To Make It Here

To make it here means to push the soul

to the side, be buried alive,

willingly enslaved to something future.

 

We’ve made it, you and I,

we’re so fortunate to be able to put away

our lives somewhere to never be used

except in the case of a dream

or a nightmare.

 

This fear we have is of

each other, our own skin

surrounding us, not quite there

where we need it to be,

away and safe, secured against

ourselves.

That D-Day on the Event Horizon

Scared child

Image via Wikipedia

As a public school student, I recall dreading the first day back after the summer vacation long before that fateful day arrived. Its shadow loomed large and ever increasingly ominous over the last few weeks, tainting my prolonged nocturnal fiction book reading marathons. The sight of back-to-school sales were enough to make my stomach recoil. I imagine that this is how soldiers preparing to storm a certain beach in Normandy would have felt, readying themselves to plunge into an uncertain future that contained at the most death, and at the least, certain horror — though I suppose mixed in there is that unique elated excitement born from the headlong rush into a danger that you know will change you irrevocably.

As a public school teacher, the feeling as the first day of school draws nigh is disturbingly similar. It’s different, of course, because now I am an adult, and I am the teacher, and I am much more in control of certain variables of myself and my situation than I was as a hormonally charged and overly sensitive adolescent desperately scrounging for social and emotional currency. So there’s a bit more of a positive edge to this adrenaline coursed pulsing of nausea that edges and nips at my stomach as I think ahead to that swiftly approaching D-Day, but otherwise it feels more or less the same. It’s not exactly something I relish, as you can probably tell.

It seems to me that there is something odd about some of the traditions and rituals that we cling to in our society. One of them being this prolonged summer vacation between different grades (another being our adherence to daylight savings time). Most of us are aware that disadvantaged students lose a significant portion of their academic gains in learning over the summer. The students that I have been working with, whom are not only disadvantaged socio-economically speaking, but furthermore cognitively speaking, lose nearly all of their learning if they are not practicing their acquired skills during the summer. Which was pretty far back (2-4 grade levels behind) to begin with.

This has been the first summer since I began teaching that I’ve fully enjoyed, as the last two I’ve spent most of taking trainings, exams and classes. And therefore I can state that having extended vacations — during which I am still getting paid — is a very nice thing indeed. But I can also say that I think it’s just a tad overlong. Since coming back from my honeymoon, I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things: waking up early, staying on top of my Twitter and news feeds, responding to emails, putting together to-do lists and checking off items. But it’s really bloody hard when you’ve just completely gone off the whole map of what it means to be in a structured schedule and environment.

I’m not whining. I’m bringing this up to make the point that I don’t think having prolonged summer breaks is good for either students nor adults. Both students and adults may say that we enjoy 2-3 month long summer breaks on principle, but the fact is that even students — except for those sent away to posh summer camps — begin to flounder in the over abundance of free time and get just a little bit, well, bored. Or perhaps just a bit directionless. We all need to have some kind of structure in our lives to help keep us developing and healthy. During the long summer, that structure, unless maintained by strict parenting (on the part of students) or self-discipline (on the part of teachers), tends to fall to the wayside. And much that had been built during the school year is therefore left to fester.

I would much prefer to have more plentiful but shorter vacations, as Kathleen Porter-Magee suggests in this Room for Debate post from a while back. Something on the scale of 2 weeks, as opposed to 2 months. Just long enough to really enjoy it and ease up the pace and tension, but not so long that I’ve forgotten what it means to work entirely. But more importantly, this would much reduce the severity of that adrenaline inducing sense of nausea that the first day of school brings after an overlong summer vacation.

Part of the reason for the fear and nervousness that accompanies the first day of school is not only that summer is ending — it is because you know that you are about to be plunged head-first into a long and seemingly never-ending tunnel of frenzied efforts to stay on top of a pile of emotionally and cognitively and physically demanding tasks during 70 hour work-weeks that never stops piling up in front of you, with only the occasional 3-day weekend or stray “winter recess” or “spring break” to keep you functionally sane and from developing scurvy. If we had more vacations in lieu of a long summer break, these could help keep both the students and adults capable of functioning in a somewhat rational and civilized manner and from developing strange growths in their necks and holes in their stomach linings.

Sigh. Well, yes, I’ve rather been enjoying this summer. Lots of beer (and subsequent belly distending, which I attempt to counterbalance with running) and wine, hanging out with beautiful and wonderful friends and family, savoring fresh pineapple, papaya and coconut. Learning how to cook again. Reveling in my new marriage and amazing catch of a wife. I’ve even been reading fiction books! That have nothing to do with education! Just for the fun of it! (Can you tell that I feel vaguely guilty?)

And as that first day draws ever nearer, I attempt to fight back the eddying fear of the unknown by beginning to prepare in whatever way I can. But here’s the thing, folks. In the world of public education, you can never be fully prepared. So you are just left with that nauseous, sinking, fluttery feeling every morning until suddenly you wake up several weeks after the school year has hit you, and you’ve become fully immersed in your professional self once again . . .

Thoughts at the End of a Rough Day at the End of a Rough Week

Down In It

Had a bad day and couldn’t fully breathe due to the tension, so I went for a walk after work–still dressed in my formal attire–out into the park near my apartment, passing by the inevitable gaggle of teenage boys standing huddled together in the trees near the entryway, going up the stairs and passing the stray couple dry humping on a rock and smoking pot, and finally immersed myself deep in the park with no one else around. Interesting how few people, other than the scattered runners and dog walkers and bird watchers, are really willing to walk deep up into it. Not that I’m complaining. I sat up at the top overlooking the Hudson River and a thought came to me that finally calmed me and let me breathe again. I was thinking about the sort of paradox that the further away we can pull our vision from humanity–such as by looking down at the planet from outer space or simply walking solitary out into nature, out into the woods, up on top of a mountain–the more interconnected we recognize ourselves with others; whereas the more densely we embed ourselves in human culture, such as in megalopolises or in nightlife or what have you, the more disconnected and isolated we can often feel from other people.

Maybe this was the thought that finally centered me and prompted me to return home because it articulated my sense of loneliness in the midst of my life in this here giant city while reminding me of the bigger picture. It allowed me to cast aside the self-importance that lies at the other side of stress and remind myself of the beautiful insignificance of being a part of something much greater than myself.

Planet Earth

Goin’ Crazy

The interior of the Francis M. Drexel School i...

Image via Wikipedia

Sometimes I feel like this profession is driving me crazy. Just about 80% of the other educators I meet I find either plumb crazy or I just simply can’t relate to them. The very few I can relate to are still pretty darn weird. Now, I ain’t exactly making any claims to normalcy myself. I have what could politely be called eclectic tastes. I drink weird herbal liqueurs and hate watching anything but depressing movies and listen to Norwegian electric guitar jazz or Senegalese mbalax. But I have worked with a pretty diverse amount of people in my time on this here earth, and once I got through my bitter misanthropic phase after college, I’ve mostly gotten along pretty well with the folks I’ve worked with. And I get along with most of the people I work with now, too. But I secretly find them all just frankly weird. I mean this in the sense that I just don’t find much of their actions nor dialogue intelligible.

I’m still confused about whether that’s because teachers in general are crazy or if it’s because public education is crazy and it drives people crazy. But it must be the latter, because now I think I’m goin crazy. I mean, how could you not? There’s so many conflicting values and directives and ideas being thrown at me that I never know which way is up. And I try to do what I do best, which is to examine the system as a whole and then enter into the fray with a structured vision which I then seek to implement. But then it’s like the rug gets pulled out from under me just when I think I’m achieving something.

Eventually, I’ve begun to understand why so many of the teachers I’ve met are such hot messes. They’ve become focused narrowly upon that point on which they know they can achieve something positive, and they lash out at anything that might threaten that unstable piece of manna. They cradle it like a flame from the wind. Because the fact is that the world outside of the classroom–even within the school itself–does not generally have the best interests of the teacher nor students therein in mind. And even when they do–the fact is that some things get very gray when they enter into the realm of classroom reality. People want to go on and on about “students first.” And no one would disagree, of course. But most of these folks have not actually stepped foot into the reality of a classroom in a high poverty district. Try it, folks. Please. See if you can take the abuse that many teachers undergo for an entire working day. Then step back and see if you can keep talking about accountability and high expectations from such a pristine moral vantage.

Schoolwork is messy, in the same manner that work in the ICU unit of a hospital is messy. At least in the NYC public school system in the South Bronx it is. Does it have to be? No. But in the meantime those of us who are crazy–or who are destined to become crazy–are the ones out on the front lines trying to dredge out a garden in the midst of a hailstorm on the precipice of a cliff. Welcome to reality. It can drive you mad.

Spoken

All of the unspoken pent up thoughts of a day string themselves down within your subconscious cells until you’ve sentenced yourself into another sleepless night of breathless anxiety. It is no wonder, in such circumstances, that hordes of the worlds populace herd themselves eagerly into mentalities of the meek, hypocritical doctrines of the downtrodden. Even if words and visions held sacred are somewhat dated, inaccurate, or even completely off the mark, still, they offer the solace of a given naming of the unknown, they can give voice to hidden worlds that are capable of being accepted blindly, or half-heartedly, or at whatever degree of compromise and diligence that one is willing to bestow it in order to make it through another day with one’s mental health still intact, however tenuous. Those of us who are not so accepting of other’s words are doomed to the hell of our own awakenings.

One way or another, there is no escaping your self. The subliminal structures of nature work tirelessly to shock you into conscious awareness of all of the evolving life around you. Look, listen, learn! Yet all you want to do is sleep. To allow the unmanifest worlds within lie dormant for another day, until eventually, of course, they must explode outward from the slowly accumulating pressure. But all one can do momentarily is end the charade of tossing and gasping and sit in front of a computer screen in the early morning hours to vent what little known words there be, with the hope that this sacrifice, this little cutting from the heart will be enough to allow mindlessness again for a little while more. A truce with rebel subconscient forces. However imperfect and ineffective these words might be, at least they are all your own, strung out limply on the roadside from the unspeakable suffering of physical existence.

Anxiety as an Inability to Voice What is Within

A man is programmed to hold his suffering within. And when this becomes too great to bear, his body turns on him, his throat constricts, his arteries strangle his own blood flow, his mind takes control of his lungs and subverts the most basic and essential of functions–breathing. How can this lonely, inexplicable impotence in the face of oneself be shared, voiced, exorcised?

The rush of adrenaline that comes in the face of danger, the so-called fight-or-flight response, is a residue of our evolutionary past, the reptilean brain survival mechanism. When the adrenaline fires without any visible signs of danger, without any immediate reason, how can this be explicated to anyone else? The fight and the flight is activated by oneself, against oneself, almost like an act of spite, an act of contrition, as if you are making yourself suffer for things that you are unable to define. It is not in the vernacular of our society to voice such things. How can one say, I am hurting, I am bleeding, watching people I care about destroying themselves, watching my nation destroy its future? How can one say, I cannot ignore this death around me, I cannot ignore all of the hidden suffering of everyone around me, I cannot pretend to be OK, I cannot pretend that everything is as it appears? How can one say, I am an open wound, I am not healing, I am scared that everyone else is also suffering alone, and there is nothing I can do, and nothing I can say to reach them?

So it is held within, to the point of bursting. It pushes away everyone you love. It expands a gigantic void within yourself, and you stumble through the day like a hollow husk, not knowing what is wrong, fearing the coming of the night, where you will toss and turn despite utter exhaustion, where you will feel like a track runner right before the gun goes off, where you will gasp like a fish at air seemingly devoid of oxygen, no matter how much you take into your lungs.

And how sweet, and how bitter, is the release when the tears suddenly well up in your eyes and your heart springs open to this hidden, inarticulate world of suffering that we smooth over so well everyday. This world of death, and pain, and suicide, and addiction. These are things we do not discuss. These are the things we fear.

Everytime someone you know passes from life, you sense the rupture in the barrier that you had put up between yourself and them. You feel guilty, as if you were involved in their death. Because you pretended that death did not exist, that they could never die, that you could never die. And now what is there to say, when you know how everyone is suffering, alone, hiding it, smiling, working through the day? How can you possibly reach one another across this void that keeps you apart even from yourself? How can you say anything to heal this, when you know that there is no healing of this wound?

Apocalypse Now

It is somehow ironic that what devastates me the most is my own mind.

Here, in this place of adrenaline, shortness of breath, and a terrible self-awareness, I find the truth in just how alone I can feel, even when I am in the midst of comfort. I render myself unable to sleep, unable to breathe, unable to feel anything but suffering. I feel like these are the vestiges of my individuality, struggling to remind me of my bodily constraints. You can’t escape yourself, I seem to tell myself, my throat and veins constricting, my skin growing cold to the touch. You can’t escape your fear, your self-awareness, your thoughts. I can’t control my self.

Is this what we do when we are too comfortable, with too much idle time? Do we torture ourselves? Do we toss and turn in our beds even when we are exhausted, unable to stop thinking? Are we trying to teach ourselves what suffering is all about? Punishing ourselves for our nation’s affluency, for our luck of the draw, for the lethargy of our culture?

This place within myself is a warzone.

Insomniac Scribbling

I can’t sleep right now, so I’m back here, writing again, just trying to work out the anxiety and tension that won’t allow me to fall into sweet unconsciousness. I’ve realized that there’s this strange swirl of emotions going on inside of me, and I need to work through it, consciously, so that I don’t turn into a basket case. I’m simultaneously sad and happy at the same time. Sad, because someone I respected and looked up to (even as a father figure of sorts) died unnaturally. Happy, because I am in love and my love grows ever stronger and deeper every single day. This is indeed a confusing mix of emotions, because when I am feeling happy, I suddenly remember the sadness, and then almost feel guilty for the happiness, even though I know that I shouldn’t. And when I am feeling sad, my beloved gives me so much comfort and love that it is impossible for me to remain sad.

Which is to say, I guess, that dealing with untimely death this time around is more bearable simply because I have someone to support me.

And it is this love that I am so grateful for. And witnessing the heartbreaking self-destruction of people I know only makes me more grateful. I am incredibly blessed. I know what it feels like to be lonely, depressed, and only wanting to die. I’ve been there. I’ve been taken back there through Rod and Toby. And this only makes me realize just how important it is to have deep love and connectedness in life. It is the only thing that saves us from ourselves. When we tunnel down deep into the emptiness, the only thing that ties us to life is this knowledge that we are more than only ourselves. If you can go deep into this darkness with love in your heart, open to your suffering, then you can withstand the loneliness, you can withstand the surface storms of circumstance.

I had thought that maybe this place I work and live in is cursed. And while there are certainly some problems there that are in need of some major healing, I just got an email from a friend, and he also just heard about one of his friends killing himself. And I know someone else whose friend killed herself last year. So this sickness is not only in this place I’m at. It is in all of us, everywhere. This sickness of loneliness, inertia, and addiction. This sickness of disconnectedness, detachment, and disassociation. And all I can say is that we need a lot of love in this world right now. We need a lot of healing.

And when I say love, I’m not talking about finding some perfect person like in Hollywood movies. I’m talking about loving yourself. I’m talking about loving strangers. I’m talking about loving being alive, loving the light that comes through the trees, loving the mountains, loving the skyscrapers, loving the fall of clean water from your faucet, loving every minute, every second, every day.

Fear as Needling of Futurity

I was beginning to think about the psychic underbelly of homogenized America, the gated communities in which the houses look all the same but not many people can relate to their own neighbors. There’s this undercurrent of steady, unspoken fear running through all of these people toting their status symbols and wearing the fasionable uniforms of first-world privilege. It’s a fear that became horribly, surreally captured by the constantly looped playbacks of 2 passenger planes slamming deliberately into the twin towers. It’s a fear, of course, fed by the nightly news and the Pentagon propaganda machine. But it also, disturbingly, seems to be a fear fed by a prescient collective awareness, a subconscious inkling of what is to come.

Think of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, walking from their parked, polished SUV down 6 city blocks to the opera house. Yes, a rather far distance to traverse by foot in this day and age–but Mr. and Mrs. Smith are fit, trim, health-conscious Californians who eat lots of fruit and vegetable based cuisines paired with red wine. The night is brisk, Mrs. Smith locks up the car and sets the alarm with a push of a button, and they stride, fashionably attired, down the sidewalk. Mr. Smith walks with his arm protectively at his wife’s back, both guiding and establishing ownership. He is afraid of the downtown streets at night, the lounging, leering homeless and drugged, the muttering alcoholics, the catcalling perverted insane. Mr. and Mrs. Smith become aware of how their appearance presents them here as targets, as possessors of objects of desire. Their status–their class–is given heightened clarification–they become uncomfortably aware of how they have set themselves apart, of how their very lives, their unconcious thoughts and habitual modes of being have set them apart. Because here on the street there is dirtiness–and they are clean. Because here there is ugliness–and they are desirable. Because here there is poverty–and they have money to spare. Their fear is palpable, an intensity in the air. They walk a little bit quicker, unspeaking, Mr. Smith’s hand at Mrs. Smith’s lower back, prodding onward, hoping to just be there, to be safe, to be enveloped by the glassed fortress walls of the opera house.

That was a re-enactment of the way it might have looked. Scanning the local section of the paper the next day, you just see another crime in the city, two murders downtown, not even very late in the night, when people are out and about and business is still mostly legit. What’s going on with this world? you wonder.

Because somehow this fear extends beyond simple paranoia. Yes, it has a lot to do with the fear of loss–because when you own something, then you also gain the fear of losing it, you’ve got to start worrying about protecting it, securing it, guarding it. But it’s more than just that. There also is an element of awareness that maybe some of these things do not belong to you in the first place. There is an element of awareness that it is not just about things at all, that it has to do with what is taken for granted. Yes–there it is:

That your very way of life subsists on what is taken for granted.

Me In A Lonesome Mode

The world revolves around the space from which it was created, the word of the godhead a formless first sound breathing into the horribly beautiful noise of the many worlds crashing together in escape of themselves; the gravity of the unknown bends all of this mess of thought somehow, gathering the light back inward. Hunter S Thompson shot himself on the phone to his wife. Such is love, perhaps. A giving of the final, terrible glimpse of emptiness that huddles within all to another. Displaying naked the inhuman terror that is truly love: everything, everything, everything. There is irony in all of our efforts to communicate ourselves to the world. Our words are petty, defined by a tradition of linguistic patterns, barely capable of offering more than a momentary commentary of our incapability to look beyond ourselves. Our gestures are habitual, we grope at each other as if in the dark, desperate to reassure our minds that the world beyond will feel as what we have been taught. There is horror in the night; we lie awake looking at the blue shadows cast by the moon, meaningless without us, but all meaning lying far past comprehension. Our animal selves long dormant within us tremble into adrenaline, awoken yet unseeing. It is all right, it is all right, it is all right, you tell yourself, sensing an incredible danger but unable to locate its source. It is not all right. All of creation sparks within your mind. And there is no one to wrap their arms around you and cradle you into oblivion, not here, not within yourself, not so deep that no words could penetrate, no mind know. Not in the incredible vastness that takes the light back even before it has left. Shining into nothing, the moon, the sun, the reflectance of nothing. The naked spark of a beauty too powerful to be seen. Love shows you the way into this place where no one can enter. You leave yourself behind. You leave it all behind. Everything. Everything. Everything.

My Ire Raised Like Hackles On The Brain

everywhere, a ghetto. suburbs, skyscrapers, apartments, schools, hospitals,
prisons. everywhere a boxed glossed around the outside containing an
addictive core leading to emptiness. cars, tvs, computers, radios. the
small dry twigs of impoverished children everywhere. the deadened hollows
of working parents. where can you go to escape the fire? it is waiting to
happen. we all know that it is waiting to happen. you think you’re safe in
your office? you think you’re safe in your classroom? you think you’re
safe in your car? hell no you don’t. you’re scared, just like all the rest
of us, waiting for the bomb to drop, waiting for the spark to catch, waiting
for the world to explode. who has hope? who can have hope when it doesn’t
matter whether you’re inside or outside, you’re still gonna burn? who can
have hope when we’re all waiting, waiting breathlessly to die an unknown
death?
we’re all so attached to each other, so wound bound intertwined. we’re all
so interconnected, interpenetrated, hyphenated. and yet we are all so
alone, we are all so lonely, we are all so scared, we are all so alienated
from ourselves and each other and our families and our enemies. we are all
living in hell together and each trying to create a bubbled dream for
ourselves at the expense of another. we drink together and try to lose
ourselves in a vision of unity that ends with the barfight or the puke or
the depression the next day. we take pills together and try to lose
ourselves in a vision of unity that ends when the drug wears off or the
music ends or sunlight unveils the reality beyond the pulsating lights. we
gather together in churches, in assembly halls, trying to lose ourselves in
a vision of unity that ends when we begin pointing fingers of blame from out
of the blindness of righteousness. we gather together around tvs and movie
screens and try to lose ourselves in a vision of unity that ends, that is
always to be continued.
i’m angry. i’m scared. i’m covering my ears and my eyes and my heart. i’m
trying to reach out beyond my understanding. i’m hiding a .22 in my closet.
i’m loving my baby tonight. i’m watching the news of the latest local,
national, and international tragedies. i’m reading the autobiography of
malcolm x. i’m drinking pepsi. i’m eating organic foods. i’m suffocating.
i’m on fire. i’m on fire. i’m on fucking fire.

On and Off

i fall into the frames of space that swims eternally repeating before me, an old woman hacking into her arm, the bus driver singing a song in spanish, my fingers folding into each other. positive thoughts, i think. i can do this. think positive. i stare at buildings passing as if they hold some essential mystery, demanding my intentness. thoughts, think. i seem to be breaking into pieces. the airy hiss as the lighted box shudders to a
stop, like a gargantuan sleek beast cutting a swift fart. a kid shoulders his way to the concrete, enveloped in earphones. thoughts do not seem to matter at this current juncture of time. voices swarm through my arteries like an overbearing shock of electricity. move, move move, i tell the red light telepathically. i glare ferociously at a woman standing on the corner with a handbag. she has very tight calves, sweeping down out of her skirt into the sharp points of her heels. alert, i crane my head to capture this detail in my mind. it seems that this might save me. but a bottomless pit of frenzy opens in my face as the bus stays still, and i stroke my right ear to hold on. and then. it heaves, the doors swing closed, and the self-contained world continues its hurtling way to the next stop. a maid pulls the string and the sign lights up. she stands, wobbling against the metal posts, her breasts weighted to her belly. the kind of woman who is ignored by eyes searching for stars when she walks the streets to her job cleaning a rich family’s floors, hispanic, stocky, painted lips, hair tied back. yet looking at her standing in the air-conditioned bobble of the city’s mass transit system, i find her beautiful, her eyes prepared firmly for her exit. i feel a quiet breath of calm sweep into my mind and i look around me with the discovery of inner light, avoiding eyes, the abstract humanity of our containment, rustling paper bag, varicosely gripped cane, soft tufts of neck hair, intermittent coughing, the announcement of street names. a waiting room for the appointed daily grind of employment. i pull the string and stand swaying in the boxed movement. i step off into the day centered, part of a puzzle, fit into the jutting shapes of an uncompleted picture. patience.

Direct

hertice p. domo: so where does one sluice the juice?
jaz: perhaps it is more a question of when. because i believe, i really feel deep down somewhere, that the passageway will be there if you just do it at the RIGHT TIME.
freda: i extemporize with every breath. what other way is there to live? let it go. i find that it all ends up being something that has happened before in some form or another. nothing is ever wholly new, wholly distinct. you would be lost. i don’t even want to contemplate such possibilities. . .
hertice: right. it’s like blindness in certain areas is required.
p.: to be aware and not aware at the same time.
domo: to see where you’re going and ignore what is unessential to you.
freda: i find it hard to ignore, however, the perceptions of all those around me. they seem to demand my attention. they seem to need me to smile at them, to perform for them, to give them something of myself.
hertice p. domo: devouring. the crowd devours, it swallows you up, it cuts you down if you pause to understand what you’re feeling.
jazzy j. rockefeller: here i am, fragments. my body, desired, desiring. we dip into each other, lose ourselves in the spray, become something ferocious. it’s terrifying.
freda: and yet–all this space, all this distance in this claustrophobia. it makes me want to hurt you to make you understand. how i want to get away from you, how i need you to lose myself in. how i understand myself only through you.
jaz: and i don’t like what i see.
freda: so i smile.
domo: and so i pose the question again: how, or when, to sluice this juice? because i feel all this, and where is it going to come out? how? i lose it all in the midst of anonymous faces, i lose everything, i feel ready to destroy myself in order to regain control.
freda: perhaps it’s a matter of contact. i find my energy calmed when someone reaches out to me and touches me while talking to me, letting me know how they really feel, animal. but personal, real. not some empty predator in the jungle sucking my blood in the crowd. but giving me themselves in little, silent ways that i’m scarcely aware of until i realize that i feel good.
hertice: right. communication, learning to pass the light unseen. but it’s not always there.
jaz: and when you’re not getting that connection enough, you get a build-up. you get negatively charged. you need an outlet.
hertice: and then how can i reach out without causing destruction, leaving a trail of pain in my wake? the wall builds, my surface becomes a mask and you look into me and what do you think you’re seeing? everything is bright and neon and shrouded by some pop snippet like a car commercial, dreaming “buy me! buy me! buy me!” and then just when you feel safe suddenly i come out of somewhere invisible and destroy you, devour you, take you into myself.

[hp explodes. blood covers jaz and freda and the walls.]
fade out.
show a pan of the sea, dolphins swimming, gleaming their sleekness into the air, melancholy, yet perky, acoustic guitar plucking.

[domo's face appears in the clouds in the sky, looking down. he smiles beautifically.]

jaz: he looked in, he shouldn’t have looked.
freda: i think there’s a new Tarantino movie out. Let’s go

Voices In A Hearing

the magistrate roosts worriedly upright, his eyes gleaming with the horizon city sun reflection: “i hear myself speak. a distant spark at the end of a long line, cross worked, networked into somewhere descending across the sea, draped over the heaving mountain-breasts of the earth, dangling its way into your life-moment like an infant dropping raw and alien into the electric light.”
judy, 37, the schoolteacher, drinker of neon colored wine coolers, sits purposefully crossing her legs so that her right flank displays a succulent parting of the upper and lower femoris: “i can tell you about infinity. what it feels like growing. it passes every year through the plateau doors of my room like water breaking out of warm and fetid captivity. i hang on. i dominate. i stalk through the minds of children like a whipping wind, pushing them into corners, enforcing alphabetic order, teaching them lessons.”
frat boy #43178a-0023 conscientiously ignores any displays of difference, knowing that he is entitled to whatever he is told to want, that there is plenty of meat in the market for the righteous upholders of the Status Quo. Sensing a weakness in lengthened silences, he speaks loudly, his papered face eagerly pink with the confidence that everyone is just like him: “sections, divisions, ranks of ignorant flesh devoted to keeping knowledge, understanding, true perception of all living things confined within small silent, violent sectors of space. we take pictures of the area and watch it moving in real-time, live, motion-picture fragments keeping it far away, shocking, unbelievable, unrelated to any of the headlining events of your own life. we ride on soft cushions of ignorance, never knowing what hands are keeping us floating. sailing into death tanned, crew cut, and smiling for the camera.”
coffee percolates deftly in the corner.
bobby the bum’s eyes are filled with gargoyle brightness, his aura uncertain, jagged, the indistinct medleyed color of waste. he hunches against the wall, an invisible horror lurking in the shadows of purposeful, structured minds. he looks goggly-eyed askew at a cruise liner pacing silently above the city and farts explosively, with a gurgling, sickening trickle that smells vaguely reminiscent of styrofoam: “lies, lies, manufactured data, it’s howdy-doody time! there’s a suspect wearing jeans and a blue hoody down the corner looking at the clouds. put all the death into a box and keep it cordoned off with clearly visible lines on maps and make children memorize, other countries recognize. name the child, call it horus, label it into a room set up just for it. death, lies, information flooding out reality. the truth is out there, dispersed, silenced, made into static, into noise, into just another piece of a million pieces of a universal hole. the baby screams watching silent fingers twitching the mobile to dance for him, sensing that it is reducing him into something he cannot believe. can you hear yourself? is that you? who is speaking through you?”

american dream

What is the future you’ve got stocked away in your heart? Gonna make it? Gonna make your parents proud? Are you holding all your happiness for that distant rock in which you’ll plant your flag and secure for all eternity?
Someone’s walked on the moon. It means nothing. We have gotten
nowhere.
Generations upon generations of people building mountains of money out of other’s flesh and blood. Someday, they tell their children, we will have it all. Someday, we will escape. Someday, we will be safe.
And so there is fear, and there is darkness, and there is locked rooms, guarded.
Open the door to your heart and let me in. I’m starving. Do I have to prove myself to you? Do I have to speak your language?
How close to the earth must I sway, sweeping in the wind like a broken tree?