Sunday, June 15, 2008

Postmodern Bestiary (& Other Disjointed Ramblings)

This forms a small part of a "postmodern" bestiary, and is probably a work in progress that will do absolutely nothing but languish in cyberspace.

Hobnoblins: hobnoblins are individuals who gather together to discuss trivialities; typically found in malls, or on city sidewalks and other high-traffic areas, they instinctively locate the area that will most impede everyone else, and stand there in a loose group, chatting, and giving dirty looks to the people who try to pass by them or, heaven forbid, THROUGH them.
Butt Blockers: butt blockers are oblivious fat people who typically walk side-by side through malls, stores, and on sidewalks. They move half a pace slower than everyone around them, and of course resent anyone trying to get around them. They are similar to hobnoblins, but butt blockers (because of their size) are seldom encountered outside of pairs.
Hippiegriffs: hippiegriffs are either old hippies who've held on to their hippiness, or the children of hippies, or people who were somehow raised ina hippie culture. Often surrounded by clouds of incense and/or cannabis smoke, hippiegriffs generally live on the fringes of society and seem to be quite happy there.
Bluggemsnatchem: a bluggemsnatchem is a term for a generic monster of some type that suddenly lunges out of the darkness to snatch you up. Typically, bluggemsnatchems are seen only briefly during their attack, which is quite fortunate, since bluggemsnatchem features are unattractive at best. Fortunately, bluggemsnatchems are solitary creatures (you'd be solitary, too, if you looked like that!)
Yupsters: yupsters are yuppies, typically in the mid-teen to mid-twenties, who want to be "hip," so they adapt things from the hipster culture, generally making them fit for mass consumption, since yupsters tend to move in herds. They are a subgroup of posers; a distinguishing feature of yupsters is that they resent anyone who has less money than they do and still manages to be more hip.
Suitmorphs: these are the middle-echelon corporate businessmen, who have adapted to the whims of their culture by being able to change their paradigm to match that of the head bozohemian (q.v.) They can often be encountered in fawning groups around a bozohemian, or in corporate coffeeshops, bars, and restaurants. You can tell the alpha suitmorph by the fact that his tie matches perfectly the one the bozohemian is wearing. They typically ignore other cultures unless members of that culture somehow become an impediment to their ladder-climbing.
Bozohemians: these are the clowns who think they're supporting the whole circus on their shoulders. Most bozohemians only pay attention to the trends of other cultures in order to figure out how to best turn a profit on them. In spite of their ostentatious clothing and conspicuous consumption, bozohemians are actually quite boring creatures, and respond in predictable knee-jerks to most stimuli.
Zobops: these are undercover cops who still stick out like sore thumbs. Their purpose is to distract you from the undercover cops who actually DO blend in.
More later.
every rose has it's thorn, honey,
but there's
in the azaleas over there
with eyes like chips of bad moon
and an appetite
like a gas oven, so
breathe carefully
amongst the blossoms, and
while you're at it, watch
the mountains. they're
sneaking up on you.
You know, this heat is really driving me crazy. Half the time it feels like you're wearing a big wet fur coat, and then it feels like you're wearing a straightjacket made of nettles. I only have mild allergies, thankfully, and i pity those who have even moderate allergy problems in this weather. That thunderstorm we had last night hammered us, but it didn't seem to do anything to lower the temperature. Fortunately, there always seems to be a breeze.
thoughts break up
like really friable rock, and
the chips that land
in your bed
make it hard for you to sleep
at night, so instead of
cleaning the rocks
out of your bed,
you take pills
so you won't feel them
poking holes
in your soul.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Aggressive Statements (Baiting the Inevitable)

Well, here we are again, another evening at the old blog. I wonder who made the word "blog" up, and exactly what they were thinking (and probably smoking) when they created it. A blog sounds sort of like a creature that might creep up on you out of the fog. Well, i guess in a metaphorical sense, my blog is like that. It's just lurking there. Reading this over your shoulder. Annoying habit, i know, this particular blog doesn't have very good manners.
Okay, now i've gotten THAT out of my system. Honestly, today i felt like i was ready to pounce on somebody. It could have been anyone. Heading down to Popeye's for some chicken, i was overcome with a sudden urge to randomly grab a passer-by, and scream, "HERE! HERE! IT IS THE BEATING OF HIS HIDEOUS HEART!" or "I'M MELTING! MELLLLLLLLLLLLLTING! OH, WHAT A WORLD, WHAT A WORLD!" or something of the sort. Then, at Popeye's, as the pert and perky cashier asked me, "What would you like?" i practically growled "A PIECE OF MMMMEAT!" She wasn't in the least intimidated by this response, a reaction i put down to (1) being totally ignorant of the fact that Grendel was standing across a very short counter from her, (2) being totally ignorant, and/or (3) being a New Yorker. But, for some reason, i'm feeling very aggressive lately. I've also been eating like a horse. Literally. Feed-bag and all. Well, not really, but i HAVE eaten more than is customary for me, which usually indicates that i'm going into a prolonged manic phase. Whee-hah, happy days are here again. The way this usually works, i'll crash at about the time i'm supposed to be leaving my humble room here in the Bronx, and i still have no freaking idea what i'm going to do. I just pray i don't get on some self-destructive kick towards the end of the manic phase (it seems to be a kind of natural reaction, almost like you're trying to put the brakes on because your mind's strapped to a rocket-sled).
Something occurred to me earlier, and i've been trying to work it into "April Fool's Resolution." I was pondering "casting pearls before swine," and then i started thinking of what pearls were. Essentially, they're tiny pieces of grit or other foreign matter that sometimes gets trapped inside the oyster's shell. What the oyster does is build up a layer of what's called nacre around the irritant. This layering continues, eventually developing into a pearl. The seed of the pearl, one might say, is something unpleasant or irritating or painful . . . but, at least in me, the irritants are surrounded by layer upon layer of words. So, i cough up poems instead of pearls. And, given that analogy, the pigs just MIGHT trample my pearls into the mud . . . i'm not worried, i've got more. LOTS more. See, there's that aggressive kick again. I should probably write a few rants when i'm in this mood, that always cheers me up and sometimes actually generates a bit of poetry in the process. Some people, apparently, do not consider my rants "poetry," and since their tastes are so refined, they'll probably be happier in some dark closet performing biologically impossible acts on him or herself, and i cordially invite all such individuals to go and do so immediately.
Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr . . . .
Just an aside, i sometimes wonder how Aryan Nation or KKK members or whatever they're calling themselves now survive in prison, except that maybe some AGENTS OF THE STATE AGREE WITH THEM, and maybe they've got a few COPS ON THEIR PAYROLL, or maybe THEY'RE ON THE COPS' PAYROLL, or something of the sort. Yes, i did say that.
I guess saying something like that in a public blog COULD be considered a self-destructive act, considering the possible repercussions, but . . . sheesh, almost all of my poems have some sort of potential repercussions, a lot of them unpleasant . . . but i can't quit being what i am just because being what i am jeopardizes my life. Scared? Yes, i'm terrified. I've told people time and time again that i sometimes scare MYSELF with the intensity of stuff that comes pouring out of the old poetry faucet, and what i'm committing to by speaking them aloud. I pray to God not to hold the liberties i take against me. I've also told people time and time again that God is literally holding me up, and holding me TOGETHER . . . i've flown apart in pieces before, and it's not pretty. I know, people don't wanna hear about God unless it's got their particular brand-name slapped on it, like there's different gods for Catholics and Southern Baptists and Seventh-Day Adventists. Well, just deal with it. God. The Creator. The Supreme Being. The One. And, yes, i'll say Jesus, too. If you've got something better, go to it. And, yeah, i've ranged all over the field in this particular paragraph, but it comes to a focal point: i am not PERMITTED to write what i write, i am COMPELLED.
I may be KILLED for speaking uncomfortable truth, but far better that i die WHILE speaking truth, comfortable or not.
Those are aggressive statements, or to put it another way, "them's fightin' words," and i don't think it's going to be a self-fulfilled prophecy, i'm just baiting the inevitable.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

A Postmodern Moment

I was just reading over some of the comments in my Postpoems page (this was sort of an aside to looking through the poems to find one that might be usable in performance), and one girl's comments about a poem struck me. In one sentence, she was saying that the poem could be interpreted in so many different ways; in the next, she was saying that nobody could deny the meaning behind what i was saying.


If the poem can be "interpreted in so many different ways," apparently i was NOT communicating. Now, there are two types of poems on my Postpoems Page. One type is very direct. There is no doubt about the subject, or my feelings about it. This, at least in my opinion, was VERY blatant. The metaphors may have been a bit over the top, i'll admit, but it wasn't THAT inexplicable. The other type are poems i usually refer to as Myth Sticks, which are really metaphorical Rorschach blots . . . a person's response to one of THOSE poems, and their interpretation of it, really reveals more about them than it does the poem. And, in that case, that's the general idea. I don't specifically mark them or set them apart from the others (although i did at one time).

Other comments i've received have also left me scratching my head. One frequent visitor always makes reference to vegetarian, vegan, animal rights, etc., and somehow ties this into the poems i've written. I'm cool with that on the Myth Sticks poems, but, on some of the poems this reader missed the point entirely. Am i not communicating effectively, or is that person just using a random line as an excuse to mount a soapbox? Now, i have nothing against vegan or vegetarian diets. I simply cannot EXIST on one. For the record, i'm an omnivore. My eating habits include such horrible things as refined sugar, pork, mechanically separated chicken, cholesterol, complex carbs, and FAT! OH, THE HUMANITY!! I can pratically hear the vegans scattering as i approach, lest they smell the carnivorous pheromones and become infected with a desire for a LAMB GYRO. If you don't like what i eat, don't watch me eat. And, above all, don't LECTURE me . . . because that's apt to provoke me . . . and since i'm always being told that "you are what you eat," i am one fucked-up chimera, but it's better than being a walking salad.

Monday, June 9, 2008

April Fool's Resolution


You should also stop here if you're: easily offended, gender-sensitive, or weak in
regards to your opinion of me (which, by the way, is none of my business).

(Consider this the equivalent of the Haunted Forest in "The Wizard of Oz." I'D TURN BACK IF I WERE YOU).

April Fool's Resolution
i've made a resolution to hereafter
make all my resolutions on April Fool's Day,
which makes perfect sense, because,
most people who make resolutions
know it's an April Fool's game, because
they have no intention on keeping them . . .
and even the best of them
seldom even survive through March.
but, this April, i made a resolution
that's final. that's right, i'm
giving up sex. Oh, don't look at me
that way . . . like any other male, i
suffer from testosterone, but
sex hasn't done anything for me
but distract me from the Muse, and she
can be one jealous bitch. She demands
most of my attention, and her company
is entertaining . . . no, i'm not complaining,
i rather like it this way. But when a
twenty-first century male stands up
and openly resolves to give up sex,
people wonder why, so, caveat lector
and auditor, let me lay it out for you:
the modern thing is to "embrace your sexuality,"
which is easy if you've been given a choice,
but a big piece of radioactive ore
has been buried in my past, and
it really screws up my personal navigation system,
so pardon me if i steer right clear . . .
what happened to me wasn't something i chose,
a bitter fruit of a tree i wasn't ready to taste, and
asking me to embrace that
is like asking me to go to bed with a monster.
Not all the booze and zoloft in the world
seemed to be enough to keep it in the past,
that motherfucker was buried alive.
Every encounter with it since then
is another radioactive exposure, and
sooner or later that stuff starts to sink in,
and speaking of which, is THIS sinking in?
Don't hand me that line about "you just need
to get LAID," for the record, i am NOT
a virgin, and also for the record, it did
NOTHING to solve my problems,
it FED them.
I believe everyone has the right
to choose their own path, so damn it,
at least affirm MINE.
Now, i'd better stop this raw honesty
that peels me down to the bedrock,
because i've been warned that
people aren't READY for it, and
i've also been warned about
casting my pearls before swine, but
i sometimes have a hard time
distinguishing the pigs
until after i see what they do with it.
Yes, men are pigs, and i have
experience to prove it. Yes, i'm
chained to the same Y chromosome,
braincells saturated in testosterone,
the same thing that makes men
think with their little heads
and talk to girls' breasts instead of their faces,
the same thing that makes some men
take from other men
what no woman will willingly give them,
so, don't look at me like i'm some alien, because
we're really not that different, are we?
the only difference is, i've
found a solution . . . and if, by now,
you don't understand, who's
REALLY the April Fool in this picture?

Ice Cream With My Cake & Other Random Musings

More random journaling & assorted blather.
I'm getting more hours at work, which is by and large a good thing, although it would be a lot better
if they could let me know more than 12 hours in advance if an extra shift becomes available. I mean,
granted, i don't have much of a lifestyle, but there ARE other things that i'm doing (most seeming to
involve various levels of poetry, go figure) that have to be planned in advance. If i'm going to be at an
Open Mic at 9 PM on Monday, don't call me Monday morning and ask me to be in at midnight. I've told
people before that if my job and my VOCATION ever came at swords points, my vocation had to win
out. Otherwise, i'm sacrificing not just an opportunity to do what i love, but i am sacrificing a portion of
my belief in that thing. I know some people say, "You have to PLAY the game, but you don't have to
believe in it." That's crap. Maybe if some of the so-called "rules" were re-written. I know that a lot of
people have placed their chips on that game . . . i just hope that what they win covers what they lost
to start playing to begin with. If that whole thing works for you, great. Go to it. Just don't try to drag me
along because the fact that i'm NOT playing the game irritates you. IT IS NOT THE ONLY GAME IN TOWN,
One of my Park Rat friends is working something i wrote into a punk rock song for his band. When i hear the
completed project, i'll try to find some way to post it here. Maybe the band has a website. I'll have to ask him.
No, i'm not getting paid for it, although i get album credit. It was based on a little quip i threw out, and it took
all of 15 minutes to write.
Lately, i haven't written much poetry (by that, i mean the past week or so). Mostly because for some reason,
right now, my thoughts seem to be coming broken up into chunks that are more like prose than poetry (I
guess a lot of people consider some of my poems prose anyway, because i don't automatically genuflect to
some form . . . but wild honeysuckle doesn't need a trellis, it gets right down to business without one). I suppose
i could try to "gather my thoughts" a bit and arrange them, but right now it seems more important for me
to hash out the ideas first, and worry about assembling it later. Also, some of the poems i'm thinking about seem
to be radioactive. By that, i mean that some of the raw ore i've been coughing up is dangerous to handle
(Pastor John always warned me to be careful about casting my pearls before swine), and when you've got
a handfull of radioactive jewels, you don't want to put them all on one piece of jewelry, because it's likely
to go critical and you're left with a slag pit. I've had poems self-destruct like that before. You have to cut,
polish, and pare down those radioactive jewels, and put them in a setting with some less harmless ones.
Sometimes i want to scare my audience a little, but i want to work up to it. It's all the difference between
cracking an egg as opposed to crushing it. "This is your brain. This is your brain after a poetry meltdown. This is
your brain scraped out of a frying pan with some bacon and a side of hash browns." Faugh.
I wonder if it's going to be Obama/Clinton on the democratic ticket this year. As i haven't signed online yet, and
am composing this prior to doing so, i might find out when i sign on. I wondered early on if Obama had the
strength to run as an independent. I guess that would be pretty unlikely. I still don't trust Obama 100%, although
i have to admit i haven't really trusted ANY politician 100%, but somehow he just doesn't sit well with me (but
i have to say that he is the best option we had this time around). But, since the elections are all rigged anyway,
just another version of American Idol where all the judges are Simons, or maybe a game show where Bob Barker
tells the contestant he likes what the right price is, this whole thing is probably a moot point.
I'm really amazed lately at how many of the Park Rats have no knowledge of the Bible at all. I mean, just the
basic stuff, y'know? But, bringing those things up in casual conversation has opened some doors . . . i've
turned several people on to the Message translation, since it's much easier for a layperson with no Bible
knowledge to get a handle on the thing with something that speaks the vernacular. There's a group of
folks who come to the Park on Friday and Saturday nights, permit and all, loudspeaker or mic, and "preach"
at the people (i'm not going to say "to," it doesn't quite work that way). I spoke with one of their members,
a young lady, and told her that while we were in agreement on the Message of Christ and it's importance,
their delivery was actually turning people off rather than on to Jesus . . . maybe not ALL the listeners, but
the Park Rats in particular have a habit of catcalling this group. I told her, "i can't do everything they do,
and they know that, but i can walk among them, and learn what's important to them. If you were in the
market for a new car, and some stranger walked up and told you they not only HAD one, but it was
custom-made for you, would you believe them? She was receptive to a point to what i was saying . . . but
i also sensed that she became "guarded," maybe wanting to draw a clear line between her and these
others . . . or just afraid of crossing into uncharted waters. Why not? It's a scary thing, and i know not every
Christian is cut out for this kind of strange mission . . . but i'm the only Bible some of these people read (and
i wish i were a more accurate translation). I just want other Christians to affirm the necessity of what i'm
trying to do. It's not an overnight process. I've had to be around quite a bit to work up the level of trust i
have, and then you also have to strive to maintain that. I know that God's mercy covers a lot of these
young folks, that He takes into account that a lot of the things they say and do they do out of a lack of
knowledge about Him. He knows He's been misrepresented to them by an establishment that seems to
reject them almost automatically. THEY ARE NOT "BAD" PEOPLE. Sure, they live on the fringes, survive by
hustling and running the occasional con, are mostly poor, from a wide variety of racial and cultural
backgrounds . . . sort of like Jesus' Disciples were. I mean, Matthew was a tax collector, which at the time
was a job FOR a con man. Peter and his crew were a bunch of wharf rats. Mary Magdalene was an
ex-prostitute. The folks who followed Jesus out into the wilderness just to hear Him speak were probably
mostly poor, people who'd been rejected by or turned off by the current establishment and were hungry
for some REAL spiritual food. There is an inescapable parallel here. There's so much blatant hypocrisy in
the way our corporate-led, money-hungry society has exploited God's name that it's no wonder a lot of
people immediately "tune out" any reference to God or Jesus. What else do you expect? It's like you want
all these "outcasts" to immediately acquire "responsible" jobs, clothing, and nice middle-of-the-road
"family values" like yours . . . and THEN come to church. You're basically a bunch of pig's ears under the
mistaken impression that you're silk purses.
A good friend of mine is coming through with 100 dollars for me, and as my hours of work are good now,
i've already earmarked that money for the printing of--you guessed it--a chapbook. I have the time, the
computer access, the printer and paper, and however many copies of the thing that 100 dollars will
obtain, i'll buy, and sell them for 10 dollars each. Then i'll use part of the profits (assuming i can sell any) to
print more. Wow, that sounds like . . . CAPITALISM! "Oh, the horror! One of these POETS is actually
trying to use our system to PROMOTE ITS DOWNFALL!" Well, it is WORK, no matter what these yuppies think,
and since they get paid so much to shuffle papers, at least the papers I'M hustling won't make the
brain numb, so why SHOULDN'T i get paid? In a perfect society, poets wouldn't need to get paid, because
we'd have the respect and support of the community in general for actively trying to broaden their
perceptions and give them more than a peripheral view of everything going on outside of their direct
sight. That's what we're FOR. So, i've been mulling over several cover/title ideas, and the one i like best is
"Savage Idealism." There's a Park Rat who does some wild, arabesque-looking designs, and i'm going to
pay him to illustrate the cover . . . i have an idea for it that i'm going to keep quiet about until i see if he
can execute it. I'm going to dedicate it to the Union Square Park Rats. That sort of makes them insiders
on a project, if you can dig it . . . because a lot of the inspiration and challenge i've met with lately has
been a by-product of my association and friendship with them. I'm sure the chapbook won't be an "overnight
success," but i do think it'll start to generate some energy, and build up a quiet little wavefront of fame
(or notoriety) . . . as long as i get those words out there, i don't care. If i can make a little side money doing
it, that's just like ice cream with the cake i've already got. seriously, being able to MAKE A LIVING WITH POETRY
would be just like that. i'm going to be writing poetry no matter what, and i enjoy it and love getting
it out there, so getting PAID to do it would make it seem almost too good to be true. Hey, i can dream,
can't it?

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Poems: 2 New Writes & 1 "Lost Poem" (Thanks, Biker)

No More
"no more Mister Nice Guy,
no more Mister Clean . . . ."
but, sincerely,
no more.
no more of this half-ass sloppy
sentinel asleep on duty,
no more of this Dallas Police watching
everyone but Jack Ruby,
no more complacently getting by on
good behavior. this is right out
on the edge of things, my dear,
the very end, razor-sharp verge of
vertigo, so
no more of that nice, modern,
politically correct, compassionate conservative
(which renders as well backwards,
conservative compassion), non-assertive,
from-me-blood . . .
YES! just once, just to prove
that you can still bleed, that
the wheezy rusted engine of your heart
hasn't turned your blood into
coagulated sludge
from all the corporate cholesterol
and a budget you can't budge.
i'm sorry, i can't play Spin-the-Wheel psychoanalysis,
or chart the disaster with your Horoscope,
or somehow phrase this in a tasteful postmodern way
so you can crawl out from under
by claiming that i'm an "enigma,"
but there's still something in me
that chafes at the thought of sitting back
and channel-surfing
when the tsunami is getting closer. my friend,
there will come a time at which
the roaring of that wave
will refuse to fade
into the background, no matter
how much you turn up the sound with your remote,
trying to drown out the oncoming deluge,
because when doom is on your doorstep,
you won't need a television to see it, and
in your
brought to you by MTV, Miller Light, Joe Camel,
hell, everybody's sponsoring this damn thing, because
you paid them so well to do it,
and even then you weren't screwed enough, you
had to re-elect some of them
to do it again.
so, tell me i'm playing rough,
that i'm not playing fair,
that i have to play the game by your rules
because you OWN the Monopoly board, but
there's just one thing:
I'M NOT PLAYING. no more games.
this is for real. oh, and,
the reason i'm lowering my voice? i'm
hoping you can hear the same sound
in the background
that i do.
i hear it all the time, anymore.


the contours of scarred geography,
land scattered with useless things,
cut loose from hands that
didn't use them all that well,
well, it's more or less
the moral or ethical irregularity
that continues to cut up chunks of Earth
and create more useless things
thereof. it sometimes frightens me
that He who created the lamb, the dove,
the waterfall, and the diamond
also created the tiger, the vampire bat,
the hurricane, and uranium, but
He did not create poaching,
the electric chair, FEMA, or the MX Missile,
which would indicate that, given
something of no intrinsic morality,
we'll come up with a way to endanger, murder,
render useless, or destroy
long before we think of anything else.
homo sapiens, a name supposedly representing
the fact that because we've advanced
to this level of walking upright
and beating the ever-loving shit out of each other,
we're more sapient, wise, intelligent, and
otherwise better equipped to survive
than other species . . .
of course, if that big nuclear brainstorm hits,
it'll be the rats and cockroaches
making jokes about the stupid two-leggers
who thought they were in control.
stupid two-leggers who still insist
on squealing "survival of the fittest"
while they're feeding from the trough, forgetting
that when the time for the slaughter comes
it's the fattest that don't survive, so,
bend over and squeal like a pig,
fuck bringing home the bacon, you ARE the bacon,
asshole, how else did you think
the wheels of the machine were being greased?
human lard. just ask the Nazis.
my question is, how is it that the bloodiest horrors
of the modern world
seem to have the by-product
of politicians, tyrants, dictators and religious fakers,
a bunch of world leaders who,
when put in the same room, behave
like monkeys, promptly flinging their own shit
in every direction
to see where it will stick. who said evolution
was a one-way street?
we're computer literate, but we can't read the signs;
we can put a missile through a bunker door, but
we can't drive a lawnmower without warning labels;
we can spend more money on a movie
that makes dinosaurs seem alive
than we're spending on all the other species
that are currently going extinct;
we can put a man on the moon,
but we still can't put one in the White House . . .
sad to say, Darwin was wrong on this one,
because survival of the fittest doesn't apply
when an animal smart enough to conquer land and sky
still can't hit the toilet on the first try.


i am the dirt under a Black nation's feet.
linked by backwards DNA
to people who caused the sacrifice of
people who paid in blood for the stage i'm standing on.
i'm relying on their words to hold me up,
to look me in the eye, to tell me to shape up
or shut up, 'cuz this poetry shit ain't for wimps.
i've been helped by people society looks down on,
lived on handouts from outcasts, been adopted by Jesus-people,
been given more by street-rats than by
people who swore to stand by me,
every time i spun away,somebody was there to catch me.
i owe it to them to grab this poetry thing
and wrestle it to the mat, to have that light attack,
that savage lunge, that deadly riposte,
to look that beastie in the eye and REALLY give him hell.
my own self-worth isn't measuredby how much i am worth in wealth,
but in the wealth of words invested in me
by those who are worth the wealth of the world,
who paved the way for me in blood, sweat, and death.
you ask me how i dare to stand up here and say things out loud i've inscribed
on pages, shouted from stages and
encoded on the Internet . . .
i ask you,how dare i remain silent?

Boarding in the Bronx

It's been a long time since i've done any "non-poetic" journaling, either online or off. Seems that this is how i organize my thoughts, which, coming from a rather disorganized mind, need a little restructuring (horrible word) in order to be comprehended by those who don't think in random bursts of images and concepts. They call that "racing thoughts," and say it's a symptom of "bipolar disorder," which is a pretty trendy diagnosis lately. Seems like everyone's bipolar anymore . . . i don't know if it's because the psychiatric community feels at a loss if it can't slap a label on something, or if the society we live in creates bipolar disorder as a by-product.

It's been nigh on a month and a half or so since i moved into this residence in the Bronx; i have 6 months here, after which i will either have my ass kicked to the curb, or i'll have found something else, because i honestly don't expect the house in Jersey to be ready by then (October), and even if it is, i don't really want to go back. I guess i've become "hooked" on NYC. For everyone who reads this, i'll give you a comic-strip version of what caused this transition. Basically, there was a housefire, caused by an electrical fault. Nobody was hurt, only 3 rooms were damaged (but those were pretty well gutted), and my material loss was negligible. Unfortunately, the house is uninhabitable, especially since the power had to be shut off, and it may be a year before it's ready again. There were other issues that came up afterwards that put a major drain on my landlord's finances . . . they did not involve me personally, and i'll forego discussing them here. My district manager expedited a transfer to the store in the Bronx where i currently work, my friend here in the Bronx had a room for me (and, as he likes cats, Shadow was also welcome here), and several people helped me out with cash donations and moral support, not to mention a lot of prayers (which i need all the time). I'm actually happier here in the Bronx than i ever was in NJ, but if i want to live anywhere in NYC proper, i'm going to have to increase my income.

It would seem that, given the situation, there are 3 options open to me:
1) Try to find a good (or liveable) situation here in NYC;
2) Hope that the house in NJ will be ready by the time i have to move out of here,
and move back there when the time comes;
3) Toss away everything and move back to Roanoke, or;
4) Toss away everything and move somewhere else.

Honestly, #1 is the only one i'm interested in. There's nothing for me back in Roanoke, and the NJ situation is complicated by the things i won't get into (let's just say that i don't feel secure there anymore), and i honestly don't know any other place i'd want to live at this point. I guess if i could scare up a job somewhere in Summers or Monroe County, i could move down to the camp on the Greenbrier and become a total recluse, but that would REALLY be hiding my lamp under a basket. Going back to Roanoke . . . i mean, i love my family dearly, but there's nothing in the Roanoke area other than my loved ones that i'd want to hold on to. The Slam situation there ended badly, and i'm not going to say that none of it was my fault, but i don't want to rehash all that here. There's more opportunity for what i do in NYC than anyplace else other than maybe Chicago (too cold), Atlanta, or maybe the West Coast (too far).

I'm 43 years old, although i don't feel it most of the time (and people tell me i don't look it), but eventually time is gonna catch up with me like it does everyone else. Growing old isn't an elective, it's something that just happens while you're busy living. After the job in Richmond, which ate up about 7 years of my life and nothing to show for all that time but nightmares and a long binge of debauchery. Back then, for a LONG time, my life was "stable." But it was tearing me apart emotionally at the same time, and it's only now, stepping back from it all, that i can see that clearly. In the long run, it would have been better if i'd stayed and "toughed it out" at E-Ku-Sumee. Well, i've gotta trash those backwards-looking bifocals. I don't need 20-2o hindsight to point out where i screwed up. Run from it, live with it, but i sure can't forget it.

By this time, most people would think that because of the crap i've gone through, i'd have given up on my Faith, but that's really one of the only things that's "maintained" throughout all the storms. My family's been there for me, too, although we did go through our own struggles, and my poetry has been there for me. It's not odd that i would tie all 3 of those things together. My faith in Christ and my poetry have sort of become entwined, anyway . . . or maybe it's better to say that the poetry was one of the branches of my life that's continued to bear fruit. I contacted John Ault, my pastor from Grace Covenant from "back in the day," and asked him to look into finding a church in the area, one that had a worship/praise style i was comfortable with and a solid grounding in the Word of God. I know that will take some time, but hopefully not too much . . . i need to make that contact point a priority. When i moved away from the Faith, or wasn't "grounded" in a church, my life became more difficult . . . but, whenever i had a supportive church family, my life may have been tough, but i had what i needed to survive, and to survive creatively . . . not just a life of complacency that doesn't take risks, but a life where i learned to appreciate the concepts of Grace and Mercy.

I guess what i'm doing now is just putting my thoughts together after a long bout of chaos. I used to think i thrived on chaos . . . but i don't. Chaos might provide the necessary energy, but it doesn't do anything to keep me grounded. You can only reach for the stars if your feet are planted firmly on the ground.

So, if you're reading this, say a prayer for me, and get in touch. I'll try to stay in contact with my friends and family . . . it may be a little rocky at times, but hang in there, gang.