare, otherwise keep CPR current...)
HO HO, HA HA, Easter is here, and so am I---once AGAIN trying to rationalize the familiar eggs and the unfamiliar colors. I'm surrounded by Tokyo's interpretation of the big day, my favorite is a crucified Santa. Seems the powers at be are even better at the art of commercialism than their co-conspirators in America---probably because they don't have to worry about offending Jesus. To me, all this holiday bastardization means YET ANOTHER SPRING IN JAPAN. Will I ever leave? Yes, before summer¾ although to parts as yet unbeknownst to me. I just know that it's time for a reality check---living here is becoming too real. Sounds strange, but if you ever decide to check this place out, you too will wonder whether it was Japan rather than mescaline that inspired Lewis Carroll to write ALICE IN WONDERLAND. It is Lewis-san in Carolland. Please wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze tightly. That's my fertility present. Bunny Bunny.
It is all a jungle, and there is more to say. Stay tuned, turned, and on. . .
BACK to unpublished meanderings