Of Nature: A Dialogue

“Hello. I saw the birds fly spiraling up around a tree and away into the sky and I thought that maybe something was coming, maybe I would climb this hill and someone would be there, waiting,” Hans said to the girl laying upon the top of a grassy slope.
“Greetings. I come from the land of the dolphins, and I enjoy the 6:00 news, followed by a quick game of rummy. I just got my hair layered,” Gretzel replied, squinting up at him.
“I’ve watched whales out at sea swim in slow majestic families into the sun to blow a spout of water into the air,” Hans said carefully, bowing slightly to peer at Gretzel’s hair, “And yet, and yet, all I seem to grow is ever more distant from myself. I seem to leave pieces of my heart in every scene I witness. And then what is there to bring me back to the home land? I am everywhere, dispersed, and I sense that there will be no return, only greater distances, only greater lines, greater boundaries, all encompassing closed walls to keep me from going crazy.”
Gretzel eyed a squirrel that was eyeing her and watched its tail flicker cautiously. “I don’t know about that,” she said shortly, and then puffed out a breath, relenting, “well, I mean, I do know what I need to keep me going, and that’s Marlboro menthol milds, frequent cunnilingus, jamocha milkshakes, and French hip-hop.”
“Jamocha?” Hans said wondering.
“Sure. Arby’s.” Gretzel sat up, hoisted a pack of cigarettes out of her jeans and promptly lit one, a determined line forming between her eyebrows as she married the flame to the tip of the cancer stick. She exhaled audibly and said thoughtfully, “It’s a certain lack of thought I think you’re on about. But is it really a loss, after all? I get a pretty brown study out of watching Blind Date, as it is, thinking about human nature and what not. Mademoiselle can send me into whirlpool depths of introspection.”
Hans nodded eagerly, sitting down beside her. “Yeah, exactly. That’s what’s scary. It’s like I’m drowning in the hooks that are supposed to draw me out of the water. I mean, I should be safe behind glass, right, in the car, on the boat, in the theatre? But suddenly I find myself inextricably bound within the scenes I’m watching, and beyond the script, beyond the moment, beyond the action, there is the sense of an incredible danger, raw, lurking. Outside of the lights. Outside of what we’re watching. And I FEEL this, you know? And everyone feels it, it’s just that we learn how to smile, we learn how to laugh, we learn how to settle into these habits and keep ourselves feeling like we’re nameless, like we’re faceless, like we’re tourists snapping pictures to show to friends in a book with labels when we get back home, when we’re no longer in the air, in the water, in the world. But there’s too much. There’s just too much,” Hans smiled lopsidedly at Gretzel, noticing that her lips were shaped like a line sketch of a seagull flying smoothly off into the sky, “And there’s no turning back, no quiet space outside of the storm other than what’s brought to you live right now.” He trailed off, noticing that there was light emanating from Gretzel’s eyes into his own.
Gretzel smiled patiently, puffing a jet stream of smoke out of her mouth like a dragon.
“Yeah. All we got to know is what we need. I mean, anything you want is out there, if you’ve got the name and the paper to own it. But what we need is pretty simple: we need attention, we need mints for after our meals, we need a puff of magic every couple of minutes, we need connections, and fast ones, dammit. If you’re not in my movie, you know, then you can mosey off down the street like all the rest of extras. But there’s always the center of attention, there’s always the focus of your eyes. You look around and you can see what you need to do. Someone’s willing to pay to watch you do it. So you can watch and you can do. Either way something’s happening. Something’s going down all around us. I knew you were coming. If there was something wrong with me, if there was something wrong with you, one of us would have run away by now. There’s nothing wrong. There’s just how much you can take.” Gretzel sounded tired suddenly, and she snubbed the butt of her cigarette into the grass.
Hans waited, feeling the blood in the right side of his temple pulsing. The darkness was all around them, closing in. He closed his eyes. “I want to take everything. I can’t take anything. There’s just the gifts of god, for lack of a better term. Magic happens when from unguarded directions, and that’s exactly why it happens. I am a destroyer and a creator at once. What I create with my body I destroy in my mind.”
Gretzel watched Hans warily, sensing the danger menacing. His face seemed to stretch out away from his body like a giraffe. But, she thought, there is still a light shining, slipping through the cracks. Like a laser, pointing. She waited, listening to the passerby’s chatter.
“What I need,” Hans said slowly, tasting the weight of the words on his tongue, “is you, now.”
Gretzel looked at him, thinking about what outfit she was going to wear to the party tonight. “Ok. I need you let your phoenix out then, and stop trying to look for your mommy. The sea is thick. Respond to yourself and I will ask the right questions.” She laid back down on the grass.
Hans fell around her
and ate her.

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The Worm Parable

How can I be two million places at once?, the little worm asked from atop a cherry tree. He pondered and he pondered, and yet all he felt was a building yearning in his tummy for lettuce leaves. And so he finally slithered down the tree and filled himself with fat juicy green leaves. But he was nowhere near to solving his riddle. So he sate with his full belly and thunk some more, lazily, drifting between drowsal and logistical delusion. He recognized, for sure, that the basic dilemma of the situation was that in order to be there while still being here necessitated a kind of astral-hyper-mental projection beyond the confines of the visible temporal space-world of his slimy yellow limbs. But the fact was, firstly, that he had been hungry, and so could not move beyond the immediate stimuli of his hunger. And then the fact was, secondly, that he now was full, and so could not escape the groggy inertia of his stuffed stomach. Really, he thought, I am bound by my appetites, and either I have not enough or too much. How can I be hungry and yet be full at the same time? Then my mind could be everywhere, anywhere I think to be. And yet there was this basic problem of time. The little worm was a little worm and felt that perhaps one day he would be a tremendous dune worm like his ancestors. But right now he recognized himself as a little worm. And once he was a littler worm, a tiny worm. I am trapped by my growth, he thought. If I could just be everything I could ever be and ever was right now, then I would no longer be confined within my self now.
The little worm tried to be all the worms he could be, at once, but he saw himself in the reflection of a dew drop on a petal, and he felt everyone inside of him fall away.
Is all that I am illusion?, he wondered. Is what I see now before me another dream that will melt away in the sun, is what I feel within me another desire to be stuffed momentarily, another hope to be made starved?

And the little worm decided nothing.
And he slithered away to sleep until he was hungry
again.

shots in the dark

What am I going to do with my moment? When your eyes are directed at me?

I am running for cover. I am firing rounds. I am wondering. I am still. I am moving. I am loving you. I am wanting you to leave. I am growing weeds in the garden. I wish to share them with you. Your waves are in my space, excuse me. Rippling over my surface. I am trying to learn myself when I teach you the path to my heart. Never surrender to me. I will not fight you. I will devour you, lull you to sleep with my fingers, take you into myself, turn you into a dream, into a memory, into a symbol.
Struggle with me, I dare you.

Where are you going?

Calling

weell, so here is the room, spinning. sometimes i want to scream, ya know, cuz i have absolutely no idea who i am or where my mind is going. absolutely. bean bags form mountains into which i sink. but i feel so good sometimes, when i finally settle down inside of myself and say, “yeah. i’m here.” but then everything flies apart. come, fly in the teeth of the wind. but we need to be grounded. we need a solid beat that drops in order to get through to these kids on the streets, man. gotta cultivate that mask that distances the emotions while molding them into understandable forms. ever noticed how pop singers are so goddamn sincere? it makes me sick. i’ve never felt that sincere about anything. the things that really get to me come in the form of dreams, you know what i mean? they give you these indescribable feelings and fill you up with light and then you wake up the next minute and you have to take a piss, and you have to get on with your life. what i’m trying to say is that i’ve lost the ability to define myself. and noone’s helping me do it; in fact, people just tear me apart, claiming parts of my heart, exploding through my dreams, reverberating in my thoughts. so i wait, i hold back, looking for a space where i can stand and look at it all and understand. sometimes i look into another person’s eyes and this light will flash out to me, and i don’t understand. there seemsto be something going on that i have nothing to do with. what are they trying to tell me? what is it they want? what is it i want?
should i want something?
ha ha, now the funk starts to settle down into that groove where you know that it could go on forever, and then it suddenly turns the corner and you start looking around and noticing the little changes, the little interplays going on all around up in it. let me describe a vision which i have just received. let me relay to you some information downloaded from the network of my mind. brought to you live from the energy source that now sits in the thick of the scene. this is mc duod, also known as nothing in particular. i see this: i see waves. i see bodies. i see a rustling forward, a tentative meeting of the sunlight on the crest of it, twinkling with motion, wondering, rolling away, darkening, deepening, swinging, building, desire, emptiness, rushing back up to light with intensity, exhaling, knowing now what is there from what is not. warmth slapping into itself. there is an air we breath, there is a space we occupy. sharing. clutching into oneself. pushing away. climbing back. alone.
beauty only comes out of dark places.
and then everyone comes out to look at it, passing by, shining. it calls to them. it speaks to them. it sings to them. oh, god, how scared everyone is. they think that if they follow the voices they will drown, they will be left
stranded.
well, i guess they’re right. i feel lost. the only map i’ve got is the stars in the sky, and they don’t tell me much. they just shiver their dead light silently in the vast stillness of the night. and yes, how beautiful it is. it stuns you, it touches a place inside of you where all you can say is “oh, how beautiful,” as if it were a painting you could buy and hang on your wall. but here it is, every night, ready to overwhelm you. and what can you say? what can you do? there it is. and then you’re turning to look at the person next to you and you’re talking about tomorrow, or about yesterday, avoiding the depth that sits charged inside of you, the hunger that waits to swallow you when you’re alone.
yes, i know. it drives us forward. we are the stars now, shining constellations, randomly created pictures of the moment surrounded by an unfathomable darkness. light spitting into the void. life happens somewhere. the light catches on some piece of dust floating by and the music suddenly floods together, the spaces, the silences become part of something else, a song that moves between two closures, vast emptiness and exploding lights. there is a mind listening, connecting the distance with imagination. there is a heart feeling, connecting the distance with love. there is a body pulsing, connecting the distance with heat. and here i am, sitting, the room spinning. and there you are, sitting. i don’t know what your room is doing. i don’t know what your mind is doing. i don’t know what your heart is doing. but i know that it is beating back to me somewhere, sometime. i know that out of this distance there is a wave that travels into the ocean, i know that there are fish that move, eddying with the currents, i know that you will need to eat, i know that you will be hungry, i know that there is a bird singing, calling outside of my window suddenly, i know that i need to pee really badly, i know that i will rise from this chair and do what i need to do, and that you will rise from your chair, and do what you need to do. just that. just this.

re: dispossession

hey, i hate to tell you but the world is flat, and square. i get my information from mars. you’d better listen.
the good news is that we can set it on fire.

(they have machines sent encircling a distance, maintaining for 24 hours a day 365 days a week the image of the earth as blue enfenced rotundity. turn on the weather channelTM. they will tell you what the clouds look like. they will predict the weather for you.)

i get my information from the voices in my head.

i’ll tell you about our world. this world is flat. this world is square. this world is split into claimed sections, pieces of a pie, all orbiting around the belly-center of the united states of america. Russia may be big, but it’s split
in half.
that’s right. our world exists in the form of image. our world exists in memory. pure memory space. now you stand for what you’ve truly accomplished, for all your successes, for all your purchases.

what have you accomplished?

oh, so you’re filed. oh, so you’re squared away. watch the tv and let it tell you what you look like. you are square, and you are flat, and you can see all the world with the push of a button, with the opening of a cover, with the click of a pointer.
hmm. it’s got pretty good special effects. hmm. can it keep your attention? hmm. it’s cutting away for an advertisement. . .

what
are your purchases? where
are they from?

)i get my information from mars. they’ve sent their machines there but they
can’t get a lock on anything. the truth keeps
shifting.(

so where is the good news? they feed you with all the latest disasters, with all the latest deaths, with all the gruesome images of their tragic wars.
where is the good news? that’s right, open up your bible. that’s right. fold up your hands. that’s right, you should be ashamed. that’s right, you’d better open up your mouths and pray.
alright, now try opening your mind. try looking at the world in 3d. try looking out the corners of your eyes. try listening to the sounds far away from you, to the sounds close to you, to the sounds inside of you.
it’s trippy, isn’t it? alright, now look at yourself. alright, now look at yourself.
where is the good news?
yeah, bend your head down to the board and bleed your fingers til they’re raw. yes, gather together with others in fear and fill the space of a place-time with sound. yeah, sit your ass down and listen.
yeah! get your ass up and dance!

where is the good news?

the good news is that we can set ourselves on fire.

the good news is that we can light each other
on fire.

the good news is that the world cannot be contained. the good news is that we spill out over the edges. the good news is that no matter how hard, straight, and square the information is, we can put it in our mouths
and we can swallow it
in fire.

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?

fever

Gadhills the iron fleece! Jujubeats in the rain, Circe lets down her hair and sings. Why, if I can see beyond it, am I trapped in this sickness? Shut down the gravy train and mosey down to sleep. Umbrellas, purple, scandalous. Innocence lost, we wake up to find that paradise has been all around us and we have been polluting it. Thinking that we were floating islands in the sky. The hooks are everywhere, in our fingers brushing against concrete, pictures of us nailed into the wall. Like an 8-ball, pieces of us float to the surface, and that is our fortune. Linked by hooks to the deep. Sometimes in the silence of your mind you can hear them tugging, reminding you of your iceberg expanse solid in the darkness. All that could have been, all that might be. When we fly, we get tangled up endlessly in each other. Some have chosen to chain themselves to their allotted space on the earth, making sure that they are not entangled in another’s life. But then the earth heaves, and they fall down into the heat, or they fly up, into the heat. The wires have no end, being twisted into each other. Layers and layers of netting. I love to see fishnet stockings slipped taut over a woman’s leg. Reconstructing a skin from the gaps in the cloth, imagining the fullness given to me, spread out, gleaming. Twisted around, super connected, superconductors. I am sick, and I cannot be healed. I am a wound, and open, re-open endlessly.
I imagine another layer of myself out in the sun, whole, ripe, devoured, loved. Somewhere I am happening. Somewhere I am dead. I look into the mirror and see myself winding into eternity. I am here, feeling this, gazing on the shining surfaces, but I am also somewhere else, perceiving different layers laid open then, there. I want to shut my eyes and feel nothing. I want to sleep and dream and forget.